By Vanessa V. Friedman
Updated December 04, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

Prince Charles, as represented in Charles at Fifty, is a real shlub, a guy who whines about everything. In other words, he’s the same guy who has already been exhaustively chronicled in myriad other books, not to mention newspapers, magazines, and TV shows. In fact, the book reads like a compendium of clippings, with a decidedly pro-Diana slant (at one point, author Anthony Holden compares Charles to King Lear before he saw the light). The explanation may be buried in the introduction: During Holden’s first two bios of Charles, the future king cooperated, but sometime after No. 2, Charles got mad and shut Holden out. Spurned biographers don’t just get mad; they get even. C-

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