King Charles III and the Oldest Monarchs to Ascend to the British Throne
King Charles III has finally fulfilled his destiny. And it only took him seven decades of his life to do so. When Queen Elizabeth II passed, Charles ascended the throne, which would make him the oldest royal heir to ever be crowned in history, once his coronation day comes. For comparison, his mother became the queen at only 25. Of course, the circumstances were very different. Queen Elizabeth's father, after all, suddenly passed in 1952.
Charles, however, has had this distinction for quite a while now. Let's look back at some of the oldest kings-in-waiting in the monarchy's century-old history.
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King Charles III (2022 -)
On September 8, 2022, King Charles II ascended to the thrown at the age of 73, officially making him the oldest monarch ever to be king, after succeeding his mother Queen Elizabeth II. The once-shy royal's road to the throne was not the smoothest. Scandals, criticism for his associations with alleged criminals, his failed marriage to Princess Diana, and more have clouded the public perception of him. He is now tasked to lead the monarchy during a tough time when inflation and frustration are plaguing the United Kingdom.
King William IV (1830 - 1837)
King William IV had portrayed himself as a "down-to-earth" king. On September 1831, he was crowned in an earnest ceremony at the age of 64. This was done to distance himself from his predecessor, King George IV, whose reign was defined by scandals and an excessive lifestyle. He did his best to assimilate with the British people, even seen walking down the streets of London unaccompanied. His rule also sought progressive reforms, including sensible tax laws, child labor restrictions, and the abolishment of slavery.
King Edward VII (1901 - 1910)
The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, King Edward VII was crowned king in August 1902 at the age of 59. He succeeded one of the most famous monarchs in British history when his mother passed away. Queen Victoria, who is the second-longest serving monarch at 63 years, was one of Britain's most enduring symbols before Queen Elizabeth II. For most of his life, the king had not been as involved with politics when compared to his predecessors at the time. His reign came during a new world, where new technologies and overall industrialization had first been introduced.
King George IV (1820 - 1830)
King George IV became king when he was 57 years old, succeeding his father, King George III. His rule was problematic, to say the least. It was a time marked by an extravagant lifestyle, which had been emblematic of the Regency era. His time is best remembered for the scandals, including messy affairs, and a constitutional crisis. He was found to be "selfish" and "irresponsible" by his ministers, as well. The king, however, was considered a true patron of the arts. For instance, he even had the Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle rebuilt.
King George I (1714 - 1727)
King George I's reign is characterized by transition, as the monarchy's power began to dwindle, slowly integrating into the modern world. This was when Britain decided to move toward a cabinet-style government with a prime minister at the helm. The king is also thought of as the first Prime Minister of Britain. But he was often regarded by his contemporaries as incompetent. He had also been criticized for favoring his German ties. He was the first British monarch who came from the House of Hanover when he ascended to the throne at the age of 54.
King Charles' heir apparent is Prince William, who turned 40 in June 2022. For some context, William is as old as his great grandfather, King George VI, when he ascended to the throne. George VI ranks as the 10th-oldest monarch to be crowned king.