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Divorced dads get a raw deal, says Charles

March 17, 2004
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Prince Charles has voiced his opinion that fathers tend to come off worse when marriages break up. The 55-year-old royal, who suffered one of the most famous divorces in British history, made his comments during a visit to HMS Belfast.

The Prince Of Wales was chatting with petty officer Neil Smith, who told him that his own marriage split had left him with financial difficulties. "We discussed the current situation for divorced fathers in the UK," revealed CPO Smith afterwards. "He said that things don't seem very fair at the moment for divorcees and fathers, and that things seem to be weighted towards mothers. He wished things were more equal between men and women."

Charles wasn't the only member of the royal family making his feelings known. The Duke of York has also been speaking his mind. During a visit to a factory in North Yorkshire, Prince Andrew was surprised to see a senior police officer was wearing his normal uniform rather than ceremonial attire.

"Why aren't you wearing your jacket?" he asked Chief Superintendent David Short. When the officer replied that he was under orders to wear his regular uniform, Andrew replied: "That's just not acceptable."

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace has meanwhile affirmed that the prince was simply asking a question, and did not intend for his comments to be taken as a criticism.

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The Prince of Wales, pictured at a polo event with Harry, reportedly said that things don't seem very fair at the moment for divorced dads. His own divorce from Princess Diana was finalised in October 1996Photo: © AFP

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