The Prince of Wales isn’t here for the rumors. Prince Charles called his Prince Harry feud “nonsense” after a new royal biography, Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, made some surprising claims about their relationship. In the book—which tells the story of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship from the time they first met to their shocking decision to step down as senior royals in January—biographers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand suggest that Prince Charles, 71, has a “hot and cold” relationship with his sons, Prince Harry, 35, and Prince William, 38.
According to Finding Freedom, the Prince of Wales’ treatment of his sons may have influenced their “up-and-down” relationship. While news of Harry and William’s rift isn’t anything new (the brothers have had a strained relationship even before Harry’s royal exit), pointing at their father, Charles, as a reason for their feud is a fresh take. On Wednesday, August 19, Scobie elaborated on the biography’s claims in an episode of UK TV show Royal Beat, where he pointed to one instance in which bringing the boys together was “a headache to arrange.”
According to Scobie, a photo-op for Prince Charles’ 70th birthday was hardly the family get-together that you’d expect. It was reportedly difficult to set up, as “neither Harry or William made much of an effort to make themselves available.” While the photo-op eventually did take place (with Kate Middleton, 38, and Meghan, 39, in tow), it wasn’t easy—and the reason Scobie puts forth is intense.
“Of course schedules do come into that but the other reason I was given was that the boys have in the past run hot and cold with their father,” Scobie says in the episode. “He’s not just their father, he’s also the future king and their boss—he’s the purse keeper. There are many political things here which can feed into a very up-and-down relationship, and it was felt by those at Clarence House that it was a headache to put together.”
Needless to say, Prince Charles isn’t too happy about these comments. The Prince of Wales also reportedly took issue with a claim made in Finding Freedom, where Scobie and Durand cite a source who said, “Charles is extremely focused on his public image and there have been times Harry has felt that has taken precedence over everything else.” According to the Mirror, sources close to Charles say that he believes the claims by Scobie and Durand are “complete nonsense” and “wholly untrue.”
“Not only is this book incredibly one-sided for various gripes from Harry and Meghan, claims of breakdowns in the relationship with his father and him supporting their various legal cases are entirely false,” the source adds.
Prior to the release of Finding Freedom on August 17, a representative for Meghan and Harry said that the pair were not interviewed nor contributed to the biography in any way. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom. This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting,” reads the statement.
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