Thursday, August 3, 2017

Prince Charles by Sally Bedell Smith

  • THE BOOK
    • Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life by Sally Bedell Smith
    • Published April 4, 2017
    • Other works by author include: Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch; Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess; and For Love of Politics: Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years.

  • THE PREMISE
    • This is an up-to-date biography of Great Britain's Prince Charles.
    • It includes his long-time relationship with Camilla, the marriage to Diana, his relationship with his parents and siblings, and his interests in gardening, architecture and running his many charities.

  • MY THOUGHTS
    • Prince Charles seems to be exactly the way you think he'd be: stuffy and modern all at the same time. Stuck in tradition but also forward looking and ahead of his time on some issues (global warming, non-GMOs, and farming without chemicals, for example).
    • It is obvious in hindsight that he should never have married Diana but rather married Camilla in the early 1970s when they were originally together. But he was told to marry an aristocratic virgin, someone without a past, and Diana fit the bill. Camilla, alas, did not.
      • It seems to me that many of Diana's "mental issues" were more immaturity than anything else. (The bulimia and cutting that she later suffered through were definitely mental conditions but they weren't developed in a vacuum.) She went into it thinking they were in love. He still loved Camilla; Diana wasn't imagining things. She just didn't have the tools to deal with it at the age of 19.
      • She was royally screwed. (Pun intended.) Even if someone had sat down to say, "This is your job: have a couple of babies (the heir and the spare) and then live your life as you want, but discreetly, while Charles goes back to his mistress, and someday you will be the queen of England," her only real choice would have been to stop the wedding.
      • These opinions aren't in the book, by the way. They are mine.
    • As I read through Charles' story I found myself wondering if any of this would someday be included in the TV series "The Crown". Let's hope so!
    • You come away for quite a bit of sympathy for Camilla who seems like a great broad by every account. I think she will indeed be called queen someday rather than "princess consort" but time will tell.
    • Recommended for royal fans but not a must-read. Some parts are a little slow.
    • ★ ★ ★

1 comment:

  1. Save those opinions for your review of "Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess"

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