Charlie Is No Darling
Educating CharlieMonarchs are special, we are sometimes told, because they are brought up with this eventual job in mind. And for sure a special upbringing may be necessary, because if you inherit a job you may not be suited to, something special may be needed in preparation. Perhaps education can compensate somewhat for personal shortcomings. And it is certain that Charlie was given educational advantages that most of the British citizens who paid for it could not expect.
He was privately and expensively schooled at Cheam and Gordonstoun boarding schools. A certain British perversity meant that although the headmaster of Cheam, his first school, was allowed to beat him in punishment for misbehaviour the head was expected to bow verbally to his pupil addressing the boy many years his junior as “Prince Charles”.
At Gordonstoun Charlie was bullied and beaten up, causing him to "cry his eyes out" according to American monarchist Sally Beddell Smith in her biography.
Charlie achieved two A levels with B and C grades. That was not really good value for the expense. But for a “prince” it did not matter too much. Money and privilege may not buy intelligence. But in the queendom feudal privilege will get you a place in an elite university that money cannot buy.
"He is opinionated. He writes unsolicited and probably unconstitutional letters to British ministers. He is married to one of the least-liked women in the old empire".
"The wacky Pommy prince".
Greg Craven. The Australian
Cambridge University welcomed a princely undergraduate who would, no doubt, have felt uncomfortable in a “red brick” college.
But there was history as well as intellectual weakness to make Charlie ill at ease in Cambridge. The city took the parliamentary side during our civil war and Cromwell was its Member of Parliament. Charlie must have been reminded that a monarch with whom he shared a name had paid a high price for his “royal” arrogance.
But feudal privilege can buy only so much even in the queendom. Charlie was obliged to graduate with a second class degree, a 2.2 BA in anthropology, archaeology, and history. Fascinated as he might well be with the past, his understanding of it was not exceptional.