Prince Charles would often be confused about why Prince Harry and Prince William liked to horse around the palace.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 25, 2020. It has since been updated.
There were very few people who were able to witness Princess Diana and her relationship with her children Prince William and Prince Harry, up close. Years later, some of them have opened up about their experience with these royals.
Chef Darren McGrady, who was a personal chef to the Queen, Prince William, Prince Harry, and the late Princess Diana for 15 years, spoke about how the princess would spend Mother's Day with her children.
Now, Ken Wharfe, a royal protection officer, who once guarded the young princes and their mother, has opened up about what he witnessed behind the closed doors. He was their bodyguard from 1986, and then their mother's personal protection officer [PPO] from 1988 to 1993, as per Daily Mail. He closely witnessed not just Diana's relationship with her children but also Charles' interaction with them.
He joked in classic dry British humor that as the protection officer for the trio, he used to come under attack often. By that, he meant that the young princes would often knock at his door in Kensington Palace, and "two small voices would pipe: 'Do you want to fight, Ken?'" The young princes were never really asking but warning him that he would soon be under attack from their tiny hands and legs.
"William and Harry loved to rough and tumble, and they made the perfect royal tag team. The older princeling would go for my head, the younger attacking my more sensitive parts, landing punches which, if they connected, could make me keel over in agony," he wrote in Daily Mail. And, often Prince Charles would pop over to see what the matter was. He would have a "slightly quizzical look on his furrowed face" when he would ask Wharfe if his boys were being too much of a bother.
When he would assure the older prince that he was fine, the future king of the UK would be relieved. "It was not that he was anything less than a good father, despite the black propaganda being circulated in the late Eighties and early Nineties. It was just he found the kind of horseplay that his boys enjoyed somewhat confusing. The Prince of Wales loved his sons, of that there is no doubt, but he always seemed too wrapped up in his cares to join in. William and Harry adored their father in return, while they regarded me as a jovial uncle who was always on hand for a scrap," Wharfe wrote.
He also added that to William and Harry, Charles would always be "papa," and nobody could take his place. He also rubbished claims made by newspapers and others who said that protection officers were often like a surrogate father to the boys. "This, of course, was nonsense," he added.
He narrated one incident where Prince Charles got miffed at him for correcting William's pronunciation. "William came into me once and said, 'Ken, Mummy wants to go 'ite' at 9.30 and we want to leave the 'hise'.' I said, 'OK William, but what's this 'ite' business and 'hise'? We don't go 'ite' we go 'out' and come back to the 'house' not the 'hice'. He said, 'It's what Papa says.' I told him I wasn't bothered what Papa said," as per Express UK.
Around 10 days later, Prince Charles visited the protection officer when he was in the kitchen. "We all stood up and he said to me, 'Oh, I gather you've been giving William some elocution lessons?' I said, 'I think you're referring, Sir, to when he said to me he wanted to go 'ite' of the 'hise' and I was just suggesting the pronunciation was 'out' and 'house'. It wasn't a lesson, merely an observation."
All Prince Charles said was "Oh really?" with a pointed look. "I had clearly overstepped the mark, and this was the Prince's gentlemanly way of telling me to keep my nose out of family business," Wharfe added to Daily Mail.
Princess Diana, on the other hand, found Charles' behavior hilarious. "The Princess had a very clear idea of how her sons should be raised... Diana intended to bring up her boys as normally as possible. It is thanks to her that they have developed into remarkably balanced young men," he added.
Source: Getty Images | Photo by Pascal Le Segretain