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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 February, 2005, 13:31 GMT
British 'tortured me' says prince
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles
The prince is said to claim he has been 'tortured' over his relationship
Prince Charles claimed the British people had "tortured" him over his relationship with Mrs Parker Bowles, in a 1998 interview, it has been revealed.

"I thought the British people were supposed to be compassionate. I don't see much of it," he is said to have told BBC journalist Gavin Hewitt.

The excerpts from Mr Hewitt's new book, in the Mail on Sunday, are taken from an interview in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Prince Charles and Mrs Parker Bowles are due to marry on 8 April.

Civil debate

The announcement of their engagement has been followed by a series of setbacks in the planning of the ceremony.

Both the prince and Mrs Parker Bowles are divorcees, so chose a civil ceremony - prompting widespread debate over whether a member of the Royal Family can indeed be married in such a way.

It was more than just an irritation. I could sense he did not like the country that had so embraced Diana
Gavin Hewitt

The venue has already had to be changed from Windsor Castle to Windsor's Guildhall after it became apparent a licence to allow the wedding ceremony at the castle would allow others to marry there for the next three years.

In Gavin Hewitt's book, A Soul of Ice: A Life in News, he says he pressed Prince Charles in the 1998 interview about his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, asking him how he wanted it to be defined.

Princess Diana's funeral
The interview came a year after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales

"I don't see any reason why I should define my private life," he reportedly responded. "All my life people have been telling me what to do. I'm tired of it.

"My private life has become an industry. People are making money out of it. I just want some peace."

Mr Hewitt also wrote: "It was more than just an irritation. I could sense he did not like the country that had so embraced Diana."

A Clarence House spokeswoman declined to discuss the revelations.

"We never comment on private conversations the Prince of Wales may or may not have had," she said.

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