There was a time when the relationship between Prince Charles and his elder son worried courtiers. As a youngster, a hot-headed William would often challenge his ‘Pa’.
For instance, his anger about the illegal wildlife trade led him to urge that the Royal Collection should get rid of its 1,200 items of ivory.
He believed that if they were destroyed, it would set a great public example in the fight against elephant poaching.
Charles understood his son’s idealism but resisted, convinced that the Royal Family‘s extensive collection of artefacts – such as an ivory throne which belonged to Queen Victoria – is an indelible part of its history.
Charles and William have come together following the fallout from Prince Andrew’s Newsnight interview and Harry and Meghan’s decision to quit The Firm
During a frank exchange of views, he apparently told William he was being ‘naive’ and rebuked him for his public comments. Yet over the past two years, the two men have become much closer, their bond much stronger.
Partly, this is natural as they get older and realise their shared values – a current Prince of Wales and his successor – in protecting the monarchy. But, also, it has been a necessity as the institution has suffered blows to its reputation.
The fallout from Prince Andrew’s disastrous interview on BBC2’s Newsnight in late 2019 about his friendship with the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and Harry and Meghan’s decision to quit The Firm, have meant that Charles and William have come together to work with a common purpose.
They seek each other’s counsel and, significantly, Charles consults his son rather than imposing his own opinions.
As one aide says: ‘He’s giving William much more input. He realises that his own reign will be a shorter one than his son’s, and therefore it is crucial that William is involved in all long-term planning.
‘They have been spending more time together and are much more aligned. Both are more comfortable in their own skin – and with each other.’
It’s no secret that William and Harry endured a difficult adolescence after their mother’s death in 1997, when they were aged 15 and 12 respectively. Their father, who they felt was absent during much of their childhood, was often blamed for any unhappiness.
In his early days as a married man, William, now 38, preferred to focus on his own life in Norfolk rather than spend time with his father, who lives four hours away in Gloucestershire.
The relationship between the two men has improved over the last two years
Some interpreted this as a froideur between William’s court and that of Charles. Indeed, two years ago, when William was asked to appear in a TV documentary celebrating his father’s work for the Duchy of Cornwall (a responsibility that, one day, will be his), an aide tartly retorted that the Duke of Cambridge was ‘not doing anything more for his father’.
That comment suggested a rivalry between the two households. There was talk, too, that William felt piqued that his father sometimes ‘used’ his son’s popularity, and that of his wife and three young children, to burnish his own image. William was particularly sensitive as he himself is reluctant to use his children (George, now seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two) as ‘props’.
There were occasions when William made known his displeasure – such as when Charles, 72, issued an official photo of himself in which framed, private, pictures of his grandchildren could be seen in the background. For William guards their privacy like a lion protects his pride.
Similarly, he was concerned when Charles’s aides revealed to the media that his gardens at Highgrove had been turned into a ‘toddler’s paradise’ for the then two-year-old George, with a specially refurbished treehouse.
It must be said that it is characteristic of Charles that he may have been oblivious to the offence caused.
Eyebrows were certainly raised when, on one occasion, he was given the chance to publicly praise his sons’ environmentalism but clammed up. It was almost as if he was being crassly competitive.
At heart, though, he must be very proud of his two sons and their work on the environment. After all, the efforts the trio have put into ‘saving the planet’ – William most recently with his ambitious Earthshot Prize (designed to incentivise change and help to repair Earth over the next ten years) – are well-documented.
When Harry guest-edited an edition of Radio 4’s Today programme in 2017, he interviewed his father, who glowingly described him as his ‘darling boy’.
Inevitably, Charles was miffed over opinion polls that suggested the public wanted the Crown to skip a generation and that William should become monarch immediately after the Queen.
William and Kate’s ‘global superstar’ status – with successful tours to Canada in 2011 and the Far East in 2012 – gave momentum to such feelings.
