Charles becomes king of England after death of Queen Elizabeth II

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Former Prince Charles has become King of England following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Royal officials say the new monarch will be known as King Charles III.

Queen Elizabeth IIBritain’s longest-reigning monarch, who served as his country’s beloved face and source of strength for seven decades, died on Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was 96 years old.

According to the British laws of succession, Charles came to the kingship soon after the death of his mother. Soon after, he issued his first statement as king.

“The death of my dear Mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of greatest sorrow for me and all my family members,” said the king. “We deeply mourn the passing of a cherished sovereign and a very dear mother.

“I know his loss will be deeply felt by countless peoples across the nation, the realms and the Commonwealth and around the world,” King continued. “During this period of mourning and transformation, me and my family will be comforted and supported by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the Queen was so widely held.”

Queen Elizabeth II, longest-reigning British monarch, dead at 96

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles in full court dress.
(Paul Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The coronation of the new monarch and the first formal appearance as head of the Commonwealth are yet to be determined. Charles is expected to stay the night at Balmoral with the rest of the royal family.

His son, Prince William, has become heir to the British throne, but has not taken the title of Prince of Wales. According to the BBC, he would have to receive the title from King Charles III.

The formal titles of William and his wife, Kate Middleton, are now Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.

The Queen’s son Charles Philip Arthur George and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was born at Buckingham Palace on November 14, 1948. The prince’s mother was declared queen at the age of 25, when his father, King George VI, died in 1952 at the age of 56. Upon the Queen’s accession to the throne, Prince Charles, as the Sovereign’s eldest son, became heir to the British throne.

Live Updates: Britain’s longest-reigning monarch dies at Balmoral Palace in Scotland

Charles took over the traditional title of Duke of Cornwall in 1337 under a charter from King Edward III; and, in the Scottish Peerage, the Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.

a young prince charles

a young prince charles
(Peter Dunn/Daily Express/Getty Images)

Charles was only 4 when he attended his mother’s coronation at Westminster Abbey in 1953. He was seated with his widowed grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, as well as his aunt, Princess Margaret.

Photos: Queen Elizabeth throughout the year

As opposed to having a teacher at the palace, the Queen and the Duke decided that the prince should attend school at Hill House in west London. After 10 months, he again became a boarder at Cheam School, a preparatory school in Berkshire. The Queen named Charles as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester when he was just 9 years old. In 1962, Charles began his first term at a school near Elgin in Gordonston, eastern Scotland, where his father had previously attended.

Charles spent two terms in 1966 as an exchange student at Timbertop, a remote outpost of the Geelong Church of England Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia. In 1967, he attended the University of Cambridge to study Archeology and Anthropology at Trinity College. For the second half of his degree, he turned it into history.

In 1969, Charles was enshrined as Prince of Wales during a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle. Prior to the incident, the prince spent a stint at Aberystwyth at the University College of Wales, where he learned to speak Welsh. The following year in 1970, Charles took his place in the House of Lords. In 1971, Charles flew himself to the Royal Air Force (RAF) Cranwell in Lincolnshire to train as a jet pilot.

Portrait of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Portrait of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
(Chris Jackson / Getty Images)

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her record-breaking rule as the longest reigning British monarch

Charles followed in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and both great-grandfathers and pursued a naval career. According to the royal website, Charles qualified as a helicopter pilot in 1974 before joining 845 Naval Air Squadron, which operated from the commando carrier HMS Hermes. In 1976, Charles took command of the coastal minesweeper HMS Bronington for his final nine months in the Navy.

In 1981, Charles married Lady Diana Spencer, who became HRH The Princess of Wales, at St Paul’s Cathedral. The Prince and Princess of Wales welcomed their son, Prince William, in 1982, followed by Prince Harry in 1984. William is next to the throne.

In 1992, it was announced that Charles and Diana had agreed to separate, and the marriage was eventually dissolved in 1996. Diana, who was still considered a member of the British royal family, continued to live at Kensington Palace.

At the age of 36, Diana died of injuries sustained in a Paris car accident in 1997. At the time of his death, Charles along with his two sisters went to Paris to bring her body back to London. On the day of the funeral, Charles was with his sons, who were 15 and 12 at the time, as they followed the coffin to Westminster Abbey.

Prince Charles, right, and his brother, Prince Edward

Prince Charles, right, and his brother, Prince Edward
(Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II becomes world’s second longest-reigning monarch

Following the death of Princess Diana, Charles asked the press to respect the privacy of his children as he attempted to lead a normal school life. William and Harry will accompany their father to several royal events in the UK and abroad.

In 2005, Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles. After the ceremony, she became HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

Charles’ father, who spent more than seven decades supporting his wife, died in 2021 at the age of 99.

Today, Charles serves as the patron or president of more than 400 organizations. Their causes support the environment, global sustainability, opportunities for youth, education and faith.

On February 5, 2022, during a special Platinum Jubilee message, the Queen offered her support to the Duchess of Cornwall to become Queen Camilla. To mark the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, the monarch expressed a “sincere desire” for Camilla to be known as the “Queen Consort” when Charles succeeded her to the throne.

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Her husband, Prince Philip, spent more than seven decades supporting the Queen before her death.

Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was Britain’s longest-serving wife. Elizabeth and Philip had been married for over 70 years and had four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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