Charles and Diana’s unhappy marriage was so volatile that royal protection officers feared one of them might get hurt. One of Carlos’ assistants recalls seeing Diana disqualify her husband and make fun of “her obsession with the monotonous Camilla.”
This is how the American journalist Christopher Andersen writes in the biography The King: The Life of Carlos III, which will go on sale on November 8 and reveals unknown details of the personality of the man who became monarch on September 8 after the death of Elizabeth II.
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The aide watched as Diana “literally chased” her husband “down corridors, up stairs, and from room to room” at Charles’s country retreat at Highgrove House, Andersen writes.
“Why don’t you sleep with me?” Diana asked her husband, who “to all intents and purposes had unilaterally ended their sexual relationship” since the birth of Prince Harry – the youngest of her two children – in 1984 .
Carlos’s supposed sarcastic response: “I don’t know, dear. I think he might be gay.”
During a heated argument, Carlos childishly demanded that he be given the respect “he felt his position deserved,” according to the book.
“Do you know who I am?” he asked his wife.
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“Diana replied that he was a ‘fucking animal,’” writes Andersen. “You will never be king!” he yelled at her. “Guillermo will succeed your mother. I’ll take care of it.”
The tension in the royal house only increased with the passage of time.
“The clashes between Diana and Carlos were now so raw that ‘violence seemed inevitable,'” notes a bodyguard in the book.
Officers were concerned about the “enormous firepower” contained within Highgrove’s walls, which included shotguns, rifles and pistols, according to the book.
“Those charged with the protection of members of the royal family were deeply concerned that, ‘in the heat of anger,’ any of them could be used to commit suicide, homicide, or both,” he writes. Andersen.
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The king’s teddy bear
Another peculiarity of the current king that the book reveals is that he kept his teddy bear close from childhood until adulthood.
In the biography, Andersen writes that the now king’s trusted former aide, Michael Fawcett, was in charge of taking care of the stuffed animal, when Carlos was over 40 years old. Whenever the toy needed repair, the king’s former nanny, Mabel Anderson, would come out of her retreat to make the necessary repairs.
According to a former aide, the retired nanny “was the only human being allowed to bring a needle and thread to Prince Charles’s teddy bear.” He was in his forties, and every time that stuffed animal had to be repaired, you would think it was his own son who had to undergo major surgery,” Andersen writes.
Fawcett was also in charge of putting toothpaste on the then Prince of Wales’s monogrammed brush, shaving his face, helping him put on his trousers and tying his shoes. He prepared her pajamas and made her bed every night.
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The landscaping staff at Carlos’s estate in Highgrove also had to meet his demands.
The head gardener, Andersen writes, woke up each day with a list of “instructions and complaints written by his boss in red ink.”
The then prince would stand on his porch and if he was unhappy with the work done by the gardeners, he would supposedly shout orders at them through a green megaphone.
“For someone who said he was allegedly bullied as a child, Prince Charles clearly enjoyed bullying us,” a Highgrove employee told Andersen. “He could be nice and courteous, but most of the time he was moody and petty. He didn’t think twice about yelling insults at you if you put a foot wrong.”
(You can read: The anger of Carlos III, the first image problem for the new king)
He could be nice and polite, but most of the time he was moody and petty.
Another former valet, Ken Stronach – who for many years was in charge of washing the prince’s underwear by hand and tucking him into bed with his beloved teddy – agreed.
Stronach claims in the book to have seen Charles, in the middle of an argument with his then-wife, Princess Diana, grab a heavy wooden loot and throw it at him, missing his head.
On another occasion, Carlos, staying at a posh friend’s villa in the south of France, was reportedly infuriated when he accidentally lost one of his cufflinks in the bathroom sink.
“Insane, he ripped the lavatory from the wall and smashed it in search of the twin,” writes Andersen. “Unable to find the missing jewel, a wild-eyed Prince of Wales turned and grabbed his aide by the throat. Stronach broke free, ran out a side door and into a linen closet. Terrified, he huddled there for thirty minutes before he could hear Carlos come out of the bathroom.”
Carlos’ tantrums supposedly extended to his narrow social circle. “On one occasion, while being a guest at a friend’s country house, Charles wanted to get some fresh air,” writes Andersen. “Unable to open the window, he grabbed a chair and broke it. Not satisfied with the result, he broke another one”.
As Stronach points out, “you have to understand it”: “The prince is used to getting what he wants. And he wanted some fresh air.”
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According to the book, Carlos had very specific requirements when it came to breakfast.
A former servant reveals in the book that Carlos’s breakfast tray was to “contain a cup and saucer to the right with a silver spoon pointing out at a five o’clock angle. The shortening should come in three balls and be refrigerated. Real toast is always on a silver rack, never on a plate,” Andersen writes. “Assortments of jams, preserves and honey are served on a separate silver tray.”
Carlos’s dinner almost always included a green salad with a soft-boiled egg, but the eggs presented a challenge for the kitchen staff.
“Chefs in the royal kitchen typically prepared several three-minute eggs before they were satisfied that one of them had been cooked to meet the prince’s standards for tenderness,” Andersen writes. “The rejected were discarded.”
In 2018, the Palace issued a statement denying that Carlos refused six eggs for every one he ate.
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