It was evident that William and Kate would take the blueprint of her Middleton childhood for their new family life, rather than the Windsor way
Ridiculous though this proposition was, given our constitutional monarchy, it gained traction in Australia and Canada. After all, who wouldn’t want a glamorous young couple as their heads of state, as opposed to a pensioner who represented a bygone age?
Meanwhile, Charles had seemed a little jealous of the amount of time his grandchildren spent with Kate’s parents, Carole and Mike Middleton. He made it known that he had felt ‘edged out’.
It’s undeniable that William enjoys the easy familiarity of the Middletons and their close sense of family, choosing to decamp to their Berkshire home for a number of weeks after the birth of George.
It was evident that William and Kate would take the blueprint of her Middleton childhood for their new family life, rather than the Windsor way.
As William said in 2017: ‘If I look at my parents’ generation, there was a lot more stiff upper lip going on. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for the stiff upper lip, and, for those of us in public life, times when you have to maintain it. But behind closed doors, in normal everyday life, we have to be more open and upfront with our feelings and emotions.
‘Catherine and I are clear that we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings.’
Matters were not helped when Charles missed George’s first birthday party, choosing, instead, to attend a red squirrel conservation event in Scotland.
His absence was palpable considering that the Queen made a highly unusual appearance at Kensington Palace to be there.
Perhaps, Charles’s attitude can be explained by his own experience as a child: not seeing his parents for long periods, while they were abroad, and sent to an austere boarding school in Scotland. How very different to the hands-on approach to family life of William and Kate.
Charles’s biographer Jonathan Dimbleby asserted that he was ‘timid and passive and easily cowed by the forceful personality of his father’ who ‘easily drew tears to the child’s eye’.
A product of this ‘tough love’ upbringing with Prince Philip’s no-nonsense approach to parenting, Charles grew up hating confrontation. Better to take a back seat rather than establish too intimate a relationship with his own children.
Thus he gave William freedom from an early age and allowed him and Harry to establish their own household set-ups, away from his.
In practice, that meant William doing things his own way – and not always as his father would have wished.
One former member of the household said: ‘William has quite a temper and could fly off the handle at the slightest thing. His father was wary of making matters worse.’
Yet William is much more secure in his role as Prince of Wales-in-waiting.
As a father-of-three and nearing his fifth decade, he is more patient and understanding.
Consulted much more by his father, he has immersed himself in the workings of the Duchy of Cornwall, which funds the public, charitable and private activities of the Prince of Wales and extends across 23 counties in England and Wales.
And, significantly he did eventually agree to feature in that ITV documentary celebrating 50 years of work for the duchy, touchingly paying tribute to his father while speaking to tenant farmers.
After hearing his son speak, Charles was ‘deeply touched and moved’.
‘Frankly, it reduced me to tears. It did really,’ he murmured.
A key factor in the two men’s maturing relationship, of course, has been Harry’s move to California. Charles’s initial inclination was to try to make a half-in/ half-out Royal role work for Harry and Meghan. But ultimately he united with William and the Queen, who, at the so-called Sandringham Summit to discuss the crisis in January last year, told the Sussexes that a hybrid option would not work.
Kate, 39, has also been instrumental in fostering the father/son relationship. Organising Charles’s family portrait for his 70th birthday with Harry and William, who had fallen out spectacularly, did not prove easy.
She helped make it happen and ensured that all the children synchronised smiles for the camera.
She has also encouraged Charles to visit their home, Anmer Hall. This is helped by the fact he is spending more time at Sandringham running the estate, which was once the preserve of his 99-year-old father.
Last summer, Kate made sure that her family was back in time from their holiday to the Isles of Scilly to coincide with Charles’s stay, so ‘Grandpa’ could give birthday presents to seven-year-old George.
She also took the gorgeous, intimate picture of Charles resting his head on a beaming William’s shoulder as they walked in the Norfolk countryside last winter – a photograph released by Clarence House for William’s birthday last June.
Charles spent time with the Cambridges, too, on country walks at the start of this month, when at Sandringham for estate business.
All six share a love of the outdoors, and Charles and William enjoy identifying wild birds to the youngsters – the wetlands around the Sandringham estate attract many breeds of wild fowl, in addition to buzzards, marsh harriers, kestrels, owls and goshawks.
