Prince Charles

Prince Charles

The Passions and Paradoxes of An Improbable Life

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The life and loves of Prince Charles are illuminated in a major new biography from the New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth the Queen --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.

Praise for Prince Charles

"[Smith] understands the British upper classes and aristocracy (including the royals) very well indeed. . . . [She] makes many telling, shrewd points in pursuit of realigning the popular image of Prince Charles." --William Boyd, The New York Times Book Review

"[A] masterly account." -- The Wall Street Journal

"Thoroughly researched and insightful . . . In this profile, it is clear [Smith] got inside the circular barriers that protect the man and his position. The Charles that emerges is, as the subtitle suggests, both a paradox and a creature of his passions." -- The Washington Times

"[A] compellingly juicy bio . . . Windsor-philes will be mesmerized." -- People

" Prince Charles paints an affectingly human portrait. . . . Smith writes about [Charles's life] with a skill and sympathy she perfected in her 2012 biography of Charles's mother." -- The Christian Science Monitor

"Comprehensive and admirably fair . . . Until his accession to the throne, Smith's portrait will stand as the definitive study."-- Booklist (starred review)

"[A] fascinating book that is not just about a man who would be king, but also about the duties that come with privilege." --Walter Isaacson

"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." --Tom Brokaw
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781400067909
Branch Call Number: 941.085092 Charl-S
Characteristics: xxii, 596 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm

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thebritlass
Aug 23, 2017

Very interesting reading, with a good distribution of childhood, the "Diana years," and more recent material. I thought the author did a fine job of balancing the man's good and the weak characteristics. I have a new sympathy for Charles, while still raising my eyebrows over much of what he stands for.

p
PAMELAB7279
Jun 27, 2017

As the newest biography on Prince Charles, it was just what I needed to catch up on his life for the last years. Needless to say, I only read the last half of the book. :)

AL_KATI Jun 13, 2017

Here's the thing: I'm a bit of an Anglophile so this was right up my alley. But if felt like the author lost her steam about 2/3 in and was just reciting facts and timelines, which made it a dry read. Also, not very much on his childhood.

o
ownedbydoxies
Jun 08, 2017

An excellent and very up-to-date review of Charles' life - which has definitely been an interesting one! What I really enjoy with this author is that she presents the facts in a very readable and easily-followed manner, while not taking sides herself. She just simply tells it like it is and lets the reader make their own judgments.

c
claire1953
May 04, 2017

If you know nothing about Charles, this is a good book to read. This was not an authorized biography but the author did have access to several good sources. The book tries to make sense of his marriage to Diana while explaining the attraction between him and Camilla. The author clearly shows how avant-gardiste Charles was and that he should be a good King. We also discover that he was a good father to Harry and a William. Interesting.

s
StarGladiator
Jan 21, 2017

Although normally not a fan of any royal family [none should exist today, I believe], I confess to finding this specific royal interesting: anyone who has gone through military training in all branches of the armed forces is a cut above [having served in two military branches in America, I have an idea of what I'm talking about]. Might be an interesting read . . . .

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