PRINCE CHARLES was engaged in a “Battle Royal” with Carole Middleton over time spent with their mutual grandchildren, according to a royal expert.
The Prince of Wales felt he was being “edged out” by Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael, Katie Nicholl wrote in the Daily Mail in 2016. One friend told Ms Nicholl: “Charles feels very much that the Middletons get more than their fair share of time with George and Charlotte. “In comparison, he sees them very little and he bears a bit of a grudge about that.”
Courtiers also claimed that Carole has a “rather grandiose presence” when she is at Kensington Palace and that she is “possessive” of William, Kate and the children.
In fact, since George’s birth in 2013, Charles has apparently said: “They never let me see my grandson.”
Even George’s third birthday party in 2016 was organised entirely by the Middletons, although Charles and Camilla were of course invited.
A friend told Ms Nicholl: “[Charles] went because he wasn’t prepared to miss out but Camilla didn’t go. Apparently she had other commitments.”
Prince Charles is in a ‘Battle Royal’ with Carole Middleton over Prince George (Image: GETTY)
Charles with his son William and grandson George (Image: GETTY)
Carole and Michael spent the morning of the party organising the children’s food and games, while Charles had been at a meeting in Clarence House with manufacturer and designer Emma Bridgewater, discussing a campaign to protect rural England.
The source added: “Charles didn’t want to miss his grandson’s birthday but the fact that the whole thing was essentially a Middleton event with Carole orchestrating the whole thing is exactly what upsets him.”
Another friend said: “Charles feels rather left out. He gets very little time with his grandchildren and I know he gets upset about it because he has said.”
“He certainly feels William spends more time with the Middletons than he does with his own family.”
Kate’s parents Michael and Carole Middleton (Image: GETTY)
In retaliation, Charles has taken back control of Birkhall, the Scottish estate that belonged to the Queen Mother.
In the early years of the William and Kate marriage, Charles lent the use of his ghillies to the couple and his in-laws, so that they could enjoy a shooting weekend there.
However, now there is apparently “no talk of them going”, according to a member of Charles’ inner circle.
What’s more, the Middletons were conspicuously not invited to several key royal events in 2016, such as Ascot, the thanksgiving service for the Queen’s 90th birthday and the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Happy families on Kate and William’s wedding day (Image: GETTY)
As a result, the Duchess’ family appear to have dropped out of the public view.
This is a far cry from where the families were in 2011 when William and Kate got married, and in the early years of the marriage, when the Middletons often took pride of place.
In 2012 for example, the Middletons were invited by the Queen to board the Elizabethan paddle steamer for the flotilla on the Thames celebrating her Diamond Jubilee.
They also rode in one of the Queen’s carriages on Ladies’ Day at Ascot that year.
William has always been very fond of the Middletons himself, who enjoy that happy, united family lifestyle he never got to enjoy as a youngster.
William’s own parents, Charles and Diana, had a difficult marriage and divorced when he was a teenager, and then Diana tragically died in 1997, leaving a large hole in his life.
With the birth of Prince George nearly seven years ago, the role of his in-laws in his life grew further, starting with their choice to stay their home in Bucklebury in the days after the birth.
Nowadays, Carole often helps take care of the children when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are overseas or on engagements.
Carole Middleton with her grandson George (Image: GETTY)
Meanwhile, Charles made a concerted effort to stay connected with the family, by refurbishing the thatched tree house in the Highgrove garden and installing a £20,000 shepherd’s hut in the wildflower meadow for the benefit of the grandchildren.
However, Charles is extremely busy, while the Middletons have plenty of free time and can work around the Cambridges’ packed schedule.
The apparent “freezing out” of the Middletons by Charles will come as a shock to some, who saw the introduction of the first ‘normal’ family into the fold as a bold new stroke in modernising the Royal Family.
Carole was said to be “devastated” when she found out Charles was complaining that he “never saw” Prince George.
When approached by the Daily Mail in 2016, a Palace spokesman declined to comment.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK