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Don McKinnon labels Prince Charles frustrating to deal with in an explosive new book

And he's not the only one to speak out, with another calling the future King an "Olympic whinger."

Tom Bower's explosive book, Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles, has dropped a series of bombshells about the next in line for the throne.

This week, New Zealand Woman's Weekly spoke to the author of the unauthorised biography about the scandals detailed in the book, and his reasons for writing the tell-all.

Tom reveals that at first, he had his doubts about penning the book.

"I was sceptical because so many books had been written about him that I didn't know what I could do that would be different," he tells the Weekly. But when he started digging into Prince Charles' life, he quickly changed his mind.

The former investigative journalist spoke to 120 people for the biography, many of whom are anonymous – but one Kiwi is quoted and named in the book.

Former New Zealand deputy Prime Minister Don McKinnon apparently found Charles frustrating to deal with when he was the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

He felt he received a "ghastly British brush-off" when trying to persuade the future King to focus more of his attention on the Commonwealth.

"Charles refused to engage with me," he said. "I met the Queen once a year, but never Charles."

He was frustrated that a large portion of Charles's overseas travel was "to Arab countries so he can collect money for his charities."

"They are dictatorships," he told Bower. "Why does he prefer to meet dictators and not democratically elected leaders of the Commonwealth?"

Prince Charles with Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Deputy King, Crown Prince of Bahrain during his visit to Bahrain in November 2016.

Tom says one of the aspects of the prince's life the shocked him the most was his extraordinarily expensive lifestyle. "He refuses to go on commercial airlines, he has a staff of 149… but he is always complaining. He is, as someone said in the book, an Olympic whinger."

For more from Tom, as well as an extraordinary extract from the book, where he describes Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall's secret battle to win hearts and minds by launching a secret plot against Princess Diana, be sure to grab a copy of the New Zealand Woman's Weekly, out Easter Monday.