His Majesty and his youngest son have had a rather frosty relationship since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex left the Royal Family – a situation exacerbated by the couple’s multiple allegations against the institution over the years.
Harrold worked for the King for more than five years and witnessed the strong bond he shared with both his sons, noting Charles tried to “be everything for them” following the death of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.
The former butler suggested it is to be expected of Charles to be “upset” about the ongoing rift with Harry as he dismissed claims that the King was not as present as he should have been for him in the past.
Speaking to Daily Express US, Harrold said: “I think the rift we’ll have deeply upset King Charles, he is somebody that has already tried to do his best, as I have personally witnessed.
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“People assume that because he was Prince of Wales back then and had a lot of other things going on, that he wasn’t like this.
“It’s not an accurate perception of him, Charles is very caring, he loves his family, he dotes on them – I witnessed that from firsthand experience and I saw how much he cares and loves his family and how much they love and care for him.”
In his memoir Spare, Harry at times painted a rather unflattering picture of his father, claiming he had not been suited for single parenthood and had struggled to cope with the emotions he and William had to grapple with after losing their mother.
Recounting being told about her death, he wrote: “He wasn’t great at showing emotions under normal circumstances, how could he be expected to show them in such a crisis.”
And then later wrote: “He’d always given an air of being not quite ready for parenthood—the responsibilities, the patience, the time.
“Even he, though a proud man, would’ve admitted as much. But single parenthood? Pa was never made for that.”
Harrold, speaking on behalf of Slingo, however, insisted the King did his best and he remembers His Majesty having a “very close” relationship with his youngest son.
He added: “Their relationship was a lot of fun, I remember there being a lot of laughter, they were very close.
“I think that what’s happened with the rift will have upset the King, he will be extremely hurt and confused by the whole thing and probably won’t understand why it has happened.”
Earlier this month, Harry did not attend the King’s 75th birthday celebrations but he is reported to have phoned his father for the first time in months to wish him a happy birthday.
While the King has repeatedly signalled the door remains open to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the couple is not expected to be included in the family’s Christmas plans this year.