Share on Facebook

King Charles’s 14 Lifelong Habits That Have Kept Him Healthy for 75 Years

Just because you don't have a royal army of personal chefs, housekeepers, doctors and more doesn't mean you can't live a royally healthy lifestyle. Check out these expert-backed health habits from King Charles that you can totally do in your peasant life.

The King And Queen Consort Visit ScotlandPool/Getty Images

Ever wondered how healthy you could be if you had all of the resources of royalty or celebrities at your disposal? We’ve all seen the headlines: some heirs notoriously abuse substances, never sleep and party their days (and health) away. But others, like King Charles III, have used their influence to promote some seriously impressive health habits. It would seem he practices what he preaches—at nearly 75 years old, King Charles III is the eldest person ever to ascend the British throne. How’s that for longevity?

Is King Charles III Healthy? Here’s How One Doctor Interprets the Clues

He typically appears a stoic figure, to be sure. But over decades in the public eye as the heir apparent, and now as the King of England, Charles has been passionate about personal, public and global health. He was one of the first world leaders to call for action on global climate change, speaking at gatherings such as the COP21, COP26 and the 2021 G20 summit. He’s designed an ideal community for healthy living and has even written a couple books about wellness and the climate.

Especially if you consider Queen Elizabeth’s healthy habits that helped her live to 96, we can learn a thing or two about taking care of ourselves from these heads of Britain’s Royal Family. Here are the subtle but loyal habits that sources suggest Prince Charles has practiced for years that continue to keep him so spry.

Get The Healthy @Reader’s Digest newsletter

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales in the sea at Bondi BeachTim Graham/Getty Images

King Charles’s personal passion for health

King Charles’s health habits are so disciplined that some observers have speculated they may border on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Not all of his posh wellness rituals are doable for us regular folks, but everyone can follow his lead on prioritizing and sticking to a healthy lifestyle.

Building healthy habits that you can sustain over a lifetime is a key to living a long, happy, and healthy life, says Kien Vuu, MD, longevity physician, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at UCLA, and author of “Thrive State: Your Blueprint for Optimal Health, Longevity, and Peak Performance.”

“The lifestyle of pursuing the American dream usually takes a traditional path of no sleep, hard work, and stress which leads to depleted health and vitality,” Dr. Vuu explains, adding that we can all take some royally good tips from Charles on how to be healthy physically, mentally, in relationships, and finding meaningful purpose in life.

Charles Laughing holding an appleTim Graham/Getty Images

The king’s favorite breakfast is fruit and granola

According to his former personal chef, Darin McGrady, King Charles eats breakfast every day (a healthy habit he shared with mum Queen Elizabeth II). McGrady says Charles sticks to generally the same meal of plums, granola, and sometimes an egg.

“People who eat breakfast are more likely to meet their daily recommended nutrient needs than those who don’t, which helps protect their physical and cognitive functions,” says Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, neuropsychologist and faculty member at Columbia University in New York City.

14 High-Protein Breakfast Ideas That Will Help You Lose Weight

Young King Charles fishing on a dockTim Graham/Getty Images

The King’s favorite way to relax is salmon fishing

King Charles has been an avid fisherman his whole life, having learned the sport from his father. He enjoys the recreation so much that he’s been known to plan his vacations around the best fly fishing and salmon spots.

Outdoor activities like fishing are a great way to relax, alleviate stress, and get some exercise, says Dr. Vuu. (This much activity can also extend your brain health.)

Which Type of Salmon Is Healthiest? A Registered Dietitian Reveals

Prince Charles Re-Opens Newly Restored Savoy HotelDan Kitwood/Getty Images

King Charles prioritizes a good night’s sleep

In a BBC interview, a former housekeeper shared how the king is quite particular about his sleeping habits. He sleeps in a specially designed orthopedic bed, on freshly washed and ironed sheets, in pressed pajamas. While that may be beyond most of us, Dr. Vuu says prioritizing quality sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Here’s the Best Position to Sleep in If You Snore, Says a Sleep Doctor

The Prince Of Wales and The Duchess Of Cornwall Visit WalesAnwar Hussein Collection/Getty Images

King Charles’s favorite snack

Charles prefers his eggs poached, according to McGrady. Dr. Hafeez says eggs are an excellent source of choline and protein, making them a nutritious and filling snack. Plus, eggs are simple when you’re in a hurry.

The Truth About the Cholesterol in Eggs

A young King Charles Sketching outsideTim Graham/Getty Images

King Charles is an award-winning watercolor painter

One of the more surprising things about the new King is how much he paints and how good he is at it, even winning awards for his watercolor landscapes. Dr. Hafeez says having a creative outlet, like painting, is one of the best things you can do to destress and preserve your cognitive health as you age.

