The new biography, Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life by Sally Bedell Smith, is worth the time despite its girth. A teenager when Charles married Diana, I have long disliked and blamed him for all that followed. Smith's exhaustive exploration of his life has helped me move past that and even to appreciate the man for who he is: a reluctant royal with loves and ambitions that do not necessarily suit his role as the Queen and others might interpret it. Though socially awkward and intensely private, Charles also has felt compelled to use his voice and position to enlarge discussions around contemporary issues important to him. Though I think Smith unfairly dismisses some of Charles' ideas as fringe and even "kooky," especially those about climate change, her biography provides a carefully researched look into the life of the future king, and a person with the unique moral and intellectual capacity to lead. Recommended by Kelly
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The life and loves of Prince Charles are illuminated in a major new biography from the New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth the Queen--perfect for fans of The Crown.