It’s been less than a week since King Charles III ascended the throne and already the new monarch is getting some negative press.
The first incident occurred when cameras caught Charles making an overly annoyed face when a staff member didn’t remove a pen tray that was in his way quickly enough. The caption of the viral Twitter clip says, “The servant must clear my desk for me. I can’t be expected to move things.”
This may come as a surprise to anyone who hasn’t been paying attention, especially since King Charles is following in the footsteps of his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth, who was believed to have been a lot more gracious with staff.
But royal fans already called Charles “The Pampered Prince” long before he became a coddled king. In truth, the King of the United Kingdom is known for some peculiar and fussy proclivities that mere peasants can’t even begin to fathom.
Perhaps the most notorious story about King Charles is that he refuses to squeeze his own toothpaste. Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell recalled this detail about the monarch in the Amazon documentary “Serving the Royals: Inside the Firm.”
“His pajamas are pressed every morning, his shoelaces are pressed flat with an iron, the bath plug has to be in a certain position and the water temperature has to be just tepid,” Burrell said, per Cosmopolitan.
The butler continued, saying Charles, “has his valets squeeze one inch of toothpaste onto his toothbrush every morning.”
Royal loyalists fought back against this claim, insisting that Charles only asked his valet to perform that particular duty for a brief time in the 90s while his arm was in a sling following a polo match accident. However, the king’s reputation for being spoiled doesn’t depend on a single rumor about toothpaste.
Royal reporter Clive Goodman from Express also claims Charles does nothing for himself.
“The Prince of Wales, he doesn’t lift a thing,” Goodman asserted in the 2011 YouTube documentary “Royal Servants.”
“He gets up in the morning, his bathrobe is there waiting for him; he walks into the bathroom, the bath is drawn for him already. Even when he gets out of the bath, the towel is folded in a special way so he just has to sit in it and wrap it around himself.”
“When it comes to bathing the bath plug has to be in a certain position,” the butler explained, saying “the water temperature has to be just tepid, and only half full.”
Burrell speculated that since Charles, “has grown up in such a privileged lifestyle that he doesn’t have the mechanics to choose for himself anymore. Absolutely everything is done for him.”
“On one occasion, he rang me from his library and he said, ‘Oh Paul, a letter from the queen seems to have fallen into my wastepaper bin. Would you pick it out?’” Burrell said on “Inside the Firm.”
The concept of royal dressers may seem antiquated, but former staff members from the Palace say King Charles employs not one, but two, people who are tasked with putting clothes onto his body.
In the documentary “The Madness of Prince Charles,” royal biographer Anthony Holden explained, “Charles, for all his attempts to find out how the other half lives and interest in the less fortunate in society, for all that, he has two men, paid for by the state, to help him get dressed in the morning.”
The 73-year-old royal is also quite fussy about what he wears. In the 2018 book “Rebel Prince, The Power, Passion and Defiance Of Prince Charles” by Tom Bowers, even more of his rumored demands became public knowledge.
Bowers allegedly conducted 120 interviews and found that Charles changed his outfits up to five times per day, which could explain the need for multiple professional dressing assistants. He also supposedly sends his own food ahead of his arrival at dinner parties and will only use his own toilet seats, even while traveling.
The fussy monarch reportedly insists on special royal sheets which must be perfectly ironed and wrinkle free, which may take over an hour per bed to achieve.
It’s not just clothing where King Charles is believed to be particular. Per Reader’s Digest, an insider said because the longest-serving heir apparent in history likes his biscuits warmed to a precise temperature. Because of this, kitchen staff must keep the pan hot through the monarch’s entire meal so he can enjoy them at the end of supper, which he prefers.
The biography “Rebel Prince” by Tom Bower reiterated some of these claims. The author wrote how Charles, “takes luxury loo roll, a toilet seat, a chest of drawers, an orthopedic mattress and two landscapes of the Scottish Highlands on longer journeys.”
It also mentioned that the monarch has “a police officer to carry his own pre-mixed cocktails to functions.”
Obviously, these rumors have never been confirmed by King Charles though he did address the toilet seat claims once. When a Brisbane radio station DJ asked the royal family member about whether he really traveled with own toilet seat, Charles replied, “My own what? Oh, don’t believe all that crap. The very idea.”
The interviewer repeated the question to Charles’ wife Camilla, who apparently “responded only with an exasperated sigh.”
Royal fans will never know for sure how much truth there is to all the rumors about Prince Charles and his spoiled ways. However, there’s no denying that the longest-serving heir apparent in history has lived a life of luxury by any standard.
This could explain why he’s not too high up on the list in terms of popularity. According to a 2022 Statista poll, 81% of respondents said they had a positive view of Queen Elizabeth while 75% said the same of Prince William, who has since become the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne.
Charles only ranked fifth on the list, coming in behind Catherine, Princess of Wales and Princess Anne. His popularity was at 54% (which doesn’t sound so low compared to Prince Andrew’s 5% rating.)
King Charles’ popularity could improve now that he’s in charge, but first he’ll have to reign in the overreactions, especially when cameras are rolling.