Prince Charles' Most Adorable Grandfather Moments
"Grandpa Wales" loves keeping up with the littlest royals. Here are his cutest moments as a grandfather.
Prince Charles may be king someday, but when it comes to his grandchildren, the littlest royals rule his heart. His loving relationship with his children's children—Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, and Archie Mountbatten-Windsor—mirrors the close relationship he had with his own maternal grandmother, the Queen Mother. Charles never really knew his grandpa—Queen Elizabeth's father, King George VI, died in 1952 when the prince was just a toddler—but the strong connection he had with his grandmother left a lasting impression on him.
Knowing how special the bond between grandparents and their grandchildren can be, Charles has shown a strong desire to have a loving relationship with the young royals—particularly George, who is third-in-line to the throne. In a recent interview with Sky News, the prince revealed he found it "terribly sad" to not be spending time with his grandchildren. "I've been doing the FaceTime, which is all very well," he said. "But it isn't the same, is it? You really want to give people a hug every now and then."
Being a grandparent has been deeply rewarding for Charles, whose life was largely consumed by royal duties when his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, were growing up. "It's a different part of your life," he said in 2013, according to The Telegraph. "The great thing is to encourage [grandchildren]. Show them things to take their interest. My grandmother did that, she was wonderful. It is very important to create a bond when they are very young."
When Louis, his third royal grandchild, was born in 2018, Charles said: "It is a great joy to have another grandchild, the only trouble is I don't know how I am going to keep up with them." Well, the future king seems to have managed brilliantly. Here's a look at Prince Charles' most adorable moments as a grandfather. And for more on his precious grandkids, check out Princess Charlotte's Life in Photos: See Her Most Adorable Moments.
1. When he had fun posing for official family photos to celebrate his 70th birthday.
For the official portraits taken by royal photographer Chris Jackson in 2018 to mark the milestone occasion, Charles beamed with happiness surrounded by his family—including his eldest grandchild, Prince George, perched on his lap. In another sweet shot, the bond between Charles and baby Prince Louis is clearly evident as the two of them share a sweet grin. But the cutest image from the shoot is the charming photo of the whole family laughing as baby Louis reaches over and grabs the face of his clearly delighted grandfather. Jackson told The Telegraph, "It was particularly special to capture such an informal and relaxed family portrait over a fun afternoon in the gardens of Clarence House." And for more on the royals' family photos, check out Here's Why Kate Middleton Takes the Official Photos of Her Children Herself.
2. When he shared the balcony at Buckingham Palace with two future kings.
Trooping the Colour, the official celebration of the Queen's birthday, is a time honored tradition held in June where the family turns out to join Her Majesty on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch the flypast by the Royal Air Force. Since George was born, Charles has been spotted keeping a watchful eye on the young royal while enjoying the festivities with his sons and their wives, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle.
One can only imagine the future conversations between "Grandpa Wales" (the Cambridge kids' nickname for Charles) and George as the two generations discuss the role and responsibilities of being king. Daily Mail correspondent Robert Hardman has written that Charles "hopes that, while his sons have created new charity networks, one of his grandchildren—maybe George—will one day take on the stewardship of his own."
3. When he watched Prince George learning about the "sport of kings."
An avid sportsman his entire life, Prince Charles introduced William and Harry to polo when they were young and all three of them have played together on numerous occasions for charity. Charles gave up the game some time ago, but now can often be found on the sidelines cheering on his sons.
In recent years, he has been spotted chatting with Kate Middleton who often brings her brood along while everyone roots for William. We can only imagine Charles' delight seeing George pick up a polo mallet and envisioning another generation of royals enjoying the sport. The ties between the Windsors and polo run deep, so there's little doubt that George will follow in these competitive footsteps. And for more on the sports the royals love, check out The Secret Ways All of the British Royals Stay Fit.
4. When he did "all the different voices" while reading Harry Potter.
In the BBC documentary Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall revealed her husband's soft side, saying, "My grandchildren adore him, absolutely adore him." And that might be because of Charles' special talent. "He's a brilliant mimic," she added, which comes in handy at story time. "He reads Harry Potter and he can do all the different voices and I think children really appreciate that," she said.
Charles and Camilla have nine grandchildren and step-grandchildren between them. The duchess has five grandchildren: Lola and Freddie Parker Bowles (children of her son, Tom Parker Bowles) and Eliza Lopes and twins Gus and Louis Lopes (children of her daughter, Laura Lopes).
