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Charles household 'like Wolf Hall'

The Prince of Wales' household is so riddled with backstabbing and in-fighting it is nicknamed Wolf Hall, a new book has revealed.

Bitter rivalries led to the collapse of a multimillion-pound deal to house all of the Prince's charities under one roof, costing more than £100,000, the book claims.

Charles: The Heart of A King, by Time magazine journalist Catherine Mayer, paints a picture of Clarence House as a household torn apart by turf wars.

In the book, serialised in The Times, 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."

But the book claims that while Charles is dubbed "The Boss" by staff, he is insecure and identifies more with Baldrick, the downtrodden turnip-eating servant in Blackadder.

While many employees feel disillusioned and "oppressed" as they feel their jobs and responsibilities are being usurped by Charles' aides, she claims.

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.

She added: "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 also claimed some of the Prince's ideas only got off the ground because of his status and because aides pay him lip service.

"Charles' ideas-first, feasibility-second approach has never been checked by the realities that affect ordinary start-ups. As soon as he is seized by a notion, he asks several different people to begin work on realising his vision. His position and resources mean that his brainchildren have a better chance of entering the world than if they were conceived by a common-or-garden commoner, and have sometimes been kept alive when other operations would falter and die."

The biography goes on sale on February 5.

A Clarence House spokeswoman said: "This is not an official biography, therefore, we have no comment to make."

It is understood that Ms Mayer was given no special access to write her book.

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