Prince Charles celebrated his 73rd birthday on Sunday. Clarence House released a new portrait of the Prince of Wales, pictured smiling on a bench at his Highgrove home. It was the first birthday he celebrated without his father, Prince Philip, who died earlier this year.
Charles grew much closer to his father in later years, and was one of the first members of the Royal Family to be seen visiting his father in hospital shortly before his death, but they had a complicated relationship growing up.
In a 2004 interview with Gyles Brandreth, Philip offered an insight into the relationship: “Charles is a romantic — and I am a pragmatist.
“That means we do see things differently and because I don’t see things as a romantic would, I am unfeeling.”
Royal historian Brian Hoey told the 1998 documentary ‘Prince Charles at 50: Heir to Sadness’ that Charles’ relationship with his parents was somewhat distant.
He said: “Charles is a very different parent to his children than his parents had to be to him.
“You must remember, he was born in 1948, and just four years later, in 1952, his mother became also his Queen.
“And the demands of a constitutional monarchy really superseded those of being a devoted parent.
“The Queen, I think, is a devoted parent. But at the same time, she puts duty before everything, including her own personal happiness.”
Charles’ biographer Anthony Holden echoed this, telling the documentary: “It’s often been said and it’s probably true that Princess Anne was his ‘favourite son’, his only daughter, because she, in Philip’s eyes, showed a lot more strength of character than any of his sons.
“Particularly in childhood, Charles could be reduced to tears by Philip driving him on, thinking he was a bit of a wimp, that Anne was the tougher one and that’s what he wanted his son to be.
“That’s remained true in adulthood.”
Royal biographer Penny Junor told ITV News that Charles’ character was completely different to his father.
Shortly after the Duke’s death, she said: “Charles desperately, desperately wanted to please his father, desperately wanted to do the right thing and to get his admiration and his praise.
“And the Duke was a particular sort of man, he was an alpha-male, he wanted a son in his own image.
“And Charles was just never that child.”
Charles shared many similar interests with his father — both were fascinated by wildlife and the environment, by helping young people, and their shared love of the great outdoors and polo.
Anne, meanwhile, had a very special relationship with her father.
The Daily Express’ former royal reporter Ashley Walton once told Hello! magazine that the Princess Royal is “just like” her father.
Mr Walton said: “She’s as strong as he is, takes no nonsense, takes no prisoners.”
Anne paid a wonderful tribute to her father in a pre-recorded interview with ITV.
In the interview, she said: “Without him life will be completely different.
“But from society’s perspective he was able to keep pace with the kind of technological changes that have such an impact… but above all that it’s not about the technology, it’s about the people.”
Philip is known to have had a rather strained relationship with Prince Andrew, and is said to have strongly disapproved of his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince Edward, meanwhile, had a very strong bond with his father, and often spoke out in support of his father.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK