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See His Life in Photos

One of the biggest days of King Charles III’s professional life is finally happening after a lifetime of preparing.

His coronation ceremony on May 6 will be the first time the St. Edward’s Crown is placed on his head. He was officially installed as the British monarch during the ascension ceremony in September, when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II died.

As her eldest child, King Charles III knew he’d take over the throne one day. Here are some key life milestones that have led to his crowning moment.

1948: Born and christened

Then-Princess Elizabeth holding then-Prince Charles when he was about 1 day old. Getty Images

The king was born on November 14, 1948. The following day, he was christened at Buckingham Palace in London. He is now 74.

1949: The last year as an only child

Baby Prince And Parents
Then-Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain) with her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and then-Prince Charles in 1949.Fox Photos / Getty Images

King Charles was an only child for the first two years of his life. This photo was captured in July of 1949. His first sibling, Princess Anne, was born on August 15, 1950.

1960: A royal family of five

Queen Elizabeth at a Picnic with the Royal Family
The royal family of five.Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

King Charles became the oldest of three kids in 1960, when Prince Andrew, Duke of York, was born. This photo captures the royal family of five having a picnic outside of Balmoral Castle. Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh, was later born in 1964.

1967: Starts at Trinity College

Prince Charles In Cambridge
Then-Prince Charles on his way to class at Trinity College in 1967.Peter Dunne / Getty Images

Then-Prince Charles started at Trinity College in 1967 at age 19. He studied archaeology, anthropology and later history as an undergraduate from 1967 to 1970, according to the school’s website. Trinity College is apart of the University of Cambridge system.

1968: Becomes a knight

Prince Charles
King Charles in 1968 as the Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.Getty Images

In 1968, then-Prince Charles’ title had a new addition when became Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter at age 20 and there was a celebration at Windsor Castle in honor of this milestone. He was also the Prince of Wales, a title he started using at age 9.

1969: 21 and a prince again

Prince Charles, Prince Philip And HM Queen
The newly crowed Prince of Wales, now-King Charles, with his parents.Dennis Oulds / Getty Images

King Charles was formally invested with the title of Prince of Wales at a ceremony at Caernarvon Castle in Wales on July 2, 1969. He was 21 years old.

1970s: Meets Camilla Shand

Prince Charles
Now-King Charles and Camilla Shand at a polo match together.Serge Lemoine / Getty Images

Around 1970, the king met his second and current wife who was known as Camilla Shand at the time. Buckingham Palace disapproved of their budding relationship, so they both ended up marrying other people but later reconnected.

Later in the 1970s: Camilla Parker-Bowles and Diana Spencer attend King Charles’ steeplechase

Camilla Parker-Bowles and Diana at Ludlow racecourse
Camilla Parker-Bowles (left) and Lady Diana Spencer (later the Princess of Wales) at Ludlow Racecourse to watch the Amateur Riders Handicap Steeplechase in which the prince was competing. PA Images via Getty Images

Camilla Shand married Andrew Parker-Bowles in 1973.

The king met Lady Diana Spencer in 1977 and began dating in the years following.

Around that time, both women attended a Steeplechase event where now-King Charles was competing.

February of 1981: Gets engaged to Diana

Image: Royal Engagement
Now-King Charles and Diana pose for the cameras outside Buckingham Palace after announcing their engagement in February 1981.Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Then-Prince Charles and Lady Diana got engaged in February of 1981. They posed for pictures, including this one, outside of Buckingham Palace after announcing the news.

July of 1981: Marries Diana

Image: Balcony Kiss
The newly weds kissing on their wedding day.Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The couple married on July 29, 1981 in a show-stopping ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

August of 1981: Honeymoon pics

Diana Charles Honeymoon
The newly weds during their honeymoon.Tim Graham / Tim Graham Photo Library via Get

Then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana posed for pictures in Balmoral, United Kingdom, during their honeymoon.

June of 1982: William is born

Image: Diana's New Family
The Prince and Princess of Wales greet well-wishers and the press on the steps of St Mary’s Hospital, London, as they introduce their newborn son, William.Princess Diana Archive / Getty Images

The couple had their oldest son, Prince William, on June 21, 1982.

December of 1982: William at 6 months old

Image: Royal Baby
The new father and son bonding.Keystone / Getty Images

Then-Prince Charles and William at Kensington Palace in London in December of 1982. Kensington Palace was the residence granted to him by Queen Elizabeth II, who lived at Buckingham Palace at the time.

