The relationship between Prince Charles and his father, Prince Philip, has always been precarious, but a new book by royal watcher Gyles Brandreth takes a closer look at just what went wrong between the two during Charles’ childhood to create such a strain.
RSVPLive says that Brandreth’s book, Charles & Camilla: Portrait of a Love Affair, reveals that Charles, Duke of Cornwall, saw himself as a victim of Prince Philip’s “harsh” parenting techniques.
Prince Charles recalled a number of times when his father made him cry in public, often in front of crowds of people, while comparatively, his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, says that her childhood was pleasant, and she has wonderful memories of her own father.
But Brandreth says that Charles felt picked on by his father throughout his formative years.
“Prince Charles, on the other hand, recalls being pretty heavily dropped on by the Duke of Edinburgh on numerous occasions. At mealtimes, in front of guests, his father’s banter regularly reduced the young Duke of Cornwall to silence and incipient tears. On one occasion at the Braemar Highland Games in front of thousands, father publicly rebuked son for fidgeting,” the book details.
The Duke of Cornwall has long said that his childhood was “lonely and heartbreaking,” and that feeling continued into adulthood, says Express. In 1992, after Charles and Diana separated, the prince opened up to an authorized biographer, Jonathan Dimbleby, about the “miseries” of his youth.
Prince Charles says that his mother (Queen Elizabeth) didn’t have time for him, and his father constantly feared that the heir to the throne was too soft. Charles told Dimbleby that there was no soft touch to balance out Prince Philip’s “bruteness.”
Brandreth says that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were appalled that their son spoke so frankly to a member of the press, and essentially through his parents under the bus.
“That Prince Charles should voluntarily talk to a broadcaster and journalist about family matters and let the journalist have access to his diaries and private correspondence seemed, to his parents, sheer foolishness,” Brandreth wrote.
Queen Elizabeth saw Prince Charles as “incredibly naive,” but Prince Philip called it “bloody stupid.”
The official statement from the palace was that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had “meant well” and were hurt by what Prince Charles had said.
Speaking to Gyles Brandreth, Prince Philip could only say that he tried and never meant any harm.
“We did our best.”