In the summer of 2011, a mysterious gentleman sidled up to the reception of a London publishing house, deposited a memory stick on the desk then melted away. The stick was a revelation; it contained hundreds of letters, all seemingly written by Prince Charles.
Dating back to his boyhood and addressed to a far wider range of recipients than hitherto suspected — including the Pope, Celine Dion and a recurring correspondence with former deputy prime minister John Prescott — the Prince of Wales’ epistolary efforts reveal a man unafraid to grapple with the great questions of our time.
Whether inviting Lady Gaga to one of his Outward Bound events, advising The Village People on matters naval, or recommending to David Cameron that he and his ministers take turns to pull each other to Cabinet meetings by rickshaw, this is a Prince both ready and willing to think outside the royal box.
Moreover, after reading Charles’ attempts to reach out to his future subjects, world statesmen, the plant kingdom and the occasional higher being, few could fail to agree with his heartfelt conviction that, hang it all, something — indeed, almost anything — really must be done.