The doting grandfather: Heartwarming family photos shows Charles playing with young Prince Louis and spinning Camilla’s granddaughter around in documentary to mark his 70th birthday
- Never-before-seen picture shows Charles spending time with Louis and Kate
- BBC’s Charles at 70 profiled the Prince of Wales from lobbying to family life
- Camilla says that her husband looks calmly toward the day that he will be king
Proudly laughing at his new grandson, Prince Louis, this is the image that shatters the belief Prince Charles is anything but a doting grandparent.
The never seen before photograph was featured last night in a fascinating BBC documentary marking the heir to the throne’s 70th birthday next week.
Taken in September in the gardens at Clarence House, the prince’s official London residence, it shows the Duchess of Cambridge, wearing a spotted blue dress, holding up little Louis, who was born in April, to see his grandfather.
Proudly laughing at his new grandson, Prince Louis, this is the image that shatters the belief Prince Charles is anything but a doting grandparent
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Charles plays with Camilla’s granddaughter, Lola, in a picture showing how he dotes on his family in tonight’s documentary
Prince Charles walks with Camilla in a documentary that showed how he spends quality time with his loved ones
The little prince, who would have been aged around five months at the time, reaches out and grabs his grandfather’s hands with his fingers, leaving Charles chuckling with delight.
A second unseen image shows the Prince playing with the Duchess of Cornwall’s grandchildren in a garden, swinging around a little girl thought to be Lola Parker Bowles, daughter of Camilla’s son, Tom.
The prince, dressed in a beige suit, open-necked shirt and tasseled loafers, appears to be having as much fun as the giggling youngster.
Prince Charles bemoaned the lack of progress on climate change in the documentary on BBC 1 tonight
Prince Harry recalled being ridiculed at school because he followed in his father’s footsteps to pick up litter
The princes watch a clip of their father speaking about plastic wrecking the environment back in the 1970s
The picture was taken from her private family album in what appears to be the garden of Ray Mill, the private house that the duchess keeps in Wiltshire. Her daughter, Laura Lopes, and daughter-in-law, Sara Parker Bowles, can be seen in the background.
The duchess described her husband in an interview for Prince, Son & Heir – Charles at 70 – as being wonderful with all his eight grandchildren.
She has five by her children Tom and Laura – Lola and her brother, Freddy, plus Laura’s Eliza, Gus and Louis – while Charles has three – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – with another on the way for his younger son, Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex.
The documentary also explored how the prince’s charity subsidises fitness activities for deprived communities in Scotland
The Prince of Wales is described as a ‘brilliant’ grandfather who will spend hours crawling on the floor and making silly noises with his little granddaughters and grandsons
‘He will get down on his knees and crawl about with them for hours, you know making funny noises and laughing and my Grandchildren adore him, absolutely adore him. He reads Harry Potter and he can do all the different voices and I think children really appreciate that, ‘ the duchess said.
The prince hasn’t always had the easiest relationship with his sons, Princes William and Harry.
Although he tried to be there for them, particularly following the tragic death of their mother, his workload didn’t always make that possible.
William, now a father of three himself, admits that he and his younger brother would often have to wade through mountains of paperwork to get to their father’s desk to say goodnight to him – a heart-rending experience for any child, let alone two that had lost one of their parents.
Prince Harry says his father did not hesitate to step in after the Duchess of Sussex’s father pulled out of walking her down the aisle in May
More recently, it has been said Charles has privately expressed frustration that he doesn’t get to see as much of his grandchildren as the Middleton family. It is a claim his aides have been at pains to dismiss.
It is certainly clear from the picture that Charles has a real bond with Louis, who very much recognises his grandfather – known as Grandpa Wales by his growing brood of grandchildren.
And friends tell the Mail that Charles is very much hands-on when he seen the youngsters.
But William did tell the documentary makers that while his papa is ‘brilliant’ with his children, he wishes his workaholic father had more time to spend with them.
In the documentary, Charles says: ‘You can’t be the same as the sovereign if you’re the Prince of Wales or the heir. But the idea somehow that I’m going to go on exactly the same way, if I have to succeed, is complete nonsense because the two situations are completely different’
Asked whether his father had ‘time to be a grandfather on top of everything else’ the 36-year-old says carefully: ‘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.
‘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 you know going on.
‘So, having more time with him at home would be lovely, and being able to you know play around, err, with the grandchildren. Because when he’s there, he’s brilliant. but we need him there as much as possible.’
So close: The Duchess of Cornwall gives Prince Charles a gentle punch as they walk their dog Beth at Birkhall
The Duke of Sussex salutes after laying a Cross of Remembrance outside Westminster Abbey today ahead of tonight’s documentary
Millions of viewers were left deeply moved as the prince turned to his father and said, ‘Thank you Pa’, as Charles completed the walk down St George’s Chapel at Windsor with Meghan on his arm
I’m so proud of how he stepped in to walk Meghan down the aisle, says Harry as he and William give candid interview about their relationship with their father
Prince Harry says his father did not hesitate to step in after the Duchess of Sussex’s father pulled out of walking her down the aisle in May.
Thomas Markle decided not to travel from his Mexico home after being humiliatingly exposed for colluding with a paparazzi photographer in the run-up to the nuptials.
When it became clear that Meghan wouldn’t have her reclusive father to support her, Harry went to his.
When it became clear that Meghan wouldn’t have her reclusive father to support her, Harry went to his
Speaking in a documentary to mark Charles’ 70th birthday, Harry says: ‘I asked him to and I think he knew it was coming and he immediately said ‘Yes, of course, I’ll do whatever Meghan needs, and I’m here to support you’.
