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Jenny Diski: HRH

4 November 2010
... use of natural resources? Any steady drip or sudden deluge that might help to nudge industrial and personal behaviour towards a more sustainable way of life is very welcome, but I do wonder if HRH the Prince of Wales is really the best (though he’s obviously the wealthiest) advocate for the new sanity that might save the planet.* Somewhere in their teens or early twenties just about everyone ...

Hydra’s Heads

Terence Hawkes

22 February 1996
The Revolt of Owain Glyn Dŵr 
by R.R. Davies.
Oxford, 401 pp., £20, November 1995, 0 19 820508 2
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The Prince’s Choice: A Personal Selection from Shakespeare 
Hodder, 137 pp., £12.99, November 1995, 0 340 66039 2Show More
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... Princes of Wales have always been difficult to pin down. National heroes or terrorist thugs? Reasonable coves or domestic tyrants? Friends of the people or pals of Hitler? A sort of duplicity seems to go with the job ...

Royal Pain

Peter Campbell

28 September 1989
A Vision of Britain: A Personal View of Architecture 
by HRH​ The Prince​ of Wales.
Doubleday, 156 pp., £16.95, September 1989, 9780385269032
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The Prince​ of WalesRight or Wrong? An architect replies 
by Maxwell Hutchinson.
Faber, 203 pp., £10.99, September 1989, 0 571 14287 7
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... pose and make the failures the responsibility of the politicians, the planners and the developers. The ambivalence of the architectural profession has been highlighted by the fuss surrounding the Prince of Wales’s entry into various debates on building and buildings. For example, Martin Pawley in the Guardian complains that the V & A exhibition put on to coincide with the publication of A Vision ...

Petulance is not a tragic flaw

Rosemary Hill: Edward and Mrs Simpson

29 July 2015
Princes at War: The British Royal Family’s Private Battle in the Second World War 
by Deborah Cadbury.
Bloomsbury, 407 pp., £25, April 2015, 978 1 4088 4524 0
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... Wallis Simpson and Edward Windsor on their wedding day, 3 June 1937, photographed by Cecil Beaton. The ‘abdication crisis’, as it became known, in which George’s elder brother, the Prince of Wales, resigned the crown after less than a year as Edward VIII, is now almost out of living memory. It has become as much myth as history. The most telling phrases stick in the collective memory ...

Puffed up, Slapped down

Rosemary Hill: Charles and Camilla

6 September 2017
Prince​ Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life 
by Sally Bedell Smith.
Michael Joseph, 624 pp., £25, April 2017, 978 0 7181 8780 4
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The Duchess: The Untold Story 
by Penny Junor.
William Collins, 320 pp., £20, June 2017, 978 0 00 821100 4
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... At the age​ of 23 Prince Charles embarked with no great enthusiasm on a six-week training course at the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. The course had been reduced from the usual three months for him, but it was long ...

How’s the vampire?

Christopher Hitchens

8 November 1990
King Edward VIII: The Official Biography 
by Philip Ziegler.
Collins, 654 pp., £20, September 1990, 0 00 215741 1
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... at every stage of Edward VIII’s life lay in the finding and invention of things for him to do. The same principle – of pointless duties joylessly undertaken – underlay his very conception. Prince Albert Victor, theoretical heir to the heir to the throne in the 1890s, appears here thus: ‘Languid and lymphatic – “si peu de chose, though as you say a Dear Boy,” the Grand Duchess of ...

High Spirits

E.S. Turner

17 March 1988
Living dangerously 
by Ranulph Fiennes.
Macmillan, 263 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 333 44417 5
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The Diaries of Lord Louis Mountbatten 1920-1922: Tours with the Prince​ of Wales 
edited by Philip Ziegler.
Collins, 315 pp., £15, November 1987, 0 00 217608 4
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Touch the Happy Isles: A Journey through the Caribbean 
by Quentin Crewe.
Joseph, 302 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 7181 2822 2
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... was all emotional rapids and sinkholes). It was she who suggested the Transglobe expedition, which took seven years to prepare and three years to execute. ‘Mad and suitably British’ was the Prince of Wales’s description of the much-bally-hooed voyage of the Benjamin Bowring. In between the set-pieces of Pole-bashing eight sales exhibitions were staged in the world’s more congenial places ...

What a Lot of Parties

Christopher Hitchens: Diana Mosley

30 September 1999
Diana Mosley: A Biography 
by Jan Dalley.
Faber, 297 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 571 14448 9
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... Goebbels at an early stage of what became the Abdication crisis, Lady Mosley gave him all the scoop about the Simpson business: Goebbels and Hitler seemed shocked, but they did not forget that, as Prince of Wales, Edward had spoken publicly in support of Hitler’s social programme. From October onwards the newspapers of America and the rest of Europe were full of the scandal, while the British press ...

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