Charles finally king, under the name of Charles III

After a lifetime of waiting, the unloved and misunderstood Prince Charles became King Charles III on Thursday.

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Unlike his much less popular mother, the new king ascended the throne at the age of 73, becoming the oldest British monarch to begin his reign. He is also the heir who has waited the longest before taking the throne.

His accession to the throne came immediately after the death of the queen, by virtue of an ancient Latin maxim that “the king never dies”.

“Today, as it has been for over 1,000 years, the crown goes to our new monarch, our new head of state, His Majesty King Charles III. over,” said new Prime Minister Liz Truss, who received the Queen at the Castle of Balmoral on Tuesday to ask her to form a new government.

The King’s second wife, Camilla, will become the Queen’s consort, a wish expressed by the Queen in February.

to conquer hearts

The new king will have a lot to do to win the hearts of the British. The YouGov Institute on Thursday placed him well behind his mother (75%), Prince William (66%) and Kate Middleton (68%) with 42% positive opinions. Camilla is at 40%.

In Canada, according to a poll by Angus Reid released in April, 65% of Canadians opposed the idea of ​​Charles becoming the country’s king and head of state, while 76% of them refused to recognize Camilla as their queen.

Brits know Charles best from the shambles of his loveless marriage to Princess Diana, during which he returned to the arms of his childhood sweetheart Camilla, then reunited with another.

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She herself had been crowned in June 1953, 16 months after she had been proclaimed queen. According to Bob Morris, author of several books on the future of the monarchy, it was “the last imperial hurray,” with “8,250 people crammed into Westminster Abbey.”

According to him, Charles should prefer “a quicker and smaller coronation”, but everything could depend on the date to avoid a mid-winter coronation.

Camilla Queen Consort

His second wife, Camilla, will become Queen consort, a wish expressed by the Queen last February. For the British, the issue remained sensitive. After her remarriage to Prince Charles in 2005, Camilla had chosen not to take on the title of Princess of Wales as she had become too associated with Princess Diana, who Charles had cheated on with her for many years.

Strange fate than that of this prince with a unique personality, much less popular than his mother, whose death he awaited to come to light.

Born on 14 November 1948, the eldest son, he became heir to the crown in February 1952 aged 3 years 3 months when Princess Elizabeth, 25, became Queen after the death of her father, George VI.

Charles and Diana officially divorced in 1996. Princess Diana tragically died in Paris the following year while being pursued by paparazzi. Charles sees his approval rating drop to 4%. In 2005 he married Camilla in a civil ceremony.


A passionate man who sometimes inspires admiration and often criticism, Charles has strong ideas on many subjects. Confident, he doesn’t like to be contradicted.

“He’s a bit self-centered, he grew up the center of his universe and people said he was wonderful,” says Penny Junor, author of several books on the British royal family.

For years he has been insisting on the urgency of global warming, defending organic farming and alternative medicine. He eats little meat, gardens and talks to his trees.

“He’s an activist, believes Michel Faure, who signed Charles’ biography. He has ideas, wants to make them known and convince his subjects that they are great. »

Now king, he must respect strict neutrality.

“It will always be a bit difficult to force yourself,” said Michel Faure. “He understands perfectly what the monarchy is,” says Penny Junor.

And according to her, with her new features should come the popularity she’s been missing.

  • Birth of Charles Philip Arthur George on November 14, 1948
  • Heir to the throne aged 3 years and 3 months when his mother, Princess Elizabeth, 25, became Queen.
  • In July 1969 he was crowned Prince of Wales by his mother in a large televised ceremony.

Charles' enthronement as the new Prince of Wales in 1969.

Photo archive, AFP

Charles’ enthronement as the new Prince of Wales in 1969.

  • 1976 founded his first charitable organisation, the Prince’s Trust. He is President or Benefactor of more than 420 charities.
  • Married Diana in 1981, with whom he has two sons, Prince William and Harry. The couple officially divorced in 1996. Diana died the following year.
  • In 2005 he was legally married to Camilla.

– With Kathryne Lamontagne

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