Prince Charles biography authoritative, but not flattering

Prince Charles Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince Charles reign will be different from his mothers and this book might help use understand how much

To write the biography Charles: Heart of a King, Catherine Mayer had access to Prince Charles, his friends, his staff and his critics.

The published extract is authoritative, balanced and, in parts, far from flattering.

Those around the future king - who invited the author in - cannot now complain as she holds a mirror up to his court.

The book's greatest value will probably be the light it sheds on how Charles intends to behave once destiny calls.

The serialisation suggests the Queen's eldest son wants to continue the work he does now - which includes a focus on the environment and architecture - as well as taking on the role of head of state.

Some in royal circles believe the two are not compatible.

We know the prince's reign will be different from his mother's. This biography may help us understand just how different it will be.