Book Review

‘Born to be King – Prince Charles on Planet Windsor’ by Catherine Mayer

btbk pcopw cmSTORY: A provocative, surprising, and utterly fresh portrait of Charles, Prince of Wales

He is one of the world’s most fascinating and least understood figures: now sixty-six, Prince Charles has spent his entire life preparing to be king while insisting on being his own man. In this brilliant portrait, he emerges as a complex character driven by a painful past, a questing intellect, and a powerful impulse not only to reshape the monarchy but to use the long wait for the throne to work toward high ideals.

Based on exclusive interviews with members of Charles’s inner circle and on rare access to the Prince himself, this revelatory biography takes us deep into the royal sphere—a world of its own that Catherine Mayer calls Planet Windsor—and shows us the skullduggery and unintentional comedy of court life. At the same time, it provides a clear-eyed view of Charles’s struggles and his achievements as a philanthropist and activist. The book also offers a fundamental reappraisal of one of the most documented episodes in modern history—his marriage to Diana. The reality, as with many aspects of the Prince’s story, is more gripping and more poignant than we knew.

Now closer than ever to achieving happiness, the Prince is still far from settled. He remains committed to bringing about social and political change, but in aiming to be a king of hearts, he often creates heartache, for himself and others. Born to Be King explains how and why Charles may redefine the role of the sovereign, even as it reveals the astonishing extent to which the Prince has already left his mark on the world.

REVIEW: At age 66, Prince Charles is still waiting to ascend to the throne as King of England. His life has been one of preparation and finding ways to add something of significance to his country.  He is portrayed as a deep thinker and a man who truly cares about the many causes that he has adopted.  His childhood was not an easy one as he has always been a very sensitive person and the schools he was made to attend were supposed to toughen him up but only resulted in scarring him.  His father, Prince Philip, has always been hard on him because he wants him to be strong for when it is time for him to take over the monarchy.

The book discusses somewhat his marriage to Diana and their unhappy relationship.  The large difference in their ages is one factor that made their relationship a hard one for them, however, they both had painful and sad upbringings which should have brought them together.

The author tells the reader some things about Camilla and paints her as an intelligent woman who enjoys her grandchildren, her reading and a quiet life.  However, she and Charles truly seem to love one another and are happy together.

Charles is committed to doing all he can to change things to allow for more understanding socially among the people of his realm.  He is also interested in technical change and in introducing more modern industrial changes to improve things.

We hear discussion all the time about whether or not he should become King or step aside in favor of his son, William.  Many people feel that the youth of William and Kate will help to bring more modern ways and refresh the view of the Royals.

I do have to commend the author for not “taking sides” in her discussions of Diana and Camilla.

I found this book to have some interesting things but did not find myself being convinced that he should truly be King.

Connie for b2b


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