Prince Charles' parents were never around as they had to take care of their royal engagements.
Our childhoods have a profound impact on the people we become. It shapes our thoughts and molds us in a particular way. Prince Charles was raised in the royal household with everything he needed but he never received the love, attention, and affection he craved for. It was not abnormal for royal children to be placed under the care of nannies but long separation from his parents and the lack of parental affection affected the Prince.
With such a past, Charles didn't really know how to express love. According to People, Princess Diana once revealed this aspect of her husband.
A new biography claimed that the only thing Prince Charles "learned about love was shaking hands". Veteran royal biographer Ingrid Seward quoted in her book Prince Philip Revealed stated that Charles's childhood impacted his intimacy with his wife.
She stated the Prince “couldn’t be tactile with his own wife.” According to Seward, Diana told her that it was all because of his unaffectionate childhood with parents Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
"Diana reckoned that if Charles had been brought up in the normal fashion, he would have been better able to handle his and her emotions," wrote Seward.
She continued, "Instead, she said, his feelings seemed to have been suffocated at birth. According to her, he never had any hands-on love from his parents. Only his nannies showed him affection but that, as Diana explained, was not the same as being kissed and cuddled by your parents, which Charles never was. When he met his parents, they didn’t embrace: they shook hands," according to People.
Diana blamed Charles' “emotional retentiveness” on that loveless childhood. Moreover, Charles' parents were never around as being part of the royal family came with a lot of responsibilities. His father was away in the sea as he worked as a naval officer. He was often away and could only attend two of Charles' first eight birthday parties.
According to Vanity Fair, Queen Elizebath was present on Charles' first birthday but soon left for foreign trips. "Even when judged by the standards of the time, Philip and Elizabeth saw remarkably little of their offspring," stated Seward.
The Queen once spent her Christmas with Prince Philip in Malta while her 4-month-old daughter, Princess Anne, and 2-year-old Charles stayed behind with the nannies. Meanwhile, this is not the first book that has talked about Prince Charles' lonely childhood.
Speaking of his past, Charles himself admitted his experiences as a child were not good memories. Though his relationship with his father improved after he came back from the navy, Charles did not share an easy loving relationship with him.
He was different compared to his father and the two did not find joy in doing the same things. "Philip tolerated Charles but he wasn’t a loving father. I think Charles was frightened of him. He became very quiet when Philip was around," stated Eileen Parker, the former wife of one of Philip’s closest friends, Mike Parker, according to Daily Mail.
His father's strictness and harsh words did not sit well with the prince. He was left hurt and often cried. His father's words demotivated and disheartened him unlike his sister Princess Anne, who brushed it off. In the case of his mother, the Prince stated she was "not indifferent so much as detached," revealed the prince.
Though he eventually developed a thick skin, the scars from his past seemed to have followed him through his life.