The Prince of Wales yesterday became the oldest heir apparent for almost 300 years.
The oldest heir apparent until yesterday was King William IV - Prince Charles's great-great-great-great-uncle - who became monarch in June 1830, aged 64 years, ten months and five days, on the death of his brother King George IV.
William IV died without an heir in 1837 and was succeeded by his niece Queen Victoria, who went on to become the country's longest reigning monarch, with 63 years on the throne.
Charles still has Sophia of Hanover to beat as the oldest heir to the British throne.
Sophia should have become Queen upon the death of Queen Anne, the last Stuart monarch, according to the 1701 Act of Settlement which settled the line of succession upon Sophia (the nearest Protestant in the old line of succession to Anne) and her non-Catholic heirs but, instead, died a few months before Anne aged 83 in 1714. So Sophia's son, Georg, Elector of Hanover, became King George I, the first Hanoverian monarch, in 1714 upon the death of Queen Anne.
Prince of Wales is now the OLDEST heir to the British throne for almost 300 years
By Ellie Buchdahl
- Prince Charles becomes oldest heir apparent in British history
- Oldest heir apparent was William IV, who succeeded George III in 1830
- Oldest heir to throne still Sophia of Hanover, who died aged 83
- Queen already the oldest monarch at the age of 87
20 September 2013
Tiring: Prince Charles has had a long wait - the longest ever
The birth of baby George, a boost in sales for Duchy's Originals - and Prince Charles has broken a record to add to his year of milestones - although this one may come with a pinch of frustration.
The Prince of Wales - who has in the past joked about being 'impatient' and about 'running out of time' - today become the oldest heir to the throne for almost 300 years, as successor to Queen Elizabeth II, who at the age of 87 holds the title of oldest monarch in British history.
The oldest heir apparent until today was William IV, who became monarch in June 1830, aged 64 years, ten months and five days, on the death of his brother King George IV.
William IV died without an heir in 1837 and was succeeded by his niece - Queen Victoria, who went on to become the country's longest reigning monarch, with 63 years on the throne.
He still has Sophia of Hanover to beat as the oldest heir to the throne.
The princess died aged 83 in 1714, a few months before Queen Anne died.
Charles became heir apparent on the death of his grandfather George VI, when his mother succeeded to the throne on February 6 1952.
The Prince was just three years old at the time and from a young age has been groomed to be king.
Charles is already the longest serving heir to the throne having passed, a number of years ago, the previous record set by Edward VII who became monarch aged 59, when his mother Queen Victoria died in 1901.
The Prince became a grandfather for the first time in July when Prince George was born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Before the birth the heir to the throne said he was 'thrilled' and even joked about how the latest development in his eventful life had come at the age of 64.
Beaten: William IV (left) was the previous oldest heir to the throne, after he succeeded his brother George IV (right) in 1830 aged 64 years, ten months and five days
He said: 'It’s a very nice thought to become a grandfather in my old age, if I can say so.'
And with the Queen still in excellent health - despite a few hospital visits - he could be in for an even longer wait.
Aside from a brief hospital visit in March this year - a precautionary measure, the Palace said, while she was assessed for the symptoms of the stomach bug gastroentiritis, she has not had a hospital stay for ten years.
And despite his positive comments about being an old grandfather, the Prince has in the past hinted that he is feeling the long wait.
Outlived: The oldest heir to the throne, Sophia of Hanover (left), died aged 83 in 1714 - a few months before Queen Anne (pictured right, the last Stuart monarch and the first monarch of the Kingdom of Great Britain, reigned 1702 - 1714), whom she was due to succeed. Instead, upon Queen Anne's death in 1714, Sophia's son, Georg, Elector of Hanover, became King George I, Britain's first Hanoverian monarch, despite speaking no English
OLDEST TO YOUNGEST: THE AGES OF SOME OF OUR MONARCHS AT ACCESSION
64: William IV
59: Edward VII
40: George VI
37: Richard I
25: Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II
17: Henry VIII
9: Edward VI
During a visit to Dumfries House in East Ayrshire last year, he recorded a film for the Clarence House website in which the then 64-year-old heir suggested his time as monarch might be cut short.
He said: 'Impatient? Me? What a thing to suggest! Yes of course I am.'
He added: “I’ll run out of time soon. I shall have snuffed it if I’m not careful.'
And even before then, Charles made a number of comments regarding his time as heir.
In 1992, on the eve of the Queen’s 40th anniversary on the throne, he attended the funeral of his father-in-law, the 8th Earl Spencer, where he is believed to have remarked to Charles Spencer, his then brother-in-law: 'You are fortunate enough to have succeeded to the title when still young.'
In 2004, a Guards officer at Wellington Barracks who congratulated him on his 56th birthday got the response: 'I’m now at the age at which my grandfather died.'
Royal biographer Penny Junor said: 'He is impatient, but when he becomes king, his activities and all the projects he most enjoys where he can make a difference, will be seriously curtailed.'
Not only is King William IV the great-great-great-great-uncle of Prince Charles, but he is also the great-great-great-great-great-uncle of Prime Minister David Cameron (above)
Last edited by Blackleaf; Sep 21st, 2013 at 08:22 AM..