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📸 King Charles III: A life of 74 years in 74 pictures

by Editorial Team
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 CORONATION 2023   🇬🇧 👑

(Compiled by Joseph Kizza. All photos are by AFP)

May 6, 2023 will forever be etched in British history as the day Charles III was crowned King alongside his wife of 18 years, Camilla, who was enthroned as Queen on the same grand occasion at Westminster Abbey in central London, UK.

The elaborate coronation ceremonies happened eight months after Charles was officially proclaimed King in a ceremony on September 10, 2022, two days after the death of his beloved mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Trained from childhood to be king, Charles III endured the longest wait for the throne in British history, having spent virtually his entire life waiting to succeed his mother, even as he took on more of her duties and responsibilities as she aged.

But the late monarch’s eldest son, who is now 74, made the most of his record-breaking time as the longest-serving heir to the throne by forging his own path. Now he is King Charles III following last Saturday’s widely watched coronation.

(Also related: The coronation as it happened)

📸  Take a look at Charles’s life of 74 years in these 74 pictures:

 December 15, 1948:  The future Queen Elizabeth II of England and her son Prince Charles.

 January 1949:  Baby Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in London.

  November 14, 1951:  Prince Charles with his grandfather George VI during the celebration of his third birthday.

In this file undated photo showing the Royal British couple, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, and her husband Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with their two children, Charles, Prince of Wales (left) and Princess Anne (right).

  June 2, 1953:   Prince Charles reacts during the coronation ceremony of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in the Westminster Abbey in London.

  September 9, 1960:   Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (), Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and their three children Prince Charles (right), Princess Anne (left) and Prince Andrew (3rd-left) pose in the grounds of Balmoral Castle, near the village of Crathie in Aberdeenshire. 

  July 20, 1970:   In Washington, Prince Charles of Wales with American President Richard Nixon during his official visit to USA.

  May 1969:   At Sandringham, all the members of British Royal Family, from left, Prince Edward, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Anne, Prince Charles and  Prince Andrew. 

  June 1969:   At Windsor Castle, Prince Charles of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II smiling for the photographers.

  June 1969:   At Sandringham Castle, Prince Charles of Wales and his father, Prince Philip.

  February 24, 1970:   At Cambridge in the Trinity College, Prince Charles of Wales during his performance “Wether ’tis nobler..”

  February 26, 1970:   Prince Charles and Princess Anne of the royal family.

  March 27, 1981:   Queen Elizabeth II is accompanied by her son Prince Charles and his fiancee Lady Diana, at Buckingham Palace in London.

  July 29, 1981:   Lady Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles of Wales attend their wedding at St Paul Cathedral in London.

  July 29, 1981:   Charles, Prince of Wales, kisses his bride, Lady Diana, appear before a huge crowd on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding in St Paul’s Cathedral.

  August 19, 1995:   Prince Charles, Princess Diana and their children William (2nd-right) and Harry watch the march past on a dais on the mall as part of the commemorations of VJ Day.

  September 5, 1997:   The Prince of Wales and his sons Prince William and Prince Harry view the floral tributes to their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, at the entrance of Kensington Palace, the late Princess’ London residence.

  November 3, 1997:   Prince Charles and his son Harry imprint their hands on wet cement to be unveiled as a plaque in Dukuduku at Ubuhlebemvelo School, in the western shore of Lake St Lucia, northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

  August 4, 2000:   From left, Prince William, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, during  Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother 100th Birthday celebrations in London.

  March 4, 2004:   Prince Charles looks through a periscope during his visit to the submarine command trainer based at the HM Naval Base in Devonport.

  February 10, 2005:   Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles arrive for a party at Windsor Castle after announcing their engagement earlier.

  April 9, 2005:   Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, formerly Camilla Parker Bowles, walk from St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle during their civil marriage ceremony.

  October 28, 2005:   Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, talks to graduates from The Prince’s Trust Personal Development course during a visit to Merton College in London.

  November 18, 2007:   Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are joined at Clarence House in London by Prince Charles, Prince Edward, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew on the occasion of a dinner hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to mark the forthcoming Diamond Wedding Anniversary of The Queen and The Duke. 

  March 15, 2012:   Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Charles iron artworks they made during a visit the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts at the Dulwich Gallery in South London.

  June 20, 2013:   Britain’s Prince Charles and the president of The Prince’s Trust, hosts a reception for Prince’s Trust Job Ambassadors, Young Ambassadors, and the charity’s supporters to mark the appointment of one 100vJob Ambassadors, at Clarence House in central London.

  October 24, 2013:   Prince Charles reacts to a comment as he meets guests during a reception in Clarence House, central London.

  June 15, 2015:   Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, attend the Most Noble Order of the Garter Ceremony at Windsor Castle in southern England.

