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Things You May Not Know About King Charles III's Childhood

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

After 70 years of preparation, Charles III has ascended the throne. Christopher Andersen’s new biography, The King: The Life of Charles III, reveals a number of interesting facts about the new monarch's childhood.

King Charles III

He was the first monarch born without a high government official present. There was no Home Secretary or other high government official present to witness the birth of a future monarch. This was a practice that was implemented to prevent imposters in the past. Charles was born in Buckingham Palace with four doctors in attendance.

As a child, he only saw his parents twice a day. The royals took a fairly hands-off approach to raising Charles. From the age of two months, he would see his parents twice a day for 15 minutes at a time before being whisked away by his nannies.

He was the first heir to the throne to attend primary school. Before Charles, all heirs had been taught within palace walls by various tutors. At the age of eight, Charles became the first to attend primary school - a private school behind Harrods department store in Knightsbridge.

He liked to play the cello. He fell in love with the cello as a teenager and took lessons at Gordonstoun, a boarding school that he otherwise hated.

He spent time in a wilderness survival programme in the Australian Outback. Charles was sent to Timbertop, a wilderness survival programme run by Geelong Church of England Grammar School near Melbourne. The idea was that it would toughen him up.

At the age of 18 he was earning $80,000 a year. His 18th birthday brought with it a pay rise. He received income from the Duchy of Cornwall, and at the age of 18 this amounted to $80,000 a year (today that would be $600,000). At the age of 21, he would receive six times that amount.

He was the first British heir to earn a university degree. Like his grandfather, George VI, Charles chose to attend Cambridge University, only an hour’s drive from Sandringham. He was the first monarch to stay at university long enough to earn a degree.

He still takes his childhood teddy bear everywhere. King Charles’ childhood stuffed bear goes by the name of Teddy. As a child, Charles slept with Teddy every night, and in his teenage years, he took Teddy to school at Cheam to combat homesickness and unhappiness. Even as an adult it travels everywhere with him. When it loses a button or begins to fray, his childhood nanny Mabel Anderson is called in to mend it. She is the only person trusted to mend Teddy.



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