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Prince Charles Gives His Side of Failed Marriage in New Biography

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The London Sunday Times today begins serializing a new biography that presents Prince Charles’ side of his unhappy marriage and gives details of a lonely childhood.

The book, written by television documentary-maker Jonathan Dimbleby, has already stirred controversy in the Royal Family. Palace sources have worried that the serialization will overshadow the long-planned visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Russia, which begins Monday.

Passages about Charles’ unhappy school days are likely to displease the queen and Prince Philip, who often spent long periods away from their eldest son.

The biography includes Charles’ views about his failed marriage--in particular, how Diana insisted he change his friends and adapt to her ideas of wedded behavior.

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In a June television documentary made by Dimbleby, the prince admitted that he had committed adultery, but only after his marriage had irretrievably broken down.

In writing the biography, Dimbleby had access to about 10,000 of Prince Charles’ papers, including letters to his wife and to his mistress, Camilla Parker-Bowles. But Buckingham Palace sources said Saturday that no intimate letters were used in the book.

Many of the prince’s supporters said they believe he should not have exposed such private details of his life.

One Buckingham Palace aide said: “The documentary was a mistake. This book is a huge mistake. The monarchy has been damaged enough by all these revealing books. But this one is more damaging, because every word has been inspired by the prince himself.”

Other friends said the biography presents “the outlines of the truth” and was necessary because there has been so much “speculation, fabrication and intrusion” into royal affairs.

The book is part of a public relations campaign by the Prince of Wales and his new advisers, the aim of which is to show the prince in a more human context.

The Dimbleby book, called “The Prince of Wales: A Biography,” will be published Nov. 3.


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