Charles hails Lili’s birth as ‘happy news’ as he visits Mini plant
William is renowned for being very protective over his three children, and regularly draws a line between his public life and what he is willing to share with the media. Charles, however, has been more forthcoming with details about his grandchildren in the past — to his eldest son’s displeasure. As the Firm celebrated Harry becoming a father for the second time — following the arrival of Lilibet Diana last Friday — royal watchers were waiting to see how the Prince of Wales addressed the latest addition to his family.
On his shared social media accounts with the Duchess of Cornwall, Charles wrote: “Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie on the arrival of baby Lilibet Diana. Wishing them all well at this time.”
But, Charles only made a subtle mention of Lilibet during his first public engagement after her birth — despite speaking openly about his family in the past.
During a visit to the Mini car factory in Oxford, he said looking after the planet is something he is now “only too aware of, having recently become a grandfather for the fifth time”.
He added that it was “such happy news”, while noting that innovation was key to the “legacy we bequeath to our grandchildren”.
Notably, Charles did not mention his granddaughter by name.
His discretion may be down to Harry and Meghan’s own determination to control their own public image and maintain a sense of privacy.
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Charles has also been on the receiving end of William’s “displeasure” in the past, when he revealed some details about George to the public, according to The Mail on Sunday’s Emily Andrews.
She claimed: “William felt piqued that his father sometimes ‘used’ his son’s popularity, and that of his wife and three young children, to burnish his own image.
“William was particularly sensitive as he himself is reluctant to use his children as ‘props’.”
The report added that William has made “his displeasure” known to his father, particularly after one incident when Charles released a photo of himself to the media, with framed, private photographs of his grandchildren in the background.
William was also furious when Charles’ aides revealed to the press that Highgrove’s gardens were converted into a “toddler’s paradise” when George was just two years old.
Charles was then at the centre of a row dubbed the ‘Battle Royale’ with the Middletons, as the Prince of Wales allegedly felt he had less access to his grandchildren when compared to Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s family.
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Charles with William, the Queen and George (R), Charles with Louis
While that row was reportedly resolved as the Cambridges made sure the Prince of Wales got to spend more time with their children, Charles has not seen Archie since November 2019.
The Sussexes went on an extended break with the newborn to Canada at the time.
Although they returned to the UK for a handful of days to announce they were leaving their royal roles in January, and then made another fleeting visit in March to carry out their final duties, they did not bring Archie with them on either occasion.
Now settled on the other side of the Atlantic, it is not known when Charles might be able to meet his granddaughter Lilibet and reconnect with two-year-old Archie.
Tragically, Charles has previously said how important he believes it is to bond with your grandchildren when they are young.
He said: “It’s a different part of your life. The great thing is to encourage them.
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Charles with Archie for his christening back in 2019
“Show them things to take their interest. My grandmother did that, she was wonderful.
“It is very important to create a bond when they are very young.”
The Prince of Wales has also received the brunt of Harry’s fury since the Sussexes started to lift the lid on their misery behind Palace walls.
During his new docuseries, ‘The Me You Can’t See’, Harry said: “My father used to say to me when I was younger, ‘Well, it was like that for me, so it’s going to be like that for you.’
Charles with George, William and Kate at Trooping the Colour
“That doesn’t make sense — just because you suffered, that doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer, in fact quite the opposite.
“If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever negative experiences that you had, you can make it right for your kids.
“Isn’t it this all about breaking the cycle? Isn’t this all about making sure that history doesn’t repeat itself?”
Harry’s dig at Charles’ parenting has cast more doubt over a potential reconciliation between the two any time soon.