Photos for every year of King’s life compiled to mark coronation
Photos from every year of the King’s life have been compiled to celebrate Charles III’s coronation.
The pictures, brought together by the PA news agency, show the monarch through the decades – from newborn baby and toddler to university student, naval officer and daredevil prince, then husband, father and globe-trotting heir to the throne and finally as the sovereign.
Charles will be crowned on May 6 in a deeply religious ceremony steeped in history at Westminster Abbey.
In the first photo from 1948, one-month-old Charles is pictured sleeping soundly in the arms of his mother, Princess Elizabeth, at his christening in Buckingham Palace.
In the final image taken in 2023, he is a King, 74 in age and just a few months into his reign, with his Queen Consort at his side.
Charles, the nation’s longest-serving heir to the throne, acceded to the throne on September 8 2022 following the death of his mother Elizabeth II.
As a chubby-cheeked toddler, he is shown on his third birthday in 1951 chatting with his grandfather, George VI, as they sit on an ornate sofa in the palace.
The young prince is also shown playing on a see-saw made out of a plank of wood and a log on the Balmoral estate in 1957.
In 1965, teenage thespian Charles, with dagger in hand and wearing a fake beard, is on stage as Macbeth at his Scottish boarding school, Gordonstoun.
In the 1970s, the then-Prince of Wales entered a new phase in his life – joining the armed forces.
He earned himself a reputation as an Action Man for being a sailor, airman, marine, parachutist, diver, surfer, polo player and a jockey.
The 1980s brought a fairytale wedding to Lady Diana Spencer and the arrival of their two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Charles and Diana split, finally divorcing in 1996 – a year before Diana was tragically killed in a car crash in Paris.
Charles married his former mistress Camilla Parker Bowles, now the Queen Consort, in 2005.
The pair are pictured together in 2008, enjoying the Mey Highland Games in Caithness, and sheltering from the sun under a parasol on the John Lennon memorial bench in Havana, Cuba, in 2019.
In addition to pictures from 1948 to 2023, Charles is pictured in 2018 – the year of his 70th birthday – as he accompanies Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, down the Quire to the altar at her wedding to the Duke of Sussex.
Harry, who went on to quit the working monarchy with Meghan, has lambasted his father in the years that followed amid great family difficulties, criticising Charles’s parenting in his autobiography.
Another image shows Charles and Camilla in mourning wearing masks at the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh during the pandemic in 2021.
And in 2022, the King is depicted at the start of his reign.
Grieving for his mother, he is shown walking behind the late Queen’s coffin on the day of her state funeral with his son and heir the Prince of Wales.
At the coronation ceremony, Charles and Camilla will be anointed and crowned in front of 2,000 guests at the country’s first coronation to be staged for 70 years.