Much more aligned and now much more at ease, Charles and William are acutely aware that the future of the monarchy rests on their shoulders.
Who knows, they may even agree to remove Buckingham Palace’s ivory collection – a decision made by joint Royal decree.
Meghan Markle erases her first names ‘Rachel Meghan’ from Archie’s birth certificate in favour of Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex ‘in nod to Princess Diana’
By Emer Scully for MailOnline
The first names ‘Rachel Meghan’ were removed from the mother section of the birth certificate to bring it in alliance with Diana’s preferred name, ‘Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales’.
Archie’s birth was registered on May 17, 2019, after his birth on May 6. A month later, on June 6, the name was changed, reported The Sun.
The Queen’s ex-press secretary Dickie Arbiter said: ‘Maybe this was an early part of their plan.’
Lady Colin Campbell, who spotted the amendment, said: ‘It is extraordinary and raises all kinds of questions about what the Sussexes were thinking.’
Months after the name change the couple had quit the royal family.
MailOnline has contacted a representative of Harry and Meghan for comment.
Lady Colin Campbell, who spotted the amendment to Archie’s birth certificate, said: ‘It is extraordinary and raises all kinds of questions about what the Sussexes were thinking.’ Pictured, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Archie’s birth was registered on May 17, 2019, after his birth on May 6. A month later, on June 6, the name was changed on the certificate (pictured before the change)
Yesterday, it was revealed the Duchess of Sussex is ‘unlikely’ to accompany her husband when he returns to the UK in early summer.
The sixth in line to the throne will almost certainly travel to see his family for the first time since the couple acrimoniously quit as working royals alone, multiple sources have told the Daily Mail.
Insiders stress that the couple’s plans have yet to be finalised and much depends on the pandemic and whether travel restrictions remain in place at the time.
But their understanding, at this time, is that Harry, 36, will fly to the UK to see the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William – along with his niece and nephews – without Meghan and, probably, their son Archie.
‘Rachel Meghan’ was removed from the mother section of the birth certificate to bring it in alliance with Diana’s (pictured) preferred name, ‘Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales’
Sources were at pains to stress that Meghan’s tentative decision not to accompany her husband is for ‘personal and practical’ reasons and is not in any way being construed as a ‘snub’.
But if she decides not to travel it will save royal officials something of a diplomatic headache.
Prince Harry helps to launch new online mental health service for first responders in Australia set up by Invictus Games co-founder
Prince Harry has helped to launch a ‘critical’ new mental health tool in Australia for frontline workers.
The Duke of Sussex, 36, joined Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, to assist in launching the Peak Fortem, which is based on a successful UK model, and is an online resource for first responders and their families to help work through stress and trauma.
In a statement released to support to tool, which was set up by Invictus Games co-founder David Wiseman, Prince Harry referenced his experience in the military, and said: ‘Our mental fitness is one and the same as our physical fitness.
‘Serving in the military, I saw first hand how critical it is to train your mind as a muscle – not only to endure challenges and stresses but to excel, grow and build resilience in all aspects of life.
‘Peak Fortem is the product of teamwork, dedication and a commitment to supporting and strengthening communities of all kinds – values upheld by Australia’s first responders.’
It comes after the royal worked alongside the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence and spearheaded a mental fitness tool aimed at helping the military with their well-being in April last year.
The couple had been expected to attend key royal events in June, including Prince Philip’s 100th birthday celebrations and Trooping The Colour, the official celebration of the Queen’s 95th birthday.
Harry is also due in the UK in July for the long-awaited unveiling of the statue that he and William commissioned in memory of Diana at Kensington Palace.
But there has been widespread, quiet concern that the couple’s involvement in the larger family events – and the inevitable public and media furore that would surround their appearance – could detract from the significance of such key occasions.
A source said: ‘It should be strongly stressed that there is still an element of uncertainty about this because of the unpredictable Covid situation, but the understanding is the duke is more than likely to come back on his own.
