Prince Charles is reportedly having a hard time processing Prince Harry's public remarks about his experience with royal life. Over the past few months, the Duke of Sussex has shared his struggle with press intrusion, feeling stuck within the institution, and not feeling supported by members of the Royal Family—including his father.
Princess Diana‘s friend Stewart Pearce shed some light on why Prince Charles is having such a hard time with his son's comments. Pearce describes Harry's candid remarks about his personal experience as a royal as “just simply categoric observations about how perhaps [some royals’] behavior [were] not always as emotionally intelligent as it could be" to Us Weekly.
“For example, Prince Charles is a very, very shy man, a very sensitive and delicate man, but we see his public personality, but in private, he’s immensely sensitive,” Pearce continued. He added that Charles can't handle "strong, combustible emotion."
Pearce went on to recall another time Charles refused to deal with an emotional situation—when his late ex-wife, Princess Diana, accused him of having an affair with his current wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. "What he did was to shrink back and as a result of that became aloof,” Pearce said. “Well, that doesn’t heal the challenge that’s taking place.”
“That’s what Charles does," Pearce explained. "He can’t deal with it because of his sensitivity, so he hides. What Harry’s trying to do is to heal that. Not out of umbrage, not out of anger or revenge or criticism or accusation. … I felt that he was just somebody saying, ‘This is the way that it is, and this is why we want to make change.'"
Though Harry has pledged to heal his strained relationship with his father, it's unclear whether he's made any headway towards that goal. Shortly after the birth of Lilibet Diana, however, Prince Charles said a rare comment about his son's family. He called his grandaughter's birth "such happy news."