His Majesty King Charles III
Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we invite you to visit our commemorative page to relive key moments of her visits to Canada and find information on the commemorative events held in her honour.
Please note that some information on the web pages about the Crown in Canada will be updated.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy whereby the Sovereign is Canada's Head of State. King Charles III automatically became Sovereign of Canada on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
Charles Philip Arthur George was born at Buckingham Palace on November 14, 1948. He is the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The young Prince became Heir to the throne at the age of three when his mother became queen in 1952.
- Early life and education
- Military service
- Marriage and family
- Charitable work and military appointments
- Tours of Canada
Early life and education
In 1956, His Majesty became the first heir apparent to go to school rather than have a private tutor. The young Prince attended three schools in Britain and spent two terms as an exchange student in Melbourne, Australia.
From 1967 to 1970, His Majesty studied archaeology, anthropology and history at Cambridge University. He also learned to speak Welsh at the University College of Wales.
His Majesty became The Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on July 26, 1958. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II invested her son, Prince Charles, in a formal ceremony in Wales on July 1, 1969.
In 1971, The King began a naval career, following in the footsteps of his father, his grandfather, and two of his great-grandfathers. He qualified as a helicopter pilot in 1974 before joining 845 Naval Air Squadron, which operated from the Commando carrier HMS Hermes.
While serving on HMS Hermes in Canadian waters in 1975, the King spent a week in the Northwest Territories.
Marriage and family
On July 29, 1981, His Majesty married Lady Diana Spencer. The couple visited Canada in 1983, 1986 and 1991.
The King and Diana, Princess of Wales, had two children:
In 1996, after a 4-year separation, the marriage was dissolved. In 1997, Princess Diana tragically died as a result of a car crash.
In February 2005, His Majesty announced his engagement to Camilla Parker Bowles. They married in a civil ceremony on April 9, 2005. A prayer service and a reception followed at Windsor Castle.
After the wedding, Camilla Parker Bowles became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall. She is now Queen Consort.
The King and The Queen Consort made their first official visit to Canada as a couple in November 2009 and have returned regularly since then.
Charitable work and military appointments
The King serves as patron or president of more than 400 organizations around the world. These patronages reflect his diverse interests, ranging from youth and education to architecture and organic agriculture. These patronages include Canadian organizations.
His Majesty is also Colonel-in-Chief of the following units in Canada:
- The Royal Canadian Air Force Reserve;
- Lord Strathcona's Horse ("Royal Canadians");
- The Royal Winnipeg Rifles;
- The Royal Regiment of Canada;
- The Royal Canadian Dragoons;
- The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada; and
- The Toronto Scottish Regiment (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's Own).
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