- Robert E. Petersen Collection
- Ancient Firearms
- The Road to American Liberty
- Seeds of Greatness
- The Prospering New Republic
- A Nation Asunder
- The American West
- Innovation, Oddities and Competition
- Theodore Roosevelt, Elegant Arms
- World War I and Firearms Innovation
- WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Beyond
- For the Fun of It
- Firearms Traditions for Today
- William B. Ruger Special Exhibits
- Freedom's Doorway
Prince Charles' Air Rifle
This presentation gun was crafted for the Prince of Wales by Don Robinson of Halifax, England. SN 42042
Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was born at Buckingham Palace on November 14, 1948. Upon the death of his grandfather, King George VI in 1952, he became heir to the throne at the age of three when his mother, Princess Elizabeth, became Queen. As heir, he assumed the traditional titles of Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.
The Queen created him Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in 1958 at the age of nine. He is the 21st holder of the title Prince of Wales, and his formal investiture to that title took place at Caernarfon Castle in July 1969 before a world television audience. In addition, he was installed as a Knight of the Garter in 1968, and was appointed a Knight of the Thistle in 1977. He also holds a seat in the House of Lords, which he took in February 1970. Breaking with tradition, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh decided that Prince Charles would go to school rather than receive his education by royal tutors at Buckingham Palace.
He attended several private schools in England, Scotland, and Australia, then became the first heir to the throne to study for a degree when he attended Trinity College at Cambridge University. While at Cambridge, he studied archeology, anthropology, and history, and was active in drama society reviews and sports. He graduated with honors in 1970. The Prince attended the Royal Air Force College at Cranwell in 1971, where he earned his R.A.F. wings as a jet pilot. In the autumn of that year, he entered the Royal Navy, where he served on a guided missile frigate and two destroyers before becoming a qualified helicopter pilot in 1974.
He continued his naval service as a pilot aboard H.M.S. HERMES, a Royal Navy aircraft carrier. Early in 1976, he became commanding officer of the coastal minehunter H.M.S. BRONINGTON, before leaving the Royal Navy at the end of the year. He currently holds a number of service appointments, including the ranks of Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy, Major General in the Army, and Air Vice-Marshal in the Royal Air Force, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Wales, and Colonel of the Welsh Guards. Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral on July 29, 1981. The marriage produced two sons, Prince William, born on June 21, 1982, and Prince Harry, who was born on September 15, 1984.
The marriage between the Prince and Princess of Wales was dissolved in August 1996. The Princess, who remained a member of the Royal Family, continued to live at Kensington Palace and continued her charitable work until her death a year later. Princes William and Harry have taken on official duties, accompanying the Prince of Wales on visits to South Africa and Canada. At present, both are enrolled at Eton College, Windsor. In addition to his official duties, which include several hundred public engagements each year, Prince Charles has undertaken charitable work as well.
In 1971, he established a trust to provide grants to various community projects in Wales to help residents cope with the effects of social and economic change. His concern for disadvantaged young people led to the foundation of the Prince's Trust in 1976. Fund-raising activities, including rock concerts and film premiers, have raised millions of dollars and provided grants for training and for the establishment of small businesses for more than 200,000 deserving individuals between the ages of 14 and 25. In addition to his work with these two trusts, the Prince is actively involved with a variety of organizations dealing with social, environmental, and cultural issues.