21 Lesser Known Facts About Prince Charles
Did you know that there is a frog species that’s been named after Prince Charles, that he had a penchant for playing cello, or is the member of
a secret society? We bet you didn’t.
There are many such things that the world don’t know about the Prince of Wales despite that he is one of the most talked about and written about personalities around the world. That’s not surprising at all, as he’s not just part of the British Royalty but next in line as heir to the throne as well. He is the busiest royal and the entire world is keeping track of his activities. Still, there are certain facts that have remained a secret…until now of course. Check out some of the little known facts about Prince Charles.
1. There is a Frog Species Named Prince Charles
Part of many different causes that Prince Charles has been supporting for decades is advocating for the conservation of rainforests around the world. He is so intensely involved in the movement and has been so vocal about his views and expectations that a Frog species was named after him to honor his efforts. Reptiles Magazine reported in 2008 that Dr. Luis A. Coloma named a species of Ecuador native stream treefrog as Prince Charles, while its scientific name is Hyloscirtus princecharlesi.
2. His Nickname is Quite Embarrassing
Back in the early 70s and 80s, Prince Charles was the heartthrob of the nation and understandably the most eligible bachelor in Britain. He used to have a James Bond like personality, and the countless pictures of him where he can be seen playing polo, windsurfing or enjoying the beach are a clear proof of that. Due to his action-packed life, he was dubbed Action Man by the press back in the day. That’s because all of his pictures showed him being involved in some kind of an adventure.
3. His Secret Service code is “Unicorn”
Coded names for Secret Services aren’t only the hallmark of US first family, as the British are equally secretive and protective of their people. Leaders around the world and their spouses are usually assigned secret nicknames that are only used when they are on official trips as part of the intelligence agency’s SOPs. Whenever Prince Charles makes an official trip to the US, his secret service uses the nickname Unicorn.
4. His official title has 18 parts
The world knows him as Prince Charles, but for the royals his name isn’t as easy to pronounce. You would be surprised to know that Prince Charles name is more than three lines long. There are, in fact, 18 elements in his name. A major part of his full name is dedicated to titles, ceremonial roles, and honors that all collectively make up for a long, very long name. Check it out- His Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB, OM, AK, QSO, PC, ADC, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. That’s indeed a mouthful.
5. He has a Favorite Dog Breed
We all know that the Queen of England loves the corgis but Prince Charles has an entirely different set of preferences from his mother when it comes to dog breeds. Back in the 90s he was fond of Jack Russell terriers and had two of them – Tigga and Pooh. After Pooh disappeared mysteriously in 1994 from Balmoral Castle, Tigga remained part of Charles’ life until 2002 when he was laid to rest at the age of 18. Again Charles adopted a set of Jack Russell in 2012 along with his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles and named them Beth and Bluebell, which reflects his undying love for this dog breed.
6. A Prediction at his Birth Actually Turned out to be True
Prince Charles was born on 14 November, 1948. At the time George VI, his grandfather, was the king and Elizabeth, Charles’ mother, was next in line. When Prince Charles was born, a radio host made a rather unlikely prediction, which was proven right eventually.
Reportedly, CBC radio host Matthew Halton pointed out that Charles isn’t going to be king for a long time. His prediction was based on the fact that the royal family has had longer lifespans so far. However, George VI died unexpectedly soon after Charles’ birth. His mother Queen Elizabeth, however, has had a god run so far. Now that Charles is in his 70s, he is the most unlikely candidate for the throne.
7. Charles has Authored Several Books
Not many people know that Prince Charles is the author of several published books. Perhaps, his list of accomplishments seems to be infinite. He has authored The Prince’s Speech: On the Future of Food, A Vision of Britain, and a very famous children’s book titled The Old Man of Lochnagar. The children’s book became so famous that it was adapted into a short animated movie, which was narrated by Prince Charles as well.
8. He has Aced Sustainable Living
Prince Charles realized the importance of adopting and advocating about sustainable ways of living much before the world did. His official website revealed that he has dedicated the past four decades of his life advocating for the need to implement measures that ensure a sustainable future. In fact, he has been practicing sustainable living himself as well. That’s why his official residence the Clarence House has solar panels installed.
9. His Aston Martin’s Fuel Source is White Wine
On his 21st birthday in 1970, Charles was gifted an Aston Martin Db5 Volante by his mother, while rumor has it that he himself purchased it. Nevertheless, his love for this car is no hidden secret and so is his insistence on adopting eco-friendly mode of living. Hence, he requested Aston Martin to find out an eco-friendly substitute for the car’s fuel source. The engineers identified that a combination of wine and whey can be used but this would ruin the car. However, Charles remains adamant and claimed to stop using the car at all if it gets ruined. Luckily, the car now runs much better than before on wine.
10. He is Member of Magicians’ Secret Society
The future king of Britain has been an ardent admirer of magic and magicians. This admiration was so strong that in 1975 he got inducted into a secretive British society called the Magic Circle after he performed a ball and cup trick at the time of his audition. This admiration is still strong as in 2018 when he was celebrating his 70th birthday the best magicians of the country were invited to perform on the event.
