Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla are allegedly engaged in a silent but nasty clash with Carole and Michael Middleton over their domineering approach to their shared grandchildren.
According to royal insiders, the Prince of Wales is not happy that Kate Middleton’s parents – also the grandparents of George, 6, Charlotte, 5, and 2-year-old Louis – have been ‘edging’ him out and is furious that he doesn’t spend as much time with them.
A source close to the royal family told the Daily Mail: "Charles feels very much that the Middletons get more than their fair share of time with George, Charlotte [and Louis]. In comparison, he sees them very little and he bears a bit of a grudge about that."
Insiders also claim that Charles alleges Carole has a “rather grandiose presence” in the palace when she spends time with her grandchildren and is “possessive” over Kate, William and the kids.
In fact, the Battle Royal over the little princes and princess started not long after Prince George was born in 2013, when Prince Charles apparently grumbled: “They never let me see my grandson.”
Prince George’s 3rd birthday celebrations were even organised by the Middletons, who took over preparations when the palace would ordinarily be heavily involved.
“Charles didn’t want to miss his grandson’s birthday but the fact that the whole thing was essentially a Middleton event with Carole orchestrating the whole thing is exactly what upsets him,” an insider told Express.
“Charles feels rather left out. He gets very little time with his grandchildren and I know he gets upset about it because he has said [he does].
“He certainly feels William spends more time with the Middletons than he does with his own family,” the source claimed.
It appears the private feud bubbling between the Middletons and the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall has resulted in Carole and Michael being noticeably absent from public royal events over the last few years.
After Kate and William were married in 2011, the Middletons were often seen at important occasions such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
However the couple were allegedly not invited to key events such as Ascot in 2016, the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations and the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Insiders say Prince William has been drawn to spending more time with the Middleton family as he enjoys their "happy, united" lifestyle – which is a far cry from the painful and public divorce his own parents, Charles and Diana, went through in the ’90s.
And when Kate and William joined the Middletons on a family skiing holiday, their trip reportedly left a bad taste in Charles’ mouth – he thinks William isn’t spending enough time with his own family.
“Charles would love to do something like a family skiing holiday, but William’s not interested,” the source added.
“When William and the family nipped off to Courchevel for a few days’ skiing at the end of the year, Charles had no idea they were away. He was hurt.”
And due to Charles and Camilla’s busy schedule of royal engagements around the UK and overseas, Carole and Michael often step in to babysit the three young children when Kate and William require extra help.
The Middletons’ alleged "freezing out" has even resulted in Charles spending time and money on play areas for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – included installing a $36,000 "shepherd’s hut" for them to enjoy.
Carole was said to be blindsided after hearing that Prince Charles was upset at his lack of face-to-face time with the grandchildren, with a source claiming she was “devastated” to hear of the future king’s complaints.
“All she has ever wanted is to be a good mother and grandmother, not upset anyone in the process,” a friend of the Middletons told Express.
The friend went on to say that perhaps their “low public profile” has been Carole and Michael Middleton’s way of keeping a respectful distance from the royal family.