What Prince Charles Is Really Like as a Father

He apparently laughs at all the wrong times.

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Prince Harry's long and his older brother Prince William are focusing on families of their own. They undoubtedly carry a lot of their dad's influence with them though. The family of three has gone through many trials and tribulations over the years, but they've become closer because of it.

He may be the future king, but here's how Prince Charles interacts with his sons as a father:

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As a Young Dad

Prince Charles and his first wife Diana, Princess of Wales welcomed their first child Prince William on June 21, 1982. Two years later, Prince Harry came along. Diana had a big say in the raising of the children, bringing them on royal tours but also to amusement parks and charitable visits. "My mother took a huge part in showing me an ordinary life," Prince Harry told last year. "Thank goodness I’m not completely cut off from reality."

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Prince Charles lifts up a young Prince Harry onto Prince William’s shoulders during an 1985 photo shoot at Kensington Palace.
Getty ImagesTim Graham

As the heir apparent, the Prince of Wales didn't spend as much time with the boys, according to royal biographer Penny Junor.

“It is a slightly tricky relationship, because Charles has always been quite a remote figure, he has always been consumed by work," she told the "That’s not a product of a lack of love. It’s a product of the fact he is so focused on his work, and the need to make a difference in the world that, like many people who are seeking to make a difference in the world, he has sometimes overlooked friends and loved ones beside him.”

That doesn't mean he was totally absentee though. They often spent time together at , Prince Charles's farm, and Balmoral, the royal family's estate in Scotland. His sons revealed in a that he used laugh "in all the wrong places" at their school plays and send them handwritten notes, but his penmanship was so bad they couldn't tell if he was writing to scold them or praise them.

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After Diana's Death

When their mother died in 1997, it fell on Prince Charles to break the news to his young boys. "One of the hardest things for a parent to have to do is to tell your children that your other parent has died," Prince Harry said in the . "How you deal with that, I don’t know."

Although the prince later questioned the decision-making that led him to participate the funeral procession as a 12-year-old, he seems to not fault his dad for what was undoubtedly a traumatic part of his childhood.

“[Our dad] was there for us — he was the one out of two left, and he tried to do his best and to make sure that we were protected and looked after,” he added. “But he was going through the same grieving process as well.”

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Prince William, Prince Charles, and Prince Harry go skiing in Whistler, Canada, in March 1998.
Getty ImagesJulian Parker/UK Press

After her death, Prince Charles respected the boys' needs as things began to change. He had grown closer to Camilla Parker Bowles in the years since his separation, but waited to introduce her to his children until they asked to meet her.

"Charles was always sensitive about William and Harry’s feelings regarding Camilla," Junor wrote in the . "It was never going to be easy, but the boys dictated the pace and soon realized that Camilla made their father enormously happy, and that his happiness was more important than anything else."

As a Grandparent

After Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011, Prince George arrived just a few years later. Now with Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis growing up in Kensington Palace as well, Prince Charles has certainly stepped into his role as grandpa.

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Prince Charles, Prince of Wales with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge during the annual Trooping The Colour ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 13, 2015 in London.
Getty ImagesRadcliffe/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

"Charles and Camilla absolutely adore being grandparents and are enthralled with Charlotte and George," a source told . "Charles is a warm and caring guy, but he comes even more alive around little George. He loves spending time with him."

Hopefully even more little ones will be on the way soon!

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