The King had a sentimental attachment to his childhood teddy bear that lasted at least into his forties, according to a new biography of the monarch due on the shelves next week.
In his biography The King: The Life of Charles III, Christopher Andersen says the stuffed toy was so precious to the then Prince Charles that it essentially had its own valet.
Michael Fawcett was tasked with looking after the bear and made sure he knew where it was at all times.
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And whenever the antique bear needed some running repairs, there was only one person for the job.
The King’s childhood nanny, Mabel Anderson, was hauled out of retirement whenever the precious bear needed stitching up.
One palace insider revealed that Mispy, as young Charles called her, “was the only human being allowed to take needle and thread to Prince Charles’ teddy bear”.
“He was well into his forties,” Andersen writes, “and every time that teddy needed to be repaired, you would think it was his own child having major surgery.”
Mabel Anderson joined the Royal Household when Charles was in need of an assistant nurse and became one of The Firm's most trusted servants. At her job interview she was said to be the only applicant who was “not shaking with nerves”.
Royal author Ingrid Seward revealed Charles’ special nickname for Mabel and says he “dreaded” leaving her behind when he went to boarding school.
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Charles later described his time at the Scottish boarding school as “pure hell”.
"What he went through is really quite alarming. As a boy, as a young man, he was routinely beaten by older students, hung up naked in a shower and sprayed with cold water and left there. He was pummelled and wrestled to the ground," Andersen writes.
"He wrote these pleading letters to his parents to please take him out of the school… By today's standards, it would be akin to hazing or child abuse frankly, and yet his parents turned a blind eye to it. I think that caused a tremendous resentment."
Anderson goes on to describe a chilly family relationship.
"So much about Charles you could really trace back to his childhood, which was heartbreakingly lonely," the author claims.
"Charles has described his relationship with his mother … she was cold and aloof, that his father was a bully who hectored him, who made him cry in front of other people, physically bullied him."
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Andersen says young Charles would only have spent a couple of short periods with his parents every day, and that they didn’t even visit him when he was hospitalised with a broken ankle, or when he had his tonsils out.
Curiously, the King’s younger brother is also very keen on his teddy.
Charlotte Briggs, who worked at Buckingham Palace in the 1990s, says one of her jobs was to place Prince Andrew’s 72 teddy bears in their exact allotted positions around his bedroom.
"As soon as I got the job, I was told about the teddies and it was drilled into me how he wanted them," she told the Sun. "I even had a day's training. Everything had to be just right. It was so peculiar."
The Daily Star has approached Buckingham Palace for a comment on Christopher Andersen's claims, but has yet to receive a reply.
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