Charles III

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I think [being in line for the throne is] something that dawns on you with the most ghastly, inexorable sense. I didn't suddenly wake up in my pram one day and say 'Yippee, I —', you know.
As the Queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.
If you want to develop character, go to Australia.
I don’t want to be confronted by my future grandchild and them say, ‘Why didn’t you do something?’ So clearly now that we will have a grandchild, it makes it even more obvious to try to make sure we leave them something that isn’t a total poisoned chalice.
Such is the end of empire.
Climate change and biodiversity loss . . . pose an even greater existential threat [than the COVID-19 pandemic], to the extent that we have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing. . . . [E]ach sector needs a clear strategy to speed up the process of getting innovations to market [and we] need to align private investment behind these industry strategies. (1 November 2021)

Charles III (born 14 November, 1948) is the King of the United Kingdom. The eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, he succeeded to the throne on 8 September 2022. As well as the United Kingdom, he is the monarch of the other 14 Commonwealth Realms. While serving as the Prince of Wales, he was known for his extensive charity work, particularly for the Prince's Trust and was formerly married to Diana, Princess of Wales; the couple had two sons during their marriage, Prince William of Wales (now the King's heir) and Prince Henry of Wales. He is now married to Camilla, Queen Consort; his private life has been extensively reported in the press.




  • I think it's something that dawns on you with the most ghastly, inexorable sense. I didn't suddenly wake up in my pram one day and say 'Yippee, I —', you know. But I think it just dawns on you, you know, slowly, that people are interested in one, and slowly you get the idea that you have a certain duty and responsibility.
    • "The Prince of Wales: Full text of replies in radio debut", The Times, 3 March 1969, p. 3.
    • Asked when he had first realised that he was heir to the throne, in a Radio interview with Jack di Manio broadcast on 1 March 1969. This was the first time the Prince had appeared on radio.
  • You have got to choose somebody very carefully who could fulfill this particular role, because people like you, perhaps, would expect quite a lot from somebody like that and it has got to be somebody pretty special.
    • "Prince Charles discusses marriage", The Times, 27 June 1969, p. 10
    • Asked about "the lady the Prince should marry" in a joint televised interview with BBC and ITN broadcast on 26 June 1969.
  • I, Charles, Prince of Wales, do become your liege man of life and limb and of earthly worship and faith and truth I will bear unto you to live and die against all manner of folks.
    • Oath of fealty taken by the Prince at his investiture at Caernarfon Castle, 1 July 1969.


  • When people are uncertain about what is right and what is wrong, and anxious about being considered old-fashioned, it seems to be worse than folly that Christians are still arguing about doctrinal matters which can only bring needless distress to a number of people.
    • Clifford Longley, "Handicaps of royalty are highlighted by Prince's controversial remarks", The Times (Monday, 3 July 1978), p. 2
    • Speech to the International Congress of the Salvation Army at the Empire Pool, Wembley, 30 June 1978. Senior British Roman Catholics took this as an attack on their Church and pointed to the religious disabilities attaching to the succession to the throne.


  • Delighted and frankly amazed that Diana is prepared to take me on.
    • BBC News online 'On this day', 24 February 1981.
    • Interview with the BBC on announcing his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer.
  • Anthony Carthew (ITN): And, I suppose, in love?
    Lady Diana Spencer: Of course!
    Charles, Prince of Wales: Whatever 'in love' means.
    • "Anthony Carthew" (Obituary), The Times, 22 January 2007.
    • On announcing his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer (1981 Feb-July)
  • I have often thought that one of the less attractive traits of various professional bodies and institutions is the deeply ingrained suspicion and outright hostility which can exist towards anything unorthodox or unconventional.
  • Perhaps we just have to accept it is God's will that the unorthodox individual is doomed to years of frustration, ridicule and failure in order to act out his role in the scheme of things, until his day arrives and mankind is ready to receive his message: a message which he probably finds hard to explain, but which he knows comes from a far deeper source than conscious thought.
  • I would suggest that the whole imposing edifice of modern medicine, for all its breathtaking successes is, like the celebrated Tower of Pisa, slightly off balance.
  • A large number of us have developed a feeling that architects tend to design houses for the approval of fellow architects and critics, not for the tenants.
  • Instead of designing an extension to the elegant facade of the National Gallery which complements it and continues the concept of columns and domes, it looks as if we may be presented with a kind of municipal fire station, complete with the sort of tower that contains the siren. I would understand better this type of high-tech approach if you demolished the whole of Trafalgar Square and started again with a single architect responsible for the entire layout, but what is proposed is like a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend.
    • Speech at the 150th anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Gala Evening at Hampton Court Palace (30 May, 1984) as reproduced on the Prince of Wales' website
      • The Prince had presumably read The Spencers on Spas published the previous year by Raine, Countess Spencer, his step-mother-in-law, which included on p. 14 the observation that "Monstrous carbuncles of concrete have erupted in gentle Georgian Squares".
  • I now appreciate that Arabs and Jews were all a Semitic people originally + it is the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland, they say) which has helped to cause great problems.
    I know there are so many complex issues, but how can there ever be an end to terrorism unless the causes are eliminated?
    Surely some US president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in US? I must be naive, I suppose!


