Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent to the British throne as the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II. He has been heir apparent as well as Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay since 1952 and he is the oldest and longest-serving heir apparent in British history. He is also the longest-serving Prince of Wales, having held that title since July 1958. Upon the death of his father, Prince Philip, on 9 April 2021, Charles also inherited the title Duke of Edinburgh.
Charles was born in Buckingham Palace as the first grandchild of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. He was educated at Cheam and Gordonstoun schools, which his father had attended as a child. Charles also spent a year at the Timbertop campus of Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, Australia. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge, Charles served in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976. In 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer, and they had two sons: Prince William and Prince Harry. In 1996, the couple divorced following well-publicised extramarital affairs by both parties. Diana died as the result of a car crash in Paris the following year.