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 the 2017 Royal 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

His Majesty has worked closely with many organizations, publicly supporting a wide variety of causes relating to the environment, rural communities, architecture, the arts, healthcare and education.

Royal patronages and military designations do not automatically transfer when members of the Royal Family step into new roles. New or renewed requests for The King or other members of the Royal Family to become a patron of a Canadian organization should be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of the Governor General, which will forward positive recommendations to Buckingham Palace for consideration.

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

The King, then Prince of Wales, during the 2017 Royal Tour of Canada.

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 the 2014 Royal 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.

Accession and Coronation

A man in a tabard reads from a red book in front of a stone building. 7 people around him in ceremonial, military, or business attire observe him.

The Chief Herald of Canada proclaims the Accession of His Majesty King Charles III at Rideau Hall on September 10, 2022. The Governor General and Prime Minister are among the observers.
Credit: MCpl Anis Assari, Rideau Hall.

On September 8, 2022, upon the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales acceded to the Throne and became His Majesty King Charles III. His Majesty was officially proclaimed as King of Canada at Rideau Hall on September 10, 2022.

In his declaration to the Accession Council in the United Kingdom 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.

On May 6, 2023, Canada celebrated the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty The Queen Consort. This historic event allowed communities to come together and highlight themes that both King Charles III and Canadians hold dear, including Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, service to others, the environment and sustainability, and celebrating our nation’s diversity.

Learn more about Canadian celebrations of His Majesty King Charles III’s Coronation.

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