and later in the decade became the first member of the Royal Family since King George I to attend a British Cabinet meeting, having been invited by Prime Minister James Callaghan so that the Prince might see the workings of the British government and Cabinet at first hand.
Charles also began to take on more public duties, founding his The Prince's Trust in 1976, Around the same time the Prince expressed an interest in serving as Governor-General of Australia; Commander Michael Parker explained: "The idea behind the appointment was for him to put a foot on the ladder of monarchy, or being the future King and start learning the trade." However, because of a combination of nationalist feeling in Australia and the dismissal of the government by the Governor-General in 1975, nothing came of the proposal.
Until 22 April 2011, Prince Edward, Prince of Wales had been the longest serving heir apparent, for a period of 59 years and 74 days.
However, Prince Edward became heir apparent on his birth, four years into his mother Queen Victoria's reign, whereas Prince Charles was three years old at his mother's accession and has thus been heir apparent for all of Queen Elizabeth II's reign.
" The Prince is at present the oldest man to hold the title of Prince of Wales since it became the title granted to the heir apparent.
Though he moved to first in line to the throne in the United Kingdom order of precedence he is third, after his parents, and is typically fourth or fifth in other realms' precedence orders, following his mother, the relevant vice-regal representative(s), and his father.
Charles attended his mother's coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, seated alongside his grandmother and aunt.
He married Lady Diana Spencer before an enormous worldwide television audience in 1981.
They had two sons, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in 1982 and Prince Harry of Wales in 1984.