  December 8, 2016:   Queen Elizabeth II stands with her husband Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, her son Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (2nd-left) and his wife Britain’s Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and her grandson Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (2nd-right) and his wife Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as they pose photo a photograph ahead of the annual evening reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps at Buckingham Palace, London.

  September 8, 2017:   Britain’s Prince Charles and wife Camilla, styled as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay while in Scotland, attend the official naming ceremony of the QE Class aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales, the second of the Royal Navy’s two future flagships being built by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, at the Royal Dockyard in Rosyth in Fife, Scotland. 

  May 19, 2018:   Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, looks at his bride, Meghan Markle, as she arrives accompanied by the Britain’s Prince Charles in St George’s Chapel during the wedding ceremony during their wedding ceremony in Windsor.

  July 28, 2022:   Britain’s Prince Charles and Britain’s Camilla (not seen) arrive driving an Aston Martin for the opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games, at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, central England.

  September 9, 2022:   Britain’s King Charles III is driven away from Balmoral Castle in Ballater, a day after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, at the age of 96.

  September 9, 2022:   King Charles III (R) and Camilla, Queen Consort, greet the crowd upon their arrival Buckingham Palace in London.

  September 9, 2022:   King Charles III greets the eager and excited members of the public in the crowd.

  September 9, 2022:   Britain’s new monarch greets and welcomes new Prime Minister Liz Truss during their first meeting at Buckingham Palace.

  September 9, 2022:   King Charles III makes a televised address to the nation and the Commonwealth from the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace.

  September 10, 2022:   Britain’s Camilla, Queen Consort flanks Britain’s King Charles III during a meeting of the Accession Council in the Throne Room inside St James’s Palace in London to proclaim him as the new king. 

  September 10, 2022:   Britain’s Prince William, Prince of Wales and Britain’s Camilla, Queen Consort (2nd-left) listen as Britain’s King Charles III speaks during the meeting of the Accession Council. 

  September 10, 2022:   Britain’s King Charles III signs an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland.

  September 10, 2022:   Britain’s Prince William, Prince of Wales, signs the Proclamation of Accession of King Charles III, watched by (from left) Lord President of the Council Penny Mordaunt, Britain’s Camilla, Queen Consort, Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, Lord Chancellor of the Privy Council Brandon Lewis and Earl Marshal, Edward Fitzalan-Howard, the Duke of Norfolk.

  September 10, 2022:   Garter Principle King of Arms, David Vines White, reads the proclamation of King Charles III, from the Friary Court balcony of St James’s Palace in London.

Members of the public watch members of the Coldstream guards perform during the reading of the Principal Proclamation.

Members of the Coldstream guards cheer during the proclamation.

Officials and elected members of the City of London Corporation doff their hats during the City Proclamation of Britain’s new king, King Charles III at the Royal Exchange in the City of London.

  September 19, 2022:    King Charles III follows the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, aboard the State Hearse, as it travels inside Windsor Castle ahead of the Committal Service for the late Queen. 

  September 19, 2022:   King Charles III places the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin at the Committal Service for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in St George’s Chapel inside Windsor Castle. 

  September 19, 2022:    King Charles III and members of the royal family follow the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s orb and sceptre, as it is carried out of Westminster Abbey after her State Funeral. 

 CORONATION DAY: May 6, 2023 

Charles III and wife Camilla conducted the King’s Procession, a two-kilometre journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey for the coronation service, in the airconditioned Diamond Jubilee State Coach.

Millions of people in London and around the world followed the event with keen interest.

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach was built in 2012 in Australia to mark 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby officiated at the coronation service.

It was the first British coronation in 70 years.

Charles III took the oath in one of the most elaborate of coronation ceremonies. The work of weeks, or possibly months, of rehearsals finally unfolded before the eyes of the watching world.

The coronation was a Church of England rite, including the coronation oath, the anointment, delivery of the orb, and enthronement.

King Charles III.

Charles’s wife of 18 years, Camilla, was crowned Queen.

After the solemn coronation ceremony, King Charles III and Queen Camilla travelled back to Buckingham Palace, in a reverse procession now called Coronation Procession.

This time, they moved in another vehicle: the Gold State Coach. This one was built in 1762 and has been used in every coronation since that of William IV in 1831.

As has been British tradition since the enthronement of Edward VII 121 years ago in 1902, the new monarch greets the crowds in The Mall up from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. 

  May 7, 2023:   King Charles III and Queen Camilla attend the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London.


Take a look at combo photos comparing the coronation ceremony of King Charles III in 2023 and that of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in 1953.

Also related to this article

Coronation of King Charles III – As it happened

Life and times of Queen Elizabeth II

World mourns Queen Elizabeth II

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