PRINCE Charles, the Prince of Wales, has spoken of feeling "totally trapped" by his duties as a member of Britain's royal family, a confidante has disclosed.
The prince (64), told Selina Scott, the journalist and broadcaster, that he felt frustrated at having every moment of his life "mapped out" for him.
Ms Scott wrote that the prince told her: "You're lucky Selina. You don't have your life mapped out for you for as far as you can see, for every minute, for every hour, for every day, for every year. Let me tell you, there are many times when I feel totally trapped."
The prince also said he struggled with low levels of confidence and had to deal with a "well-developed conscience" that was always "needling" him, she wrote.
The prince made the comments in 1991 during a week-long break in the Hebrides off the Scottish coast, where Ms Scott was filming an hour-long programme for ITV about the prince's relationship with Scots Gaelic speakers.
Ms Scott has known the prince for 25 years. The veteran journalist said that the prince had told her: "I lack a great deal of confidence, so it is quite a struggle.
"I could quite happily decide to lead a much quieter existence, and make speeches which were purely replete with platitudes. But I don't think that's going to get anybody anywhere. I actually feel . . . my trouble is that I feel very strongly about things. I can't help it.
"I don't know where it comes from. I just do. And I have . . . I find that . . . I must express it."
Ms Scott said that she told the prince that his father and grandfather did not appear to feel or have felt trapped in the way that he did.
The prince replied: "I have a very well-developed conscience, I suppose, which is always needling me.
"I look around and I see so many people in far less fortunate positions than I am, and I feel: Here am I in this position. What can I do to the best of my ability to improve their lot?"
The disclosures come days after an aide revealed to the American weekly 'Time' magazine that the prince was in no rush to become king.
The magazine claimed he regarded the role of monarch as a form of 'prison' – a claim that Clarence House has since denied.
The prince also told the magazine he felt it his duty to worry about everybody living in Britain and try to improve their lives if he could.
The prince will represent Queen Elizabeth at next month's Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Sri Lanka. (© Daily Telegraph, London)