1972: After passing his RAF training, Charles embarked on a career in the Royal Navy. He joined his first ship, the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk, in 1972.
1973: The Prince of Wales, as he was then known, visited the Bahamas for the islands’ last days as a British colony. After more than 300 years of British sovereignty, the Bahamas became an independent nation on July 9.
1974: Charles made his maiden speech in the House of Lords this year, becoming the first royal to do so since his great-great-grandfather Edward VII in 1884.
1975: Continuing to dip into military training, Charles returned to Cambridge to receive his masters degree.
1976: Prince Charles took command of his first ship, the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington. It was also his last year of active military service and the year he started his charity, The Prince’s Trust.
1977: The prince appeared in a disastrous interview on Australian television. The host of the show «Countdown» suffered a complete meltdown on-air, even saying: «Your Royal Highness… oh, oh, I’m sweating like a pig.»
1988: Charles diced with death while skiing with friends in Klosters, Switzerland, when an avalanche hit. The prince’s friend Major Hugh Lindsay was killed and another friend, Patti Palmer-Tomkinson, was seriously injured.
1989: Prince Charles gave a speech at the Saving the Ozone Layer World Conference in London, saying «human beings have been upsetting that balance [of nature], persistently» since the Industrial Revolution.
1991: Prince Charles became embroiled in another row over architecture. The prince resigned as the patron of Scotland’s national museum over a competition to design a new building. The royal said too much weight had been given to the opinion of «so-called experts.»
1992: Andrew Morton published «Diana: Her True Story,» detailing the breakdown of Charles and Diana’s marriage. In December, the Prime Minister, John Major, announced to the House of Commons that The Prince and Princess of Wales had agreed to separate.
1997: Princess Diana is killed in a car crash in Paris. Charles flew to Paris with Diana’s two sisters to bring her body back to London.
2001: Charles launched a report warning that half of all British villages no longer have a pub. «Now, perhaps more than ever in their history, rural pubs must draw on their resourcefulness and resilience,» the prince said in a foreword to the document.
2020: It was a difficult year for Charles, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March shortly before his son, Prince William, also tested positive in April. «I thought to myself, if anybody is going to beat this, it’s going to be him,» William told the BBC of his father’s recovery.
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