His Majesty King Charles III

King Charles III is smiling to a crowd behind a fence. Members of the crowd hold a Canadian flag in their hands.

The King, then Prince of Wales, during his 2017 tour of Canada.

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 his predecessor, 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 3 when his mother became Queen in 1952.

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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 3 schools in Britain and spent 2 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.

Military service

In 1971, The King began a naval career, following in the footsteps of his father, his grandfather, and 2 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 2 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

King Charles III stands and smiles at people wearing a black military uniform.

The King, then Prince of Wales, during his 2017 tour of Canada.

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
  • The Toronto Scottish Regiment (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's Own)

Tours of Canada

A close-up shot of King Charles III and the Queen Consort looking at each other, all smiles.

The King, then Prince of Wales, and The Queen Consort, then Duchess of Cornwall, during their 2014 tour of Canada.

The King has been visiting Canada for over 50 years. His most recent visit, accompanied by The Queen Consort, was in 2022 to celebrate The Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

Learn more about past royal tours in Canada.

Visit the official website of the British Monarchy for more information.

Becoming King

On September 8, 2022, upon the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales accedes to the Throne and becomes His Majesty King Charles III.

In his declaration to the Accession Council on September 10, 2022, His Majesty King Charles III stated:

I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now passed to me. In taking up these responsibilities, I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set in upholding constitutional government and to seek the peace, harmony and prosperity of […] the Commonwealth realms and territories throughout the world.

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