King Charles III finally acceded to the throne this year in September, when his mother Queen Elizabeth II passed away. However, there were times in his life – before Prince William was born – when he faced near-death experiences and came close to making Prince Andrew the King.
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King Charles’ biography The King: The Life of Charles III by Royal biographer Christopher Andersen talks about a lot of incidents from the monarch’s life that made him who he is today. Speaking to Newsweek’s podcast hosts, Andersen revealed there were times in the King’s life when he had near-death experiences.
Reportedly, King Charles has cheated on death so many times that Andrew was dangerously close to being a king. Andersen said:
He's such an enigma and a complicated and inconsistent person. One of the interesting and curious things is the number of times he's cheated death, which I thought was fascinating.
Recalling one of the incidents from his college days, even the monarch accepted he was just lucky to be alive. Andersen confirmed:
He recently revealed that, when he was at Cambridge, at Trinity College there, he was outside the library on his bicycle and was struck by a bus.
And, miraculously, he said how he survived he never knew. Had he not survived, it's interesting to think that Andrew would be king.
Between February 1960 (when Andrew was born) and 1982 (when William was born), Prince Andrew was second in line to the throne. So, Charles’ near-death experiences brought him pretty close to being an heir.
Air force mishap
Andrew, who’s now 8th in line to the throne, came close to being the King one other time when King Charles was training with the Royal Air Force. Andersen explained:
The strings of his parachute got tangled in his feet, and he was turned upside down.
He only managed to right himself at the last minute, again a very, very close call. And again, Andrew would have become king at that time.
Other occasions include the famous skiing incident – also dramatized in The Crown, the time when he lost control of his car and almost fell off a cliff in Spain and potentially deadly incidents on the polo field.
Newsweek: Prince Andrew Came Close to Being King as Charles 'Cheated Death'—Podcast