Inside the Extravagant Royal Lifestyle of Prince Charles

Prince Charles appears to be quite the prima donna, based on a newly written exposé. You may have already read stories over the years to the same effect, but Tom Bower provides some surprising new accounts about the heir to the British throne. He interviewed 120 anonymous sources for his unauthorized biography, Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion, and Defiance of Prince Charles.

Here we’ll look at some of the more extreme claims about Prince Charles’ extravagant lifestyle. See what shows up on a truck before Charles visits (page 2), who you’ll find every few feet in his house (page 6), and just what he thinks of his role as prince (page 7)

1. He brings his own food to eat at parties

Prince Harry and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend the 'International Year of The Reef' 2018 meeting at Fishmongers Hall

He’s apparently very particular about his food. | Matt Dunham-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Charles has brought his own crockery, whiskey, and organic food to eat when he attends parties as a guest, Bower writes. When he’s in the mood for a sweet cocktail at parties, his assistant allegedly brings a flask with a pre-mixed martini to hand to him.

Bower reports that when Charles was visiting India and a lunch was served, the prince spied an American about to pick up a piece of Italian bread and yelled, “No, that’s mine! Only for me.”

Next: Here’s what else he brings.

2. He sends furniture ahead of his visit

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles arrive for a party at Windsor Castle

Charles reportedly sent an entire bedroom set when he was staying with friends. | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

When they were going to stay with friends, Charles and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, sent an entire bedroom setting, including paintings, Charles’ toilet seat, an orthopedic bed with linens, and organic foods, Bower claims.

Servants at each of the heir apparent’s six homes know with certainty he’s arriving for a stay when his truck shows up carrying suitcases, furniture, and food, Bower writes.

Next: He really needs help brushing his teeth?

3. His valet squeezes out his toothpaste

Camilla Parker-Bowles and Prince Charles arrive at Lacock Cyraiax Church

Princes don’t squeeze their own toothpaste. | Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images

Charles’ former valet Michael Fawcett even went so far as to squeeze the toothpaste onto his toothbrush, Bower says. Charles described Fawcett as “irreplaceable,” and the footman set out his suits and shirts every morning. “I can manage without just about anyone, except for Michael,” the prince once said.

In addition to toothpaste squeezing, former butler Paul Burrell claimed servants also have picked up the prince’s discarded clothes and even held a specimen cup when he gave urine sample — claims denied by Clarence House.

Next: How many outfits can a person need per day?

4. He changes his clothes 5 times a day

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles

He apparently even has his shoelaces ironed. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The prince changes clothes five times a day, with the help of four valets, Bower reports. If he has several engagements back-to-back, his valet places several ties in the car so he can change en route.

And it doesn’t stop there. The heir apparent pays such close attention to his attire’s detail that he demands his shoelaces be ironed whenever he takes off his shoes, according to former royal servant Brian Hoey.

Next: Six-figure vacations

5. He travels expensively

TRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, in their role as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, take time out from their honeymoon at Birkhall on the Queen's Aberdeenshire estate, to undertake their first joint official engagement opening Monaltrie Park children's playground in Ballater near Balmoral on April 14, 2005 in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

He brings a whole entourage. | Getty Images

When Charles travels, he brings along an entourage: bodyguards, two valets, a butler, a chef, a private secretary, and a typist. In 2016, he and Camilla took a $200,000 trip to Italy, Romania, and Austria. That year, the couple racked up the most expensive royal travel bill on a new $14 million prime ministerial jet.

When traveling by rail, the prince chooses the Royal Train — in contrast to his more frugal mother, who is seen traveling by commuter train.

Next: A butler for every few feet

6. Too many footmen?

Prince Charles walking outside

He employs several footmen. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Footmen are like butlers: They serve meals, open and close doors for people, carry heavy items, and move furniture for housemaids to clean behind. The royal family’s footmen live in the palace, with meals provided.

In the book, Bower says that not one, but several footmen greet guests and show them to rooms at Charles’ residence, Clarence House. Multiple footmen also are responsible for several yards of the same corridor, in which case guests are awkwardly handed over to a new footman every few feet.

Next: It ain’t easy being prince.

7. He thinks his life is hell

Prince Charles of Wales

He feels restricted in his life. | Carl Court/Getty Images

For a royal family member, life could feel burdensome. Bower touches on the resentment Charles may feel over the restrictions of royal life. “Duty is what I live — an intolerable burden,” he reportedly told an aide. “Nobody knows what utter hell it is to be Prince of Wales,” he told another.

The Rebel Prince demonstrates the prince’s behavior to be in sharp contrast with that of his mother, who eats what is served by her hosts and heats rooms in the palace with electric heaters out of frugality.

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