Regular price: $35.00

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $35.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of Elizabeth the Queen comes the first major biography of Prince Charles in more than 20 years - perfect for fans of The Crown.
Sally Bedell Smith returns once again to the British royal family to give us a new look at Prince Charles, the oldest heir to the throne in more than 300 years. This vivid, eye-opening biography - the product of four years of research and hundreds of interviews with palace officials, former girlfriends, spiritual gurus, and more, some speaking on the record for the first time - is the first authoritative treatment of Charles' life that sheds light on the death of Diana, his marriage to Camilla, and his preparations to take the throne one day.
Prince Charles brings to life the real man, with all of his ambitions, insecurities, and convictions. It begins with his lonely childhood, in which he struggled to live up to his father's expectations and sought companionship from the Queen Mother and his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten. It follows him through difficult years at school, his early love affairs, his intellectual quests, his entrepreneurial pursuits, and his intense search for spiritual meaning. It tells of the tragedy of his marriage to Diana; his eventual reunion with his true love, Camilla; and his relationships with William, Kate, Harry, and his grandchildren.
Ranging from his glamorous palaces to his country homes, from his globe-trotting travels to his local initiatives, Smith shows how Prince Charles possesses a fiercely independent spirit and yet has spent more than six decades waiting for his destined role, living a life dictated by protocols he often struggles to obey. With keen insight and the discovery of unexpected new details, Smith lays bare the contradictions of a man who is more complicated, tragic, and compelling than we knew - until now.
With a preface read by the author.
©2017 Sally Bedell Smith (P)2017 Random House Audio
Show More Show Less

Critic Reviews

"Prince Charles is an 18th-century gentleman with a 21st-century mission. His love of tradition combines with an outlook that can be bracingly avant garde. Sally Bedell Smith captures his contradictions and his convictions in this fascinating book that is not just about a man who would be king, but also about the duties that come with privilege." (Walter Isaacson)
"For all we know about Prince Charles, there is so much we didn't know - until now. Sally Bedell Smith has given us a complete and compelling portrait of the man in the shadow of the throne. It's all here, from the back stairs of the palaces to the front pages of the tabs. Read all about it!" (Tom Brokaw)
"No one writes about life at the top with more panache than Sally Bedell Smith. Her Prince Charles is a delicious blend of glamour and grandeur, jealousy and rivalry, greatness and human foible. Smith writes with wisdom and sympathy - and a sharp and knowing eye - about the struggles and maturation of the man who would-be king." (Evan Thomas)
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 09-12-17

Diana dissed at every chance

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.

Read More Hide me

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By C. Telfair on 05-25-17

Poor Little Rich Boy

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!

Read More Hide me

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2018 Audible, Inc