Geelong Advertiser

Charles ‘joyless’ in heir role


A NEW biography of Prince Charles has reignited debate about whether he is fit to be king, given his outspoken views and energetic activism.

The book also portrays a royal household riven with infighting, and an heir to the throne uncomforta­ble with the distant impartiali­ty that has been the hallmark of his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

The Prince of Wales, 66, the Queen’s eldest son, has spent a lifetime in preparatio­n for the throne.

But he has also carved out a highly visible role in public life, wading into topics that rouse him, such as youth deprivatio­n, the environmen­t and alternativ­e medicine.

Charles: The Heart of a King, by Catherine Mayer, claims the prince is “joylessly” preparing for the throne and has no appetite for a role that would curb his ability to speak out.

“Far from itching to assume the crown, he is already feeling its weight and worrying about its impact on the job he has been doing,” Mayer writes.

The author calls him “a man with a mission, a knight on a quest.”

However, “there will always be critics who take him for a parasite, an eccentric, a plant whisperer,” she writes.

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