Prince Charles was raised by parents who were so busy that they couldn't always be around, which may have influenced his behavior as an adult.
For most people, a lot of their behavior as an adult can be chalked up to childhood experiences, which may include the way their parents treated them. The good and the bad can be associated with the affection or neglect that parents bestowed upon them. Just like most people, Prince Charles' behavior as an adult could be linked to how his parents, Prince Philips, 99, and Queen Elizabeth II, 94, behaved with him.
Princess Diana was able to make that connection about her ex-husband, Charles, according to royal biographer Ingrid Seward. In the book Prince Philip Revealed, Seward revealed some of the comments that the Princess of Wales had made about the father of her two children. Seward revealed in the book that Charles's upbringing made him unable to be "tactile with his own wife", according to People.com.
Seward claimed that Lady Diana told her about Charles' unaffectionate childhood, during which he was raised by nannies mostly. While it was common for nannies to raise children of royal families, his busy parents saw too little of him even for standards of those times, according to Daily Mail.
Diana described Charles as emotionally retentive and blamed it on the neglect he faced in his childhood, Seward writes. "Diana reckoned that if Charles had been brought up in the normal fashion, he would have been better able to handle his and her emotions," she added. Diana's decision to raise her sons, William and Harry, in a normal way may have been inspired by how Charles was raised. It is likely that she didn't want her sons to go down the same path as their father.
"She said, his feelings seemed to have been suffocated at birth," Seward continued. "According to her, he never had any hands-on love from his parents. Only his nannies showed him affection but that, as Diana explained, was not the same as being kissed and cuddled by your parents, which Charles never was. When he met his parents, they didn’t embrace: they shook hands," she added.
The biographer wrote about all the times when Charles' parents, especially Prince Philip, were not around. Philip, now 99, was often away because of his role as a naval officer. He didn't even attend his first child's birth because he had to play squash. He reportedly was present for only two of his eldest child's birthdays during his first eight years. The then-Princess Elizabeth had also left her 18 months old child in the care of nannies to join her husband at sea.
Later, after the birth of Princess Anne, she left her 4-month-old daughter and 2-year-old Charles at Sandringham House as she joined Philip in Malta for Christmas. A former member of the royal household, then official court correspondent Godfrey Talbot, also shed some light on this, saying that the future king found these separations from his mother "very upsetting and bewildering".
The book goes into detail about what Philip thought of his son. "Philip tolerated Charles but he wasn’t a loving father," said Eileen Parker, former wife of Philip’s friend, Mike Parker. "I think Charles was frightened of him. He became very quiet when Philip was around," she added.
Prince Charles had knock knees like his grandfather, George VI, and his great-grandfather, George V, and had to wear correction shoes for that. He also suffered from colds often but Philip didn't take those into account before pushing him into physical activity. When Charles was 3 years old, his father threw him into the Buckingham Palace pool. While his nanny protested, Philip said, "It’s ridiculous to make such a fuss of him. There’s nothing wrong with him."
"A resilient character such as Philip, who sees being tough as a necessity for survival, wants to toughen up his son and his son is very sensitive," said Lady Edwina Mountbatten, according to Daily Mail. "It hasn’t been easy for either of them."
Another friend of the Queen and Prince Philip defended the father-of-four saying, "He just can’t resist coming out with these personal remarks. He’s at his worst with Charles but he could be quite sarcastic with Anne, too."
Princess Diana once had a caustic remark about the Queen and the prince consort. She said, "The only thing he [Prince Charles] learned about love was shaking hands."