Prince Charles and the Queen’s Relationship Is Even More Complicated Than You Thought

For years there has been speculation that the relationship between Prince Charles and his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, hasn’t exactly been a great one. At times, it’s been described as “prickly” and the rumblings that Her Majesty would rather her grandson, Prince William, take the throne over Charles have never really died down.

Here’s what we know about the relationship between the queen of England and the Prince of Wales and how it got to this point.

They never formed a mother-son bond

An archived photo of Queen Elizabeth and prince Charles smiling together.

Their mother-son relationship was never an intimate one. | Central Press/Getty Images

The prince and his mother’s lack of closeness could stem from her reportedly not being present during his childhood. Because the queen had many royal duties to tend to in the years after Charles was born, he was reportedly cared for by nannies and other palace staffers more than his mother.

According to Robert Lacy, the childcare situation was not unusual or foreign to the queen. “She had been brought up in that style herself, after all, with her parents leaving her at home and entrusting her entire schooling to a governess and home tutors,” he told Town & Country.

Biographer Jonathan Dimbleby agreed and quoted Charles as saying that it was “inevitably the nursery staff” who raised him.

Next: The Camilla factor

Queen Elizabeth never liked Camilla Parker Bowles

Queen Elizabeth speaks with Prince Charles, who has linked arms with Camilla Parker Bowles.

She wasn’t going to welcome Prince Charle’s mistress with open arms. | Alastair Grant/AFP/Getty Images

Many people have long believed that the reason for a rift between the queen and her son has always had to do with Camilla Parker Bowles. The prince and Bowles dated in the ’70s, but the queen reportedly wasn’t a fan of her then and therefore, Charles could not marry her. When he went away for his naval duties, his ex married her on-again, off-again beau and Charles later married Diana.

However, Parker Bowles and Charles ended up rekindling their romance and carried on an affair with each other while they were both married to other people.

Next: The queen banned Bowles from the palace. 

The queen was annoyed Charles had affair while married to Diana

Prince Charles and Princess Diana sit next to each other.

The affair was not good for the royal family’s image. | Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

If Queen Elizabeth didn’t approve of Parker Bowles before, she certainly didn’t approve of her having an affair with her son while he was married to Princess Diana. It’s been said that Charles’ mother was so upset by it that she banned Parker Bowles from the palace for some time.

After the death of Princess Diana though, Charles tried desperately to get the queen to accept his love. Eventually, she granted him permission to marry her — with the promise that Parker Bowles would never take the title of queen, only princess consort.

Next: Prince Charles’ palace wasn’t that great. 

Queen Elizabeth moved Charles to a ‘lesser palace’

Prince Charles of Wales speaking at a podium.

Prince Charles did not get off to easily. | Carl Court/Getty Images

When talking about the royal family, there really is a such thing as a “lesser palace,” and that’s apparently where the queen banished Charles to at one point. In Tom Bower’s book Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion, and Defiance of Prince Charles, he wrote that HRH “punished [Charles] by relegating him to the lesser palace, St. James’s Palace.”

He remained there until he moved into Clarence House following the death of his grandmother in 2002.

Next: The queen still doesn’t get along with Parker Bowles?

Charles’ mother may still not approve of Parker Bowles now

Queen Elizabeth wearing a hat and pearls.

Camilla Parker Bowles might not have the queen’s popular vote. | Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

We will likely never know how the queen truly feels about Parker Bowles nowadays. Some reports suggested that after so many years of her being with Charles, she has finally warmed up to her.

But there are also reports that claim Elizabeth II will always harbor some ill feelings towards her daughter-in-law. Some believe she still blames Parker Bowles for Charles and Diana’s messy split, which resulted in the royals’ dirty laundry being aired out to the public.

Next: Could the crown skip Charles and go to William?

Does she want Prince William to take the throne?

Prince William drinking tea.

Prince William might be a better fit for king. | Eddie Mulholland-WPA Pool/Getty Images

A rumor has swirled for years that Her Majesty would like her grandson, Prince William, to be her successor after she passes instead of Prince Charles, who is the heir apparent. That’s also an idea that some members of the British public are behind too, given the popularity of William and Kate Middleton versus Charles and his wife.

But if you thought the crown could simply skip over Charles and go to William, that’s not how it’s works. Queen Elizabeth does not have the power to do that because of a law created back in the early 18th century that states the “current monarch’s heir to the throne must be his or her direct successor.”

Next: Queen Elizabeth finally makes public announcement about successor. 

She states she really does want Charles to succeed her

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles sitting next to each other during a ceremony.

She might have already made this decision. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

For anyone still doubting that Charles would in fact succeed his mother, Her Majesty publicly stated that he will at the official opening of CHOGM on April 19, 2018, saying:

It remains a great pleasure and honor to serve you as Head of the Commonwealth and to observe, with pride and satisfaction, that this is a flourishing network. It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations, and will decide that one day The Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949.

Follow Michelle Kapusta on Twitter @philamichelle.

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