The Most Relaxing Hobby You Can Do, According to This Survey

Prince Charles & Camilla Visit Cullompton Farmers' MarketTim Graham/Getty Images

King Charles eats vegetarian two days a week

He walks the talk when it comes to his environmentalism and is committed to not eating meat or fish at least two days a week as industrial farming is one of the biggest environmental polluters. It’s a sacrifice as his favorite dinner is lamb with mushroom risotto, according to his chef. Reducing your intake of animal products is a great way to help your health and the environment, says Dr. Hafeez.

11 Iron-Rich Foods Vegetarians Should Add to Their Diet

Britain's Prince Charles holding a can while leaning against a rock during a visit to the Hafod y Llan estateKen Goff/Getty Images

King Charles loves plants and the outdoors

“I happily talk to the plants and trees, and listen to them. I think it’s absolutely crucial,” Charles told reporters. Royal gardners added that the King has been known to often give a branch a friendly shake or pat. Having a connection with nature on its own has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, boost mood, and increase longevity, says Dr. Vuu.

The 8 Best Indoor Plants for Mental Health, Say Wellness Experts

The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall Visit Northern Ireland - Day 1Pool/Getty Images

King Charles stays busy doing work he’s passionate about

Having a mission in life gives you a sense of purpose and a feeling of importance and value in the world. People who feel passionate about their work (volunteer or paid) rather than just putting in their time, live longer and are healthier overall, says Dr. Vuu.

Charles President KucanTim Graham/Getty Images

King Charles skips dairy products one day a week

King Charles is not vegan, but reports have suggested he does make an effort at least one day per week to avoid dairy and other animal products, both for his physical health and the environment.

Making moderate diet changes, rather than being “all or nothing,” is a great way to cultivate new healthy habits without feeling overwhelmed, Dr. Vuu says.

7 Things That Happen When You Go on a Dairy-Free Diet

King Charles kicking a football or American soccer ballAnwar Hussein Collection/Getty Images

King Charles loves sports

Team and individual sports have played a fundamental role in King Charles’s life since his early days at boarding school. It’s been reported he was often bullied by the other children and found respite in playing sports—particularly outdoor sports. Over the years he’s played football (soccer to Americans) and has been an avid outdoorsman.

Dr. Hafeez says sports are a fun way to socialize and get exercise.

The 3 Best Hydrating Beverages That Aren’t Water, from an NFL Nutritionist

King Charles and a horseWPA Pool/Getty Images

King Charles was a competitive polo player and equestrian

He spent years playing high-level competitive polo until he was 45 years old, when he was thrown from his horse and knocked unconscious. While he only does sport recreationally now, it’s still an important part of his life. Having hobbies, particularly one that engages you mentally and physically, is so important to health and wellbeing, says Dr. Hafeez.

The Most Relaxing Hobby You Can Do, According to This Survey

The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall Visit WalesChris Jackson/Getty Images

King Charles stays on top of his medical checkups

Over the years the press have reported on his list of totally normal and pretty minor health issues, including getting a skin cancer lesion removed from his face, a hernia repaired, and knee surgery. This shows a willingness to stay on top of his health.

While you may not have a cadre of royal doctors at your beck and call, you can make sure to stay on top of your preventative checkups, says Dr. Hafeez.

10 Things You Should Never Do Before a Doctor Appointment—and 4 Things You Should

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Princess Anne, Princess Royal attend the Platinum Pageant on The Mall on June 5, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022Max Mumby/Getty Images

King Charles is close with his family

If the royal family are famous for one thing, it’s how close-knit they are. They love, they disagree, they challenge each other, and even have scandals…however, at the end of the day, they always come back together and (for the most part) support each other. Having a tight-knit group of family, friends, and loved ones is a crucial part of health and happiness, says Dr. Hafeez.

For more wellness updates, follow The Healthy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Keep reading:

Sources

Sources

Kien Vuu, MD, longevity physician, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at UCLA, and author of "Thrive State: Your Blueprint for Optimal Health, Longevity, and Peak Performance"

Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, neuropsychologist and faculty member of Columbia University in New York City

ABC News: "Prince Charles Eavesdrops on Tourists, Speaks to Plants"

Tina Brown: "The Palace Papers"

Buckingham Palace: The King and Queen Consort

HRH Charles Prince of Wales, "Harmony: A New Way of Looking at our World"

Darin McGrady via YouTube: "Former Royal Chef Reveals Prince Charles' Fave Meal And What It Was Like Cooking For Him + Diana"

BBC News: Interview with Prince Charles

Time: "The Lonely Childhood of King Charles III"

YouTube: "King Charles visits Ure salmon trust"

Tom Bowers, "The Rebel Prince"

Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen, MS, is an award-winning journalist, author, and ghostwriter who for nearly two decades has covered health, fitness, parenting, relationships, and other wellness and lifestyle topics for major outlets, including Reader’s Digest, O, The Oprah Magazine, Women’s Health, and many more. Charlotte has made appearances with television news outlets such as CBS, NBC, and FOX. She is a certified group fitness instructor in Denver, where she lives with her husband and their five children.