King Charles III, formerly known as The Prince of Wales, was born in 1948 and became heir apparent on the accession of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. In addition to his official and ceremonial duties in the United Kingdom and overseas as The Prince of Wales, His Majesty has taken a keen and active interest in all areas of public life for decades. The King has been instrumental in establishing more than 20 charities over 40 years, including The Prince’s Trust, The Prince’s Foundation and The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF). His Majesty has worked closely with many organisations, publicly supporting a wide variety of causes relating to the environment, rural communities, the built environment, the arts, healthcare and education.
Her Majesty The Queen (formerly HRH The Duchess of Cornwall) supports her husband, formerly The Prince of Wales, now His Majesty The King, in carrying out his work and duties. She also undertakes public engagements on behalf of the charities that she supports.
The Queen was born Camilla Rosemary Shand on 17th July 1947 at King’s College Hospital London, the daughter of Major Bruce Middleton Hope Shand and the Hon Rosalind Maud Shand (nee Cubitt).
Major Shand and the Hon Rosalind Cubitt, the daughter of 3rd Baron Ashcombe, married on 2nd January 1946 at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge.
Her Majesty has a sister, Annabel Elliot, and a brother, Mark Shand. Mark Shand, a conservationist, died on 23rd April 2014.
The Shand family lived in East Sussex from 1951 onwards. Major Shand, MC and Bar, was Vice Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex and Master of the South Downs Hounds for 19 years. He died aged 89 on 11th June 2006 at his home in Dorset.
Mrs Rosalind Shand was 72 when she died in 1994 as a result of osteoporosis. The Queen Consort’s grandmother had died from the same condition eight years earlier.
The Queen Consort was first educated at Dumbrells School, in Sussex, and then at Queen’s Gate School in South Kensington. She also attended Mon Fertile school in Switzerland and studied at the Institut Britannique in Paris.
On 9th April 2005, The Prince of Wales and Ms. Camilla Parker-Bowles were married in a civil ceremony at the Guildhall, Windsor. They were joined by around 800 guests at a Service of Prayer and Dedication at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The Service was followed by a reception at Windsor Castle hosted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Since her marriage to The King in 2005, The Queen Consort has become Patron or President of over 90 charities.
Her Majesty’s charity work is varied but several themes prevail: health and well-being, promoting literacy, the arts, animal welfare and supporting survivors of rape and sexual assault.
Every year the Royal Family as a whole carries out over 2,000 official engagements throughout the UK and worldwide. These engagements may include official State responsibilities. Members of the Royal Family often carry out official duties in the UK and abroad where The Monarch cannot be present in person. The Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge and The Princess Royal, for example, may present members of the public with their honours at an Investiture.
When official events such as receptions, State banquets and garden parties are held, the Royal Family supports The King in making his guests welcome. Members of the Royal Family also often represent The King and the nation in Commonwealth or other countries, at events such as State funerals or national festivities, or through longer visits to strengthen Britain’s diplomatic and economic relations. The Royal Family also plays an important role in supporting and encouraging the public and charity sectors. About 3,000 organisations list a member of the Royal Family as patron or president.
Windsor Castle is a royal residence at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. It is strongly associated with the Queen, English and succeeding British royal family, and embodies almost 1,000 years of architectural history. The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror.
Windsor Castle grounds cover 52,609 square metres (13.000 acres) and combine the features of a fortification, a palace, and a small town. The present-day castle was created during a sequence of phased building projects, culminating in the reconstruction work after a fire in 1992. It is, in essence, a Georgian and Victorian design based on a medieval structure, with Gothic features.