A collection of letters from Prince Charles to serving Ministers has scooped this year’s Booker Prize for Fiction, winning praise from the judges for its imaginative depiction of a power-mad royal bent on imposing his crazy ideas on Government policy.
‘It takes a creative mind of the highest order to invent a character so misinformed and manipulative yet still unable to accept that he is totally wrong,’ said chair of the judges, Sir Peter Stothard. ‘Such a creation could easily have succumbed to caricature or quickly become unbelievable, but the skill of the author was to make this person real. One can almost believe that such a ridiculous person could exist.’
The judging panel was particularly impressed by the author’s balancing of the outlandish comedy of the protagonist’s ever-more preposterous ideas with the pathos you would expect from a portrait of a mentally ill man with delusions of his own worth. ‘When, in those final letters, you read his passionate argument that homeopathy could cure unemployment, you finally realise the character has gone mad.’
Publishers are said to be hesitating over the author’s proposed sequel on the grounds that nobody would believe such a character could become King.