Why there are things even a privileged prince cannot buy

The Prince of Wales
The Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales, I have no doubt, lives a life where he is bowed to and fawned over on a daily basis.

He was able, eventually, to marry the love of his life Camilla Parker Bowles and he’s not short of the money to buy the odd castle here and there.

Sandra Chapman

Sandra Chapman

One day he will be King, a job he has been groomed for since birth. His world is one of privilege where virtually anything he might wish for can come true.

Yet the Prince has a problem which he shares with many of his subjects, a problem over which he has little control, one which clearly frustrates and hurts him.

He is the doting grandfather who it is said, sees little of his grandchild and it’s much worse than that. He feels sidelined because little Prince George appears to spend more time with his maternal grandparents than he does with him. Now that must hurt a lot. Grandparents throughout the land have the same problem and in the more extreme cases the agony aunt pages of magazines and newspapers are full of stories where the daughter-in-law has taken full control and sidelined the husband’s parents altogether.

Some of the case histories are harrowing with sons unable to deal with the problem, in fact many of them not even realising there is a problem. Daughters-in-law can be all powerful; many I’m sure don’t act out of malice, but never stop to think that there is another set of grandparents who do matter and who love the child as much as her parents.

Lots of young mothers are working and it may be easier for them to deal with one set of grandparents only – usually her parents - particularly if she has been very close to her own mother.

Clearly Kate Middleton has a close bond with her mother Carole – remember how much of a rock she was for her daughter when Prince William couldn’t make up his mind about marriage?

When Kate was in the grip of severe early pregnancy sickness she went back to her mum. That’s understandable. Had Princess Diana been alive it may have been a different story. We can just imagine how she would have looked after her sick daughter-in-law, later making lots of time for an adored grandson.

Carole Middleton would have faced some opposition there. As it is she has no opposition and its possible grandpa Charles has quietly let it be known how it hurts to court some sympathy. No doubt it would make a good subject for discussion on Loose Women.

Grandchildren are the most precious beings in a grandparent’s life. I know, I have two of them. Unfortunately I don’t see them very much because they and their parents live abroad.

It isn’t a case of them spending more time with their other grandparents. They also live too far away for that. So all four of us have to depend on Skype for the weekly chat.

Obviously we visit them but we cannot impose ourselves at will. I know that my son and daughter-in-law miss not having family close by. It makes baby-sitting difficult and, of course, there is no-one available when a child is suddenly sick or needs picked up from school. Living in the UK is not an option for their particular careers.

My neighbours see their grandchildren at least once a week and when I hear the squeal of excited children playing in their garden I feel that pang of envy. Sometimes I get downright sad that I can never be that kind of grandparent. So I do understand Prince Charles. There are some things in life even a privileged Royal cannot take for granted.