Charles, Prince of Wales, has led an extraordinary life as a royal. We've watched the 71-year-old heir to the throne (opens in new tab) journey from his childhood years to career milestones, marriages, and many travels around the world. Charles has served in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, holds great interest in architecture, and carries out hundreds of engagements each year. Aside from his royal duties, the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth II is also known as a family man—most notably as husband to Camilla; father to Princes William and Harry; and grandfather to Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, and baby Archie (opens in new tab). Click through as we take a look back at some of his most memorable and important life moments in photos.
A sleeping Charles is held by his mom, Queen Elizabeth II, at just one month old. The Prince was born on November 14, 1948, at Buckingham Palace.
Posing with his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, for a portrait.
Walking hand in hand with his father, Prince Philip, at the London airport upon the family's return from Malta.
Posing for a photo as a toddler at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
Prince Charles smiles cheekily as he peeks out the window of a cottage in Windsor.
Prince Charles in a kilt on the grounds of the Balmoral Estate.
Prince Charles and Princess Anne watching the annual games at the Braemar Royal Highland gathering.
Playing a game of cricket against a team of Grand Prix race car drivers.
Prince Charles in his chambers at the University of Cambridge.
At his formal investiture ceremony as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle.
Kneeling before Queen Elizabeth II as she crowns him Prince of Wales at the investiture with a gold crown.
Taking his younger brother, Prince Edward, on a go-kart ride on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Watching a tennis match from the stands at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships.
On a four-day safari in Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve in Kenya.
Changing his clothes at Windsor Great Park.
Prince Charles is photographed after a game of polo.
With Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia at Smith's Lawn in Windsor.
Chatting with a crowd of Canadian well-wishers at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
Prince Charles flaunts a beard at the Badminton Horse Trials.
Standing with Jane Ward at Smith's Lawn Polo Grounds in Windsor before a match.
Enjoying himself while fishing.
During a stop on a three-day trek through the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal.
At an official photo-call to announce his engagement to Diana Spencer at Buckingham Palace.
With his wife, Princess Diana, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day.
Kissing his bride's hand just after saying "I do."
Posing for a portrait at Lake Manapouri in New Zealand.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana leaving the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with their newborn son, Prince William.
Celebrating the christening of Prince William at Buckingham Palace.
Enjoying playtime with Prince William while in New Zealand.
Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and Prince William (holding a toy koala) pose for a family photo at Kensington Palace.
Charles holds William's hand as they arrive at St Mary's Hospital to visit Princess Diana and newborn Prince Harry.
Giving his mom a big kiss on the hand after she presented him with a prize at a polo match in Windsor.
Charles poses with his two sons, Harry and William, for a portrait at Kensington Palace.
At home with a young Prince Harry.
Sketching in the gardens of Omiya Palace during his tour of Japan.
Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry smile for a family photo in Kensington Palace.
Arriving in Seoul, South Korea, for a royal visit.
At Ginkel Heide in Arnhem, Netherlands.
Exploring the Merv archaeological site in Turkmenistan.
Prince William, Prince Charles, and Prince Harry pose for a photo at their holiday home, Balmoral, in Scotland.
Attending King Harald and Queen Sonja's birthday celebrations in Norway.
With Prince William on the ski slopes in Klosters, Switzerland.
At his wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles at Windsor Castle.
Posing for an official portrait in honor of his 60th birthday.
Kissing his mother's hand after she presents him with the Royal Horticultural Society's Victoria Medal of Honour at the Chelsea Flower Show in London.
Standing in front of an Apache helicopter with Prince Harry during their visit to the Apache Conversion Course.
Sharing a laugh with his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at the Royal Ascot.
Laughing with Prince Harry during the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games in London.
Posing in front of the Edzná archeological site in Campeche, Mexico.
Arriving in a carriage to the first day of the Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse.
Giggling with Camilla at the Orokonui Ecosanctuary in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Visiting the Grand Mosque on their first day of a royal tour of the United Arab Emirates.
Prince Charles holding baby Prince Louis.
Walking Meghan Markle down the aisle at St George's Chapel during her wedding to his son Prince Harry.
A heartwarming family portrait, including his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, and their wives, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle.
Talking to Camilla at the reopening of The Strand Hall in Wales.
On the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force.
Greeting dancers at Christiansborg Castle in Accra, Ghana.
Prince Charles laughs with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Prince Charles prepares a mojito during the first royal visit to Cuba.
Stroking a blue iguana named Peter at the Royal Botanic Park.
Princes Charles and Camilla attend a reception at the house of the Governor-General on the Caribbean island of Nevis.
Prince Charles and Camilla attend the reopening of Hillsborough Castle in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Prince Charles wears a traditional Nepalese Mala garland as he visits the Sir John Moore Barracks in Folkestone, England.
Prince Charles poses for a photo at the British Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.
Prince Charles visits the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in New Delhi, India.
Prince Charles and Camilla attend a reception during their visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in Waitangi, New Zealand.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles are seated for the state opening of parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London, England.
Prince Charles poses for a group photo with dancers following his public ocean event at Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara, Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands.
Prince Charles attends the official Commissioning Ceremony of the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales at Her Majesty's Naval Base in Portsmouth, England.
Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla prepare to board a new electric double decker bus at Clarence House.