Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
“Read OnlinePrince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
From the New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth the Queen comes the first major biography of Prince Charles in more than twenty 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 three hundred 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’s 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.
Advance praise for Prince Charles
“Comprehensive and admirably fair . . . Until his accession to the throne, Smith’s portrait will stand as the definitive study.”—Booklist, starred review
“Astute . . . a sympathetic psychological study . . . [Smith’s] portrait is enormously touching and supported by wide-ranging interviews and research. . . . A thorough, timely biography.”—Kirkus
“Prince Charles is an eighteenth-century gentleman with a twenty-first-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…”