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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
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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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Judy G. on 10-25-17

Unbelievably Biased

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 "crazy", 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 "on the street" 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.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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