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70 facts to celebrate Prince Charles’s 70th birthday

PUBLISHED: 17:08 13 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:08 13 November 2018

The Prince of Wales at Sandringham Flower Show. Picture: Ian Burt

The Prince of Wales at Sandringham Flower Show. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

The Prince of Wales’ official website has revealed 70 facts about the heir to the British throne ahead of his 70th birthday on Wednesday.

From the destination of his first trip abroad to his Magic Cirle membership, there’s bound to be something you didn’t know about Prince Charles in this list of 70 facts.

1. HRH Prince Charles Philip Arthur George was born at Buckingham Palace on 14th November 1948 at 9.14pm, weighing 7lbs 6oz.

2. The Prince was christened on 15th December 1948 at Buckingham Palace.

3. The Prince has been the heir apparent since he was three years old and is the longest serving Prince of Wales.

4. He is the 21st Prince of Wales and the first since 1936.

MORE: Many happy royal returns to the region - Celebrating Prince Charles’ 70th birthday

5. The Prince is the first heir to see his mother crowned as Sovereign.

6. The Prince of Wales became the 24th Duke of Cornwall on The Queen’s accession to the throne in 1952. At the age of 21, in 1969, HRH took on the management of The Duchy of Cornwall, the estate of The Duke of Cornwall.

7. The first formal photograph of The Prince was taken by Cecil Beaton in December 1948.

8. The Prince has three siblings: TRH Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, and Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex.

9. The Prince has two sons: The Duke of Cambridge (Prince William), born on 21st June 1982; and The Duke of Sussex (Prince Harry), born on 15th September 1984.

10. The Prince has three grandchildren, five step-grandchildren and one more grandchild on the way – the first for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

MORE: Prince Charles took William and Harry litter picking during their Norfolk holidays

11. The Prince’s first official visit abroad was to Malta, when he was five years old.

12. From February to July 1966, The Prince spent two terms as an exchange student at Timbertop, a remote annexe of Geelong Church of England Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia.

13. The Prince spent a term at the University College of Wales at Aberystwyth (April to June 1969) learning Welsh. HRH still often uses Welsh phrases in speeches in Wales.

14. The Prince studied archaeology and anthropology in his first year at The University of Cambridge, switching to history for the remainder of his degree. His studies finished in 1970.

15. While at school, The Prince played the piano, trumpet and cello. While an undergraduate at Cambridge, he played the cello, performing in a symphony concert by the Trinity College Orchestra on 4th December 1967.

16. In November 1965, while a pupil at Gordonstoun School, The Prince played the lead in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

17. The Prince became the first heir to the throne to earn a university degree in 1970. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Cambridge University’s Trinity College, and he also earned his Master’s from the same university in 1975.

18. The Prince learned to ice skate at the Richmond Ice Rink, receiving a Certificate of Merit in March 1962.

19. The Prince’s favourite tea is Darjeeling with honey and milk.

20. The Prince does not eat lunch.

21. The Prince holds the titles of The Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Lord of the Isles, Baron Renfrew and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.

22. The Prince is affiliated to 18 military regiments.

23. The Prince took up his first Service appointment in 1969 as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Wales.

24. The Prince obtained his RAF wings as Flight Lieutenant Wales in August 1971. He was the first member of The Royal Family to do so.

25. The Prince is a qualified jet and helicopter pilot.

26. The Prince first rode at The Queen’s Birthday Parade as Colonel of the Welsh Guards aged 26 years old in June 1975.

27. The Prince is Admiral of the Fleet of The Royal Navy

28. In 1975, as an accomplished diver The Prince spent 47 minutes underwater examining the wreck of King Henry VIII’s flagship, The Mary Rose. HRH became President of the Mary Rose Trust the same year.

29. The Prince commanded HMS Bronington in 1976 while in the Royal Navy.

30. The Prince was the first member of The Royal Family to successfully complete the Parachute Regiment’s training course before being appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment in 1977.

31. The Prince is an Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force.

32. The Prince was given the title, “Keeper of the Cows”, by the Masai in Tanzania in 2011 to recognise his work as a farmer.

33. The Prince was given the title Mal Menaringmanu (High Chief), when he visited the Pacific Island of Vanuatu in 2018.

34. The Prince has a frog named after him: Hyloscirtus Princecherlesi or Prince Charles Magnificent Tree Frog.

35. The Prince’s name in Pidgin English is ‘Nambawan pikinini bilong misis kwin’ which translates as ‘The number one child of The Queen.’