1984: Harry is born

Prince Charles & Princess Diana
Prince Charles & Princess Diana leaving the hospital on Sep, 16, 1984 with their newborn. Getty Images

King Charles’ youngest son, Prince Harry, was born on September 15, 1984.

1985: Love of polo continues

Image: Polo Prince
Then-PrinceCharles playing as a member of the Diables Blues team at Cowdray Park in Sussex, England, in August 1985.Slim Aarons / Getty Images

King Charles, a skilled horseman, has long loved polo and once competed as often as his royal duties allowed. He played for the Diables Bleus team in 1985.

1986: The family of 4

Image: FILE - Royal Pregnancies, Babies & Children
The family of four.Tim Graham / Getty Images Contributor

The couple with their 4-year-old and their 2-year-old in Tetbury, England.

1995: Last year married to Diana

Harry, William, Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Princes Harry and William stand between their father and mother during a parade in London in 1995Johnny Eggot / AFP – Getty Images

By 1995, then-Prince Charles and the Princess of Wales had been estranged. He spend much of his time living at Highgrove and she lived at Kensington Palace. They divorced a year after this photo was taken.

1997: Diana dies

Princess Diana Funeral
An estimated 2.5 billion people watched the funeral on TV, making it the most watched event in history.Jeff J. Mitchell / AFP-Getty Images

Princess Diana died in a car accident on Aug. 31, 1997 as she and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, were fleeing a paparazzi frenzy. Now-King Charles and their sons, along with his dad and Diana’a brother, walked behind her coffin as it moved through the streets of London.

2005: Marries Camilla

Image: TRH Prince Charles & The Duchess Of Cornwall Attend Blessing At Windsor
Left to right, back row: Prince Harry, Prince William, Tom and Laura Parker Bowles. Left to right, front row: Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II and Camilla’s father, Major Bruce Shand.Getty Images

On April 9, 2005, then-Prince Charles married Camilla at Windsor Guildhall in Windsor. Their families posed for an official wedding photo together after the ceremony.

2008: Turns 60

Image: Prince of Wales 60th Birthday
An official portrait released on November 13, 2008.Hugo Burnand / Pool via EPA

Then-Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, turned 60 on November 14, 2008. The day before, an official portrait of him was released to celebrate his milestone birthday.

2011: Eldest son gets married

Royal Wedding - The Newlyweds Greet Wellwishers From The Buckingham Palace Balcony
Then-Prince Charles watching the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge kiss on their wedding day.Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, married the former Kate Middleton, making her the Duchess of Cambridge, on April 29, 2011.

2015: New royal stamp sheet

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince George and Prince William
(L-R) Then-Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince George and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.Getty Images

Four generations of the royal family posed in 2015 for what would later become a new stamp, which was issued to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. Buckingham Palace released the photo to the public in 2016.

May of 2018: Youngest son gets married

Image:
An official wedding photo of Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday May 19, 2018. Alexi Lubomirski / AP

Prince Harry married Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 and their families posed for an official photo after the ceremony. Upon their marriage, they became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

December of 2018: Spends Christmas with his sons and their wives

Members of Royal family arrive at St Mary Magdalene's church for the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England
The quartet on Christmas Day in 2018.Hannah Mckay / Reuters

Now-King Charles, his sons and their wives all attended St. Mary Magdalene’s Church on Christmas day in 2018. Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, was pregnant with Archie at the time.

2019: Attends Parliament opening

State Opening Of Parliament
The mother and son at work together.WPA Pool / Getty Images

Now-King Charles and his mother attended the state opening of Parliament in the House of Lord’s chamber in London on Dec. 19, 2019.

2022: His mother, Queen Elizabeth II, dies

The Coffin Carrying Queen Elizabeth II Is Transferred From Buckingham Palace To The Palace Of Westminster
(First row L-R) King Charles III, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. (Second row L-R) Prince William, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.Martin Meissner / WPA via Getty Images

King Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died on Sept 8, 2022 at age 96. The king was automatically installed in the role after her death. The following week, he and his siblings and his two sons walked behind her coffin as it traveled from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall in London.

Queen Funeral
King Charles and his siblings attend their mom’s funeral.Marco Bertorello / AFP via Getty Images

2023: King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, ready for his coronation ceremony

 In this handout images released by Buckingham Palace, King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort pose for a portrait in the Blue Room at Buckingham Palace on April 4, 2023 in London, England.
King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, together.Hugo Burnand / Buckingham Palace via Getty Images

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, on April 4, 2023, almost an exact month before his coronation ceremony.

Here’s how to watch King Charles III’s crowning.


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