In a new documentary, director John Bridcut takes perhaps the closest look yet at the man who one day will be king. In honor of the Prince of Wales’ 70th birthday, Prince, Son, and Heir: Charles at 70 will debut.
Royal watcher Katie Nicholl reported for Vanity Fair that Bridcut was surprised that the future king was warm, funny, and energetic. Oh, and he is not a fan of selfies.
“For a man about to turn 70, I think his energy surprises me the most. He has amazing physical and mental energy. Yes, he is looked after in a way most of us aren’t, but he compensates by the amount he crams in.”
Prince Harry shared some personal insights about his father, saying that the Prince of Wales is an avid note taker, and insists that staff bring pen and paper to all meetings. Bridcut says when it comes to keeping records, Prince Charles is a pen and paper kind of guy.
“He gets annoyed when he has meetings and people don’t write things down. Charles writes everything down on a notepad, and he expects his staff to do the same. He’s not into new technology. There’s no iPad; it’s all about notebooks and handwritten letters.”
Bridcut says that it’s not his mother, Queen Elizabeth, that he credits with his obsession with attention to detail, but rather his grandmother, Queen Mary, that he credits with teaching him everything he knows about being a keen observer.
“He told me he learned from the Queen Mother how important it was to look and to notice everything. This business of observation really struck me, along with his work ethic. Charles has campaigned on climate change, which is a lifetime preoccupation for most — but he’s involved in so many other different things as well, which makes him very impressive. It’s not superficial — he’s passionate about it. He absorbs stuff.”
And about selfies, Prince Charles doesn’t hate them because they involve technology, he hates them because they get in the way of a true human connection.
“He gets irritated by people poking their phones at them. I heard him tell people, ‘I’m trying to give up selfies.’ He wants to meet people, and it irritates him getting camera phones shoved in his face.”
Bridcut says when he went into the project he was made aware of the lingering rumor that the man who would be king had a bad temper, but he said after following him around with a camera crew for a year, he never saw it.