King Charles and Prince William Are ‘Closer Than Ever,’ Friends Say

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty

King Charles and Prince William are “closer now than they have ever been” after a roller-coaster few months for the royal family, friends of the royals have told The Daily Beast.

One source said that William is “particularly grateful” for his tighter-than-ever bond with his father after a traumatic childhood in which the king was often perceived by his children as distant, “old-fashioned,” and preoccupied with matters of state.

Sources say William does not object to his father’s apparent wish to reconcile with Prince Harry on a personal basis, and was “entirely relaxed” about the king’s meeting with Harry in London earlier this month after the king was diagnosed with cancer.

Prince William Will Continue to ‘Speak Out’ After Gaza Statement: Royal Source

However, a source said William believes that Harry’s decision to give a media interview in which he discussed the private meeting shortly after it occurred shows that it makes sense to assume that everything the royals say to Harry could be revealed, which is one reason why he has severed all communications with his once-adored younger brother.

Charles and William did meet at Sandringham last weekend, The Daily Beast understands, two days before William released a bombshell statement calling for an end to the war in Gaza. Charles is living there while undergoing cancer treatment.

It is not known whether they discussed William’s plan to speak out on the Gaza issue. However, a source said William would not need to seek his father’s permission to make such a statement as it had been approved by the government, and that his father would not anyway seek to invoke a power of veto over such comments.

The source added that Charles would have been made aware of the remarks in advance via the “red boxes” in which he is sent government papers on a daily basis, as the remarks had been sanctioned by the government and that there was no question of the Prince of Wales blindsiding his father on such a sensitive matter.

A friend of William’s told The Daily Beast: “I think William is particularly grateful things are so good now because it’s fair to say the relationship between William and his father when he was younger was strained. William and Harry had an extraordinary upbringing, with the trauma of their mother’s death overshadowing everything. Charles was this old-fashioned, quite distant figure who seemed much more interested in work and duty and what the press thought of him than parenting. That forged an incredibly strong bond between Harry and William, which was why it was such a shock when Harry turned on him so publicly.

“The Harry debacle definitely drew them together, but since Charles became king and he became Prince of Wales, the relationship has moved to a different level. Charles values William’s support. They are closer now than they have ever been.”

Britain's King Charles and Prince William attend the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, London Britain November 12, 2023.

Britain's King Charles and Prince William attend the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, London Britain November 12, 2023.

Toby Melville/Pool/Reuters

Asked if the king’s apparent willingness to reconcile with Harry could drive a wedge between father and son, and how William felt about the king meeting Harry after his cancer diagnosis, the friend said, “William is a strong-minded character, but the reason everything is working is because he respects his father’s rank. He wouldn’t dream of telling the king how to run his personal life.

“He doesn’t want to see Harry because he thinks it would all just be put in the next book or TV interview, which is what happened this time, but he is entirely relaxed about his father meeting with his son. They both agree there is no prospect of Harry returning to represent the royal family, despite what Harry may want—and that is the important thing as far as William is concerned.”

Officials at William’s and the king’s office both declined to comment when asked about the relationship between Charles and William, or if they had discussed William’s plan to speak out about the Gaza conflict.

However, another royal source told The Daily Beast that they understood there had been no conflict between the individuals or their offices over the comments that William made this week, controversially wading into Middle Eastern affairs and calling for an end to the conflict in Gaza.

“William has made no secret of his desire to have greater impact, and in many ways the ground has been prepared by Charles’ activist tendencies when he was Prince of Wales. William would have needed the government’s sign off to make these comments, not his father’s, who would not be in the business of vetoing what William can and cannot say anyway. Ultimately, this message was endorsed by the government so it would have been in Charles’ red boxes. He would have known it was coming, and we can only presume he didn’t object.”

A friend of the king’s, asked if his cancer diagnosis had made the king more inclined to work on his relationships with his sons, said: “It’s absolutely not fair to say that Charles was a cold or disinterested dad. He’s a very warm man and worried endlessly about the impact of everything that happened in their childhoods on the boys, but the diagnosis has come as a huge shock, and instinctively something like this makes you appreciate and draw together with your family.”

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