5 things to know about Britain's Prince Charles

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  • As he approaches 70, Charles has spent a long time as a monarch-in-waiting
  • Charles is an advocate of organic farming and traditional architecture
  • He's also invited controversy by reportedly writing to ministers -- and even the PM

London (CNN)Many people will remember Prince Charles from the day in July 1981 when, as a dashing young prince, he kissed his shy bride, Diana, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in front of the eyes of the world.

But many things have changed since then, including their divorce, Diana's death in a car accident in 1997 and his marriage to Camilla, now Duchess of Cornwall.
    Here are five things to know about the Prince of Wales:

    He's next in line to the throne

    While a lot of attention in recent years has been focused on his sons, Princes William and Harry, Charles is next in line to the British throne.
    His mother, Queen Elizabeth II, has ruled for more than 60 years. Last September she overtok her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria for the title of Britain's longest-reigning monarch.
    Her longevity is welcomed by her subjects, but it means that as he approaches 70, Charles has spent a long time as a monarch-in-waiting. He's also now a grandfather to Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

    He and Camilla married almost 10 years ago

    Charles and Camilla tied the knot on April 9, 2005.
    The couple first visited the United States together as newlyweds, and Camilla was confronted by hard-core Princess Diana fans with abusive placards. Polls at the time found that between 57% and 73% of Brits opposed Charles' new wife being known as queen. If you go back even further, to 1997, the year Diana died, an Ipsos MORI poll put it at 86%.
    But there's been a change in sentiment since they married. A new poll conducted by ComRes for CNN found that only 35% now oppose Camilla being known as queen. Nearly one in four said they liked her more now than they did 10 years ago.
    In an exclusive interview with CNN royal correspondent Max Foster, Charles opened up about the couple's relationship.
    He met Camilla years before he wed Diana, who famously said in a 1995 BBC TV interview that "there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

    Charles talks to plants

    The prince has admitted talking to his plants in past TV interviews, inviting ridicule from some quarters.
    But as part of his interest in sustainability, he has championed organic farming and gardening for many years, including on his large country estates.
    He has a fully functioning organic farm at Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire, England, and founded his own organic food brand, Duchy Originals, which now turns a healthy profit and helps fund his charitable foundation.
    According to his official website, he's an advocate of traditional rural skills and enjoys hedge laying.

    He has strong views

    Charles has riled some people over the years with his outspoken views on architecture, which prioritize the traditional over the modern.
    In 1984, he made headlines when he described a proposed modern extension to the National Gallery in London as "a monstrous carbuncle," according to news reports from the time.
    He's also invited controversy by reportedly writing to ministers -- and even the Prime Minister -- on subjects close to his heart.
    This intervention in the public sphere has troubled those who believe the royals should not get involved in such debates and worry that, once king, Charles may not remain above politics in the way that his mother has.
    In a piece published by The Architectural Review in December, Charles explained his thinking on architecture, saying "designing places according to the human scale and with Nature at the heart of the process has always been my central concern."

    Charles has a sporty past

    The future king has often been photographed on the ski slopes of Europe and in the past has also tried his hand at water skiing, surfing and scuba diving.
    He was a keen polo player for more than four decades, only retiring from the sport in 2005. This is despite breaking his arm in two places when he fell off a pony during a polo match in 1990. He also climbed in the saddle as a jockey on a number of occasions.
    His website also describes him as an "experienced watercolourist" who likes to paint in the open air at home and on his travels.