Bower concludes that the prince’s legacy has been “tarnished by his addiction to luxury, his financial mismanagement, his disloyalty to professional supporters, and the torrid relationships with his family”.
He expresses concern that Charles, when king, “will act alone, without any restraining adviser. For committed monarchists, that independence is alarming. They can only hope for the best.”
Charles’ army of employees – Bowers claims that he has more than 120 staff – include three footmen to escort visitors to his office, “each responsible for a short segment of corridor”; four valets to help him change his clothes up to five times a day; four gardeners who “lie flat, nose down on a trailer” to hand pluck weeds, because of the prince’s hatred of pesticides; and “retired Indian servicemen … deployed to prowl through the undergrowth at night with torches and handpick slugs from the plants of leaves”.
Bower claims that access to Charles was sold “to raise money for his many charities and to indulge in ostentatious luxury”, with Turkish billionaire Cem Uzan allegedly paying £200,000 for his wife to sit next to the prince at a dinner in 2000, and American oil tycoon Armand Hammer spending approximately £40m over several years on Charles’ charities and personal expenses, in an attempt to rehabilitate his own public image.