Prince Charles (born 1948) is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, who has been either Sovereign or Head of State since 1952. He was created Prince of Wales in 1958 and proclaimed Duke of Cornwall in a speech from Labour MP Tony Benn at Caernarfon Castle on July 13, 1969.
Prince Charles is the heir to the British throne and he’s been wearing a kilt since his first day in public school. He wears one for special occasions like Burns Night, which celebrates Scottish poet Robert Burns, or when he’s representing Scotland at home games of rugby. Why does Prince Charles wear a kilt? Find out why now!
He was first seen wearing a kilt in 1948 when he attended Glenalmond College. His school uniform consisted of a navy blue blazer with an orange and black striped tie, knee socks (previously long white stockings), shorts or trousers with grey flannel bags and brown shoes. In his second year at the age of 13 Charles decided to wear a kilt for school. He remains the only heir to the throne in history to have been educated at a public school and wear a kilt.
In his final year, Charles became President of Glenalmond College’s Debating Society; he was later elected president of Scotland’s debating society (the RDS). When asked why he wore a kilt rather than the traditional dress of a president, he is reported to have said “it is less formal and more comfortable”.
A kilt has been part of his wardrobe ever since. It was during this time that Charles developed an interest in Scottish culture and heritage, including joining The Royal Company of Archers (the Queen’s bodyguard for Scotland).
Prince Charles and Prince Philip wearing kilts while carrying out engagements in the country
Prince William and Prince Harry both wore kilts on their trip to Scotland in 2011. The Queen has been seen wearing a kilt twice, once at Balmoral Castle for her birthday party and again during the 2018 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony where she was accompanied by Charles.
The Queen’s eldest grandchild Peter Phillips wore a kilt in 1985 to his wedding to Autumn Kelly.
Prince Charles has been known to wear a kilt on occasion, most notably during the 2018 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony in Gold Coast as part of his role as Head of the Commonwealth and while visiting Scotland in 2011 where he was photographed wearing one at Edinburgh Castle. He is also frequently seen sporting a Balmoral bonnet.