The Sodexo Lecture
The talk will address the challenges of writing about Prince Charles and the ways in which he differs from the stereotyped view of him. It will touch on the people who have profoundly influenced him—a number of them little known--and the experiences that have shaped him. As the oldest heir to the throne in three centuries, he created a distinctive role for himself as he waited for the crown. Sally Bedell Smith will not only examine that role, she will describe his surprising array of achievements, and how he has pursued his passions as a gardener, painter, and advocate for numerous causes. Central to her lecture will be his relationships with his parents, his ill-fated marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales, and the story of his love for Camilla Parker Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall—a tale of love interrupted and ultimately fulfilled that has stretched over more than forty years. Smith will also address the future of the monarchy, specifically how Charles has guided his two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, as they built their lives since the death of their mother—“two guys on a raft after the shipwreck in their family,” in the words of one of their advisers, “who made it to shore, which brought them together.”
Speaker: Sally Bedell Smith
Sally Bedell Smith is the best-selling author of seven biographies. Her latest, Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, was published by Random House in April 2017 and was an instant bestseller on the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal lists. Her previous biographies were Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch; For Love of Politics: Inside the Clinton White House; Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House;) Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess; Reflected Glory: The Life of Pamela Churchill Harriman; and In All His Glory: The Life & Times of William S. Paley and the Birth of Modern Broadcasting.
Ms. Smith began her career at Time magazine where she was a reporter-researcher from 1973 to 1977. She then joined TV Guide as a staff writer where she wrote feature articles and a weekly column. In 1982, Ms. Smith became a cultural news reporter for The New York Times, a position she held until 1985. She joined Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in 1996.
Ms. Smith received her B.A. from Wheaton College and her M.S. from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She was awarded the Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award for magazine reporting in 1982 and was a fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University from 1986 to 1987. In 2012 she was the consultant to playwright Peter Morgan on The Audience, his award-winning drama about Queen Elizabeth II starring Helen Mirren.