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.