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King Charles III made history as the oldest person to take the British throne at age 73. Here’s the best photo from every year of his royal career.

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1972: After passing his RAF training, Charles embarked on a career in the Royal Navy. He joined his first ship, the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk, in 1972.

Britain’s Prince Charles gives a thumbs-up sign as he prepares to take off in a Wessex Helicopter on a training flight from Yeovilton Royal Navy Air Station, Somerset, on October 21, 1972.

AP Photo / B.O.P.


1973: The Prince of Wales, as he was then known, visited the Bahamas for the islands’ last days as a British colony. After more than 300 years of British sovereignty, the Bahamas became an independent nation on July 9.

Britain's Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, second right, and Sir John Paul, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Bahamas, listen to Bishop Alvin S. Moss, General Overseer of the Church of God of Prophecy, during a Thanksgiving Service, in Nassau, Bahamas, on July 8, 1973, as part of the Bahamas Independence celebrations.

Britain’s Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, second right, and Sir John Paul, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Bahamas, listen to Bishop Alvin S. Moss, General Overseer of the Church of God of Prophecy, during a Thanksgiving Service, in Nassau, Bahamas, on July 8, 1973, as part of the Bahamas Independence celebrations.

AP Photo


1974: Charles made his maiden speech in the House of Lords this year, becoming the first royal to do so since his great-great-grandfather Edward VII in 1884.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, followed by Princess Alexandra, leave the Vaudeville Theater in London, after attending a performance of Alan Ayckbourn's play "Absurd Person Singular", Nov. 14, 1974. It is Prince Charles 26th birthday.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, followed by Princess Alexandra, leave the Vaudeville Theater in London, after attending a performance of Alan Ayckbourn’s play ‘Absurd Person Singular’, Nov. 14, 1974.

AP Photo


Source: The New York Times

1975: Continuing to dip into military training, Charles returned to Cambridge to receive his masters degree.

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales tackles an assault course at the Royal Marines Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon, and achieves a first-class pass, 13th January 1975.

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales tackles an assault course at the Royal Marines Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon, and achieves a first-class pass, 13th January 1975.

Central Press / Hulton Archive / Getty Images


1976: Prince Charles took command of his first ship, the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington. It was also his last year of active military service and the year he started his charity, The Prince’s Trust.

Prince Andrew when he visited his elder brother, Prince Charles (rear) aboard his ship, the coastal minesweeper HMS Bronington in London in November 1976. In an official statement from Buckingham Palace it was announced that Prince Andrew, now 18, is hoping to join the Royal Navy after he leaves Gordonstun School in Scotland next summer.

Prince Andrew when he visited his elder brother, Prince Charles (rear) aboard his ship, the coastal minesweeper HMS Bronington in London in November 1976.

AP Photo


Source: The Prince’s Trust

1977: The prince appeared in a disastrous interview on Australian television. The host of the show “Countdown” suffered a complete meltdown on-air, even saying: “Your Royal Highness… oh, oh, I’m sweating like a pig.”

Prince Charles disastrous 1977 interview

Prince Charles on “Countdown” in 1977.

Breathing Air / YouTube


Watch the interview here.

1978: Prince Charles made the cover of TIME magazine. The publication described him as a “most uncommon bloke.”

prince charles TIME cover 1978

Prince Charles on the cover of “TIME” in 1978.

CAROLE CUTTNER / TIME


Source: TIME

1979: Prince Charles attended the funeral of his great uncle and mentor, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, who was murdered by the IRA.

The funeral of Lord Mountbatten of Burma following his murder by the IRA (L-R), Reverend Edward Carpenter, HM Queen, Prince Philip, the Queen Mother, Prince Andrew Prince Charles, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, Captain Mark Phillips, the Dowager Duchess of Gloucester, gathered outside Westminster Abbey, London, September 5th 1979.

(L-R), Reverend Edward Carpenter, HM Queen, Prince Philip, the Queen Mother, Prince Andrew Prince Charles, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, Captain Mark Phillips, the Dowager Duchess of Gloucester, gathered outside Westminster Abbey, London, September 5th 1979.

Central Press / Hulton Archive / Getty Images


1980: Prince Charles met Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India. He also published a children’s book, “The Old Man of Lochnagar,” originally written for his younger brother Prince Edward.

Prince Charles talking to Mother Teresa during his visit to her home for babies and children, Calcutta, December 1980.