  • Medieval Islam was a religion of remarkable tolerance for its time, allowing Jews and Christians the right to practise their inherited beliefs, and setting an example which was not, unfortunately, copied for many centuries in the West. The surprise, ladies and gentlemen, is the extent to which Islam has been a part of Europe for so long, first in Spain, then in the Balkans, and the extent to which it has contributed so much towards the civilisation which we all too often think of, wrongly, as entirely Western. Islam is part of our past and our present, in all fields of human endeavour. It has helped to create modern Europe. It is part of our own inheritance, not a thing apart.
  • There is perhaps an inherent danger from those who love to parade a kind of dogmatic arrogance without listening to the views of ordinary people. All around us we see the evidence, day after day, of the short-lived theories and fashions which can undermine our individuality, undermine our confidence and take too mechanical or untrusting a view of human nature. The result can be damaging—sometimes devastatingly so—to our confidence and the way we behave... The misnamed fashion for what people call "political correctness" amounts to testing everything, every aspect of life, every aspect of society, against a predetermined, preordained view... The intimidation is palpable. Any questioning, in a perfectly polite way, of the current fashions, usually elicits a vitriolic response—whether it is a wish to teach people the basic principles of English grammar and to rescue the idea that there is a vast difference between good and bad English, or suggesting that in certain circumstances it may be necessary and sensible to administer a smack to your child.
    • Speech to the Newspaper Society in London (4 May 1994), quoted in Alexandra Frean and Philip Webster, 'Prince enrages the Left with attack on ‘trendy dogma’', The Times (5 May 1994), p. 1
  • There is a persistent current that flows along undermining the integrity and motives of individuals, organisations and institutions. An insidious impression is thereby created that, for instance, the police are corrupt, British justice is flawed, the BBC is moribund and public servants are time-serving wasters of taxpayers' money. Can we really believe the fashionable theorists in the English faculties of our universities who have tried to tear apart many of our wonderful novelists, poets and playwrights because they do not fit their abstruse theories of the day?
    • Speech to the Newspaper Society in London (4 May 1994), quoted in Alexandra Frean and Philip Webster, 'Prince enrages the Left with attack on ‘trendy dogma’', The Times (5 May 1994), p. 1
  • Mrs. Parker Bowles is a great friend of mine...a friend for a very long time. She will continue to be a friend for a long time.
    • When asked about his relationship with Camilla during his interview with journalist Jonathan Dimbleby in 1994.
    • Gyles Brandreth Charles and Camilla: Portrait of a Love Affair, p. 280
  • Jonathan Dimbleby: Understandably, when your marriage collapsed, you form close friendships, you re-establish close friendships, of whatever character that friendship is. Were you, did you try to be, faithful and honourable to your wife when you took on the vow of marriage?
    Charles, Prince of Wales: Yes, absolutely.
    Dimbleby: And you were?
    Charles: Yes, until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried.
    • Interview with Jonathan Dimbleby for the television programme "Charles: The private man, the public role" (29 June 1994); as quoted in "Intimate portrait of a private man in the public eye" by Alan Hamilton, The Times (30 June 1994)
  • Islamic culture in its traditional form has striven to preserve this integrated spiritual view of the world in a way we have not seen fit to do in recent generations in the West.[...] There is the potential for establishing new and valuable links between Islamic civilisation and the West. Perhaps, for instance, we could begin by having more Muslim teachers in British schools, or by encouraging exchanges of teachers. Everywhere in the world people are seemingly wanting to learn English. But in the West, in turn, we need to be taught by Islamic teachers how to learn once again with our hearts, as well as our heads.


