Prince Charles’ household has earned the nickname “Wolf Hall” because of its rivalries, backstabbing and in-fighting, a new book has claimed.
The latest biography of the Prince of Wales, which was not authorised by Clarence House, paints a picture of a household torn apart by turf wars between aides and advisors.
Catherine Mayer, a Time magazine journalist, claims to have conducted several interviews with the heir to the throne’s inner circle as well as the Prince himself for Charles: The Heart of A King.
“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,” she writes in the book.
It is being serialised in The Times and extracts have been released on Kindle ahead of its publication on Thursday.
Bitter rivalries led to the collapse of a multimillion-pound deal to house the Prince's 15 charities under one roof, costing more than £100,000, the book claims.
While Charles is dubbed “The Boss” by staff, it says, he is insecure and identifies more with Baldrick, the downtrodden servant in Blackadder.
Many employees feel disillusioned and “oppressed” as they feel their jobs and responsibilities are being usurped by Charles' aides, Ms Mayer claims.
In pictures: Prince Charles through the years
In pictures: Prince Charles through the years
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Prince Charles is presented with a teddy bear for Prince George during a visit to the 132nd Sandringham Flower Show at Sandringham House
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Prince Charles at 5 weeks old, with his mother looking on
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Princess Elizabeth and The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh with Prince Charles after his christening at Buckingham Palace in 1948
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Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain) with her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and their baby son Prince Charles in 1949
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Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are photographed with their two children, Charles, Prince of Wales (L) and Princess Anne (R), circa 1951
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Prince Charles, heir to the British throne riding in his pram pushed by his nanny, Mabel Anderson
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Prince Charles on his fourth birthday, leaning from a window with the Queen
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Prince Charles, aged 4, driving a toy car in the grounds of Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland
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Princess Anne laughing while she is posing with her brother Prince Charles
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Queen Elizabeth (1900 - 2002), wife of George VI, with her grandson Prince Charles and Pippin the dog
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Queen Mother Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Princess Elizabeth in the royal hall of Westminster Abbaye during Princess Elizabeth's coronation ceremony in 1953
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Prince Charles on holiday in Jamaica,1966
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Prince Charles and his mother Queen Elizabeth on the ramparts of Windsor Castle in 1961
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The Queen Mother leaves St George's Chapel, Windsor after a Garter Ceremony, accompanied by her grandson Prince Charles, 1968
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Prince Charles prepares himself a snack meal in his rooms at Trinity College in Cambridge, 1969
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Prince Charles playing the cello while he was a student at the University of Cambridge in 1969
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Prince Charles and fellow students, rehearsing for a revue at Cambridge University, in which the Prince appeared in several sketches, 1969
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Charles, Prince of Wales prepares an aircraft for take off during a flying lesson
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Prince Charles in his investiture robes at Caernarvon Castle,1969
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Charles, Prince of Wales starring in the Trinity College, Cambridge annual revue, 'Quiet Flows The Don'. He blowing bubbles during a parody of weather forecasts called 'Weather Tim Nobler', 1970
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Prince of Wales and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones on the Estate at Balmoral Castle, Scotland during the Royal Family's annual summer holiday in September 1971
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Prince Charles in an Infantry Colonel's uniform prepares to fire a 120mm bazooka during his visit to the Montgomery Barracks at the Kladow district of West Berlin in Germany, 1972
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Prince Charles Playing Polo At Cowdray Park
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Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, dressed in traditional tweeds and sporting a smart naval beard, rides the acres of Badminton, 1976
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Prince Charles becomes Red Indian Chief Red Crow during his visit to Canada in 1977
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Prince Charles with long hair blowing in the wind at polo at Smith's Lawn in Windsor, 1978
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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles
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Prince Charles and his fiancee Lady Diana Spencer together with their dog Harvey rest by a bench in Scotland, 1981
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Prince of Wales kisses Lady Diana on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding in St Paul's Cathedral
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The Prince and Princess of Wales with their newborn son Prince William on the steps of St Mary's Hospital in London, 1982
