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Prince Charles will need to wait to be the King

world Updated: Jan 27, 2008 13:26 IST

PTI
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Prince Charles on Sunday got the dubious distinction of being Britain's longest serving 'King-in-waiting' at 59 years and 74 days, surpassing the age of Edward VII when he succeeded Queen Victoria to the throne in 1901.

Charles officially became heir apparent at the age of three in 1952 when his grandfather George VI died and his mother, Elizabeth II, became the Queen.

Quoting a former aide, 'The Sunday Times' reported that "Charles realised long ago that he would spend most of his life as heir, not as King. His is a family marked by longevity and his mother is in good health.

"He has made the most of it. He has enjoyed more freedom than if he had been King and achieved a tremendous amount in terms of charity and public life."

Last month, the Queen surpassed her great-great-grandmother Victoria as Britain's oldest serving monarch.

Elizabeth II, now 81, is one of five Kings or Queens since the 1066 Norman conquest to reign for more than half a century.