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16 photos that show Prince Charles' close fatherly bond with his sons

Look back at William and Harry's childhood…


prince charles with his sons
Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
May 25, 2021
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prince charles nursery william harry© Photo: Getty Images

Much has been said about the tension between Prince Charles and his younger son Prince Harry in recent months.

The Prince of Wales, 72, has not addressed his relationship with Harry in public, although the Duke of Sussex has made it clear that there is "a lot to work through". In March, he revealed that his father had cut him off and wasn't responding to his phone calls.

While Harry came back to the UK for his grandfather Prince Philip's funeral in April and saw his dad then, it's clear that their bond hasn't been repaired. Speaking on the Armchair Expert podcast in May, Harry said: "Certainly, when it comes to parenting, if I've experienced some form of pain and suffering because of the pain and suffering that perhaps my father or parents suffered, I'm gonna make sure I break that cycle so that I don't pass it on."

And later that month, Harry also said on his Apple TV+ series, The Me You Can't See: "My father used to say to me when I was younger, he used to say to William and I, 'Well, it was like that for me, so it's gonna be like that for you.' That doesn't make sense. Just because you suffered, it doesn't mean that your kids have to suffer. In fact, quite the opposite. If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever experiences, negative experiences that you had, you can make it right for your kids."

Despite all the pain Harry still feels and felt growing up, he is determined to reconcile with his dad. Speaking to Oprah in March, he admitted: "I will always love him. There's a lot of hurt that's happened. I will continue to make it one of my priorities to heal that relationship."

And in 2018, he also spoke about his father's kindness on Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, saying: "It's the things he does behind the scenes that people don't know about. I don’t think people realise quite how kind he is."

MORE: Archie's first word made dad Prince Harry 'really sad' - find out why

As the family deal with their issues privately, we're taking a look back at some of their happier moments when Charles showed his close bond with his two boys…

WATCH: William and Harry remember their mum Diana as they go through childhood photos

prince charles helping photographers© Photo: Getty Images

Back in October 1985, Charles adorably played peek-a-boo with his children to try and get them to smile and laugh during an official photoshoot.

Charles was assisting photographer Tim Graham at the home shoot, which took place at Kensington Palace shortly after Harry's first birthday; William was aged three. The results were priceless – super cute photos of William stifling his laughter while Harry chuckled.

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prince charles with sons and pet dog© Photo: Getty Images

The following year in 1986, Charles and Diana posed with their sons and adorable pet dog again at home in Kensington Palace.

MORE: Prince Harry reveals haunting memory from Princess Diana's funeral

prince charles prince harry holding hands© Photo: Getty Images

Harry held onto his dad's hand as they explored the great outdoors in Balmoral, Scotland during the Easter holidays in 1987.

MORE: Country sports and wild adventure - how royal kids spend their summers at Balmoral

prince charles ponies william harry© Photo: Getty Images

William and Harry are both talented polo players and like many members of the royal family, they had an early start riding as children. Here Charles and his sons on their ponies are pictured in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

prince charles riding with sons© Photo: Getty Images

Slightly older and as more experienced riders, William and Harry follow their dad on horseback in Sandringham.

GALLERY: 14 photos that prove Prince Charles is a doting grandfather

prince charles riding bikes harry william© Photo: Getty Images

Harry may have said that going out on bike rides with his dad wasn't something he was able to do as a child – and something he loves doing now with son Archie in California – this photo shows a five-year-old Harry on the back of Charles' bike during a day out in Sandringham.

prince charles kissing harry© Photo: Getty Images

Charles gets a cuddle from his younger son after competing in a polo match.

GALLERY: 25 times the royals hugged fans in public

prince charles laughing william© Photo: Getty Images

Despite the formality of the event – Charles and his sons were attending the Beating the Retreat ceremony at Kensington Palace – the future King still enjoyed a chuckle with his boys.

prince charles holding hands harry© Photo: Getty Images

Charles walks hand-in-hand with Harry after playing a game of polo at Smith's Lawn Polo Club back in 1993.

prince charles fun in the snow© Photo: Getty Images

Ski holidays were a regular occurrence for the royals. Here, the family take a break from skiing and hop on their toboggans during a trip to Klosters, Switzerland.

prince charles william harry laughing snow© Photo: Getty Images

The father and sons looked incredibly close back in 2000 when they returned to Klosters for their annual ski holiday. William was 17 at the time while Harry was 15.

prince charles with his two sons© Photo: Getty Images

Two years later and again in Klosters, William was pictured affectionately placing an arm around his dad's shoulders.

prince harry kiss father charles© Photo: Getty Images

There were poignant moments at Princess Diana's tenth anniversary memorial service in London, including this one where Harry was pictured greeting his father with a kiss.

GALLERY: All the times the Queen has been greeted with a kiss from her royal family

prince william kiss father charles© Photo: Getty Images

William also greeted his dad with a kiss and an embrace.

prince charles laughing at phone© Photo: Getty Images

We'd love to know what was on William's phone that made Charles and his sons laugh so much!

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