this book is a good book but it was very irritating that at every chance that could possibly be squeezed in the writer disses the memory of Diana she insults belittles and is very very anti Diana and to further her disdain for Diana she elevates Camilla at every possible chance and squeezes in unnecessary comparisons between the two she makes light and glosses over the Charles Camilla relationship indescretions but slams the Diana and her indescretions. If the writer had not been so blatant with her disdain for Diana I would have enjoyed the book. I endured the book because I was interested in what Charles does . I am sure you can get the same story with an unbiased writer somewhere else.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
I know this extensive biography isn't meant in any way to be humorous, but I think most Americans, even Anglophiles, will get a few chuckles from it.
Of course, you have to respect the unique and difficult position in which Prince Charles has lived his entire life. He has had the same public exposure, duties and restrictions of being a constitutional monarch without having attained the title, respect or experience of actually being one. If he does ever become King, it's unlikely he'll have the time to establish himself in his own right.
And, oh, he has had misfortunes! Distant parents, both physically and psychologically. Nearly impossible high expectations from them, from his country and its notoriously prying media. A really bad marriage. Damned if he didn't try to have some serious influence; damned if he tried to interfere in any way deemed political.
Still, this is one of the wealthiest men in the world, people! Life's trials just cannot be put on an equal footing for him as on the next guy. All that elevated family history, all that money, all those loyal subjects and servants, all that protection and separation from the "real world" of finances, mortgages, bills - surely that's some compensation for a fellow of reportedly average intelligence. Given the truly horrifying positions and circumstances into which one may be born in today's world, most of us are probably not inclined to expend a whole lot of sympathy on Poor Charles.
It seems to me that the biographer here has done an admirable job of presenting an objective and balanced view of her subject, a living world figure. History may see it differently, but Sally Bedell Smith expertly walks a fine line, avoiding the unsympathetic on one hand and the overly-adoring on the other. Rosalyn Landor gives a hearty and appropriately plummy British upper class narration.
I learned something, but it did give me a giggle now and then!
10 of 12 people found this review helpful
I love reading about the British Royal Family, and when it comes to today’s crop it’s been a while since I’ve read anything recent. When it comes to Charles, most of the books have all ended on a “but will they ever get married” note. Clearly, they did.
It was an interesting bio, despite the zillions of books and documentaries I’ve seen I still felt like I learned something new about Charles… like for example: to what extent he is passionate (obsessed?) by environmental issues. I always knew it was an interest of his, but I didn’t know just how Green he is! Good for him.
I’d recommend this book to anyone curious about his life, it was a very complete biography.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Informative and educational on an important future King of Great Britain. I came into the book, wanting to know what was Prince Charles life growing up, that led to his adult life with great tragedy and also great potential.
The author in the end seemed biased towards Charles, and anti Princess Diana. But on who Prince Charles is, was enlightening.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I know so little about the future king of England that I was really looking forward to this book however the author's unbelievable bias where anything relating to Diana was concerned made me question everything else. She seemed to go out of her way to make Diana look &quot;crazy&quot;, spoiled, mean, petulant, etc. even in circumstances so private that only the prince and Diana could know what actually happened. Every event was how poor Charles tried and tried and tried to understand her and help her but she always resisted.
Diana's death and funeral were told from a perspective that, having lived through it, I know were either incorrect or glossed over to make the Queen look kind and magnanimous. The entire world witnessed something different.....so many &quot;on the street&quot; interviews showed how disappointed and angry the people there were that the Queen said nothing for days until public opinion forced her to. Every article of the day and every book written since then has described the Queen's opinion that Diana was no longer a royal and a state funeral was no longer appropriate and it took Charles and Tony Blair to convince her that it would make her look petty if she didn't allow it.
Overall I was happy to learn things about Charles life and the things he was/is interested in. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to have already lived most of your life and still not being able to do the one thing you were destined for. I have no doubt that he will be a worthy king but if you can't trust such an important part of the book I don't really know how accurate everything else is.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Audible does it again. This same narrator also narrated the author's biography of Elizabeth the Queen in 2012 as well as Tina Brown's The Diana Chronicles in 2007. She does an equally excellent job on Sally Bedell Smith's superb biography of H.R.H. Prince Charles. I've waited nearly a year for this and it was more than worth it. Wonderful audio commentary.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful