Anyone who saw the most recent season of The Crown may think that Prince Charles’ fraught relationship with his father Prince Philip may be down to being forced to attend a notoriously harsh Scottish boarding school, where he was reportedly savagely bullied.
But according to author Tom Bower’s highly controversial new book, Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles, there’s a far more bizarre and petty reason why Charles still deeply resents his dad.
It’s not the fact that Philip, 96, has apparently told multiple people that he has a 'lack of confidence' in Charles’ ability to rule as king – although that surely hasn’t helped. Nor the fact that Philip has boasted at recent high society parties that he and the Queen are reaching very old age just to annoy their son.
According to the book, the one thing about Philip that most sticks in Charles’ craw, is something that his father made him do as a child: wear corduroy trousers to a birthday party. The humiliation was such that the incident has apparently haunted Charles ‘for decades’.
‘Even as a middle-aged man, he still felt the sting of the trivial humiliation of being the only boy in cords,’ writes Bower.
Sadly, the accumulation of slights, criticisms and misunderstandings has been such that Charles is now said to feel completely alienated from his father.
Adding icing to the cake: Philip offended Charles by assigning shooting rights at Sandringham and Balmoral to other members of the royal family.
‘For Charles, an excellent shot, this felt like a stinging insult,’ the book claims.
‘He had to resort to renting the challenging Invercauld estate grouse moor near Birkhall, and going to friends' estates for pheasant shoots.’
Oh, the inhumanity!