‘This is a personal and practical decision by the couple, but it would certainly help officials navigate what is likely to be a fairly tricky situation.’
Another added: ‘Her Majesty made very clear when they left the UK that Harry and Meghan were still much loved members of her own family and would be very welcome to attend family events. That still holds true.
‘Practically, however, it comes with the need for a certain amount of diplomacy. There is still a great deal of distance between Harry and many family members, particularly his brother. No one wants a repeat of the Commonwealth Service.’
This refers to the Sussexes’ final official engagement at Westminster Abbey last March, which saw Harry and William barely acknowledge each other, such was the depth of their rift, which is far from healed.
It will be the first time Harry has seen any of his family since quitting royal duties to pursue lucrative business deals abroad.
Harry, Meghan and Archie have been living in North America, first Canada and then California, since November 2019.
While the couple returned to the UK in early March for a last round of official engagements and meetings, Archie – who will turn two in May – did not accompany them.
He has not seen any of his British relatives since he was six months old.
Meghan, pictured here with her husband and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, may miss the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday, Trooping of the Colour and the unveiling of a memorial to Princess Diana
Sources were at pains to stress that Meghan’s tentative decision not to accompany her husband is for ‘personal and practical’ reasons and is not in any way being construed as a ‘snub’. But if she decides not to travel it will save royal officials something of a diplomatic headache
Harry and Meghan have since made clear they have no plans to return to the UK in any meaningful way – as revealed a year ago by the Mail.
They have bought an £11million mansion in Montecito in California, bagged multi-million-pound deals with companies including Netflix and Spotify and set up an office and non-profit foundation, Archewell.
A third source confirmed they had also been told Harry was likely to return home alone.
‘Harry wants to come back for The Queen and Prince Philip’s big birthdays. But it looks likely it will be just him,’ they said. ‘If Meghan comes back, the feeling is that it would overshadow the occasion. People would only be looking at the ‘drama’ of it all.
‘Of course she would be welcome, but a decision not to come would postpone that headache for a while at least.’
The prince is expected to stay at Frogmore Cottage at Windsor, the home he and Meghan decided to keep as a UK base.
The prince is expected to stay at Frogmore Cottage (pictured) at Windsor, the home he and Meghan decided to keep as a UK base
Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland was pictured in California this week
The couple have temporarily lent it to Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank.
A spokesman for the Sussexes did not respond to a request for comment.
The pair are said to have had a ‘painful’ year since Megxit after the couple’s nanny moved back to the UK and the pandemic left them feeling ‘alone,’ the authors of Finding Freedom claimed earlier this month.
Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, who co-wrote the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell biography, alleged that moving to LA brought difficult changes for the couple who stepped back as senior royals in March last year.
‘To be at the point they are at now, having set up an empire and a charity in just over nine months, shows just how hard they have worked to make this transition a success,’ said Omid Scobie, writing in Grazia. ‘But it’s taken a lot of work to get here. The journey has been painful.’
Writing in Grazia, Caroyln Durand said a friend of the couple told her the couple felt ‘alone’ after their nanny left
Omid Scobie added that since making the move to LA the couple have been ‘eager to contribute to the community,’ particularly in regards to the Covid-19 response, and are keen to put the ‘focus back on what mattered’.
It comes after it was reported that Prince Harry was refused permission for a wreath to be laid at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday on his behalf, in another possible sign of a family rift.
The Duke of Sussex, who spent ten years in the armed forces, made the personal request to Buckingham Palace, but was refused due to the fact he had left royal duties in March, The Times reported last November.
The Queen was not thought to have been informed of the request or its refusal, which is said to have ‘deeply saddened’ the Duke of Sussex, the publication reported.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on whether Prince Harry’s request had been refused.
Last month it was reported that the couple want a 12-month extension to the Megxit deal that would see them keep their royal patronages and head back to the UK to seal the deal in person.
However, sources told Omid that the couple have no such plans, adding: ‘They really haven’t looked back’.
— to www.dailymail.co.uk