  • After my speech, the President detached himself from the group of appalling old waxworks who accompanied him and took his place at the lectern. He then gave a kind of "propaganda" speech which was loudly cheered by the bussed-in party faithful at the suitable moment in the text.
    • Entry in private journal about the handover of British sovereignty in Hong Kong in 1997 referring to President Jiang Zemin of China; as quoted in "Appalling waxworks", by Katie Nicholl and Dominic Turnbull Mail on Sunday (13 November 2005) p. 1
  • Such is the end of Empire.
    • "'It's no wonder this region gets jumpy about the Chinese...'", The Mail on Sunday, (13 November 2005) p. 8.
    • Entry in private journal referring to an incident in which he had to fly in business class while leading politicians flew in first class.
  • I believe that the proper mix of proven complementary, traditional and modern remedies, which emphasizes the active participation of the patient, can help create a powerful healing force in the world.
  • Orthodox practice can learn from complementary medicine. The West can learn from the East and new from old traditions.
  • [In] the ceaseless rush to modernize [...] many beneficial approaches, which have been tried and tested and have shown themselves to be effective, have been cast aside because they are deemed to be old-fashioned or irrelevant to today's needs.
    • From a speech at the World Health Organization, Geneva (23 May 2006), as cited in "Lying in wait for Prince Charles", The New York Times (24 May 2006)
    • The alternative medicine advocated by the prince was described as "bogus" by a group of senior NHS physicians who, in a letter leaked to The Times (London) newspaper, advocated conventional medicine based "on solid evidence".


  • [In his Highgrove garden.] I happily talk to the plants and trees, and listen to them. I think it's absolutely crucial [...] Everything I've done here, it's like almost with your children. Every tree has a meaning for me.
    • Comment in BBC documentary, as reproduced in "Prince Charles Eavesdrops on Tourists, Speaks to Plants" ABC News (20 September 2010)
  • I don’t want to be confronted by my future grandchild and them say, "Why didn’t you do something?" So clearly now that we will have a grandchild, it makes it even more obvious to try to make sure we leave them something that isn’t a total poisoned chalice.



Address during the opening ceremony of the COP26 UN climate conference in Glasgow (1 November 2021)


First address as King Charles III (9 September 2022)

Full text online at CTV
  • I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow. Throughout her life, Her Majesty The Queen — my beloved mother — was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example. Queen Elizabeth was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.
  • In 1947, on her 21st birthday, she pledged in a broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to devote her life, whether it be short or long, to the service of her peoples. That was more than a promise; it was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life. She made sacrifices for duty. Her dedication and devotion as sovereign never waivered, through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss.
    In her life of service we saw that abiding love of tradition, together with that fearless embrace of progress, which make us great as nations. The affection, admiration and respect she inspired became the hallmark of her reign. And, as every member of my family can testify, she combined these qualities with warmth, humour and an unerring ability always to see the best in people.
    I pay tribute to my mother's memory and I honour her life of service. I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you and I share that sense of loss, beyond measure, with you all.
  • When the Queen came to the throne, Britain and the world were still coping with the privations and aftermath of the Second World War, and still living by the conventions of earlier times. In the course of the last 70 years we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths. The institutions of the state have changed in turn. But, through all changes and challenges, our nation and the wider family of realms — of whose talents, traditions and achievements I am so inexpressibly proud — have prospered and flourished. Our values have remained, and must remain, constant.
  • I have been brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others, and to hold in the greatest respect the precious traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and our system of parliamentary government.
    As the Queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation. And wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in the realms and territories across the world, and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.
  • In a little over a week's time we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest. In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example. On behalf of all my family, I can only offer the most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your condolences and support. They mean more to me than I can ever possibly express.
    And to my darling mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late papa, I want simply to say this: thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May "flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

London Thames Embankment new year fireworks display (1 January 2023)

Broadcast at 00:06, following two quotes by his late mother Elizabeth II and a sweet farewell quote to her by Paddington Bear, and succeeded by a serious of quotes from pop songs
  • As stewards of this precious planet, it is our actions, and our actions alone, that will determine its future.

Quotes about Charles III

Convinced republican that I am, and foe of the prince who talks to plants and wants to be crowned "head of all faiths" as well as the etiolated Church of England, I find myself pierced by a pang of sympathy. Not much of a life, is it, growing old and stale with no real job except waiting for the news of Mummy's death? —Christopher Hitchens
Listed in alphabetical order by author or source.
  • [I]f we’re going to jeer at North Korea for being a de facto monarchy, we must also acknowledge the main advantage of such a system: no divisive squabbling over who has the right to rule. On my book tour for “The Cleanest Race” I used the example of my British mother: a firm supporter of the monarchy with different estimations of the various royals. She doesn’t like the idea of Charles becoming king, but accepts that it will and must happen.

See also

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