Edward was born at
Windsor Castle on 13 November 1312, and was often referred to as Edward of Windsor in his early years.
 The reign of his father,
Edward II, was a particularly problematic period of English history.
 One source of contention was the king's inactivity, and repeated failure, in the ongoing
war with Scotland.
 Another controversial issue was the king's exclusive
patronage of a small group of royal
 The birth of a male heir in 1312 temporarily improved Edward II's position in relation to the baronial opposition.
 To bolster further the independent prestige of the young prince, the king had him created
Earl of Chester at only twelve days of age.
In 1325, Edward II was faced with a demand from his brother-in-law,
Charles IV of France, to perform
homage for the English
Duchy of Aquitaine.
 Edward was reluctant to leave the country, as discontent was once again brewing domestically, particularly over his relationship with the favourite
Hugh Despenser the Younger.
 Instead, he had his son Edward created Duke of Aquitaine in his place and sent him to France to perform the homage.
 The young Edward was accompanied by his mother
Isabella, who was the sister of King Charles, and was meant to negotiate a peace treaty with the French.
 While in France, Isabella conspired with the exiled
Roger Mortimer to have Edward deposed.
 To build up diplomatic and military support for the venture, Isabella had Prince Edward engaged to the twelve-year-old
Philippa of Hainault.
invasion of England was launched and Edward II's forces deserted him completely. The king was forced to relinquish the throne to his son on 25 January 1327. The new king was crowned as Edward III on 1 February 1327.
It was not long before the new reign also met with other problems caused by the central position at court of Roger Mortimer, who was now the de facto ruler of England. Mortimer used his power to acquire noble estates and titles, and his unpopularity grew with the humiliating defeat by the Scots at the
Battle of Stanhope Park and the ensuing
Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton, signed with the Scots in 1328.
 Also the young king came into conflict with his guardian. Mortimer knew his position in relation to the king was precarious and subjected Edward to disrespect. The tension increased after Edward and Philippa, who had married at
York Minster on 24 January 1328,
had a son on 15 June 1330.
 Eventually, Edward decided to take direct action against Mortimer. Aided by his close companion
William Montagu and a small number of other trusted men, Edward took Mortimer by surprise at
Nottingham Castle on 19 October 1330. Mortimer was executed and Edward III's personal reign began.