Do Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II Get Along?

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles have a complicated relationship. Even though they’re the current and future leaders of the British monarch, they’re still mother and son. But do they get along? Continue reading to learn more about their relationship.

Queen Elizabeth II’s relationship with her oldest child has long been talked about namely because Prince Charles, now 70, will one day take over his mother’s job being first in the line of succession. That fact alone makes their relationship much more complicated than the average one between a parent and child.

Prince Charles didn’t spend much time with Queen Elizabeth II as a young boy

Prince Charles’s upbringing wasn’t typical of other children. Aside from growing up in the lap of luxury, his parents — Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh — weren’t around much. They had royal duties to perform and often left Prince Charles, and later his siblings, in the care of nannies, which was the norm for the time period. 

These days, parents in the royal family have adopted a more hands-on approach (Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, regularly do take their kids to and from school) but when Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip welcomed Prince Charles in 1948, hired help spent more time with the children than their parents. 

In his 1994 authorized biography written by Jonathan Dimbleby, Prince Charles told the author it was “inevitably the nursery staff” who watched him take his first steps and taught him life lessons, according to Town & Country.

Windsor family
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh with Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, and Prince Charles. | Keystone/Getty Images

In another (unauthorized) biography of Prince Charles, author Sally Bedell Smith explained Queen Elizabeth II relied on others to manage the lives of children. 

“When Elizabeth became Queen on the death of her father, her dedication to her duties meant even less time for her children,” Bedell Smith wrote. “She relied increasingly on her husband to make the major family decisions and she depended on the nannies to supervise the daily lives.” 

The author noted the family saw each other after breakfast and teatime and that Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II weren’t the type of parents who showed their children physical affection. 

Prince Charles ‘adored’ his grandmother

Prince Charles remained close with his grandmother, the Queen Mother until she died in 2002. At her funeral, Prince Charles said he “dreaded this moment,” that his grandmother “meant everything” to him, and that he had “adored her” since childhood. 

Queen Mother Prince Charles
Queen Mother and Prince Charles. | HUGO PHILPOTT/AFP/Getty Images

Judging from this speech, Prince Charles formed a close bond with the Queen Mother as a young boy one that he may have also formed with his mother had she not been leading the monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles may have gotten closer as adults

While we know Queen Elizabeth II has one habit that annoyed Prince Charles in the past, they surely respect and love each other. When they’ve attended royal engagements together, they appear happy and to be enjoying themselves in each other’s company. 

Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. | Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Plus, as adults, they’ve undoubtedly had the opportunity to spend more time together as Queen Elizabeth II prepares Prince Charles to take on her role as the leader of the monarch. While she’s grooming her son for the position, there’s no reason they couldn’t have developed a closer bond albeit in their later years.

While we may never exactly how well they get along, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles have a relationship, not unlike the average one between mother and son. They may not agree on everything but at the end of the day, they love each other.