Parenting

Lovely Quotes From Prince Charles About Family And Parenthood

The Prince of Wales has shared glimpses into the raising of sons William and Harry over the years.
Prince Charles holds grandson Prince Louis at Clarence House on Sept. 5, 2018.
Prince Charles holds grandson Prince Louis at Clarence House on Sept. 5, 2018.

During his seven-plus decades in the spotlight, Prince Charles has gone from a son and grandson to a father and grandfather.

The British royal now has two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, and four grandchildren ― Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. Over the years, he’s occasionally shared glimpses into his family life.

In honor of his birthday, here are 12 quotes about family and parenthood from the Prince of Wales.

On The Quality He Hopes His Sons Have

Sensitivity to others, which by any definition is actually called good manners, which I think a lot of people have forgotten ― and also, on the whole, do unto others as you’d have them do unto you, which is not a bad way of trying to operate.”

On Teaching His Kids To Care For The Environment

“You never quite know what influence you’re having or what difference the garden is making, but it’s only years later that people will admit it. I had no idea, for instance, that my own children might have been paying attention to me about rubbish and plastic waste. They suddenly announced that they had actually been listening, but you think you’ve been having no influence at all.”

On Taking Pride In His Sons

“It’s always marvelous just to see them develop and start to get good at some things and develop interests and all that. It gives me enormous pleasure and satisfaction and pride.”

Prince Charles poses with his sons at Kensington Palace in 1985.
Prince Charles poses with his sons at Kensington Palace in 1985.

On Co-Parenting In The Spotlight

“We discuss it, but that’s a matter for us, isn’t it? It’s not a matter for other people to decide how our children should be educated or brought up, but you can bet your bottom dollar, they will all interfere and they will all say, ‘It should have been done this way!’ That’s become a national pastime.”

On Watching His Kids Grow Up

“As they get older, the more things perhaps they, being boys, can do with their father. That’s obviously more and more enjoyable. But I’ve always mucked around with them a great deal. When William was tiny, I used to muck around with him as much as I possibly could.”

On Designing A Garden For Children

“Children respond to timelessly intriguing things like small, hidden paths which you never quite know where they’re leading. Or little tunnels and little places that make it exciting and interesting. That’s what I love.”

On Having Sons In The Military

“With two sons currently serving in the Armed Forces, one of whom is with you all out there, I really do have at least some understanding of what your loved ones on the ‘home front’ are going through. They are clearly missing you deeply, particularly at this time of year, and they are constantly thinking and worrying about you.”

On Parent-Child Relationships

“Relationships with fathers can be such complex ones. ... So often, I suppose, one must long to have got on better or to have been able to talk freely about the things that matter deeply but one was too inhibited to discuss.”

A family portrait taken at Clarence House on Sept. 5, 2018, to celebrate Prince Charles' 70th birthday.
A family portrait taken at Clarence House on Sept. 5, 2018, to celebrate Prince Charles' 70th birthday.

On His Newborn Son William

“He has the good fortune not to look like me!”

On His Grandmother, The Queen Mum

“She seemed gloriously unstoppable. And ever since I was a child, I adored her. She was quite simply the most magical grandmother you could possibly have and I was utterly devoted to her.”

On Grandchildren

“[I’m thankful to have them] to look after me when I’m tottering about.”

On Passing Down His Love For Gardening

“We had a tiny bit at the back of the garden where we could grow a few vegetables and tomatoes. That experience is very valuable and I hope my grandchildren can have the same.”