Monday, 26 Oct 2020

Prince Philip ‘wasn’t loving father’ who ‘frightened’ Prince Charles – staggering claims

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The Duke of Edinburgh’s fractured relationship with his firstborn son Prince Charles has been laid bare in a sensational royal book, which exposes a ”series of separations” that “blighted” the future King’s life. Royal author Ingrid Seward revealed how Prince Philip didn’t “spend much time” with Prince Charles, only attending two out of his eight birthdays.

She wrote: “Philip was only 26 when Charles was born and harboured a young man’s ideal that he would like his first-born to be in his own image.

“As Charles grew into a shy, diffident child, Philip was determined to make a man of his son and organised for him to be driven three times a week to a private gym in Chelsea where a small class of boys were instructed in physical training and boxing.

“‘Philip tolerated Charles but he wasn’t a loving father,’ said Eileen Parker, the former wife of one of Philip’s closest friends, Mike Parker, when I interviewed her.

“‘I think Charles was frightened of him. He became very quiet when Philip was around.’

“The Parkers’ daughter, Julie, born a month after the young Prince, often went home from playing with Charles and asked her parents: ‘Why is Prince Philip cross with Charles? Why isn’t he nice to him?’”

Determined to mould his firstborn son into himself, Prince Philip sent Prince Charles to the same private school he attended – Gordonstoun School in the north of Scotland – where he was picked on “maliciously, cruelly and without respite”.

But his father had no sympathy, with Ms Seward writing in the Daily Mail: “Philip, on hearing of his son’s troubles, wrote to him encouraging him to ‘man up’ rather than sympathising with him.”

Ms Seward also claimed the Queen and Prince Philip “saw remarkably little of their offspring” which festered in to his adult life and marriage to Princess Diana who was critical of her husband’s upbringing.

The Queen and Prince Philip had their first child, Prince Charles, in 1948, around a year after they got married.

Next came Princess Anne, who was born one year after her brother Charles. In 1960, the couple welcomed another son, Prince Andrew, and, in 1964, Prince Edward.

She added: “I remember talking to Princess Diana about what she called Charles’s ‘emotional retentiveness’, which she put down to his childhood.

“Diana reckoned that if Charles had been brought up in the normal fashion, he would have been better able to handle his and her emotions.

“Instead, she said, his feelings seemed to have been suffocated at birth.

“According to her, he never had any hands-on love from his parents.

“Only his nannies showed him affection but that, as Diana explained, was not the same as being kissed and cuddled by your parents, which Charles never was. When he met his parents, they didn’t embrace: they shook hands.

“Because of his upbringing, he couldn’t be tactile with his own wife.

“She said: ‘The only thing he learned about love was shaking hands.’” has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment. 

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