How 18-year-old Charles hinted at the sort of King he would become
‘We’re a family, not a firm’: How 18-year-old Charles hinted at the sort of King he would become… 54 years ago during Christmas at Windsor Castle
- Charles made the remarks in Royal Family, the 1969 behind-the-scenes film
- The late Prince Philip famously referred to the Royal Family as ‘The Firm’
Prince Philip famously referred to the Royal Family as ‘The Firm’, but a new documentary will tonight suggest that his son King Charles takes a rather different view.
In footage captured when he was just 18, Charles says: ‘I like to think of us more as a family rather than as a firm. I tend to think of my family as very special people.
‘And, in that sense, I’m only beginning to see my parents and the rest of my family as other people, do you know what I mean? That you look upon them as having their own different characteristics.’
He made the candid remarks in Royal Family, the 1969 behind-the-scenes film which has not been broadcast for more than 45 years on the orders of the late Queen. But they will feature in the new documentary Charles R: The Making Of A Monarch, on BBC1 tonight.
Spanning seven decades, the film features archived and never-before-seen footage of the King as a young man, displaying an early passion for nature, gardening and animals.
In footage captured when he was just 18, Charles says: ‘I like to think of us more as a family rather than as a firm. I tend to think of my family as very special people. Pictured: Charles decorating the Windsor Castle Christmas tree with Anne
Charles made the candid remarks in Royal Family, the 1969 behind-the-scenes film which has not been broadcast for more than 45 years on the orders of the late Queen
One intimate sequence shows a Christmas family get together at Windsor Castle, where the teenage Charles and his sister Princess Anne are seen decorating the tree with their mother. Elsewhere, Princess Alexandra’s children James and Marina Ogilvy are seen enjoying a corridor full of extravagant gifts including a racecar, huge blue giraffe and red space hoppers.
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But being a Prince did not save Charles from being reprimanded by his mother, with the late Queen shouting: ‘Charles, come on!’ as he happily sets about throwing sticks on a bonfire in the woods.
In another clip from early adulthood, the King is seen accompanying his mother on one of his first engagements, to see coins being made at the Royal Mint.
Charles reflects on how he learns the job of a working Royal from his family, saying: ‘It’s a great help to have a lot of people all doing the same thing because you can go and talk to them about it. You know, your own experiences and the amusing things that have happened. And you can learn a lot from each other.’
Simon Young, the BBC’s head of history, said the 60-minute programme offered ‘fresh insight into [Charles’s] remarkable life’, adding: ‘It’s a real privilege to be trusted with such rare, unseen archive material to create a new and distinctive portrait of someone so famous and photographed.’
- Charles R: The Making Of A Monarch, is on BBC1 at 8pm tonight.
Charles is pictured throwing sticks onto the bonfire with family
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