Dear Prince Charles, there is a time when a girl just wants her mum.

Don’t be despondent Your Royal Highness, Grandpas have their place too, just not right now.

Dear Prince Charles,

I’m sure you’ve read the headlines and seen the gossip as your scrolled through your Facebook feed. I know it can sting a little when you feel outcast, on the peripheral, a third wheel so to speak.

I am sure that there are times you stop in the palace and pause just a moment longer at the family portrait of Prince George with a heavy heart, but you need to understand Your Majesty it is not about you, and I am sorry to say it never will be.

I’ve seen the hurtful headlines too.

Prince Charles complains he never sees Prince George because Carole Middleton ‘has taken over’ and “They don’t let me see my grandson George”: Prince Charles’ concern at the ‘March of the Middletons’.

I’ve read the accusation, I know how the blame has glaringly been laid  at the feet of the domineering maternal grandmother.

Rumours the Middletons have taken over.  (Source Getty Images)

I've heard of how the parents of the Duchess have “taken over”, how they soak up all the allotted grandparent time. How Kate’s mum claims only she can lay George down for a nap, and only she knows just what he will eat. How Prince George toddles to her first and how poor Camilla hardly even gets to play peek-a-boo with the tot.

I can imagine the signs when Camilla turns up laden down with candy to present to George, only to be frowned upon by Carole for the inappropriateness of the gift.  It's tough being the other Granny.

Christmas was a particular strain wasn't it? It was  William and Kate’s “turn” so the Middletons came over to their place for lunch, leaving Charles and Camilla to suffer Christmas with his mother, the Queen (again).

And to further the indignity on behalf of the paternal grandparents we now hear that Kate's mum and dad, Michael and Carole, are moving in to Anmer Hall where William and Kate live,  to assist until new help can be found. Can you believe it? So left feeling squarely on the outer is His Royal Highness Prince Charles.

The thing is that there are times as a grandfather you need to step back.

Your instinct might be all about getting as much of those Prince George chubby little cheeks as you can. We can hardly blame you, who wouldn’t want to devour that pudgy creation in kisses, but as a grandparent your role isn’t to raise or assist, unless asked – but simply to love and at times you must do that from afar.

See we can be fun too..(Source Getty Images)

It's a natural process you see. For any new mum, the one person they want to have around them in pregnancy and in the first few years of their children’s lives is their own mother. If they are lucky enough to have their mum still around it's instinct for her to be the first one she will turn to.


We have seen the Duchess rush home to her parents at many occasions during her marriage and pregnancies – when she was suffering morning sickness, when Prince George was first a newborn – when she first left him to head out for the night. We've all been there and we all know how deeply the bond is with our own mothers, how innately we trust them.

Paternal grandparents have their place, but I’m sorry to say, it isn’t often as quite as far in the nest as the maternal ones.

It’s a problem not just unique to the royals. We’ve all heard the line, "A son is a son 'til he gets a wife, but a daughter is a daughter all her life”.

The phrase makes any parent of boys uneasy. While in some cases it may not be true, overwhelmingly you see time and time again women naturally turning to their mothers when they have family of their own so it must be a difficult adjustment even further down the line to realise that it holds true again for grandchildren.

Psychologists have studied this phenomenon and call it “inclusive fitness”. They say that maternal grandmothers instinctively are the closest and spend the most time with their grandchildren. A 2007 study confirmed it showing that when grandchildren are asked which of the four grandparents they feel the closest to 61% cite their mother’s mother, followed by their mother’s father (19%), their father’s mother (16%) and then their father’s father (4%). Psychologists say that none of this is conscious on the part of either the grandparents or the grandchildren.

It’s science Charles, just science.

So instead of being hurt and feeling alienated, what a paternal grandparent needs to know is that you are loved and valued but that your role is simply a different one to a maternal grandparent.

We can see how its hard to be away from that adorable creature ((Source Getty Images)

It isn’t a reflection on you, it isn’t even a reflection of how things will be in the future it is just that at times a girl simply needs her mum. You will have your time Prince Charles, for now just enjoy how delightful your grandson is and look forward to the next one.

Who did you turn to when you needed advice in those first few months?

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To my Mother-in-law I am sorry I had it all wrong.