REBECCA ENGLISH: The real reason why Kate was determined to join her ‘kiddies’ and ‘Grandpa Wales’ on the balcony… plus what a source did when I asked if the King would see Harry and his other grandchildren this summer

His full title is Charles the Third, by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of its other realms and territories, King, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

However, to his grandchildren he is affectionately known as ‘Grandpa Wales’. While much has been written over the years – not all of it, it must be said, complimentary – about the King’s role as a father, it is his unbridled enthusiasm as a grandfather that has cast Charles in a gentler new light.

An enthusiasm that explains why, despite the family’s personal difficulties, the Prince and Princess of Wales were so keen for their children, George, ten, Charlotte, nine, and Louis, six, to join their ‘GW’ at Trooping on Saturday the Colour.

The Prince and Princess of Wales were so excited that their children, George, ten, Charlotte, nine, and Louis, six, joined their ‘Grandpa Wales’ at Trooping the Color on Saturday

No major royal event would be complete without the hilarious antics of little Louis, Charlotte’s sisterly attempts to control him and George’s endearing earnestness as the slightly more self-aware older brother. But serious illnesses also have a way of bringing our loved ones even closer together, and the royal family is no different.

To ensure the youngsters could be there and play a full role – riding in a carriage on The Mall, watching the proceedings at Horse Guards and taking part in the family’s ‘balcony moment’ – Mum had to be there too to share the to keep ‘children’ (as she calls her young offspring) under control while daddy was on horseback.

For Kate, there was also the determination to support the father-in-law with whom she has grown increasingly close over the years and with whom she now shares the unenviable bond of a serious health battle. In recent years, the king has become a central part of the lives of William, Kate and their young family – a relationship highlighted by the lack of personal contact with Harry and Meghan’s two, Archie, five and three-year-old Lilibet.

He has only met his youngest granddaughter in person once since she was born, and Archie barely a handful of times.

It was recently suggested that the king was unhappy with the situation and wanted ‘more than ever’ to build a relationship with them that was not just limited to video calls to California. The story was not welcomed by everyone because it put Buckingham Palace in an impossible position: those close to the king never speak about the Sussexes’ children to avoid flaring transatlantic tensions. more contact with them – which is clearly not true at all.

And the situation is particularly complicated because of Harry’s repeated attacks on his father and family, his persistent insistence in the British courts that it is not safe to bring his family to Britain, plus Charles’ inability to travel to the US due to his health problems. and responsibilities.

When I asked a well-placed source if Harry could take his children to the king at Balmoral this summer as a compromise, the response was a resounding snort. Read into it what you want. His relationship with his other three grandchildren is in a much better place.

It is his boundless enthusiasm as a grandfather that has cast Charles in a softer new light

It is his boundless enthusiasm as a grandfather that has cast Charles in a softer new light

The family’s move to Windsor, where they live in Adelaide Cottage in Windsor Great Park, along with the King’s decision to spend more time at the castle, has given him the chance to see more of the little Waleses. A close friend says: ‘He loves being a grandfather and really enjoys the time he spends with them. He likes to play with them in the garden and read to them.’

I’m told the king even named an area he created in his Scottish home of Birkhall ‘Prince George’s Wood’.

β€œAlthough people don’t see him with his grandchildren that often because most of those moments happen behind closed doors, I know he is very careful to make time for them in his busy schedule,” the close friend said.

Another source tells me he is β€œin love in his own way.”

It wasn’t always so harmonious. I previously revealed how when Charlotte was born in 2015, Charles and Camilla left for his Highgrove residence in Gloucestershire after William told them they would not be receiving visitors over the Bank Holiday weekend. However, on Sunday, word emerged that Carole and Mike Middleton were heading to Kensington Palace to see their new grandchild.

Charles then had to take a flight to London so that he was not seen as indifferent.

Things couldn’t be more different today, and people have started to see an endearing new side to the King: whether that’s a sweet moment with a smiling Charlotte on the balcony on Saturday, bouncing a bored Louis on his lap at Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, or hugging Prince George in a rare family photo.

He has also spoken about talking to his grandchildren during the Covid lockdowns via video calls, revealing how difficult he found not being able to hug and cuddle them.

β€œI think that was a revelation to some and people have come to see him as the grandfather figure that those close to His Majesty already know him to be,” said another source.

He has an equally close relationship with his wife’s five grandchildren. In an exclusive interview with me to mark her 70th birthday in 2017, the then Duchess of Cornwall revealed how much he loved her grandchildren.

For years, I am told, King Charles also held a huge party every summer at Clarence House for family and close friends, with children running and screaming around his flowerbeds.

Those precious moments may be a little harder to organize now, given his new responsibilities as sovereign. But there is no doubt that among the many great titles he holds, the simple nickname of Grandpa Wales is the most cherished.