This website uses cookies to provide a rich user experience. Please consult our Cookie Policy to learn about what cookies this website uses, or to control the cookies you receive. You need do nothing if you are happy to receive cookies.
Look and Learn History Picture Library License images from £2.99 Pay by PayPal for images for immediate download Member of British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies (BAPLA)

Prince Charles, a Prince of Wales with royal and heroic Welsh lineage

Posted in Historical articles, History, Royalty on Thursday, 29 August 2013

Click on any image for details about licensing for commercial or personal use.

This edited article about Charles, Prince of Wales originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 389 published on 28 June 1969.

Prince Charles of Wales, picture, image, illustration

Charles, Prince of Wales

At school he had great trouble with maths, but enjoyed history. Although he was very shy, he enjoyed acting and appeared in school plays. He played football and cricket at school, but his real taste in sport was for solitary country pursuits such as riding, fishing and shooting, which he was able to enjoy at Balmoral and Sandringham during the holidays. Prince Charles was born at Buckingham Palace in November, 1948. His mother was then Princess Elizabeth, his father Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and his grandparents were King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. His great grandmother, Queen Mary, widow of George V, was still living, at Marlborough House.

In the following year, Prince Charles was joined in his nursery by Princess Anne. The children had a simple upbringing, under the supervision of two nurses. Their mother, in spite of her royal duties, which increased greatly on her accession to the throne when the Prince was four, always played with them for an hour in the morning and an hour and a half in the afternoon. She also bathed them and put them to bed herself.

The Prince’s education was quite different from that of his predecessors. His parents decided that, since Charles would one day have to fit into a fast-moving, democratic world, he must not be educated in privacy. As a result, when he was eight he left his governess and went to a London day school, Hill House, where he learned to mix with boys of his own age.

The greatest problem the Royal Family has to face in our world of mass communication, where television, newspapers and radio dominate life, is their lack of privacy. Anything they do is news. People are naturally curious about them. In the past, before photography became part of news-gathering, royal personages were not so easily recognised, but nowadays they must some times feel as though they are constantly being observed under a magnifying glass.

Prince Charles has always attracted his share of interest, and both at Hill House and later at Cheam, his preparatory school, he sometimes needed protection from publicity.

It was while he was at Cheam that he became Prince of Wales. At the British Empire Games at Cardiff in 1958, a tape-recorded message from the Queen was played giving her son this title and promising that, when he had grown up, she would present him to the Welsh people at Caernarvon. Prince Charles, who was then nine years old, heard the message on television in the headmaster’s study. He recalls that this was the moment he realised how lonely his future would be.

He was thirteen when he went on to his public school. His parents chose a Scottish school, Gordonstoun, for him. It was his father’s old school. Gordonstoun’s great stress on service to the community was very appropriate for a prince whose motto “Ich Dien” means “I serve.” It also emphasised the value of outdoor pursuits, which suited the Prince’s taste.

All through his school life, Prince Charles knew the loneliness not only of a shy person, but also that brought about by his position. Many people hesitate to offer friendship to princes in case they are accused of “sucking up.” Fortunately Prince Charles’ cousin Guelf (son of one of the Duke of Edinburgh’s sisters) was at Gordonstoun at the same time, and this made life a little easier for him.

When the Prince was seventeen and had got his “O” levels, it was decided to send him to Australia. Geelong Grammar School, in the Province of Victoria, has an extension at Timbertops, out in the bush, where boys lead a very independent life, organising their own plan of study and fending for themselves pioneer-fashion with a minimum of supervision. Prince Charles was at Timbertops for two terms, and he says that he absolutely loved it. He found the Australians marvellous people and enjoyed the freedom and opportunity for adventure which Timbertops offered.

From Australia he returned to Gordonstoun to finish his “A” level studies. He was Guardian (head boy) in his last year, and passed his exams in history and French.

Since then, Prince Charles has studied history and archaeology at Cambridge, and enjoyed taking part in amateur dramatics there. This summer he has been at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and on Tuesday, July 1st, he will be presented to the Welsh people at Caernarvon.

Prince Charles is descended three times over from the original Welsh Princes; his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, traces her descent twice over from them, and Henry Tudor, another of the Prince’s ancestors, claimed to be descended from the legendary Welsh hero Cadwallader. So Prince Charles has more right than many previous princes to the title.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.