‘For him that’s a fantastic opportunity to step up and be that support, and you know he’s our father so of course he’s going to be there for us. I was very grateful for him to be able to do that.’
Millions of viewers were left deeply moved as the prince turned to his father and said, ‘Thank you Pa’, as Charles completed the walk down St George’s Chapel at Windsor with Meghan on his arm.
Charles’s wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, says: ‘That was very touching. But afterwards watching it on the television, I think it was a lovely gesture.’
Prince William insists he wants to take his own path in life.
The second in line to the throne says: ‘There are so many things I admire about my father – his work ethic, his passions … but personally I want to be my own man and take my own style, my own passions and my own interests my way, and do things slightly differently.
‘It’s important that each generation does things a little bit differently.’
Charles works too hard – he should spend more time with his grandchildren (who he loves crawling around with) reveals Prince William
Prince William wishes his workaholic father could spend more time with his grandchildren, the documentary to mark Charles’ 70th birthday reveals.
The Prince of Wales is described as a ‘brilliant’ grandfather who will spend hours crawling on the floor and making silly noises with his little granddaughters and grandsons.
But the prince can be distracted because he is so dedicated to his work – to the extent that his sons say he sometimes falls asleep with the documents he is reading stuck to his face.
Asked whether his father has ‘time to be a grandfather on top of everything else’, William answers carefully.
In recent years, Charles is said to have privately expressed his frustration that he doesn’t get to see as much of his grandchildren as the Middleton family, a claim his aides have always furiously dismissed.
But his elder son makes clear that he would like to have more ‘family time’ with his hard-working father.
William says: ‘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.
‘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 OK – 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 play around with the grandchildren. Because when he’s there, he’s brilliant. But we need him there as much as possible.’
If there is one thing the prince’s family is agreed on, it’s their desire – not that he will ever listen – for him to slow down
Camilla adds: ‘He will get down on his knees and crawl about with them for hours, you know making funny noises and laughing, and my grandchildren adore him, absolutely adore him. He reads Harry Potter and he can do all the different voices and I think children really appreciate that.’ Aides say Charles could not be prouder to be a grandfather.
The prince happily shows the documentary crew an arboretum that he has planted for his eldest grandchild at Birkhall, his Scottish home, which he calls ‘George’s wood’.
Referring to his passion for the environment and life-long campaign to highlight the perils of climate change, Harry reveals his father still can’t help ‘banging the drum’ even when he sits down with his sons to dinner.
He tells his brother: ‘You know how frustrated he gets. But he’s done an amazing job, and without telling us what he should be doing or the direction that we should go in, he’s just let us learn from the nature of the job, learning from him, learning from Mummy.’
The Queen and Prince Charles surrounded by guests on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London during a star-studded concert to celebrate the Queen’s 92nd birthday. Camilla says: ‘I think his destiny will come, he’s always known it’s going to come and I don’t think it does weigh on his shoulders at all’
The programme reveals how Charles would take his sons litter picking when they were on holiday with him.
Harry reveals: ‘He’s a stickler for turning lights off.
‘And that’s now something that I’m obsessed with as well, which is insane because actually my wife certainly goes ‘Well why turn the lights off? You know it’s dark’.
‘I go ‘We only need one light, we don’t need like six’, and all of a sudden it becomes a habit and those small habit changes he’s making, every single person can do. And I think that is one of the key lessons certainly that I felt that he taught us.’
William agrees, adding: ‘I know I’ve got serious OCD on light switches now which is terrible.
‘He does life the way that he advocates. He did take to heart the criticism quite a lot when he was younger.’
If there is one thing the prince’s family is agreed on, it’s their desire – not that he will ever listen – for him to slow down.
Harry jokes: ‘He does need to slow down, this is a man who has dinner ridiculously late at night.
‘And then goes to his desk later that night and will fall asleep on his notes to the point of where he’ll wake up with a piece of paper stuck to his face.’
William agrees, saying: ‘He has amazing personal discipline. 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.’
The Duchess of Cornwall says she tried to encourage her husband to ‘pace himself’ but admits he is too driven to take any notice.
She smiles ruefully: ‘My father once said to me, ‘As you get older, you’ve got to do one thing and that is pace yourself’. And I would love to tell him to pace himself, but I’m afraid that’s not going to happen.’
Charles neatly sums up the way his life has been mapped out before him, with astonishing matter of factness.
He says: ‘When my mama succeeded and became Queen when by grandfather died so young, aged 57, I ended up becoming heir to the throne at aged four.’
And yet his wife says it is a weight he bears lightly.
Asked whether the crown is something he often thinks about, Camilla says: ‘No, I don’t.
‘I think his destiny will come, he’s always known it’s going to come and I don’t think it does weigh on his shoulders at all.’
When she is asked if it is something he talks about, the duchess replies: ‘Not very much, no. It’s just something that’s going to happen.’
Asked to give a message to the prince on his birthday, his sons are quick to reply.
Harry laughs: ‘Please have dinner earlier is my message to him! I would encourage him to remain optimistic because I think it can be very easy to become despondent and negative.
‘But with hopefully his children and his grandchildren and hopefully more grandchildren to come, he can get energy from the family side and then carry on his leadership role.’
William adds: ‘I’m very pleased that he’s made 70. You know if you ask him if the job’s done, it’s not.
‘But more than anything I’d like to see his passions and his interests and the things he’s been campaigning for come to fruition completely for him. He hasn’t even reached the point that his natural progression should do – i.e. being monarch. So, you know he’s still got his job to do.’
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