The Duke of Sussex has written of how his father the King blamed himself for his son’s struggles, telling him “I should have got you the help you needed years ago”.
He says his “Pa” was “never made” for single parenthood but had tried, and told Tom Bradby in an interview on ITV he will “always love” his father.
Narrating his autobiography Spare, the duke said: “Over dinner one night at Highgrove, Pa and I spoke at some length about what I’d been suffering.
“I gave him the particulars, told him story after story. Towards the end of the meal he looked down at his plate and said softly “I suppose it’s my fault. I should have got you the help you needed years ago”.
“I assured him that it wasn’t his fault, but I appreciated the apology.”
He also questioned when Charles had the “patience” and “time” for parenthood.
“He’d always given an air of not being quite ready for parenthood: the responsibilities, the patience, the time. Even he, though a proud man, would have admitted as much. But single parenthood? Pa was never made for that. To be fair, he tried,” he wrote.
Speaking of his affection for Charles, he tells Bradby: “Of course, he’s my father. I will always love him.”
Bradby describes how Harry also accuses Charles in his book of intimacy and communication problems, and not being there for him.
“Your other criticism is that too often your interests are sacrificed to his interests, certainly when it comes to the press,” Bradby said.
Harry agreed and replied: “I have a lot of compassion and … even understanding as to why certain members of my family need to have that relationship with the tabloid press.
“I do, I understand it. I don’t agree with it, but I do understand it. And there have been decisions that have happened on the other side that have been incredibly hurtful.
“And they… and it continues. It hasn’t stopped. It’s continuing the whole, the whole way through.”
Harry spoke of the compassion he has for his father now as a parent having to tells his son their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales had died in a car crash.
He spoke of his fears of history repeating itself and not wanting to become a single dad himself.
“My father coming in, in his dressing gown and sharing that news with me, only now as part of writing the book, that I really think about how many hours he’d been awake,” he said.
“And the compassion that I have for him, as a parent having to sit with that for many, many hours, ringing up friends of his, trying to work out, how the hell do I break this to my two sons?
“And I never want to be in that position, part of the reason why we are here now, I never ever want to be in that position.
“I don’t want history to repeat itself. I do not want to be a single dad. And I certainly don’t want my children to have a life without a mother or a father.”