Prince Charles has had a rough week, to say the least. The future King of England has always suffered from low public opinion, but a new book about his personal habits has brought his popularity to an all-time low. Even more troubling, the new biography Rebel Prince details Queen Elizabeth’s complicated relationship with Charles and his second wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, and reveals the extent at which Her Majesty despised Camilla early in their marriage.
According to The Daily Beast, Queen Elizabeth was not happy when she learned that Charles and Camilla kept up their romance throughout his marriage with Princess Diana. Elizabeth disliked Camilla so much that she refused to speak to her for years and was very frosty towards Camilla during her wedding with Charles in 2005.
In his new unofficial biography of Charles, author Tom Bower claims that Elizabeth did not say a single word to Camilla during the wedding and did not mention her name in her congratulatory speech.
Elizabeth also posed for wedding photos in under a minute and left the main party to visit with Camilla’s ex-husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, who was watching a horse race on TV in another room.
Although Elizabeth’s relationship with Camilla eventually got better, Bower says that she never wanted Charles to marry her in the first place.
After Charles shockingly divorced Princess Diana, Elizabeth allegedly urged him to end things with Camilla and find someone else. Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, also wrote a letter to Charles asking him to break things off on the eve of their wedding.
Charles ignored Elizabeth and Philip’s advice and threatened to leak his father’s letter to the press.
One of the biggest blows to Charles and Camilla’s reputation, of course, was Diana’s tragic death in 1997. Diana divorced Charles a year before her tragic accident, and immediately following her death, Charles became paralyzed by the idea that the world would blame him for her untimely demise.
“In the hours after the princess’s death, he was paralyzed by guilt. One of the queen’s courtiers claimed that even his sons were critical of him for what had happened to their mother,” Bower explained, adding that Charles was caught chanting, “They’re all going to blame me, aren’t they? The world’s going to go completely mad.”
In order to help rehab his public image, Charles hired Mark Bolland, who was immediately made his assistant private secretary. Bolland worked hard to increase Charles and Camilla’s approval rating and often did some shady things to get it done. He reportedly leaked private information about Prince Harry and William whenever it showed Charles in a positive light.
Despite Bolland’s best efforts, Charles and Camilla have struggled to win the support of the British people. And based on the revelations in Bower’s book, that isn’t going to change anytime soon.
The palace has not commented on the content in Bower’s biography on Prince Charles.