Royal shock: The heartbreaking truth behind Prince Charles’ 70th birthday photograph

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PRINCE CHARLES’ birthday photoshoot was an “absolute nightmare” to arrange as Prince Harry and Prince William kept dithering, a new royal biography has revealed.

The photograph, published in 2018 to mark the Prince of Wales’ 70th birthday, shows Prince George sitting on Prince Charles’ knee, and the Duchess of Cornwall with her arm around Princess Charlotte’s shoulders sitting next to them. Also featured in the snap, standing behind them are Prince William and Prince Harry with their wives, Kate and Meghan, and Prince Louis.

Finding Freedom, a new biography of Harry and Meghan, revealed how the planning of the photoshoot was far from ideal.

In the book, co-authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote: “The boys can be hot and cold with their father’ disclosed a source, who gave the example of planning the photo session for Charles’ 70th birthday, which they called ‘an absolute nightmare’.

“‘Neither William nor Harry made much of an effort to make themselves available’, the source said.”

But despite previous tensions when Charles tested positive for coronavirus earlier this year, Prince Harry immediately reached out to find out how he was.

Prince Charles

The heartbreaking truth behind Prince Charles’ 70th birthday photograph (Image: Getty)

The authors of the book wrote: “The doctors described the Prince of Wales as in ‘good spirits’ and his symptoms as mild, it was still enough to fill Harry with worry.

“He immediately called Charles at Birkhall, his Scottish home where he was now quarantined.

“Harry regularly checked in on his father until he was out of quarantine and recovered – as well as Camilla, who isolated herself as a precaution.”

The book also describes the complex relationship between Prince Harry and Prince Charles, which is far from ordinary.

The authors wrote in Finding Freedom: “‘While Charles may be father to Harry, he’s also their boss, and that makes the relationship complex for a number of reasons’, a source added.

“‘Charles is extremely focused on his public image, and there have been times Harry has felt that has taken precedence over everything else’, the source said.”

Harry’s wife, the Duchess of Sussex, is said to deeply care for Prince Charles.

According to the new biography, Meghan sees Prince Charles as a father figure, and her fondness is reciprocated by him.

He has reportedly taken a “real shine” to her, and has described her as a “sassy, confident beautiful American”.

A friend said: “He likes very strong, confident women. She’s bright, and she’s self-aware, and I can see why they’ve struck up a very quick friendship.”

Despite her confidence and her “shine”, the Duchess had to be given training to adapt to her new life as part of the Royal Family following her engagement to Harry in 2017.

Mr Scobie and Ms Durand wrote: “Set to undergo the same informal training Kate had embarked upon following her engagement to William – a series of instructions that covered everything from how to most gracefully exit your chauffeured sedan while wearing a pencil skirt to when to courtesy to members of the family several rungs up the hierarchy from you – Meghan was connected to a team of experts.

Meghan also took a two-day security course with the Special Air Service.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle took a two-day security course with the Special Air Service (Image: Getty)

The book’s authors wrote: “The training – which all senior member of the royal family except the Queen have completed at SAS headquarters in Hereford – is preparation for all high-risk security scenarios including kidnapping, hostage situations and terrorist attacks.”

The biography explained how the Duchess was “bundled into the back of a car” by a “terrorist” and driven to a location before she was rescued by officers.

In the early days of her relationship with Prince Harry, she received a phone call from a Palace aide regarding a necklace she wore which featured her and Harry’s initials.

Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote: “Two days after Meghan was photographed buying flowers at her usual florist, wearing her new initial necklace, she received a phone call from a senior Kensington Palace aide.

“She was advised that wearing such a necklace only served to encourage the photographers to keep pursuing such images – and new headlines.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK