HRH Prince Charles Philip Arthur George. (AP Photo)
"My great problem in life," he once said, "is that I do not really know what my role in life is."
That was then. For Prince Charles, things appear to have changed.
In a profile of the prince, Catherine Mayer, Time Magazine's London-based Editor at Large, describes a man who has found his way: doting father and grandfather, happy husband, determined environmentalist, commited philanthropist.
Charles and Mayer had extensive conversations and she says she had very good access to his friends. The result? "Much of what you think you know about the Prince is wrong. Much of what I thought I knew about the Prince was wrong."
She writes: "He believes in the monarchy as a force for good, but accepts that people might question its relevance. He prefers not to focus on his accession, which, after all means losing his mother. And far from itching to assume the crown, he is already feeling its weight and worrying about its impact on the job he has long been doing."
Along with examining Charles' participation in public life, his thoughts on architecture, grandfatherhood, and organic farming, Mayer also sprinkes a few personal princely tidbits throughout the piece. Her revelations include:
- He scrunches his toes inside his shoes to stay awake during boring speeches;
- Dancing with the Prince, according to the actress and writer Emma Thompson, is "better than sex;
- He is patron of 428 charities, and is president of his own, the Prince's Trust, which helps young Britons find work, education, or training, and has assisted 650,000 people. (One of the most famous, according to the magazine, was Idris Elba, famously Stringer Bell in "The Wire," who recieved a grant to attend the National Youth Music Theatre) and;
- Charles is "notoriously frugal," keeping his "palatial residences frigidly underheated, saves his bathwater for the garden and wears garments so mended they are more patch than original."
Jennifer Quinn is a foreign affairs and investigative reporter at the Star. As a journalist with the Associated Press, based in London, she wrote extensively about British politics. Follow her on Twitter @JQStar.