A photo of King Charles with a wispy mustache and cape has resurfaced and we’re actually so into the unique look

A throwback photo of King Charles with a wispy mustache might come as a surprise to many after decades of the royal being facial-hair free

King Charles with a wispy mustache in old photo revealed. Seen here the King attends the Epiphany service at the church of St Lawrence
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

A photo of King Charles with a wispy mustache and cape-like robe has resurfaced and we’re actually into the unique look he sported back then.

It’s hard to imagine His Majesty being anything other than facial-hair free but not only was King Charles with a full beard something you might’ve missed in the 1970s, but the monarch also once grew a wispy mustache. Not only that, but King Charles’ mustache moment was made even more unique as he was pictured with it whilst wearing a rather spectacular cape-like robe for a major occasion. Transporting us back in time and showing us King Charles with a wispy mustache is a throwback photo that was taken in 1975. 

According to the Getty caption, it captured the moment the then-Prince Charles was installed as Great Master of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath. This important ceremony took place at Westminster Abbey during the 250th anniversary service of the order, no less.  

Prince Charles is installed as Great Master of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath

(Image credit: Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The picture shows King Charles in the full regalia of the Order looking off into the distance with a small smile, his mustache just visible but his hair otherwise cropped short. The Order was founded by King George I as a military order and the King was installed as Great Master in 1975 by the late Queen Elizabeth, who is seen in another photo of the same ceremony. 

Installation ceremonies reportedly take place every four years and King Charles’ own installation to such a great honor within the Order was a huge moment. It is therefore perhaps especially intriguing to see King Charles with a wispy mustache for the ceremony when his typical royal look consisted of him being clean-shaven, even back then. It certainly gave him a very unique look for this once-in-a-lifetime occasion though! 

This rare moment comes as Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, made shocking claims about protocol surrounding facial hair and specifically beards in the Royal Family. 

Queen Elizabeth II escorts her son, Prince Charles, as he is installed as Great Master of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath

(Image credit: Photo by John Scott/Princess Diana Museum/Getty Images)

He wrote that “a beard was thought by some to be a clear violation of protocol and long-standing norms”, before claiming they “were forbidden in the British Army.” 

He alleged that he’d had to be granted permission by the Queen to keep his, whilst Prince William had been denied this. Their father the King has definitely only been seen without any kind of beard or mustache for many decades and reports have claimed the Queen preferred the royals to be without a beard. 

Though she reportedly once played a facial-hair focused prank on her husband Prince Philip after he’d been on a tour. 

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during "The Patron's Lunch" celebrations

(Image credit: Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

As reported by Express.co.uk, in his book, Queen of the World, Robert Hardman claimed, “It was a comedy moment when the Queen and Duke were finally reunited. Knowing that he had grown a beard on his travels, the Queen had arranged for everyone in the royal entourage - herself included - to put on fake whiskers just before the Duke walked in.”

Whilst we might not see King Charles with a wispy mustache or a beard anymore in public, who knows if behind closed doors during private family holidays he might be tempted to re-grow one. Either way, this throwback photo shows this unique moment in time! 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!