An explosive new biography claiming to spill secrets about Britain’s Prince Charles is igniting a firestorm.
The book, titled “Born to Be King: Prince Charles on Planet Windsor,” reveals that, on the eve of his 1981 wedding to Princess Diana, Charles almost backed out, reportedly telling a friend, “I can’t go through with it. I can't do it.”
“It was that the enormity of this step had also hit him,” said the book’s author, Catherine Mayer, of Time magazine.
The book paints the Prince of Wales as observing his two sons, Princes William and Harry, with intense paternal pride but also wracked by jealousy.
“He looks at them with some rueful envy at the crowds that they draw,” Mayer said.
Mayer suggests the future King of England is a thin-skinned, insecure man whose activist style may be at odds with his role to remain neutral like his mother, Queen Elizabeth.
Mayer writes that any criticism of Prince Charles sparks fits of “royal rage.”
“It is really hard to overstate how strange and isolating his existence is,” Mayer said. “It think it’s because it’s all he’s ever known.”
Prince Charles has, according to the book, met his match in the great love of his life, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who he calls his “dearest wife.”
Mayer notes that Camilla makes Charles laugh and puts him at ease. As to the age-old question of whether Camilla will ever be Queen, Mayer says she most definitely will.
“Born to Be King” will be published in the U.S. by Henry Holt and Company on Feb. 17.
Clarence House says the biography is unofficial.