Prince William ‘has no such Game of Thrones-like urges’ to usurp his father

by Susan Ryant

The Daily Beast’s Royalist (Tom Sykes) has an interesting new piece about Prince Charles and Prince William’s “uneasy alliance” these days. William went to his first State Opening of Parliament this week, where he walked behind Rose Hanbury’s husband and generally looked bored and boring. To hear Sykes tell it, William performed his duty perfectly though, because William didn’t overshadow Charles on his big day, standing in for the Queen and performing her speech. This is the jumping-off point to analyze how Charles and William’s relationship has changed so much in recent years, something we’ve heard a lot. Basically, as soon as William succeeded in exiling his brother, William and Charles have been “closer” because Harry is not around. Some highlights from the Daily Beast:

No one paid attention to William in Parliament: There was precious little attention paid to the other royal in attendance, Prince William, who was very deliberately dressed down to the point of invisibility. Seated on a lowly chair compared to his father’s magisterial throne, his dark suit enabled William to effectively disappear into the background for his father’s day in the sun. Charles couldn’t have wished his son to be more helpful and supportive.

Charles was always closer to Harry: Charles’ relationship with Harry was actually understood by most friends of the family to be warmer than his relationship with William when the boys were teenagers and young men (which is part of what has made Harry’s attacks of the past two years particularly horrible for Charles). Some have speculated this is because William saw more and understood more of the breakdown of his parents’ relationship.

Charles wasn’t a fan of William’s emotions: If William had his reservations about his father, the feeling was mutual; Charles, a source tells The Daily Beast, was regularly dismayed by William’s emotive style, and what he felt was an overdoing of the common touch after he married Kate Middleton. “Charles hated William’s ‘I’m in touch with my feelings’ schtick,’” a friend of the family tells The Daily Beast. “He felt it wasn’t regal. It annoyed him with both sons, but particularly William because he didn’t feel the future king had to be touchy-feely, and it irritated him that William didn’t seem willing to take that on board. Charles’ style is very different; buttoned up, reserved and he hated the emoting, the interviews about his mental health and his feelings.”

Fights about work: But William, girded up by Kate, has absolutely refused to be pushed around. As Andersen says: “William is incredibly headstrong, and has had many rows with his father over the years about what royal duties he was or wasn’t willing to perform.”

William isn’t playing Game of Thrones: The truth is that had William wanted for one moment to be the next king (as his mother hoped), to weaponize the toxic past of his father would have been the work of an instant. But William has no such Game of Thrones-like urges. He and Kate are quite happy being the warm-up guys for the next few decades. William will always have a significant hold over his father, though, and the relationship between Charles and William, while not one of equals, will be significantly more even handed than that between the queen and Charles. Elizabeth has been queen since Charles was four years old, and for all of her reign, bar perhaps the last decade, he has been very much the lowly cadet. William is more likely to get something closer to partner status, largely because Charles needs him on side.

The Oprah interview: Things between William and Charles might have ticked along in this rather lukewarm fashion had it not been for the Harry and Meghan bombshell that struck the family in 2020. It changed everything, forcing father and son to finally fully commit to working together. There seems no reason to disbelieve reports that William was instrumental in the defenestration of Prince Andrew from royal life, another moment of unity. But ultimately, it was Harry who pushed William into Charles’ arms with his inflammatory comments to Oprah, including the jibe that he pitied his brother and father because they were “trapped” in their royal lives. “Harry forced William to jump, and when the moment came there was no doubt for William which way to go,” says the friend. “William picked the monarchy, and that has meant working closely with Charles. The relationship is as good as it’s ever been in his adult life.”

[From The Daily Beast]

Yeah, none of this reads as a genuine warmth between a father and his oldest son. It reads more like an uneasy alliance between two men who could do a lot of damage to one another. Of course William could really go after Charles and try to usurp him. So why doesn’t William do that? Because of mutually-assured destruction – Charles has a lot of dirt on William, and he could easily put William in his place with a few phone calls. They have just enough on each other to keep the other “in line.” Which, again, is not really a healthy father-son relationship.

As for Harry and the Oprah interview and all of that… Harry and Charles were genuinely close for many years. I absolutely believe that some of Harry’s deepest hurt – which came out in the Oprah interview – was that Charles didn’t have his back, that Charles behaved as if Harry was dispensable, that Charles “chose” the heir and not the spare.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.

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Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishing Britain’s Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince William proceed behind the Imperial State Crown through the Royal Gallery for the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London, Britain, May 10, 2022.,Image: 690010344, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: HANNAH MCKAY / Avalon Prince Charles reads the Queen’s speech next to her crown during the State Opening of Parliament, at the Palace of Westminster in London, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth II will not attend the opening of Parliament on Tuesday amid ongoing mobility issues.,Image: 690017715, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: WPA POOL, WPA+IPA+CPNA IN, Model Release: no, Credit line: Alastair Grant / Avalon Prince Charles processes along the Royal gallery with the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William during the ceremonial state opening of Parliament which The Queen was unable to attend due to her health.,Image: 690017831, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: RICHARD POHLE / Avalon Prince Charles processes along the Royal gallery with the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William during the ceremonial state opening of Parliament which The Queen was unable to attend due to her health.,Image: 690017924, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: RICHARD POHLE / Avalon LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 10: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales looks towards the Imperial State Crown as he delivers the Queen‚Äôs Speech during the state opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on May 10, 2022 in London, England. The State Opening of Parliament formally marks the beginning of the new session of Parliament. It includes Queen’s Speech, prepared for her to read from the throne, by her government outlining its plans for new laws being brought forward in the coming parliamentary year. This year the speech will be read by the Prince of Wales as HM The Queen will miss the event due to ongoing mobility issues.,Image: 690035436, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: Dan Kitwood / Avalon Prince Charles reads the Queen’s speech next to her crown during the State Opening of Parliament, at the Palace of Westminster in London, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II did not attend the opening of Parliament amid ongoing mobility issues.,Image: 690036151, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: WPA POOL, WPA+IPA+CPNA IN, Model Release: no, Credit line: Alastair Grant / Avalon North America Rights Only – London, UK -20220510-State Opening Of Parliament-PICTURED: Prince William-PHOTO by: PA Images/INSTARimages.comDisclaimer:This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awardedFor images containing underage children: Be advised that some Countries may have restricted privacy laws against publishing images of underage children. Inform yourself! Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishing North America Rights Only – London, UK -20220510- State Opening Of Parliament -PICTURED: Prince William -PHOTO by: PA Images/INSTARimages.com Disclaimer: This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awarded For images containing underage children: Be advised that some Countries may have restricted privacy laws against publishing images of underage children. Inform yourself! Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishing North America Rights Only – London, UK -20220510- State Opening Of Parliament -PICTURED: Prince William, Prince Charles, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall -PHOTO by: PA Images/INSTARimages.com Disclaimer: This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awarded For images containing underage children: Be advised that some Countries may have restricted privacy laws against publishing images of underage children. Inform yourself! Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishing