It’s hard to imagine the future King of England having a full-blown meltdown, but apparently Prince Charles really let his guard down when a prominent member of the British royal family rattled his cage.
The Daily Express reports that, according to royal biographer Katie Nicholl, Prince Charles went ballistic with one of his own — and it was apparently all to do with a terrible breach involving the privacy of his son, and heir, Prince William.
Let’s rewind the clock and set the scene. It’s 2001, and Prince William is a student at the University of St. Andrews — drinking cheap beer and partying hard. During the meet and greet marketplace that is freshers’ week, two major things take place in the young princeling’s life.
Firstly, he meets a demure and willowy woman called Catherine. Wills is intently besotted with the young lady that the world will soon know as Kate, and while he’s falling head over heels with his future wife, another event unfolds — one which, to a certain degree, acts as a forewarning of the future life the young couple will share together.
It’s this event which incurs the wrath of Prince Charles, and it comes in the form of a media intrusion.
Here’s the rub. When William started university, his father had placed a strict ban on any media coverage of his son — except for limited occasions which carried the royal seal of approval.
Obviously, by this point, the Windsors were used to being stalked by the press. They had to be on their toes. However, on one occasion when the press managed to successfully bushwhack Wills — and snap a few shots of their unexpected prey — Prince Charles was especially incensed. It was one of their own who had sold them down the river to the rabid news hounds.
Turns out it was his brother, Prince Edward, and his media company — Ardent — who were being fed inside knowledge of where Wills was, and at what time. They decided to make a documentary of it for an American network.
Nicholl writes in her book, William and Harry, the following passage.
“While the Palace would only say that it was ‘disappointed’ by the unfortunate episode, Prince Charles was said to be apoplectic. His angry call to his youngest brother at Bagshot Park could apparently be heard in the room adjacent to his study at St James’s Palace.”
Andrew Neil was lord rector at St. Andrews during this time, and had this to say, “A few days into term I got a call to say a TV crew was still filming at St Andrews.”
“When we found out it was from Prince Edward’s film company, all hell let loose. It was unbelievable and we were furious as well as bemused. It was the idiot uncle who broke the embargo. He had been taking students for curries and trying to get information out of them. When Charles heard he went ballistic… I was told from an excellent source that he picked up the phone to his brother and called him a ‘f***ing idiot,’ and told him in no uncertain terms to get out of the town.”