Over the years, this small Swiss village became an important vacation spot for the British ruler, who regularly visited with his children.
For a few weeks, the United Kingdom has been showing a new face, that of King Charles III. Now at the helm of a senior function, Elizabeth II’s eldest son sees his every move being scrutinized more closely than ever. A life in the limelight that the sovereign tried to escape. If we were able to discover his possessions in Transylvania, Romania, he seems to be fond of another place as well. The municipality of Klosters in the canton of Graubünden in the Prättigau/Davos region of Switzerland has been home to one of Charles III’s winter estates for almost 45 years, so the story goes. telegram . The ski resort near the Austrian border enjoys a certain reputation in the select celebrity world. Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Bono and Julia Roberts were able to stroll through the quiet streets of the Swiss village. Although the latter has some advantages: an expansive ski area mixed with a cult of discretion.
Over the decades, Klosters became an important place for Charles III. The sovereign’s skiing skills go back significantly to a certain Charles Palmer-Tomkinson. With a legacy as closely linked to the royal family as to Olympic skiing prowess, Palmer-Tomkinson became young Charles’ mentor and friend on the slopes, teaching him to ski and cementing his love for the Swiss ski resort. Charles preserves some very symbolic memories there. In 1978, on his first visit, he courted the older sister of his future wife on the snowy slopes of the Lady Sarah Spencer ski resort. A few years later, he returns to the Swiss city to contemplate his future marriage proposal to Diana Spencer. Very attached to the place, he introduced his two sons, still with Charles Palmer-Tomkinson, William and Harry, to skiing there.
Fatal avalanche in 1988
In Klosters, too, the later British sovereign narrowly escaped a deadly avalanche. It’s March 10, 1988, a day when you’re rushing down the slopes with friends before an avalanche starts. His friend, Major Hugh Lindsay, was killed in that avalanche. In the columns of Paris matchStar photographer Daniel Angeli remembered this dramatic day. “I branched off to get ahead of them and take pictures, I was a good skier. I realized that they would not come. I took the chairlift back. The avalanche has started. I took pictures of Charles mourning the death of the Queen’s squire who had just passed away“.
“As soon as the danger passed, Prince Charles, the guide and a Swiss policeman who was skiing with the group rushed to the victims’ aid, digging in the snow with their bare hands to reach them.”, wrote the BBC at the time. The dramatic incident kept Diana from returning to Klosters and is said to have contributed to the decline of the couple’s marriage, but it doesn’t seem to have dampened the king’s passion for skiing or the place. In 2002, while on vacation with his two sons, he also learned of the Queen Mother’s death.
2005, before his marriage to Camilla
In the spring of 2005, less than a week after setting the ring on Camilla Parker-Bowles, Prince Charles is peacefully on the station with Harry and William. On April 8, his own services organized a photo opportunity to feed the pack of British journalists present in Klosters. Unfortunately, the microphones of several of them picked up a private conversation during which the future monarch complained to British journalist Nicholas Witchell: “Damn journalistshe grumbles. I can’t stand this man. He’s so awful, really.” The latter, who spent part of his career as royal correspondent for the BBC, with whom he has worked since 1976, has been on bad terms with the future sovereign since 2000, when the reporter compared the new Duke of Edinburgh’s bank holidays and Camilla Parker-Bowles in Greece to those of Edward VIII and his mistress Wallis Simpson. Words that will not have arranged his relations with the professionals concerned.
In recent decades, Charles III. adopted well-established habits in the Swiss village. “[Il] Lunch at one of the cheapest places around. (…) he rents skis, which he transports himself and always travels in second class”, revealed Ruth Guler, who ran the Wynegg Hotel, one of the royal family’s residences in Klosters. Evidence of a certain bond with the town: the sovereign became the patron of certain institutions there. In 2018, the city even named one of its cable cars after the future king to celebrate their 40-year history together. From now on, one question remains unanswered: Will Charles III. continue to frequent the Swiss train station with its new functions? Next winter will tell.
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