xxII, 596 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color), map ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 515-569) and index.
"Sally Bedell Smith returns once again to the British royal family to give us a new and authoritative 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--is filled with fresh insights into Charles's life, in and out of the public eye. [This book] 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 relationship 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. His life is dictated by protocol, yet he often struggles to obey it. He seeks influence and authority, yet he lives perpetually in the shadow of his mother and the beloved next generation of royals. 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. This 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. Drawing upon hundreds of sources, many of whom are speaking on the record for the first time, [this book] is the surprising and definitive portrait of the man who will be king."--Jacket.