Prince Charles had a more detached relationship with sons Prince William and Prince Harry in their early years as he had Princess Diana do most of the parenting, according to Lady Montagu. The royal commentator suggested the Prince of Wales had to take on a completely new approach to raising his sons when Diana tragically died in 1997. Discussing the monumental changes the death of the Princess of Wales brought on, Lady Montagu told documentary ‘The Queen and Prince Charles: Mother and Son’: “I think at first, when Prince Charles became a father, he left a lot of the parenting to Princess Diana.
“We can see that in the hugging, the laughing, the cuddling that she did. After her death, it changes completely.
“He is very hands-on for those boys and knows he has to be. He really stepped up in that parenting role when he needed to.”
Former royal butler Grant Harrold, who worked for Prince Charles and his family for several years, said the Prince of Wales had always been a “very considerate father.”
Mr Harrold also appeared to suggest Charles had been able to count on the parenting advice of a key figure in his life.
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He said: “He is a fantastic parent. Very caring, very loving and considerate.
“As far as where is parenting style came from, the Queen Mother would have given him some pointers and advice.”
The Prince of Wales and his grandmother had developed a very close relationship thanks to the time spent together in the early years of the Queen’s reign during which Her Majesty had often been engaged on international tours with Prince Philip, leaving Charles and younger sister Anne at home.
Charles repeatedly admitted he had felt “distant” from the Queen during his childhood and admitted the Queen Mother had “meant everything to him.”
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Paying tribute to his grandmother after her death at 101 in 2002, Prince Charles said: “For me, she meant everything.
“And I had dreaded, dreaded, this moment, along with, I know, countless others.
“Somehow I never thought it would come.
“She seemed gloriously unstoppable and, since I was a child, I adored her.”
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The Queen Mother and King George VI were known to have had a more hands-on approach to raising their two daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.
It is therefore possible Prince Charles may have drawn some inspiration from his grandparents when it came to helping William and Harry through their teenage years after the tragic loss of their mother.
Discussing life after Diana’s death, Prince Harry told the BBC in 2017: “Our dad was there for us — he was the one out of two left, and he tried to do his best and to make sure that we were protected and looked after.
“But he was going through the same grieving process as well.”