At 68, Prince Charles rarely grabs tabloid headlines these days, but that may soon change.
His name has been mentioned frequently by the press in recent weeks as a result of concerns about Queen Elizabeth II's health and speculation that he may ascend to the throne in the very near future.
Of course, he'll most likely be viewed as a sort of interim monarch between Elizabeth and his son Prince William, which means that in the eyes of history, Charles will be primarily known less for his reign and more for his tumultuous personal life.
As you're probably aware, Charles has been accused of cheating on his first wife, Princess Diana, many times over the years, and the official denials from Buckingham Palace have slowly diminished into tacit confessions.
Now, a scandalous new biography (Is there any other kind when the royals are involved?) alleges that Charles once carried on an affair behind the back of his second wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles.
In Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, author Sally Bedel Smith claims that Charles was romantically linked to an entrepreneur named Sue Townsend in the early years of his marriage to Camilla.
It's unclear when the affair ended, but it seems Camilla just learned of the accusations when the book was published.
"[Camilla] is absolutely incensed,” a source close to the situation tells Radar Online.
“She always believed she had Charles very much under her thumb.
“He shared her bed for years, before and during his marriage to Diana -- and ignored that she was married to one of his friends, Andrew Parker-Bowles."
Favoring the tabloid writer dialect so often favored by anonymous sources, the informant goes on to describe the scene that occurred when Camilla first heard the news of Charles' affair:
“Camilla isn’t shy about showing her feelings — and Charles got the message when she threw an onyx figurine at his head, yelling, ‘How could you cheat on me and humiliate me in public?’" the insider claims.
“Charles tried to tell her it was just a casual friendship, but Camilla didn’t believe a word and hammered her fists on his chest before storming out!"
Charles' situation and reputation bring to mind one of his predecessors, Edward VII, who ruled for just nine years following the death of his mother, Queen Victoria, who held the throne for an astonishing six decades.
Of course, Edward has seen a resurgence in popularity, thanks to his decadent bon vivant lifestyle (The man invented a "sex chair" to allow for easier maneuvering with "multiple participants.), and it seems unlikely that Charles is unlikely to enjoy any such appreciative reassessment from future generations.
No, much more probable is that Charles will suffer the same fate as Gregory the Forgotten, a medieval ruler so obscure you probably didn't even realize we made him up!