The Prince of Wales was feted for showing a firm hand when he flew back from royal tour to give Prince Andrew a dressing-down in November, after having had a significant hand in the Queen’s decision to demand the Duke of York’s resignation. However, a royal expert has claimed that Charles is not in control as the Palace continues to be gripped by crisis this month, and that his sons have little regard for the Prince of Wales’ authority. As the Queen enters her 68th year on the throne, and thoughts turn to the handover of power to Charles, the feud between the three princes could have the power to undermine the authority of the new King Charles III.
The Prince of Wales is said to have been angered recently by how he perceives Prince Harry to be overshadowing him – firstly with his October ITV interview alongside Meghan Markle that exposed the couple’s struggles with royal life.
Now, Harry’s requests to meet with the Queen ahead of his royal exit announcement – rebuffed by Charles’ staff – have reportedly sparked the heir to the throne’s temper as he worries about being undermined by both his sons.
Camilla Tominey, writing for The Spectator this week, claimed that Monday’s Sandringham summit served to deepen rifts between the Dukes of Sussex and Cambridge and their father.
She wrote: “What looked like a peace summit at Sandringham was, in fact, an escalation of the feud.”
Prince Harry; Prince Charles; Prince William (Image: Getty)
The Queen at Sandringham ahead of this week's summit (Image: Getty)
She continued: “Many have questioned why, as William and Harry’s father and only living parent, Charles has not been able to broker peace between his once inseparable sons.
“The truth is the royal brothers do not really listen to the ‘Papa’ they have long seemed to regard with a degree of affectionate ridicule.
“Charles has always been desperate for the approval of his two self-confessed ‘mummy’s boys’ and so historically has had to bring in outsiders to read the riot act, such as their former joint private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton.”
The tensions do not just run between Charles and his former wild-child youngest son, but between the Prince of Wales and Prince William, too.
As an example of William’s disregard of his father’s opinion, Ms Tominey wrote: “Charles’s aides asked William to praise his father’s role in the boys’ upbringing when the brothers appeared in documentaries to mark the 20th anniversary of their mother’s death. He refused. Only Harry paid a brief tribute.”
READ MORE: How Queen forced Charles to make shock decision at Sandringham
Charles and William together at Christmas (Image: Getty)
Harry himself was reportedly angered by his father’s agreement with the Queen that he and Meghan should not be allowed to set up their own “rival court” at Windsor, when he and the Duchess of Sussex moved to Frogmore last year.
Instead, in a move that was widely perceived as clipping the wings of the Sussexes, the Queen ordered that their working offices should be under her own at Buckingham Palace.
However, Harry himself has attempted to use the Queen in an effort to get around his father.
Ms Tominey wrote: "It is certainly telling that when Charles, famed for his love of ‘black spider’ memos, demanded that Harry commit his ‘North America’ blueprint to paper, the characteristically