Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Prince Charles" Book Review

Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life Book Review

by Sally Bedell Smith

31575697

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.

MY REVIEW:  While I have always been fascinated by the British royal family, I found                    some of the lengthy details boring in this book about the future king of England  Prince Charles. He seems to have a propensity for irritating the parliament and World Leaders with his unusual stances on important issues.   He rocked the world when he married Lady Diana Spencer and then he further shocked the world when he continued an affair with then married Camilla Parker-Bowles and divorced Princess Diana.  Surprisingly, the world seems to have accepted his marriage to Camilla even though there was much initial protest concerning the union between the two divorced middle-aged Charles and Camilla.
         I must state that I was and still am a huge fan of Princess Diana and I still feel that Prince Charles never loved her and only married her because of her purity and his need to produce an heir to the throne.  I believe that Diana was madly in love with him however, and suffered a broken heart which then led to several of her own affairs.  I woke at 5 a.m. to watch their wedding.  I did the same to mourn along with millions as she was laid to rest with her two precious sons walking behind the cortege with Prince Charles by their side.  I did have great respect for Prince Charles in the way he conducted himself at Diana's tragic death....traveling to return her body home, planning her funeral, and publicly showing his grief and supporting their sons.   My feelings of affection for Diana and distaste for Camilla likely colored my appreciation of this book, but the writing was impeccable even if a bit tedious at times.                                                                                                                                                
           I am giving a four-star rating to this book.  I highly recommend it to those who enjoy reading biographies as I do.  
           I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Random House to read.  I was encouraged, but not required to write a review of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

About the Author:
Sally Bedell Smith


Author of six biographies: Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch (Random House 2102); For Love of Politics: Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years (Random House 2007); Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House (Random House 2004); Diana In Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess (Random House 2004); Reflected Glory: The Life of Pamela Churchill Harriman (Simon & Schuster, 1996); In All His Glory: The Life and Times of William S. Paley and the Birth of Modern Broadcasting (Simon & Schuster, 1990).
Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair since 1996.
Previously cultural news reporter for The New York Times, staff writer for TV Guide, and reporter-researcher for Time Magazine.
Awarded the Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award for magazine reporting in 1982; fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University from 1986 to 1987.
B.A. from Wheaton College and M.S. from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. 

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