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Prince Charles and Diana with Prince William on the day of William's christening, held in the music room of Buckingham Palace in London,1982
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Prince Charles with his baby son Prince William in the sitting room of their Kensington Palace home
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Princess Diana and Prince Charles watch an official event during their first royal Australian tour in 1983
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Princess Diana holding baby Prince Harry as she and Prince Charles leave St. Marys hospital in London, 1984
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Prince Charles and Diana at home in Kensington Palace with their sons Prince William and Prince Harry in 1986
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Prince Charles and Princess Diana look their separate ways during a memorial service on their tour of South Korea in 1992
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The Prince of Wales, wearing a kilt, chats to Chelsea Pensioners when he visits Chelsea Hospital in 1992
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Princess Diana, her sons Harry and William, and Prince Charles attend commemorations of VJ Day in London in 1995
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Prince Charles examines a plant at Yalding Organic Gardens in Kent, 1996
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Prince Charles and his two sons Harry and William wait in front of the Westminster Abbey in London after the funeral ceremony of Princess of Wales
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Prince Charles visitins the farmers market In Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, 2000
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Prince Charles visits the world-famous Eden Project - The 86 Million Tropical Rainforest in Bodelva, 2001
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Prince Charles poses with his sons Prince William and Prince Harry during the Royal Family's ski break at Klosters, Switzerland, in 2005
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New WWF President Prince Charles gives a keynote speech during an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the Global Forest & Trade Network, an initiative established by WWF to improve the responsible management of the world's forests at St James' Palace in London, 2011
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Prince of Wales and Michael Middleton are photographed before the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey
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Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive at St. Georges Chapel following their civil wedding ceremony at Windsor Guildhall
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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales as they are seen viewing horses in the parade ring from the Royal Box on the second day of Royal Ascot in London, 2013
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Prince Charles visits the Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Estate on a visit to Sri Lanka, 2013
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Prince Charles and Mark Shand (founder of the Elephant Family charity) (centre left) visit the elephant corridor at Vazhachal Forest Range near Chalakudy in Kerala on 12 November 2013
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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall holds an 'I'm a King's Baby' bear as Prince Charles, Prince of Wales looks on during an official visit to King's College Hospital in London
Part of the alleged problem arises from Charles reportedly changing employees’ job descriptions, leaving them concerned about other people interfering with their work.
Ms Mayer writes of Charles: “Apart from his time in the Navy, he has never held a paying job and doesn't understand the anxiety such moves can create.
"No student of management theory, he believes rivalries promote better performance, rather than recognising the glitches and strains which territorial disputes can cause."
She says "Charles hasn't always chosen his sages wisely" and has appointed people who tell him what he wants to hear rather than the truth.
"That factor, combined with his native insecurity, means he doesn't always believe he's earned the praise that comes his way, while criticism has the power to cast him into despair," she added.
The book’s publisher claimed it is “based on exclusive interviews with members of the Prince’s inner circle and underpinned by rare direct access to the Prince himself” including Ms Mayer trailing him for six months.
Clarence House declined to comment on the claims but stressed that the biography was not authorised and the author did not have any exclusive access to Prince Charles or his staff.
Biographies have rarely been kind to the Queen’s son. In the 1994, Jonathan Dimbleby was tasked with writing an authorised account of the Prince of Wales's life after he shocked the establishment by admitting to adultery during his marriage to Princess Diana.
The Prince Of Wales: A Biography was billed as a "vivid, searching and intimate portrait of a life which is trapped by destiny", describing how as a child he was frightened of the Duke of Edinburgh who was said to have belittled him in public and how the Queen was "not indifferent so much as detached" when witnessing it.
A decade later, Gyles Brandreth's book Philip & Elizabeth: Portrait Of A Marriage argued that the Queen and the Duke were appalled by the Dimbleby book and hurt by their son's complaints about the quality of their parenting.
Morton's Diana: Her True Story, published in 1992, caused ructions with its portrayal of the Princess of Wales as a deeply depressed and unstable character, portraying Charles as indifferent to his wife’s despair.
Penny Junor's book Charles: Victim Or Villain?, published a year after Diana died, alleged that the Princess had made late-night death threats to Camilla and that she had the first affair of the marriage with her bodyguard.
Charles was forced to deny that he authorised, solicited or approved the book.
Additional reporting by PA.Reuse content