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Rare insight into King Charles's relationship with Princes William and Harry

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex will attend the King's coronation on 6 May

William, Charles and Harry in happier times, 2014
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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Relations between the Duke of Sussex and his father, King Charles, and older brother, the Prince of Wales, may have become strained in recent years, but that wasn't always the case.

Ahead of the monarch's coronation on 6 May, one of his closest friends has revealed details about the kind of King, Charles will be and his shared sense of humour with his wife Queen Consort Camilla.

Writing in May's issue of Saga Magazine, broadcaster Gyles Brandreth shares previously unknown details about Charles's relationship with William and Harry, and the unusual way he would communicate with his sons.

Mr Brandreth said that the King is a big fan of Radio 4's Just A Minute comedy panel game, which began in 1967 and was hosted for more than 50 years by Nicholas Parsons.

"In fact, he told me he used to leave voicemail messages for William and Harry in the style of Just a Minute, doing his best to say what he had to say in under 60 seconds, without hesitation, deviation or repetition," Mr Brandreth writes.

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Charles pictured with Gyles Brandreth in 2022© Getty
Charles pictured with Gyles Brandreth in 2022

Of Charles and his wife of 18 years, Camilla, he added: "The pair of them share a marvellous sense of humour. It's such good news that we have this double act, who so clearly get on."

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The Prince and Princess of Wales are expected to be joined by their three children, Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, who turned eight on Tuesday, and five-year-old Prince Louis.

Prince George has a starring role as one of his grandfather's pages of honour, along with three of the Queen Consort's grandsons, Gus and Louis Lopes, and Freddy Parker Bowles.

Meanwhile, the Duke of Sussex will be flying over from the US to be reunited with his family for the first time since the release of his explosive Netflix docuseries last December and tell-all memoir, Spare, published in January.

The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with the couple's young children, Prince Archie, who turns four on the day of the coronation, and one-year-old Princess Lilibet.

Harry's controversial autobiography includes claims his brother William physically attacked him and that the King put his own interests above Harry's, and was jealous of the Duchess of Sussex and the Princess of Wales.

SEE: 13 of King Charles's most affectionate moments in photos

Harry was last pictured publicly with his family at Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral last September© Getty
Harry was last pictured publicly with his family at Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral last September

The Duke also said in an interview that his stepmother Camilla was a "villain" and "dangerous", accusing her of rehabilitating her image at the expense of his.

Harry, in his interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, said Charles stopped taking his calls when he was trying to discuss stepping down as a working royal in 2019.

"My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don't get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that," Harry told the US chat show host.

The coronation will mark the first time the Duke will be reunited with his family since the late Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral last September. 

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