King Charles III’s harrowing lonely childhood is said to have been a source of tension between him and Queen Elizabeth II

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It’s fun to watch King Charles III interact with his grandchildren because they share a close bond. It’s a remarkable difference from how he grew up in the royal household, as Charles didn’t share the same closeness to his mother, Queen Elizabeth IIuntil much later in life.

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Christopher Andersen, author of The King: The Life of King Charles IIInoted at We Weekly that Charles had aheartbreaking lonely childhoodand that he often felt “abandoned” by the Queen and her father, Prince Philip, as much of his time was spent at boarding school. “There was never an intimate relationship between Charles and the Queen,” he explained. “It’s because the [royal] the family is not set up to be comfortable.

This method of raising children continued in the young lives of Prince William and Prince Harry, even though they were warmly embraced by their mother, Princess Diana. Once she died, the boys no longer had the same emotional closeness to their father. It took decades for Charles’ strained relationship to change even with his own mother. In the years leading up to her death, Andersen shared that “the Queen and Charles grew closer as she went white [and] old, and as he grew” in his new role at the palace.

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While William and Charles would have bound after Harry’s departure from his primary royal role, the king and his youngest son have yet to find a way to mend their relationship. If Charles took a look at his own history, he would realize that it took him a long time to grow closer to the Queen – maybe that will one day ring true with Harry too.

Before leaving, click here to see photos of Queen Elizabeth II’s family over the years.

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