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Prince Charles admits to 3 affairs

Prince Charles had three separate affairs with Camilla Parker Bowles, one while they were both married, according to excerpts of his authorized biography in the Sunday Times.

Another newspaper reported that Charles believes his parents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, do not trust him to be king. And a third newspaper reported that discussions were under way to have Charles' 12-year-old son become heir to the throne _ something that could happen only with Charles' consent.

The details of the affair with Mrs. Parker Bowles, the wife of an army officer, were in the second installment, released Saturday, of a 600-page authorized biography by Jonathan Dimbleby.

"That they loved each other was not in any doubt," Dimbleby said. "In Camilla Parker Bowles, the prince found the warmth, the understanding and the steadiness for which he had always longed and had never been able to find with any other person."

Rumors of an affair with Mrs. Parker Bowles have regularly appeared for two years. In a television interview with Dimbleby that aired June 29, Charles admitted he had been unfaithful to Princess Diana. He did not mention Mrs. Parker Bowles, but his statements were taken as confirming the rumors.

The installment reveals that Charles initiated the separation from Diana nearly two years after he was "sometimes effectively denied access to his children by his wife."

Charles was tormented by suggestions that he was cold to his sons, Prince William, 12, and Prince Harry, 10, according to the book. This weekend, he was with the boys at Balmoral Castle in Scotland while Diana visited a woman friend in Washington, D.C.

The recent revelations about Charles and Diana's past have raised questions about their future: Will they divorce? Will Charles eventually become king? Will the monarchy survive?

According to the book, Charles has never considered giving up the throne.

But the Mail on Sunday reported that Charles believes his parents don't trust him to be king.

The paper said the 45-year-old heir to the British throne made the "astonishing confession" to Princess Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, after the funeral of their father on April 1, 1992.

"My parents simply do not trust me with anything," the paper quoted Charles as telling the earl, then 28 years old. "You're very lucky to have inherited so young. I wish I had inherited when I was young."

The paper did not reveal who told it about the conversation.

Mail on Sunday gossip columnist Nigel Dempster said the conversation, which is not included in the biography, "illustrates the tremendous sense of isolation and resentment that Charles feels towards his parents."

Prince Philip, his father, has become exasperated by the recent scandals, and by his son's conduct in particular, the paper said. It quoted Philip as telling a close friend: "All I have worked for for 40 years has been in vain."

According to the Sunday Express, a "sensational plan" to make William heir to the throne is being discussed this weekend at Balmoral.

Under the plan, Charles would stand down as heir "and retire from public life" when William came "of age." Charles and Diana would then divorce, the paper said.

The second installment of Dimbleby's book focuses on Charles' romantic attachments.

Dimbleby wrote that Charles and the then Camilla Shand had their first affair in 1972 when he was a 23-year-old naval officer.

"She was affectionate, she was unassuming, and _ with all the intensity of first love _ he lost his heart to her almost at once," Dimbleby wrote.

Charles went off to sea. Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles, an army officer.

Still, "the prince had come to regard her as his best friend, in whom, more than any other, he could totally confide," the book said.

Their second affair started in the late 1970s and lasted until shortly before Charles became engaged to Diana in 1981, Dimbleby wrote.

Charles told Diana after their engagement that Mrs. Parker Bowles "had indeed been one of his most intimate friends, but that now that he was engaged to be married there was, and there would be, no other woman in his life," according to the book.

But Diana became obsessed that he was still having an affair, Dimbleby wrote.

"It was not until late 1986 or early 1987, when he and the Princess of Wales had begun to lead separate lives, that the prince's friendship with Camilla was renewed," Dimbleby wrote.

The first installment of the book said Charles never loved Diana and was pushed into marrying her by his father.