Prince Charles just made history.
On Sunday, he passed a landmark milestone to become the longest-serving Prince of Wales in history, with 59 years, one month and 15 days on the job.
Charles, 68, was invested as the Prince of Wales by his mother Queen Elizabeth in 1969 at Caernarfon Castle when he was 20 years old. The record was previously held by his ancestor, Edward VII, son of another long-reigning monarch — Queen Victoria — who became King on January 22, 1901.
The two men hit their records due to similar circumstances. Edward VII (or Bertie as he was known before he chose his honorific name as King) and Charles are (and in the former’s case, were) both the eldest sons of queens who were destined to reign for a history-making period of time. Bertie’s mother, Queen Victoria, was until recently, was the longest-reigning British monarch, with 63 years and 216 days. That title is now held by the current Queen, Elizabeth II, who set the new record on September 9, 2015.
The Queen’s record reign and old age — she is 91 and showing no signs of abdicating — mean that when the day comes, Charles will become Britain’s oldest king. Four years ago, he aged past the previous holder of said title, William IV, who became king in 1830 at the age of 64 years, 10 months and five days.
Charles is already the longest-serving heir to the throne – a position he took when he was just three years old in February 1952 when his mother Elizabeth ascended to the throne.
Royal grandfather Charles is the 21st Prince of Wales. Although the usual convention is that the title is given to the oldest son of the monarch, it is not automatic at the time of transition from one reign to another. Instead, the title must be created each time by the reigning King or Queen.
The Prince of Wales and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, have a home in the country and they spend a week carrying out visits every summer, where they explore business, farming, cultural and heritage interests, as well as conducting other visits around Wales throughout the year.