36. The Prince is President or Patron of over 420 charities.

37. The Prince started his charity The Prince’s Trust with his Navy severance pay of just over £7,000 in 1976.

38. The Prince has founded nearly twenty charities in areas including youth opportunity, environmental sustainability, education and the arts.

39. Each year his charities raise more than £140m for good causes.

40. An independent study reported that £1.4 billion has been added in value to the UK economy by The Prince’s Trust in the last ten years alone.

41. To date The Prince’s Trust has helped over 875,000 disadvantaged young people into employment or business.

42. Waitrose Duchy Organics (Founded as Duchy Originals 26 years ago) contribute more than £3m a year to The Prince’s Charitable Fund, which The Prince donates to good causes.

43. In the last ten years, The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF) has given more than £50m in small and medium sized grants for issues including sustainable farming methods, flood damaged communities, wildlife anti-poaching initiatives and humanitarian relief.

44. The Prince is Chairman of The Royal Collection Trust, commissioning paintings for the Royal Collection including portraits of the last remaining D-Day Veterans called “The Last of the Tide”.

45. A champion of environmental issues for almost 50 years, The Prince first spoke publically about his concerns about pollution and plastics and their impact on the natural world in 1970.

46. In the reporting year, 2017-18, The Prince and The Duchess undertook over 600 engagements in the UK and around the world.

47. The Prince has visited nearly 100 countries around the world.

48. Since 1969, The Prince has visited 44 Commonwealth countries, many of them on several occasions.

49. The Prince undertook his first official Royal duty in June 1965, attending a student garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

50. The Prince made his first public speech in Welsh in May 1969, on the final day of the Urdd Gobaith Cymru (Welsh League of Youth) Eisteddfod at Aberystwyth.

51. The Prince laid the nation’s wreath on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen during the Remembrance Day Service in 2017 at the Cenotaph.

52. During the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018, Commonwealth Leaders elected The Prince of Wales to succeed The Queen as the next Head of the Commonwealth. Unlike The Throne, Head of the Commonwealth is not a hereditary position.

53. The Prince is an author. He wrote The Old Man of Lochnagar, based on stories he used to tell his younger brothers growing up. He has also written books on the natural world and the environment including ‘Harmony’ and ‘Climate Change’, a Ladybird Expert Book.

54. The Prince is a keen painter and had a watercolour displayed in the Royal Academy’s 1987 summer exhibition, after it was submitted anonymously.

55. In 1975, The Prince became a member of the Magic Circle, a society of stage magicians founded in London in 1905, after passing his audition with a “cup and balls” trick.

56. In 1980, The Prince rode in the Ludlow steeplechase and finished second. The Prince has been a keen equestrian throughout his life and played polo until 2005.

57. The Prince made a cameo appearance in popular comic The Beano alongside The Duchess of Cornwall in 2013.

58. The Prince also made a cameo appearance on Coronation Street in 2000.

59. The Prince has presented the weather forecast on the BBC.

60. The Prince marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth by appearing in ‘Shakespeare Live! From the RSC’.

61. The Prince has his own brand of whisky, Barrogill, through the North Highlands initiative.

62. The Prince’s first car was a MGC GT, purchased in January 1968.

63. Contrary to popular belief, The Prince purchased his Aston Martin DB6 Mark 2 Volante in November 1970 himself. It was not a 21st birthday present from Her Majesty The Queen. TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge left Buckingham Palace in HRH’s Aston Martin in April 2011.

64. The Aston Martin was converted to run on E85 bioethanol made from by-products of the wine and cheese industries in 2008.

65. The Prince uses a fully electric Jaguar to travel to engagements in London.

66. Clarence House, The Prince of Wales’s official London residence, had solar panels installed on the roof in 2010.

67. Llwynywermod, near Llandovery in Carmarthenshire, is The Prince of Wales’s Welsh home. Bought in 2007 by the Duchy of Cornwall, the farmhouse was refurbished using local materials and the skills of Welsh craftsmen and women. It is used as the base for Their Royal Highnesses’s engagements in Wales.

68. The Prince was given a quartet of huge olive-oil jars from Italy. The terracotta jars were intended to be sent to HRH’s Highgrove House in Gloucestershire and were shipped in a crate tagged “The Prince of Wales, Tetbury”. The jars ended up being mistakenly delivered to the local pub of the same name.

69. The Prince keeps Burford Brown and Maran chickens in his garden at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire.

70. The Prince often carries out tree planting ceremonies during engagements. After planting each tree, HRH gives a branch a friendly shake to wish them well.

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