Prince Charles' household dubbed Wolf Hall, claims biographer

The royal household of Britain's Prince Charles is so rife with infighting and back-stabbing among his staff that it has been dubbed Wolf Hall, a new biography of the prince has claimed.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 31, 2015, 19:19 PM IST

London: The royal household of Britain's Prince Charles is so rife with infighting and back-stabbing among his staff that it has been dubbed Wolf Hall, a new biography of the prince has claimed.

Author and Time magazine journalist Catherine Mayer in 'Charles: Heart of a King' claims that bitter rivalries led to the collapse of a multimillion-pound deal to house all of the prince's charities under a roof, costing over 100,000 pounds.

The heir to Britain's throne is based at Clarence House near his mother Queen Elizabeth II's Buckingham Palace here.

In the book, serialised in The Times newspaper, she writes: "One former householder refers to Clarence House as Wolf Hall, in reference to the treacherous and opportunistic world depicted by Hilary Mantel in her fictionalised account of the rise of Thomas Cromwell under Henry VIII."

"Apart from his time in the Navy, he has never held a paying job and doesn't understand the anxiety such moves can create," she writes.

"No student of management theory, he believes rivalries promote better performance, rather than recognising the glitches and strains which territorial disputes can cause."

An illustration of the divided household came with the failed plan to house Charles' many charities under a roof in redeveloped railway sheds at King's Cross in London.

Architect plans were drawn up and an offer made on the property before the plan collapsed amid recriminations.

Mayer writes: "Sources say internal conflicts scuppered the scheme after it was already significantly advanced, wasting money instead of saving it."

Clarence House claims the biography, contrary to some reports, was not authorised and the author did not have any exclusive access to the prince or his staff.

However, Mayer claims to have met the prince and his aides while researching for the biography.

"Far from itching to assume the crown, he is already feeling its weight and worrying about its impact on the job he has been doing," she writes.

But royal aides have stressed that anyone who claims to have insight into his thoughts on kingship is merely "hypothesising" because "there is no-one other than his mother with whom he would discuss such a sensitive matter."

A spokesperson for the Prince said: "Speculation about what sort of king the Prince of Wales will make has been around for many, many years and the Household and the Prince have never commented on this and neither will they do so now."

Mayer's book, to be released next week, is also expected to address the belief in some quarters that the Queen should bypass her son and make her grandson Prince William her successor.