The truth behind Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s relationship with their kids

Their family dynamic was a unique one to say the least.
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Married for over 70 years, the Queen and her late husband Prince Philip have achieved amazing things together. Although, their crowning achievement together is undoubtedly their children.

WATCH BELOW: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s sweetest moments over the years

Aside from being public figures, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are proud parents to their four children, known to the world as Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

While they’re all grown up now and seem to have formed better relationships, there was a time when the dynamic between the royal family was a little more than complicated.

prince Charles young
A young Charles alongside his sister Anne and their parents. (Credit: Getty)

Prince Charles

Growing up heir to the throne, Prince Charles is said to have had a strained relationship with his father when he was young, where in the book titled Charles, royal biographer Penny Junor writes about their “difficult” relationship.

“They didn’t speak to each other as normal father and son,” Penny wrote.

Charles was also quoted saying that the people who raised him were not his parents, but “inevitably the nursery staff”, in Jonathan Dimbleby’s biography of the Prince.

In another biography, author Sally Bedell Smith also wrote that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip only saw their children after breakfast and teatime.

“Somehow even those contacts were lacking in warmth,” Martin Charteris, a former longterm senior adviser to the Queen, explained in Prince Charles’ biography.

He added: “The Queen is not good at showing affection.” 

princess anne young
Anne is said to have had a special bond with Philip. (Credit: Getty)

Princess Anne

Said to have had a special bond, Princess Anne and Philip not only shared a love of sports and horse riding, but are said to have had much in common in terms of their temperaments.

“She was up for anything, so Philip and Anne really have always shared a lovely relationship. She’s no nonsense, she’s very much like her father in that regard and Anne just gets on with it,” royal commentator Victoria Arbiter said.

The Princess Royal also got along well with her mother when she was a teenager, but in an interview with the BBC, Anne admitted that her mother had “limitations” with the amount of time she got to spend with her and her siblings.

Although Anne added: “I don’t believe any of us for a second thought she didn’t care for us in exactly the same way as any other mother did.”

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Andrew was born a decade after his two older siblings. (Credit: Getty)

Prince Andrew

According to Robert Lacey in Monarch: The Life and Reign of Elizabeth II, the Queen was able to spend a lot more time with her “new children”, Andrew and Edward, than she’d been able to with both Charles and Anne. 

The Queen is said to have spent time “cycling and chasing” her kids through Buckingham Palace, and once a week, Edward and Andrew’s nanny was given the night off and she would take over. She even began to refer to those nights as her favourite of the week.

Philip however, was known to have a somewhat strained relationship with his second son, where in the 1990s, the Duke was asked in an interview what he thought of Andrew’s divorce from Sarah Ferguson.

“Everything I have worked for 40 years has been in vain,” he said, according to Town & Country.

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“As a family we will remember that more than anything else.” (Credit: Getty)

Prince Edward

“What fun it is to have a baby in the house again!” Robert quotes the Queen as saying in his biography of the Queen after Edward was born.

Born as the youngest in the family, Prince Edward is said to have had a strong bond with father, and has often spoken out in support of him and his public image.

Speaking to ITV News, Edward praised his father’s “wonderful sense of humour” and the charity work that he did. However, he explained that he will remember him for his contribution to their family above all else, an indication of their close bond.

“I’ll remember my father in a number of ways,” he said. “For what he has done in his public life for all the organisations he has supported and influenced and obviously as my father and husband to my mother and all the work that he has done there and as a family we will remember that more than anything else.”

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