Prince Harry has been blasted for speaking out against his father Prince Charles’ parenting skills — but Charles also made it clear that growing up in the palace was no picnic.
Harry stunned royal watchers Thursday when he said he was caught in a “cycle” of “pain and suffering” growing up as a member of the British royal family.
As one palace source told Page Six following Harry’s lengthy interview with Dax Shepard on his podcast “Armchair Expert,” “It’s so tiring —stop whining about how awful your privileged upbringing was … and stop using your title if you are so miserable about being royal.”
Another insider joked: “We really should start calling him Henry Wales.”
However, when Charles, the heir to the throne, hit rock bottom following his separation from Princess Diana in 1992, he spoke out to Jonathan Dimbleby for an authorized biography.
The book painted a picture of a lonely little boy who barely saw his parents and was miserable after being forced to attend the same strict Scottish boarding school as his father, Prince Phillip.
Dimbleby stated that both the Queen and Philip were emotionally distant.
As a child, Dimbleby wrote that Charles was “easily cowed by the forceful personality of his father,” whose rebukes for “a deficiency in behavior or attitude… easily drew tears.”
Friends who spoke with Charles’ permission also described the Duke of Edinburgh, who died last month aged 99, as “belittling” and even “bullying” to his son. Charles was less harsh about his mother, whom he dubbed “not indifferent so much as detached.”
At age 20, Charles was asked whether his father had been a “tough disciplinarian” and if he had been told “to sit down and shut up,” Charles replied: “The whole time, yes.”
Asked as he was approaching his 21st birthday to describe the moment he first realized that he was heir to the throne, Charles made it clear that had also struggled with his life’s destiny — much as his youngest son later would.
“I think it’s something that dawns on you with the most ghastly inexorable sense… and slowly you get the idea that you have a certain duty and responsibility,” he said.
The Queen’s firstborn, Charles Philip Arthur George, was born on November 14, 1948. Although he was born into privilege, the future king barely saw his parents as a toddler.
His mother was 22 when he was born, and as Princess Elizabeth, she travelled abroad on official trips or spent time with Philip, who was then an officer in the Royal Navy and stationed in Malta.
When she was just 25, she was crowned Queen following the death of her father, King George.