News / September 2015

Prince Charles & Sons

Prince Charles can take great pride in the upbringing of his adored sons, William and Harry. No longer is the word 'dysfunctional' associated with the Windsors.

Prince Charles was always a family man, and there is much evidence that, as a boy, he preferred the holidays with his family to being at school. Yet he had moments of angst, for he was in awe of his father, who detected an oversensitive boy into whom confidence should be instilled. The methods used were not to Prince Charles's liking, and certainly Gordonstoun school, which had so suited Prince Philip's temperament, was a largely unpleasant experience for Charles.

Times had changed considerably by the time the Prince became a father, in 1982. Both he and Diana were much more hands-on. When the Queen and Prince Philip went on their Commonwealth tour of 1953-54, the children were left at Buckingham Palace with their nannies, only joining their grandmother, the Queen Mother, at weekends and for the Christmas holidays at Sandringham. It seems extraordinary that they did not move in with her at Clarence House, or that she did not move into Buckingham Palace, but that is how it was.

The Prince and Princess of Wales were having none of that. When they went to Australia and New Zealand in 1983, they took the infant Prince William with them. He delighted Prince Charles by crawling, prompting Charles to write:

'We laughed and laughed with sheer, hysterical pleasure, and now we can't stop him crawling about everywhere.'

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Hugo Vickers