Prince William opens up about highs and lows of ‘brilliant’ Charles’ parenting

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Prince William's past comments indicate what Charles is really like as both a dad and a grandfather.

The great schism that was Harry and Meghan stepping down from royal duties and the former's comments about his dad have largely yanked the spotlight away from older brother William and his relationship with Prince Charles.

But in the past, the future king has always been candid about Charles, 72, and their relationship, giving an insight into what he's like as a father.

To mark the monarch's milestone 70th birthday in 2019, the BBC released a documentary, Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, where they interviewed family members and those closest to Charles.

Firstly William, 39, gave an insight into his father's work-life balance when he and Harry, 36, were growing up.

"He has amazing personal discipline," William said in the documentary.

"So, he has – and it's frustrated me in the past a lot – he has a routine. The only way to fit all this stuff in is things have to be compartmentalised.

"The man never stops. I mean when we were kids there was bags and bags and bags of work that the office just sent to him. We could barely even get to his desk to say goodnight to him."

During ITV documentary When Ant And Dec Met The Prince: 40 Years Of The Prince's Trust, William reminisced on how Charles had a habit of "rabbiting on" like any other dad. He also revealed a hilarious story where his father laughed at him during a school play.

"I was in some sort of Christmas play and I was a wizard and I came on and I narrated it," William said.

"There was meant to be a bit of pyrotechnic explosion in front of me and I jumped on stage and nothing happened, and so I started reading it and of course at this point I was quite panicky and then the pyrotechnic went off as I was reading.

"I was like 'Er…' and literally he couldn't stop laughing the whole way through the production and so several times I'd stop, I'd cast an eye across, a big death stare, and then I'd try and get back to my lines. It was terrible. Honestly."

He has also said that Charles' handwriting can be hard to decipher, again, like any other dad's.

When William and Harry were away at boarding school in Eton their father would keep in touch by writing letters.

On When Ant And Dec Met The Prince: 40 Years Of The Prince's Trust, William said his father's handwriting was "spider-like," and added: "His writing in his letters is notoriously difficult to read but as it gets later in the evening, it's about 12 when he's writing letters, we can tell instantly.

"When he's falling asleep you get these long sort of As that disappear off the page."

During the BBC doc, William conceded that he wishes his father would have more time with his grandchildren George, 7, Louis, 3, and Charlotte, 6.

On whether Charles has time to be a granddad, the Duke said: "It's something I'm working more heavily on, put it that way.

"I think he does have time for it, but I would like him to have more time with the children."

He added that he thinks that because his father is now older, he should unwind a bit more. He said: "I think he's… now he's reached his 70th year it's a perfect time to consolidate a little bit because as most families would do, you are worried about having them around and making sure their health's okay.

"And he's the fittest man I know but equally I want him to be fit until he's 95. So, having more time with him at home would be lovely, and being able to you know, play with the grandchildren.

"Because when he's there, he's brilliant. But we need him there as much as possible."

  • BBC
  • ITV
  • Prince Charles
  • Prince William
  • Christmas
  • Family

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