Charles: Victim or Villain

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9780060193867: Charles: Victim or Villain

Charles, Prince of Wales, has long been the subject of intense scrutiny and speculation. Everyone assumes that they know the story of the Prince's life and his failed marriage to Diana. Diana herself told the world in no uncertain terms about her unhappiness with the British Royal Family, leaving no doubt as to whom she held responsible.

But Diana's version was only part of the story.

Penny Junor's new biography, Charles: Victim or Villain?, reveals the startling complexities and contradictions of a man born to a position of unique privilege. On the occasion of the Prince's fiftieth birthday it provides fresh perspective and entirely revolutionizes the way we think about Charles, his marriage and his mistress.

Drawing on the memories, experiences and observations of those closest to the Prince, the Princess and Camilla -- some of whom have never spoken before -- Penny Junor is in an unrivaled position to explode and explain the popular myths. Her analysis of the Prince's marriage to Diana, a vulnerable but difficult young woman, and his relationship with Camilla, earthy and independent, results in a provocative new portrait of the man who will be King.

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Review:

If you want to hear nice things about Princess Diana, listen to England's Rose: Tribute to Diana or read Andrew Morton's Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words. Penny Junor's controversial bestseller tells another tale. "[Charles] had to put up with years of tantrums and abuse," writes Junor. "Charles cut his friends out of his life at Diana's insistence, and even gave away the dog he loved in an effort to make Diana happy." Junor charges Diana with tricking Charles into marriage; cruelty to her children's nanny; refusal to see the psychiatrist Charles worriedly recommended for her anorexia; beating Charles to the punch in the adultery department; and making phone calls to Camilla in which Diana "would say things like, 'I've sent someone to kill you.... Look out of the window; can you see them?'" Junor quotes Prince William as saying, "Papa doesn't embarrass me. Mama does." While she doesn't paint Charles in fully glowing colors, Junor's portrait of Diana is startlingly harsh. Regarding the "Camillagate" tapes of Charles's crude love talk, which will humiliate the whole family forever, Junor darkly notes that: "The Princess was one of very few people who knew the Prince's mobile telephone number, and it was known that she had been worried about bugging on her own account and had installed some sophisticated equipment at Kensington Palace." How upsetting is this book? Newspapers report that Junor is herself besieged by paparazzi and hate mail and travels with a bodyguard. --Tim Appelo

About the Author:

Penny Junor is a writer and broadcaster. She is the author of previous bestselling biographies of both the Prince and the Princess of Whales and two British Prime Ministers. For many years she hosted The Travel Show on BBC2 and Channel 4s consumer program For What It's Worth. She is marries with four children and lives in Wiltshire, England.

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