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The Truth Behind The Difficult Relationship Between Prince Charles and Prince Philip

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Your relationship with your father can change a lot over the years, especially as you are growing up. You can only imagine how much this escalates when it's not just your messy room your dad is nagging you about, but instead involves him grooming you to one day run a country.

Prince Philip, husband of the Queen of England and father to Prince Charles, has mentioned several times that his relationship with his son is complicated.

In 2016, Philip revealed to a royal biographer just how different the two are. "He's a romantic," he said, "and I'm a pragmatist. That means we do see things differently."

Their different world views has created a lot of tension between the two over the years. Philip continued by explaining, "Because I don't see things as a romantic would, I'm unfeeling."

Many suspect that a lot of the strain comes from Philip's upbringing, as he was raised without a father himself, or any real sense of family. He was separated from his father at a young age, his mother left him for a religious order, and this caused him to move around a lot. With no one to confide in, the young man put up barriers.

He met Princess Elizabeth when she was only 13 years old, while she was touring the Royal Naval College he attended. It was only after the war that they got together, but eventually they got married when she was 21 and he was 26. However, their relationship meant that he would be giving up his title as the Prince of Greece, but he didn't seem to mind.

"He told me the first day he offered me my job," says Philip's friend Michael Parker, "that his job, first, second and last, was never to let her [Elizabeth] down."

When Elizabeth was in labor the first time however, Philip wasn't even there. He was out playing squash with his friend, bringing her champagne and carnations after the fact.

But as time went on, things changed. Elizabeth's father died in 1952, making her Queen of England. When he was given the news, he seemed to change quite a bit, suddenly becoming more stressed out than he had been in years. "You can tell from a man's face - how he sets his features. I'll never forget it. He looked as if half the world had fallen on him," Parker said.

Queen coronation
Leslie Priest / AP Images

He was doing his best to keep up with Elizabeth's new responsibilities, but he has admitted that he would have "much rather stayed in the Navy" than take on the royal responsibilities.

But with all these new requirements, Elizabeth and Philip had even less time to spend with their children. Perhaps it was because Philip didn't really know any different, but he was notably distant with his son.

Philip apparently believed that Charles needed some "toughening up" and sent him to his old school, Gordonstoun, which Charles ended up hating. However, it wasn't as though he didn't care.

Lady Butter was with Elizabeth and Philip at the time they brought Charles to school and she recalled how he felt when he returned.

"Prince Philip came into the drawing-room. He was white as a sheet. I asked him what was the matter, but he just walked across the room and poured himself a drink, which is very unusual for him," Butter said.

But Charles didn't find out about this until he was much older and a father himself. "Years later," she continued, "Charles was telling me about what he felt when he sent William off to school. I told him I understood. He said, 'Oh, that's because you always cared so much. I bet no one ever cared that much about me.' So I told him the story about his father. He was stunned. He just couldn't believe it."

Charles does at least seem to have a pretty sweet relationship with his mother.

While Charles may have felt unloved by his father, it was not true in the least, at least according to the people close to Philip. While he seemed unwilling to praise his son, many claim that it's just because he doesn't know how to show his feelings.

Even when his son's marriage to Princess Diana was falling apart, Philip spoke more to the princess than to his own son. He apparently sent her several letters to discuss the issues at hand, and remind her of the duty to the country.

The marriage ended anyways, and while Philip was slow to warm up to Charles' new partner, eventually he seems to have come around. Even though neither he or the queen attended Charles and Camilla's wedding ceremony in 2005, it was portrayed as being unnecessary because it wasn't a religious event.

But now, after over a decade, Philip and Charles seem to have found some common ground, perhaps because Philip is finally able to take a bit of a step back from his duties and spend more time doing the things he likes.

While a lifetime worth of difficulties can't be erased, it's clear that Philip does just want the best for his son. Charles seems to have been extremely focused on not having the same relationship with his sons, so at least that cycle has been broken.

Did you realize the royal family had so much drama behind the scenes?

Source - E News / Town and Country / Independent / Daily Mail

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at tanya@shared.com