From schoolboy prince to king on return

·3-min read


1966: Prince Charles visited Australia for the first time as a schoolboy, spending two terms at Timbertop, the rural campus of Victoria's Geelong Grammar School, and "loved it all".

1967: The young prince represented the Queen at the memorial service for Prime Minister Harold Holt, who disappeared while swimming at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, Victoria. It was the largest gathering of world leaders in Australia's history.

1970: Prince Charles returned with the Queen, his father Prince Philip and his sister Princess Anne to celebrate 200 years since Captain Cook's arrival in Australia. Younger brothers Andrew, 10, and Edward, six, stayed home in England, missing out on a trip to Sydney's Royal Easter Show.

1974: Prince Charles enjoyed a dip at Bondi Beach and revisited Geelong Grammar while here to open the Anglo-Australian Telescope at Siding Spring in country NSW with then prime minister Gough Whitlam.

1977: He returned as Patron of the Queen's Silver Jubilee Appeal for Young Australians - and gave an interview he has said he will never forget: with one extremely nervous Ian "Molly" Meldrum on ABC's Countdown.

1978: Prince Charles represented the Queen at the state funeral for Australia's longest-serving prime minister, Sir Robert Menzies, in Melbourne.

1979: In one of his more memorable visits as a young bachelor, Prince Charles was ambushed in the surf at Cottesloe Beach in Perth by model Jane Priest, who stole a quick kiss.

1981: When he returned to open the 50th Anniversary Convention of Apex Clubs of Australia, the heir apparent to the British throne was newly engaged to Lady Diana Spencer.

1983: Prince Charles arrived in Alice Springs in March with Princess Diana and their 10-month-old son Prince William for the start of a six-week tour of Australia and New Zealand that attracted huge crowds and massive media coverage.

1985: The Prince and Princess of Wales visited Victoria to celebrate its 150th anniversary, where Diana dazzled all - in hospital wards to a charity rock concert with Molly Meldrum and Flemington for the Melbourne Cup.

1988: Prince Charles and Princess Diana returned for the last time as a couple as part of Australia's bicentenary celebrations.

1994: A 23-year-old man was arrested after firing a starter pistol at Prince Charles as he prepared to hand out Australia Day awards in Sydney.

2005: This trip, which included Perth, Alice Springs, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and a special visit to Geelong Grammar, came shortly before Prince Charles' wedding to long-time love Camilla Parker-Bowles.

2012: Prince Charles and new wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, marked the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with a six-day tour that included Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and the ACT.

2015: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall toured Adelaide, Tanunda, Canberra, Sydney, Albany and Perth, where they celebrated his 67th birthday.

2018: This tour with Camilla involved opening the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, visits to Brisbane, Cairns and the Northern Territory, and side-trips in support of efforts to help the endangered loggerhead turtles and the Great Barrier Reef.