Thursday, February 20, 2020

Books: "King Charles" By Robert Jobson

King Charles: The Man, The Monarch, and the Future of Britain
By Robert Jobson
Diversion Books; hardcover; $27.99

Robert Jobson, the Royal Editor of the London Evening Standard and the royal commentator for ABC's Good Morning America, has been called "the Godfather of royal reporting" by the Wall Street Journal.

With Queen Elizabeth at the age of ninety-three, his Royal Highness Charles, Prince of Wales, stands on the cusp of kingship. There is no better time than now to debunk the myths about Prince Charles and his profoundly held beliefs and deep thinking about politics, religion, Brexit, immigration, climate change, the armed services, and even the monarchy itself.

Jobson has taken what he observed during his travels alongside Prince Charles around the United Kingdom and the world over a two-year period, as well as the knowledge and memories of a number of sources close to the Prince who have never spoken on the record before, to create this never-before-seen portrait of the monarch in the new book, King Charles.

This also is a good time for a book like this, as Prince Charles is about to turn seventy years old at a watershed moment in the history of modern England. Plans are in place for him to serve as Prince Regent once the Queen turns ninety-five, and he is already reading all government briefings - at his mother's insistence. Charles feels it is his constitutional duty to pass is thoughts and feelings on to his ministers, and does do in controversial "black spider memos." Charles' relationship with his second wife and chief supporter, Camilla, is deeply loving, but also can be volatile at times.

"In time, I believe history will be kind to King Charles III," Jobson writes. "His legacy will be as a regal philosopher, a courageous man prepared to take risks for what he sees as the greater good. Will he remain silent on the big issues of the day? In public - yes, most likely. But in private, when talking to his prime minister? We'd be 'stupid' to think he would - and it would be a dereliction of his duty as monarch."...

"Now in his eighth decade, Charles is working harder than ever. He regularly clocks fourteen-hour days and carries out more than six hundred engagements a year at home and abroad, and shows no sign of slowing down. Indeed, his increased responsibility means he is stepping up his workload and is now much more than a deputy who stands in for the Queen.

"In effect, as far as the modern British monarchy is concerned, we are in unchartered waters with effectively two captains on the ship's deck - if not necessarily at the helm, despite Charles himself saying there is only one monarch. A more accurate description of Charles's role ahead of becoming monarch is perhaps 'Shadow King' or 'Quasi King' as it is he, not Her Majesty, who is now doing most of the heavy lifting for the monarchy. At home and abroad, the Prince of Wales officially represents his Sovereign, who turned ninety-three in April 2019, now by far the oldest British sovereign in history."

King Charles is an unrivaled peek into the kind of ruler Charles III will inevitably be once he ascends the throne, with a rare look at the House of Windsor past, present, and future.

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