LONDON: When Prince Charles, who turns to the next week for 70 years, becomes king of the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth, he will wait longer than any of his predecessors to lead a royal family dating back 1000 years.
Some monarchs are worried and Republicans hope to be a poor king. His admirers believe that his wisdom, reflection and fears of protection and the environment will receive the public support he deserves.
All of his first wife, Prince Diana, is unexpected, the ugly end of their marriage and lasting hostility in some parts of his second wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
"You are accused of being controversial just because you are trying to attract attention to things that do not necessarily have to be part of a conventional perspective," Charles said in an interview with GQ in September.
"My problem is that there are too many things they need or fight for."
Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Earl of Chester, Isle of Man, and Prince and Great Commissioner of Scotland were born in Buckingham Palace on November 14, 1948.
He was four when his grandfather, George VI, died and his mother ascended to the throne at the age of 25. The following year, Charles with his grandmother and aunt, late Princess Margaret, watched because Elizabeth was crowned with a queen of 16 empires.
He was contemptuous of his Scottish school Gordonstoun, which his father also attended, but was the first royal heir to be awarded the title after studying at Cambridge University.
Charles was made by the Prince of Wales from the 1969 magnificent ceremony. But at 92 his mother remains in good health without plans to abdicate, so his waiting continues.
It is not a bad thing for his critics, and even for some monarchists who think he's going to be catastrophic at Windsor House.
"Frankly, we are very fortunate to have not been a king because, because the Queen was the most exemplary monarch and kept the monarchy a lot to the people, I think Charles would undermine it," said Tom Bower, author of "Rebel Prince & 39; unauthorized biography.
Such unannounced biographies characterize Charles as an arrogant, weak man who enjoys luxury – he has his own royal harpist – he does not tolerate criticism and is devoted to the theory of oddball.
Charles refused to be interviewed for this article.
Charles's supporters say that it is an easy quarry, with every action and excuse being explored by often unsympathetic media.
"When you are in a very exposed public position, loyalty and unhappiness are fairly complex," said a former assistant adviser who worked with the Prince for many years.
He said the attackers had just decided to understand Charles's character in the wrong light.
"There is a whole load of things that is simply not true," said a former counselor, who claimed it was conditional on anonymity. "Bower is just talking to people with reproach."
So, what does he really like?
"It's complicated, I've rarely met someone as crazy about the world as he and wanting to know what's going on and why." More than anything else, this drive is phenomenally heavy, "said a former advisor.
Simon Lewis, secretary of royal communications from 1998 to 2001, described Charles as full of enthusiasm, committed with "a bad sense of humor."
"If you are a public fellow … if you lay your head over the sill, you get criticism," Lewis told Reuters.
Friends and enemies talk about their commitment to duty. The royal working day starts at breakfast – no lunch – and ends almost at midnight every day. The former adviser said he had received a call from Charles for Christmas.
In private, Charles is interested in art, culture, theater, literature, opera and pop, and is also a great fan of Leonardo Cohen.
The happiest in his garden is liking Shakespeare, painting watercolors and writing children's books. It can be fun, but also short-lived and demanding, said a former advisor.
The official figures show that his latest foreign tours were the most expensive of them.
"He's … he was thinking of a very, very hyper-luxury way of life that flies through a private jet (using a royal train)," said Bower, who says his book was based on interviews with 120 people, many of whom worked for queen.
Charles rejects such a claim.
"Oh, do not believe it all," he told the Australian radio station in April when he asked if it was true that he was traveling with his own toilet, as Bower had described.
But he can still go to the royal show: If you have fun, there is a nice meal, wine and service.
"He thinks it is right for the Prince of Wales and I think people will be disappointed if it were not," the former counselor said.
It's not just his lifestyle that draws shadows.
His campaign for causes such as the environment and climate change has led to accusations that interfere with things that British compatriots should avoid.
But Charles said that it would be "criminal negligence" not to use his position to help people and his roles allow him to express strong opinions. That would be impossible for a monarch who, under the British unwritten constitution, must remain apolitical.
"The many things I have been trying to concentrate on all these years have felt the necessary attention, not everyone else, but maybe a few years later they are starting to realize that what I was trying to say was not as far as they thought, "Charles said in an interview with a younger son Harry in 2017.
His adherents claim that his causes – such as helping young people find work and dialogue between them – are often predictable and worrying for their countrymen.
He admits that he has attacked Orthodox opinions. He has long opposed the economic model that has caused the world's oceans to pollute plastic, which is now a major problem.
Other opinions, such as its support for complementary medicine, nevertheless attract contempt.
In 2013, it was found to have held 36 meetings with government ministers for three years, while two years later the British High Court decided that dozens of his letters to the minister – dubbed "black spider notes" due to his scratched handwriting – could be released.
The topics included rural living, hospital food and the Patagonian toothfish fate.
However, the problem most fascinated by the public remains Charles's divorce from Diana, her premature death in a car crash in Paris in 1997, and the subsequent marriage in 2005 with Camilla. Some blame Camilla for failing her first marriage.
Public opinion surveys suggest that Charles's position has never fully recovered from the damage he suffered during the 1990s. The poll in January 2018 found that Charles was 9 percent among his favorite royalties.
The same survey found that 54 percent had the Prince's favorable opinions compared with 24 percent unfavorable. His mother and sons William and Harry are seen favorably by more than 80 percent of Britons.
In a television interview in 1995, Diana suggested that Charles did not want to be a king and was not excluded for such a "suffocating" role. No, tell those who worked with him.
"Charles, the Prince of Wales, will be the best-prepared monarch probably in history and I think he will be a very good king," Lewis said.
Though Charles is not willing to talk about becoming a monarch, as it will mean his mother's death, there are prepared well-prepared plans for this occasion – codenamed Operation London Bridge – behind the scenes.
Until then, his unique life will continue as an heir.
"People are right about privileges and money, palaces and Bentley," said the former assistant to the prince. "It's a privilege, but it's a heavy burden. I would never want that life."