5. When he gave Prince Louis a hand.
The same BBC documentary captured a tender moment between the Prince of Wales and Prince Louis, then Charles' youngest grandchild, in November 2018. While Kate Middleton holds her youngest son in her arms, Charles takes hold of the baby's tiny hands while lovingly looking into his eyes.
It was only the third time Louis had been seen in public. His debut came seven months earlier, when he was introduced to the world on the steps of St. Mary's Hospital in London when he was born, and he was next seen in July 2018 at his christening. While there will undoubtedly be hundreds of photographs of the young prince as he grows up, few will capture our hearts like this photo of him with his adoring grandfather.
6. When he made a Christmas pudding with William and George.
In 2019, Prince George helped make some holiday desserts with his father and grandfather as part of The Royal British Legion's "Together at Christmas" initiative, which is designed to provide support to armed forces and veteran communities during the holidays.
Buckingham Palace released photos and video of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Prince William making Christmas puddings with six-year old George (never mind that dad and grandpa were wearing suits and "Gan-Gan"—the Cambridge kids' name for Her Majesty—was carrying her handbag). Like the doting grandfather he is, Charles looked on admiringly as George stirred things up for the camera. It was a heartwarming moment for all four generations of royals. And for more on the future of the throne, check out Why Queen Elizabeth Could Be Considering Stepping Down, Insiders Say.
7. When he built Prince George a treehouse.
Charles has shared his love of nature with all of his grandchildren, but he did something really special to celebrate becoming a grandfather for the first time when George was born. In 2013, he decided to have the spectacular tree house at Highgrove restored so the young prince could play in it. The playhouse was originally built in 1989 for William's seventh birthday. The magical retreat was named Hollyrood House after the Queen's palace in Scotland and because it was built in a holly bush. It presides over an area of Highgrove known as The Stumpery, named as such due to the old tree stumps and logs nearby. The restoration was completed in 2015 for two-year-old George to use.
George has been known put on his wellies and help Grandpa Wales with his gardening. At Birkhall, Charles' Scottish estate, he even planted an arboretum for his first grandchild. "It was planted about the same time as Prince George, my grandson, was born," Charles said in Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70. "It's really George's wood. It's going to be quite amazing for him, as they grow up, and he grows up." And for more on the Cambridge kids, check out 8 Things Kate and William Have Done to Give Their Kids a "Normal Life."
8. When he made himself a human jungle gym.
When William and Harry were growing up, Princess Diana often told friends how Charles was happy to get down on the floor and play with their sons when they were little. These days, the prince is still very much a hands-on grandfather. "He will get down on his knees and crawl about with them for hours—you know, making funny noises and laughing," said Camilla in Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70. And when the children visit Clarence House, he actually plays with them. According to The Independent, he has even had tea parties with George using a plastic tea set he keeps on hand for playtime.
9. When he picked up presents for his grandchildren on royal tours.
When Prince Charles embarks on official royal tours, he often buys and is given gifts for his grandchildren while on walkabouts. According to Hola, during a three-day tour of Cornwall and Devon in England, Charles bought the book The Goodnight Star by Amy Sparkes for George and Charlotte while browsing in Barnstaple Pannier Market. The prince even read part of the book aloud to crowds of royal fans who were there to see him.
When Charles and Camilla went to Germany just after Archie's birth in May 2019, they were given nearly two dozen presents for the littlest royal, including four soft toy pretzels, teddy bears, and various items of clothing. The prince is always gracious in accepting the goodies. "He loves to bring back little surprises for the children when he travels," one royal insider revealed. "Whenever they come to visit at Clarence House, they are always surprised and delighted by what 'Grandpa Wales' has tucked away for them. He takes great pleasure in seeing his grandchildren so happy." And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
10. When he celebrated his 70th birthday surrounded by his grandchildren.
Instead of opting for a fancy black-tie birthday with his posh friends, when Charles turned 70, he chose to celebrate the landmark birthday with his family—including all of his grandchildren. "The prince spends so much of his working life with adults, he relished the idea of celebrating with his grandchildren because the time spent with them is very precious to him," said one royal insider. "He is so relaxed and happy when he is around the children. There is a lot of love there."