PRINCE WILLIAM and his father Prince Charles have often shown a united front as royals – but what is their relationship really like? Are the two future kings close?
Pictures posted on social media for Fathers Day and Prince William’s birthday have delighted Royal fans, as recent Royal upheavals and the ongoing coronavirus crisis have deprived them of new photo opportunities. Despite a difficult year for the monarchy, with the Prince Andrew accusations and the rift between the Sussexes and the rest of the Royal Family, Prince Charles and his eldest Prince William have managed to forge a stronger bond in the face of adversity, according to several Royal insiders.
Rumours of the father and son have a fractured relationship date back his Charles’s divorce from Princess Diana – in 1996, Diana greed to an “uncontested divorce,” according to Andrew Morton’s biography of the late princess.
Diana described that February day as “the saddest day of [her] life.”
Prior to the separation, though, the couple were regularly at odds with each other.
In the biography Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion, and Defiance of Prince Charles, British investigative journalist Tom Bower alleges that Prince Charles’ relationship with William and Harry became strained during the divorce from Diana.
Prince Charles and Prince William (Image: GETTY)
According to Bower, Charles believed “Diana had poisoned the boys’ minds towards their father,” and royal biographer Penny Junor wrote about the introduction of Camilla in The Telegraph, saying “William, in particular, didn’t want to know.”
In fact, in the 2017 documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, Prince Charles is not mentioned at all by either brother, signalling that they like to keep the animosity between them and their late mother separate.
However, new upheavals caused by the Sussex camp may have improved relations between Prince Charles and Prince William.
After it was announced that Prince Harry and Meghan would leave the Royal family and start afresh across the pond, Prince Charles and Prince William, along with Kate and Camilla, took part in their first Royal engagement together in nine years.
Prince Charles and Diana finally got divorced just months before her death (Image: GETTY)
Visiting a veterans event together in February, Prince Charles’s biographer Sally Bedell Smith remarked that the relationship between the two seemed stronger.
“One sensed a spontaneous warmth between them,” she told Vanity Fair.
“Apart from the very visible bond, there’s plenty of evidence indicating a closer alignment between Charles and William.
“During the crisis over Prince Andrew’s scandals last year, both the Queen and Prince Charles ensured that Prince William played an active role in the decision-making.
“That cooperation was also apparent in hammering out an agreement with Harry and Meghan to leave their official duties with the royal family.”
ITV broadcaster and close friend of the Royals Tom Bradby commented earlier this year that Harry and Meghan’s exit from Royal life had caused Prince Charles and his eldest son to become closer.
Mr Bradby wrote in The Times: “Perhaps one of the few positives is that the entire crisis has pushed Prince Charles and his elder son closer together for the first time in years.
“Harry might allow himself a wry smile at that. But the family urgently needs a meaningful peace deal with the young breakaway couple, because a protracted war would be very bloody indeed.”
Windsor family tree (Image: GETTY)
Referring to his documentary “Harry and Meghan: An African Journey”, Mr Brady noted: “Certainly, when I inquired if Meghan was ‘OK’, I took her reply – ‘Thanks for asking, as not many people have’ – to refer to the family itself, rather than the public or the media.
“My understanding is that William did try, but the impression I have, for the moment at least, is that things have gone too far to be retrieved.”
Much has been made of the brothers’ relationship since the landmark ITV documentary, also presented by Mr Bradbury, in which Prince Harry discussed his relationship with his brother.
Harry said “inevitably stuff happens” but that “we are brothers, we will always be brothers.
“We are certainly on different paths at the moment but I will always be there for him and I know he will always be there for me.
“We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we are so busy but I love him dearly.”
He added: “The majority of stuff is created out of nothing but as brothers, you know, you have good days, you have bad days.”
It is rare for Royal Family members to give candid interviews about their private lives and some have compared the documentary to the famously explosive Panorama interview Prince Harry’s mother Princess Diana gave to Martin Bashir in 1995.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK