King Charles III: Fascinating facts ahead of his coronation

King Charles’s coronation takes place on May 6  (PA Wire)
King Charles’s coronation takes place on May 6 (PA Wire)

King Charles III, 74, will become the oldest British monarch to take to the throne on Saturday (May 6).

His coronation will combine the old with the new, and be broadcast for the nation to watch.

“The coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in long-standing traditions and pageantry,” Buckingham Palace has said

Here’s everything you need to know about the new king before his big day.

When was King Charles III born?

King Charles was born during the reign of his grandfather George VI, on November 14, 1948.

He was born at 9.14pm by Caesarean section after a 30-hour labour.

His entry into the world was the first of any senior member of the royal family not attended by a senior politician since the 17th century.

Where was King Charles born?

King Charles was born at Buckingham Palace in London.

Who are the King’s siblings?

King Charles has three siblings: Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.

He is said to be closest to Princess Anne as the pair were born 21 months apart.

After the death of their mother, Princess Anne said: “We may have been reminded how much of her presence and contribution to our national identity we took for granted. I am also so grateful for the support and understanding offered to my dear brother Charles as he accepts the added responsibilities of the monarch.”

He is reportedly less close with his younger brothers, especially Andrew, who is no longer a working royal.

Meanwhile, Edward is 15 years younger, so the pair did not grow up together.

What school did King Charles go to?

King Charles first went to Hill House School in Knightsbridge, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, aged six.

Founded by British Army officer Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Townend in 1951, Hill House was a boys-only, pre-preparatory school.

The King attended the school for only nine months, from November 1956 until the summer of 1957.

A previous school report called him “determined but slow, with above-average intelligence”.

Townend reportedly called him “full of go, full of physical courage… a damned good lad”.

The King was moved to Cheam Preparatory School in Headley, Hampshire, in September 1957.

Cheam, which opened in 1645, is the oldest prep school in the UK.

His late father, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh had also been a pupil there.

Aged 14, Charles was then sent to Gordonstoun School in the north of Scotland, where he was reportedly a star pupil. This was despite a report saying he was “often naughty but never nasty”.

He was also bullied by other pupils, and wrote in a letter home: “It’s such hell here, especially at night...the people in my dormitory are foul. They throw slippers all night or hit me with pillows or rush across the room and hit me as hard as they can, then beetle back again.” He reportedly later referred to the school as “a prison sentence” and “Colditz in kilts”.

Former Gordonstoun pupil Johnny Stonborough in September 2022 told Good Morning Britain: “It was quite harsh. He was badly bullied and very isolated.

“On the rugby pitch you would see it. There were a couple of people who said they would ‘do Prince Charles’ and they would beat him up in the scrum, pull his ears and thump him.”

King Charles in 1974 spoke of his Gordonstoun experience. “I didn’t enjoy school as much as I might have, but that was only because I’m happier at home than anywhere else.” he said.

“But Gordonstoun developed my willpower and self-control, helped me to discipline myself…

“We ran our own fire brigade, we had our own sea rescue service, mountain rescue, surf life saving, coastguard, etc. It was adventure. And we were damn good.”

What is King Charles’s full name?

King Charles’s full name is Charles Philip Arthur George.

When did King Charles become king?

King Charles officially became king upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8, 2022.

At the age of 73, he became the oldest person to ascend to the British throne. He had been the longest-serving heir apparent and Prince of Wales in British history.

How tall is King Charles?

King Charles is reportedly 5ft 10 inches tall (1.78m). However, some commentators think he is likely to be shorter than this now given age-related shrinkage.

When did King Charles and Princess Diana marry?

The marriage of Charles and Diana, (later the Prince and Princess of Wales), took place on July 29, 1981, marking a high point in the popularity of the royal family.

It was watched by 750 million people in 74 countries.

When did King Charles marry Camilla?

Having lived with Camilla at Clarence House since 2003, Charles announced his engagement to her in February 2005.

On April 9, 2005, the couple tied the knot in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall.

How many children does the King have?

King Charles has two children, Prince William, 40, and Prince Harry, 38.

He welcomed both sons with the late Diana, Princess of Wales, during her marriage to Charles from 1981 to 1996.

How many grandchildren does King Charles have?

King Charles III has five grandchildren.

They are Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.

Prince George, nine, is the eldest — and as son of Prince William is second in line to the throne. He was born in July 2013.

Then Princess Charlotte is seven, and was born in May 2015, and Prince Louis is four and was born in April 2018.

They are third and fourth in line to the throne.

Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, three, was born in May 2019, and is the eldest child of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. He is currently sixth in line to the throne.

Harry and Meghan’s daughter Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor is the youngest of the King’s grandchildren. She will be two in June 2023 and is seventh in line to the throne.