The Prince of Wales’ 72nd birthday today will have to be a more understated affair, due to the national lockdown. It’s not clear how he intends to spend the day but royal watchers have assumed he will be in contact with his immediate family to mark the occasion. Although he may be able to see Prince William and his children when lockdown lifts in December, he has not seen Prince Harry’s son, Archie Harrison, in a year.
Harry and his wife Meghan Markle went on an extended trip to Canada last November and have since decided to settle in California, with Archie.
Not only have the family decided to leave their royal life behind, but there is thought to still be ongoing friction between Harry and his older brother which has been growing in the past few years.
Charles is known as a family man and, as the Sussexes’ are so far away, he is bound to feel disappointed — especially as Harry and William used to show their close bond during his birthday celebrations.
For instance, in 1998 the two princes came together to throw Charles a surprise party for his 50th.
Prince Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles
Harry and William used to delight the public with their double act antics
Even then, they performed together for the occasion.
In her 2018 book, ‘Harry: Conversations with the Prince, biographer Angela Levin noted: “The one embarrassment was that Prince Harry and William staged a mock ‘Full Monty-style strip.”
Unearthed coverage from the Prince of Wales’ 60th birthday party also shows how the brothers delighted their father by giving speeches together.
The two royals used to be known for always joking around with each other
Back in 2008, the BBC reported: “In a short address, Princes William and Harry thanked everyone for attending and paid tribute to their father as ‘an inspiration to us and so many others’.
“The princes also joked that because of their father’s age they were having an electric chairlift installed in his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire.”
For Charles’ 70th, the two men took part in a BBC documentary to mark the occasion, and joked about how their father had “programmed” them to pick up litter and pointed out how “young he is” in old footage of the eco-friendly issuing a warning about plastic waste.
However, even as their father was hitting this milestone, the cracks were starting to emerge in Harry and William’s relationship.
The official photographs produced for the occasion were a “nightmare” behind the scenes, according to the newly released pro-Sussex biography, Finding Freedom.
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Harry and William had a reputation for being a royal double act
Charles’ 70th birthday photoshoot: Reports claim there were underlying tensions behind the happy image
They all seemed delighted to be together — but authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand claimed there was another hidden element to the photoshoot.
A source told the royal reporters: “Neither William nor Harry made much of an effort to make themselves available.”
The authors also claimed that Harry and William can blow “hot and cold with their father”, and that they all struggled as Charles is technically the princes’ boss, due to royal hierarchy.
Charles’ 60th birthday party — Harry and William can be seen laughing together at the back of the photograph
The biographers explained: “The brothers sometimes had to vie for additional funds for projects from their father, who also helped to cover expenses related to Camilla and some of those for his sons (including Kate and Meghan’s wardrobes).
“They actually genuinely have to debate who gets what amount from their father to fund their projects.”
The feud between Harry and William is thought to still be going on, some eight months after the Sussexes left the royal frontline.
‘Finding Freedom’ by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand was published by HarperCollins in 2020 and is available here.
— to www.express.co.uk