Charles has regularly alluded to his complicated relationship with his mother the Queen throughout his life. When the Queen had to take to the throne at the young age of 25, her heir Charles was only three years old. She was regularly called away to royal engagements – including a six-month Commonwealth tour following her 1952 coronation – and so commentators believe she rarely had an opportunity to bond with her firstborn.
Even in his own 2015 authorised biography, Charles admitted that he found his mother “distant” and so he appeared to look to his grandmother, the Queen Mother, as a maternal figure.
As revealed in the 2017 documentary series, ‘The Royal House of Windsor’, Charles claimed his grandmother “meant everything” to him, and even referred to her as “quite simply the most magical grandmother you could possible have”.
The programme pointed out how she influenced his beliefs too. The Queen Mother controversially welcomed the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama in 1996, when he visited Britain – striking a chord with Charles’ interest in Buddhism and the struggle of the Tibetans.
In a tribute at her funeral in 2002, Charles said: “For me, she meant everything.
“And I had dreaded, dreaded, this moment, along with, I know, countless others.
“Somehow I never thought it would come.
“She seemed gloriously unstoppable and, since I was a child, I adored her.”
The 102-year-old’s death was a “devastating blow” for the heir according to the documentary.
In an interview after her death, he said: “Above all she saw the funny side of life, and we laughed until we cried.
With emotion, the Prince of Wales added: “I shall miss those laughs.”
However, the Queen Mother’s death did allow Charles to have a bit more freedom with his love life.
After witnessing the disaster of Edward VIII’s abdication in order to marry a divorcee, the Queen Mother was reluctant to give her blessing for Charles to marry Camilla in case it affected the monarchy.
He was finally able to propose to Camilla, his long-term love, three years after his grandmother’s death.
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Yet, Charles still honoured his beloved grandmother by proposing to Camilla with one of her rings and spending his honeymoon at the Queen Mother’s Scottish home.
The documentary narrator added: “Charles has succeeded where his predecessor had failed miserably.
“He had married the woman he loves, despite them both being divorced – and he hasn’t had to give up the throne.”
In a Channel 5 documentary ‘The Queen Mother: The Lost Years’ which aired last year, historian Hugo Vickers said: “I think the Queen Mother saw in Prince Charles the same insecurities she’d observed in her late husband King George VI.”
He added Charles probably seemed to be a “man who was probably rather insecure in some way, especially when he was little, and possibly even a bit lost”.
Royal biographer Penny Juror added in comparison “there was not a real mother-son bond” between Charles and the Queen.
The Queen Mother even tried to stand up for Charles in opposition to his parents.
Private letters between the Queen Mother and the Queen unearthed in 2013 that Charles’ grandmother had even tried to argue Charles’ case in the matter of his schooling.
Both she and Charles wanted him to go to Eton College, which was closer to London, as opposed to the strict Gordonstoun School in Scotland where Philip had been educated.
However, the Queen Mother lost the debate and Charles went to Scotland.