Prince Charles talking to Mother Teresa during his visit to her home for babies and children, Calcutta, December 1980.

Keystone / Hulton Archive / Getty Images


Source: The Telegraph

1981: Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer, who became the Princess of Wales. At the time of their engagement in February, Diana was 19 years old while Charles was 31.

Britain's Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer pose together at Buckingham Palace, in this Feb. 24, 1981 file photo, following the announcement of their engagement.

Britain’s Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer pose together at Buckingham Palace, in this Feb. 24, 1981 file photo, following the announcement of their engagement.

AP Photo / Ron Bell, pool, file


1982: Prince William of Wales was born, and Charles became the first royal father to be present at the birth of his son.

Britain's Prince William, the 6-month old son of British Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the Prince and Princess of Wales with his parents during a special picture call at Kensington Palace in London, England on Dec. 22, 1982.

Britain’s Prince William, the 6-month old son of British Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the Prince and Princess of Wales with his parents during a special picture call at Kensington Palace in London, England on Dec. 22, 1982.

AP Photo / David Caulkin


1983: The Prince and Princess of Wales toured Australia and New Zealand — a trip that was mirrored by newlyweds Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018.

Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Charles sit in their car as a large crowd looks on during their visit to Stirling Oval, Canberra, Australia, March 26, 1983. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin)

Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Charles sit in their car as a large crowd looks on during their visit to Stirling Oval, Canberra, Australia, March 26, 1983.

AP Photo / Dave Caulkin


1984: Prince Harry was born, making the Wales’ a family of four.

The Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, pose for a family portrait with their sons, Prince William, right, and Prince Harry, at the Kensington Palace in London, England on Oct. 6, 1984. Prince Harry was born on Sept. 15. Prince William was born June 21, 1982. Ten years ago - Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in Paris with her friend, Dodi Fayed, on August 31, 1997.

The Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, pose for a family portrait with their sons, Prince William, right, and Prince Harry, at the Kensington Palace in London, England on Oct. 6, 1984.

AP Photo


1985: Charles and Diana whipped the US into a frenzy when they visited Washington D.C. At the White House, the princess took to the dance floor with John Travolta.

In this Nov. 9, 1985 photo provided by the Ronald Reagan Library, actor John Travolta dances with Princess Diana at a White House dinner in Washington. Since strutting onto the big screen in “Saturday Night Fever,” John Travolta’s career has been one of dramatic ups and downs, from comeback king to Internet meme. Travolta, 61, is prepping a handful of projects and ahead of the release of an explosive documentary on Scientology that focuses considerably on Travolta’s relationship with the organization.

In this Nov. 9, 1985 photo provided by the Ronald Reagan Library, actor John Travolta dances with Princess Diana at a White House dinner in Washington.

AP Photo / Ronald Reagan Library, File


Watch Travolta talking about his dance with Diana here.

1986: Charles and Diana visited Tokyo, Japan, and watched a sumo tournament.

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales, talk to high-ranking sumo wrestlers during their visit to Kokugikan National Sumo arena in downtown Tokyo, Japan on May 11, 1986. The British Royal couple watched some of the opening day matches from the VIP box. The two wrestlers are Champion O'nukuni, left, and Hawaiian-born junior champion Konishiki.

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales, talk to high-ranking sumo wrestlers during their visit to Kokugikan National Sumo arena in downtown Tokyo, Japan on May 11, 1986.

AP Photo / Katsumi Kasahara


1987: Charles and Diana were invited on a Majorcan holiday by the King of Spain. Charles later said his marriage had broken down completely by this point.

King Juan Carlos, second right, talks with Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, as Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, third left, talks with Queen Sofia during a visit to Toledo, Spain on April 24, 1987, on the last day of the semi-official visit of the British Royals to Spain.

King Juan Carlos, second right, talks with Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, as Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, third left, talks with Queen Sofia during a visit to Toledo, Spain on April 24, 1987, on the last day of the semi-official visit of the British Royals to Spain.

AP Photo


Source: The Guardian

1988: Charles diced with death while skiing with friends in Klosters, Switzerland, when an avalanche hit. The prince’s friend Major Hugh Lindsay was killed and another friend, Patti Palmer-Tomkinson, was seriously injured.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles pose for photographers on the first day of their skiing vacation near Malbun, Liechtenstien January 9 1984.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles pose for photographers.

AP Photo


Source: The Telegraph

1989: Prince Charles gave a speech at the Saving the Ozone Layer World Conference in London, saying “human beings have been upsetting that balance [of nature], persistently” since the Industrial Revolution.

Crown Prince Shaikh Hamed Bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain, left, rides down the course at Royal Ascot, England on June 22, 1989, accompanied by Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, center, and his father the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, prior to the start of racing on what is traditionally know as ‘Ladies Day’ at Ascot.

Crown Prince Shaikh Hamed Bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain, left, rides down the course at Royal Ascot, England on June 22, 1989, accompanied by Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, center, and his father the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, prior to the start of racing on what is traditionally know as ‘Ladies Day’ at Ascot.

AP Photo / John Redman


Source: The Telegraph

1990: In a very royal injury, the prince broke his arm after falling off his horse during a game of polo. Charles later required a second operation after the fracture failed to heal.

Britain's Prince Charles leaves Cirencester Hospital, England, with Princess Diana, July 1, 1990, with his arm in a sling after falling off his horse and breaking his arm during a polo match. The prince, an avid polo player, broke his right arm in two places and was released in time for the Princess' 29th birthday.

Britain’s Prince Charles leaves Cirencester Hospital, England, with Princess Diana, July 1, 1990, with his arm in a sling after falling off his horse and breaking his arm during a polo match.

AP Photo / Gill Allen


Source: The Telegraph

1991: Prince Charles became embroiled in another row over architecture. The prince resigned as the patron of Scotland’s national museum over a competition to design a new building. The royal said too much weight had been given to the opinion of “so-called experts.”

In this April 23, 1991 file photo, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana, laugh together during their visit to an iron ore mine near Carajas, Brazil. Producers of a new documentary, to be aired Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, about Princess Diana say it offers insight. Critics say it's nothing but exploitation.

In this April 23, 1991 file photo, Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana, laugh together during their visit to an iron ore mine near Carajas, Brazil.

AP Photo / Dave Caulkin, file


Source: BBC

1992: Andrew Morton published “Diana: Her True Story,” detailing the breakdown of Charles and Diana’s marriage. In December, the Prime Minister, John Major, announced to the House of Commons that The Prince and Princess of Wales had agreed to separate.

The front cover of "Diana, Her True Story" by Andrew Morton. Princess Diana was the main source for the book, which first exposed the myth of her idyllic marriage to Prince Charles, The Times (London) reported Monday Sept. 29, 1997. The newspaper quoted the author as saying that Diana held six lengthy but undisclosed interviews with him in 1991, the year before the best selling book "Diana: Her True Story," was published.

The front cover of “Diana, Her True Story” by Andrew Morton.

AP Photo / PA


1997: Princess Diana is killed in a car crash in Paris. Charles flew to Paris with Diana’s two sisters to bring her body back to London.

The Prince of Wales casts a concerned glance towards his sons Prince William (left) and Prince Harry as they wait for the coffin of Princess Diana to be loaded into a hearse outside of Westminster Abbey, Saturday, Sept. 6, 1997, in London.

The Prince of Wales casts a concerned glance towards his sons Prince William (left) and Prince Harry as they wait for the coffin of Princess Diana to be loaded into a hearse outside of Westminster Abbey, Saturday, Sept. 6, 1997, in London.

AP Photo / John Gaps III


2001: Charles launched a report warning that half of all British villages no longer have a pub. “Now, perhaps more than ever in their history, rural pubs must draw on their resourcefulness and resilience,” the prince said in a foreword to the document.

Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales raises a glass as he samples a pint of beer during a visit to a Hotel in Stainforth, Yorkshire Monday, Dec. 17, 2001. The Prince was launching a report that half of all British villages no longer have a pub and seven out of ten now have no shops. The loss of the traditional community hub is harming rural economies, according to the report.

Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales raises a glass as he samples a pint of beer during a visit to a Hotel in Stainforth, Yorkshire Monday, Dec. 17, 2001.

AP Photo / John Giles / WPA


2020: It was a difficult year for Charles, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March shortly before his son, Prince William, also tested positive in April. “I thought to myself, if anybody is going to beat this, it’s going to be him,” William told the BBC of his father’s recovery.

prince william prince charles

Kate Middleton shared this photo of William and Charles on Father’s Day 2020.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge/Twitter



Source: BBC



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