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Born this way: Why Prince Charles was destined to be a king

From the day he was born, the path was clear for Prince Charles — he was going to prepare to be a king.

'The new prince will be trained right from infancy for his high role on a future stage'

In this January 1949 photo, a very young Prince Charles is shown in his basket, just a few weeks after he was born. (Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

From the day he was born, the path was clear for Prince Charles.

"The new prince will be trained right from infancy for his high role on a future stage," the CBC's Matthew Halton reported, after the prince's birth 72 years ago.

And while the Queen's first-born would thus one day succeed her in future, Charles was the first child born as a direct successor to the throne in a half-century.

"Neither his mother, nor his grandfather, the present king, nor his great-grandfather, King George V, were expected — at the time of their births — to inherit the crown," Halton explained to listeners.

In this early 1950s photo, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth are seen with their eldest children -- Prince Charles, shown at left, and Princess Anne, shown at right. (OFF/AFP/Getty Images)

That's because it was an unexpected abdication by King Edward VIII that put George VI on the throne and subsequently Queen Elizabeth, after her father's death in 1952.

Royal-watchers across the Commonwealth celebrate the birth of a new heir to the British throne. 2:26

But, as Halton pointed out, because of the relatively young age of the then-still-living George VI and Elizabeth, it was possible that Charles "may well be 50 or 60 years old before he ascends the throne."

On Saturday, Charles turns 72 and his 94-year-old mother is still serving as Queen.

Prince Charles, seen in a May 2018 photo, turns 71 on Nov. 14, 2019. (Edit Katai/MTI/Associated Press)

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