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Charles, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall and heir to the British crown, was born in 1948 and became Heir Apparent at three years old when Elizabeth II was crowned Queen. He was the first Heir Apparent to go to school and earn a university degree rather than have a private tutor and join the British Armed Forces.
Quite the ladies’ man in his youth, Charles eventually settled down with Diana Spencer and the two married in 1981. Diana and Charles had two sons, princes William and Harry, and formally separated in 1992. The British press plagued the couple throughout and after their marriage, leaking private phone conversations and jumping at the chance to expose them in compromising situations.
In 2005 Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles, a former girlfriend from his younger years, and the two are now among the most popular members of the royal family. Charles’ lifelong dedication to philanthropy and charity includes particular interests in urban planning, environmentalism, homeopathic medicine and modern architecture. He has established at least 16 charitable organizations and serves on the boards of many more. In his leisure time, Charles enjoys watercolor painting, competitive polo and comedy. He even appeared in a sketch for the RSC’s celebration of Shakespeare400 last year!
BARTLETT AND CHARLES
Playwright Mike Bartlett fictionalized the royal family for his “future history play” King Charles III. Played by Robert Joy, Bartlett’s take on Charles is a complex one. Finally coming into the position for which he was raised, Bartlett’s Charles is torn by his personal sense of duty and beliefs. Caught between traditional crown behavior and what he believes are the constitutional rights of his subjects, Charles must bend or be broken.
Read more on Bartlett’s treatment of Charles here.