King Charles III becomes the oldest person in British history to be named monarch | The Sun

KING Charles III last night became the oldest person in British history to be named monarch.

The 73-year-old former Prince of Wales was three when he became heir to the throne.

His 70-year career spent in his mother’s shadow also made him the oldest heir in-waiting.

Last night Prime Minister Liz Truss revealed the King’'s new title — or “regnal” name — minutes before Clarence House officially confirmed it.

There had been speculation that Charles — born Charles Philip Arthur George — might shun his given name.

Some royal watchers said he might adopt the title of King George VII, in tribute to his grandfather, George VI.


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Others suggested he might avoid the inevitable link to Charles I, who was beheaded in 1649 after the English Civil War.

But as the Queen yesterday passed away, Charles seamlessly succeeded her as the new King — mere months after he stood in for her at the State Opening of Parliament.

Little more than an hour later, his regnal name was formally confirmed.

Today King Charles III’s reign will begin, with a nation deep in mourning for his mother’s golden era.

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Experts say he must quickly learn to balance his new rule against the wave of sadness prompted by his mother’s death.

Royal historian Hugo Vickers said: “Despite all the pomp and ceremony, and the fact that Charles is now King, we have to remember that this is a family who have lost a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

“I think we can all relate to that sadness.

“Charles brings with him an awful lot of experience and he’ll be a very sensible King.

"But I think he’ll be extremely upset at the loss of his mother.”

 At the age of 73, Charles beats the previous record-holder William IV, who was 64 years, ten months and five days when he became King in 1830.

And, although he automatically became King on the death of his mother, he will not be crowned until his coronation.

'Best-prepared heir'

The date of that has to be fixed, but Elizabeth had to wait almost 18 months.

The Privy Council — around 600 senior politicians from the Commons and Lords, as well as VIPs including Camilla and Prince William — will meet today to form the Accession Council at St James’s Palace.

Charles will then have to take his oath as our new monarch.

At this point, the Garter King of Arms will stand on the balcony at St James’s Palace for his official proclamation.

Charles will then hold his first Privy Council meeting, and flags around the UK will be raised for 24 hours as he is declared King. An hour later, heralds will travel to the Royal Exchange where the City of London Proclamation takes place.

 Aides have indicated that Charles and Camilla will then meet crowds, and accept condolences and flowers outside Buckingham Palace.

The PM, the Cabinet, the leader of the Opposition and senior MPs will then hold a meeting there with Charles.

In keeping with his deep interest in religion and new position as the Head of the Church of England, the King will meet the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dean of Westminster and other heads of faith.

Aides have said that the new King and Queen will live at Buckingham Palace.

But as it is still having a £370million revamp, due to finish in 2027, they may stay at Clarence House for now.

Charles’s age has led to past speculation that he could step aside for Prince William.

But aides always made it clear he had no intention of giving up the role he regards as his duty, and his birthright. Over the coming weeks, he is likely to carry out a series of visits to meet as many people as possible. 

Royal biographer Penny Junor said: “I think Charles will be a very good King. He’s the best-prepared heir to the throne the country has ever had.

“He’s wise, humorous, well-read and terribly engaged on so many different subjects.

“And now he has Camilla by his side to combat the loneliness, I think they’ll make a formidable double act.”

 Since Charles and Camilla married in 2005, there was always speculation over whether she would be called Queen. At the time, Charles’s aides said she would be titled “Princess Consort” to his King.

 Charles has always wanted her to be Queen and his mother announced it was her “sincere wish” that Camilla would be called “Queen Consort”.

Mr Vickers said: “On the death of Elizabeth, Camilla automatically became Queen as she is married to Charles.

“I suspect most people don’t really care what she’s called. She certainly doesn’t.

“It’s always been Charles who cares. He is so proud of her and everything she’s achieved, so to him any other title would be second best.”

 Charles has spent a lifetime doing good works and pursuing pet projects.

His work helping young people through The Prince’s Trust has been inspired and hugely successful. But commentators have routinely criticised him for airing his views.

His opinions on climate change, alternative medicine and modern architecture are well-known.

When he was Prince of Wales, columnist Stephen Glover commented: “He can’t seem to rid himself of his potentially fatal devotion to stirring up trouble by saying things a nearly-monarch should not say. We know next to nothing about the Queen’s political views.” 

Charles himself has said he was a “meddling prince”.

But the monarchy is meant to be politically neutral so he will need to stop saying what he thinks. Mr Vickers added: “People think Charles will be too interfering and political but I think he knows perfectly well he will now have to be more circumspect.

“He’ll move into a different sort of gear and I think we’ll hear no more of his views.”

 As King, Charles will also need to consider the thorny issue of Prince Harry and Meghan’s life in California.

Last year Harry branded him “trapped” in the monarchy in his Oprah Winfrey interview.

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