11. He Never Packs Lightly for his Foreign Trips
We all know that Prince Charles travel a lot, and it is a common perception that someone who is always on the go must be a light packer. But, that’s not true for Prince Charles. In REBEL Prince: The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles, Tom Bower wrote that once Charles took along his bedroom furniture and likes to travel with his personal toilet seat too. However, Business Insider rejected the claim that he travels with a toilet seat stating that the story stemmed from a funny birthday gift his sister sent him.
12. He Loves to Play the Cello
When he was in school, Charles wanted to learn to play musical instruments and even went on to become an expert at playing piano, trumpet, and cello. However, it was cello that he liked the most and continued playing it even when he entered college. AT Trinity College, an undergrad Charles performed with the Trinity College Orchestra during a symphony concert. However, he still resents that he couldn’t gain as much expertise on other instruments and the New Yorker quoted him saying that he was hopeless in this domain.
13. Prince Charles Supports more than 400 Organizations
Prince Charles has a reputation of being the busiest royal, and we certainly can see why. The Prince of Wales either presides or patrons as many as 400 organizations in all sectors of life from sports to health care, and arts to sustainable living. Moreover, he has established 18 out of the 19 organizations that collectively make up the Prince’s Charities.
14. He Never Lunches
The royals are known to follow rather strange food rules such as everyone must stop eating as soon as the queen has finished her meal and in Buckingham Palace garlic is totally banned. But, this one takes the cake. Reportedly, Prince Charles never eats lunch and follows a simplistic dining routine. According to the Duchess of Cornwall he doesn’t have too extravagant preferences at all and his most favorite food is cheese. That’s something none of us expected…
15. He is a Great Painter
From playing music to playing with colors, Prince Charles has been a champion at almost every craft. Part of his never ending list of interests is painting. According to Vanity Fair, Charles is into watercolor painting and is counted amongst Britain’s most successful artists alive. He published a book comprising of all his paintings, which can be viewed online as well. In 1987, one of his paintings was displayed in the summer exhibition of the Royal Academy. It is also reported that his paintings sell for millions and he donates all the money to his charities. Here’s a trivia- Prince Charles never sells his original paintings.
16. He is Strongly Opinionated
Members of the royal family are generally seen adopting a neutral approach in matters of politics, and it is quite rare that someone would be vocal about his or her views on politics. However, being the rebellious royal since his youth, it isn’t surprising that Prince Charles has an opinion on everything and he has no qualms in stating them either. Reader’s Digest claims that he is strongly opinionated, which may create problems for him when he becomes the king. Charles gave a fitting response to this assumption in one of his interviews to BBC where he said that he is opinionated but not stupid.
17. He Doesn’t Travel on Commercial Flights
Many royals have taken commercial flights. The queen once flew with the British Airways and frequently uses the Royal Train. That’s where she invited the newest royal Meghan Markle to join her for her first direct interaction with the queen. Will and Kate have flown on British Airways’ economy class in the past and Harry and Meghan have flown coach when they left for vacations. But, Prince Charles likes to travel in his private plane only. In 2017 the trips he made to Italy, Romania, and Austria were dubbed the most expensive of all royal family trips that year costing the British taxpayers a whopping £154,000.
18. He is a Smart Small Talker
If there is one person in the royal family that is regarded as the champion of brief conversations, it is Prince Charles. According to inside sources, Charles can talk on just about anything and can have meaningful and memorable conversations. That’s not too surprising given the fact that for decades he has been shaking hands on his regular royal walkabouts and the inevitable meet-and-greets, so, he must indeed be good at making a lasting impression in less than five minutes.
19. He Loathes Television Interviews
Charles was once married to the most photographed woman in the world, Princess Diana. So, one would think that he also must have developed liking for the media. However, that’s clearly not the case. When in public, Prince Charles is the most charming person around, He is always cordial and friendly to everyone he meets but he isn’t as friendly with the media or the camera lens. Most of the times when he is being interviewed, he takes long pauses and literally freezes. His discomfort becomes a bit too obvious when he is giving interviews to media channels.
20. He is a huge admirer of Joan Rivers
In one of her interviews, the late comedian stated that Prince Charles had invited her to join him at Highgrove, the prince’s weekend country retreat. It was later revealed that Charles was a fan of Rivers’ comic timing, unfiltered sense of humor, and witty personality. He and Rivers shared good friendship and she was close to Camilla as well.
21. He gave Meghan a unique Nickname
The pre-wedding fiasco that made Meghan Markle’s life hell when her father Thomas Markle made some startling revelations right before she was about to marry Prince Harry was definitely a difficult time for her. However, she surprised everyone by facing the entire situation gracefully and with enormous amount of patience. Prince Charles was quite impressed by her composure and gave her the nickname “Tungsten” for her unbending resolve and strong personality.
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