Prince Charles has been battered by a week of revelations that have painted him as petulant, demanding, and self-pitying, and also cast doubt on the warmth of relations between the queen and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles.
In one extract from a new book by writer Tom Bower published by the Daily Mail, it was reported that Charles was such a demanding guest that he would send a truck with his bed and various furnishings, including pictures and side tables, to be installed in a host’s guest room before he arrived.
Although the report has been rubbished by friends of Charles (the palace has not commented on the allegations, but there’s no need to read anything into this, as they never do), the story, which also revived an old tale that Charles travels with is own toilet seat, has caught the public’s imagination and has led to a spate of headlines reporting that Charles “travels with his entire bedroom.”
However the revelations published Tuesday by the Daily Mail about the froideur that existed between the queen and Charles’s second wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, go a long way to explaining why Charles remains so publicly reticent to admit that Camilla will be named queen upon his mother’s death.
Charles’s people deny it, but sources have told The Daily Beast the prince will unilaterally declare Camilla queen when he ascends the throne. The prince has always publicly maintained that Camilla will not be known as queen when he becomes king, but recently quietly removed a reference to this on his website FAQs.
The queen and her husband are said to have been dismayed by the fact that Camilla and Charles continued their romance while he was married to Diana, even in the early days of the marriage.
Bower claims that relations between the queen and Camilla were so bad after Diana died that the monarch refused to speak to Camilla at her wedding and declined to mention her name in the speech of congratulations she made at the event. She spent less than a minute posing for photographs with the happy couple.
Minutes after a church service to bless the marriage, the queen broke off from the main party to watch a horse race on television with Camilla’s ex-husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, who was present at the reception, Bower says.
In the years before the wedding, the queen had repeatedly urged Charles to break off the relationship but was ignored by her headstrong son.
Prince Philip, Bower alleges, wrote his son a letter, urging him not to marry her, which Charles arranged to be leaked to the press.
When the queen’s mother died in 2002, the queen initially said that Camilla couldn’t be invited to the funeral, because the queen mother had disapproved of her so strongly, but later permitted her attendance, Bower reports.
The Daily Beast has approached the palace for comment.