A Brief History
On September 9, 2022, King Charles III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland gave his first speech as king. The previous day, on September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom died and her eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales, automatically assumed the title of King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, known more simply as the United Kingdom.
Charles is currently 73 year old, having spent nearly his entire life preparing for the moment he became King. Charles is the oldest person to ever assume the throne in Britain. After being educated in Scotland, Charles then went to the University of Cambridge and graduated after studying various subjects, becoming the first heir to the British throne to be a university graduate.
Charles then served in the Royal Navy both as a surface officer and as a pilot from 1971 to 1977, achieving the rank of Wing Commander while on active duty, but later receiving promotions over the years until finally being made the highest rank in each of the British military services.
Charles, with his first wife, Diana, fathered 2 sons, William and Harold, and William has become Prince of Wales and heir to the throne upon the ascension of Charles. Charles divorced Diana in 1996, and married his current wife, Camilla, in 2005. Camilla will serve as the Queen Consort.
Question for students (and subscribers): Should Britain maintain or discard the monarchy? What has been Charles’s greatest accomplishment so far? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Borman, Tracy. Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy, from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2022.
Phillips, Charles. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Kings & Queens: The Most Comprehensive Visual Encyclopedia of Every King and Queen of Britain, from Saxon Times through the Tudors and Stuarts to Today. Southwater, 2017.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by Annabel Moeller of members of the Lords, and judges, ambassadors, high commissioners and guests listening to the speech in the House of Lords chamber, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
You can also watch video versions of this article on YouTube.