In Depth

Prince Charles: four claims in his unauthorised biography

Book alleges the royal travels with his own luxury loo roll, complains after flying Club Class and shrieks at the sight of cling film

prince charles

An unauthorised biography of Prince Charles depicts him as an overly pampered royal who struggles to overcome his unpopularity.

Written by investigative journalist Tom Bower, The Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles includes some incendiary claims about the heir to the throne.

“This book is the story of Prince Charles’s battle for rehabilitation after Diana’s death, and his refusal to obey the public’s expectations of a future king,” the author writes in his preface.

Bower, who has written unauthorised biographies of Tony Blair and Richard Branson, claims to have interviewed more than 120 people as part of his research.

Clarence House says it will not be commenting on any of the allegations made in the book.

The much-publicised biography is “tailor-made to fuel republican ire and royalist outrage while at the same time leaving House of Windsor watchers of any stripe salivating over a veritable state banquet of telling anecdote and revealing foibles,” Cahal Milmo writes for i news.

Below is a selection of some of the more colourful claims made about the Prince:

He’s a lavish spender, even by royal standards

Bower alleges that Prince Charles once travelled on the royal train from Highgrove House, his family residence in Gloucestershire, to Penrith in Cumbria so that he could go to a pub. The reported cost of the spur-of-the-moment jaunt? £18,916.

The 69-year-old royal is said to have complained in his journal about having to fly Club Class to Hong Kong in a chartered British Airways plane.

“It took me some time to realise … that this was not first class (!) although it puzzled me as to why the seat seemed so uncomfortable,” he reportedly wrote. “Such is the end of Empire, I sighed to myself.”

He likes his home comforts

When attending functions, the Prince reportedly brings along his own pre-mixed cocktails, which are carried by a police officer. On longer trips – like the time he visited a friend in North East England – he’s said to have taken luxury loo roll, a toilet seat, an orthopaedic mattress and two landscapes of the Scottish Highlands.

He cares about public opinion – a lot

The book paints a picture of a prince obsessed with how little the public thinks of him. It details one incident when Charles reportedly threw a dinner plate to the floor at a party when the issue came up.

Bower claims that the Prince is concerned that the public is more interested in William and Kate than in him. Bower also claims that the Prince frets over his future portrait on coins when he becomes Charles II, The Guardian reports.

He didn’t know what cling film was

After hosting a lunch at Clarence House one day, the Duchess of Cornwall is said to have told staff to leave the leftovers on the sideboard. Later on, Charles reportedly went on the hunt for some dinner.

“He walked into the dining room and shrieked,” the book reads. “Fearing the worst, Camilla dashed in after him. ‘What’s this?’ asked her husband, pointing at the food.

‘It’s cling film, darling,’ she replied.”

You can purchase the book from The Week Bookshop now

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