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Charles apparently started getting resentful Carole and Michael Middleton were spending more time with Prince William, Kate and the grandchildren than he was. According to a 2016 Daily Mail article, he complained that he “almost never sees Prince George”. A friend of the Middletons said Carole was very upset when she learned this and they suggested that the Middletons may be keeping their distance as a result.
They said: “She was devastated.
“All she had ever wanted is to be a good mother and grandmother, not upset anyone in the process.
“Perhaps their low profile is their way of keeping a respectful distance.”
Indeed, Kate’s parents were noticeably absent from a number of key royal events that year.
For example, they did not turn up to Ascot or the Royal Windsor Horse show in 2016, and even missed the thanksgiving service for the Queen’s 90th birthday.
This is a far cry from where the families were in 2011, when Kate and William first got married, and in the early years of their marriage.
In 2012, for example, the Middletons were invited by the Queen to board the Elizabethan paddle steamer for the flotilla on the Thames celebrating her Diamond Jubilee.
They also rode in one of the Queen’s carriages on Ladies’ Day at Ascot that year.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl put this change down to their so-called “Battle Royal” with the Prince of Wales.
While they were staying away from royal events, they were seeing plenty of William and Kate.
In fact, courtiers even branded Carole “possessive” over the family and insisted she had a “grandiose presence” around Kensington Palace.
Meanwhile, a friend of Charles said: “Charles feels very much that the Middletons get more than their fair share of time with George and Charlotte.
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“In comparison, he sees them very little and he bears a bit of a grudge about that.”
In particular, he felt upset that he could not spend more time with George, who he hoped to mentor as another future King.
For example, George’s third birthday party was entirely organised by Carole, which made Charles feel quite alienated.
Carole and Michael spent the morning oganisting children’s food and games, while Charles had been at a meeting in Clarence House with manufacturer and designer Emma Bridgewater discussing a campaign to protect rural England.
While he still attended the get-together, he was upset that he could not have had more to do with the preparation, and Camilla was tied up elsewhere.
A royal insider told Ms Nicholl: “Charles didn’t want to miss his grandson’s birthday but the fact that the whole thing was essentially a Middleton event with Carole orchestrating the whole thing is exactly what upset him.”
All in all, he felt like he was being “edged out” by Kate’s parents, who reportedly helped with childcare and were more able to work around the Cambridges’ busy schedule.
He tried to tempt William and Kate to visit him at Highgrove by refurbishing an old treehouse and installing a £20,000 shepherd’s house in the meadow.
However, both of these remained sadly empty.
A friend of Charles claimed William and Kate have enjoyed holidays with the Middletons but that it’s been “years” since William went away with his father.
They said: “Charles would love to do something like a family skiing holiday, but William is not interested.
“He wants to do his own thing these days and often his father doesn’t know where he is or what he’s doing.
“When William and the family nipped off to Courchevel for a few days’ skiing at the end of the year, Charles had no idea they were away. He was hurt.”
However, while Charles reportedly felt “left out” by William’s closeness with the Middletons, their friend insisted this was never their intention, and that Carole was upset at the very idea.
According to the Daily Mail, a spokesman for the Palace declined to comment on the relations between the in-laws.
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