AMANDA PLATELL: Charles should give attention to the grandchildren he DOES see

Four years after the Sussexes’ decision to abandon Britain and then pour hateful and hurtful scorn upon the Royal Family, friends of King Charles have let it be known he wants a closer relationship with his grandchildren Archie, five, and Lilibet, three.

Having met them only a handful of times and had limited communications, mostly via the occasional video call, he is said to be keen to spend time with them, to be ‘more present in their lives’ and ‘would welcome the comfort and pleasure of seeing them’ more.

Royal commentator Michael Cole says Charles feels the ‘lack of closeness with his Californian grandchildren acutely’.

Charles with his grandson Prince Louis at the late Queen's Platinum Jubilee Pageant outside Buckingham Palace in 2022

Charles with his grandson Prince Louis at the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant outside Buckingham Palace in 2022

Harry and Meghan with Lilibet held aloft and Archie perched on his father's knee

Harry and Meghan with Lilibet held aloft and Archie perched on his father’s knee

All very understandable. What grandpa doesn’t want to see his grandkids more – especially if they live on the other side of the world? But there’s a small catch your Maj – you won’t get to see them without seeing Meghan and Harry as well.

And as we all know, that would almost certainly bring a whole host of problems.

One can only imagine the unholy circus. If they brought the grandkids here to see the King, would Meghan have her Netflix crew in tow filming every moment?

Would she bring Grandpa Charles her new homemade jams she’s flogging, then post the pictures on Instagram? Would details of the time they and their children spent with the King be sold off to the highest bidder?

After all, when Harry did his mercy dash to see his father after his cancer diagnosis, the Prince ended up talking about the meeting on American TV network ABC’s Good Morning just days later. ‘I love my family,’ Harry said, adding that he’d ‘jumped on a plane the moment he heard the bad news’ and hoped his father’s diagnosis would have a ‘reunifying effect’ on the Royal Family.

Would the Sussexes even venture over here, given that Harry is currently in the middle of a lengthy and costly court battle in the UK over his personal protection in the UK? He’s claimed Britain is unsafe to visit, even though he and Meghan happily travelled to that bastion of security, Nigeria, in May.

So while I completely get the King’s desire to get to know Archie and Lilibet, especially as his cancer has brought him face to face with his own mortality, I just wonder whether all this has been thought through.

Because there are other factors to consider too. Not least Princess Catherine is currently undergoing treatment for her own cancer. Unlike Charles, who appears to be recovering well and has been out and about this spring, Kate has not been seen in public since Christmas – except for that brave video she made, looking vulnerable and telling us of her diagnosis.

The King’s desire to embrace Archie and Lilibet must be seen in the context of William’s and Kate’s strained relationship – or lack of it – with the Sussexes, after Harry and Meghan’s very public criticism of them and other senior Royals.

Charles must also take into account the Waleses’ loyalty to him over the past decade. While Harry and Meghan abandoned Royal life, William and Kate have done everything they could to support Charles and to ensure he was close to their children George, 10, Charlotte, nine, and Louis, six.

William and Kate did their duty. Harry and Meghan abandoned theirs.

The Waleses picked up the extra work left by the Sussexes when they fled for America’s millions. They declined grand Royal residences and left their vast Kensington Palace apartment for the more modest Adelaide Cottage, to be within walking distance of Windsor Castle, meaning Charles’s grandchildren could visit him when he and Camilla are in residence.

Charles and Camilla - with Charlotte, George and Louis in tow - go to church in Sandringham on Christmas Day

Charles and Camilla – with Charlotte, George and Louis in tow – go to church in Sandringham on Christmas Day

Charles describes William’s and Kate’s three children as ‘a blessing’. Insiders say he is a ‘fantastic and enthusiastic grandpa’ to them, sees them as often as possible and is very much ‘ready to take part in whatever it is that they are doing’.

Yet Kate, the woman Charles describes as ‘my beloved daughter-in law’, will surely be apprehensive at the very least about any plans to bring Harry and Meghan back into the fold after all the pain the couple have caused her and William, after all the damage they have done to the Monarchy. Particularly at a time when she must be so emotionally vulnerable, fighting her own health battles while trying to be a mum and wife and our future Queen.

Call me a sceptic, but I also don’t actually believe claims that Queen Camilla keenly supports plans for the Sussex reunion, with insiders suggesting she is encouraging her husband’s desire to be closer to his absent Californian grandchildren.

Has she forgiven Harry’s attacks on her in his memoir Spare, when he wrote: ‘I had complex feelings about gaining a stepmother who, I believe, had recently sacrificed me on her personal PR altar.’?

More likely, to my mind, she is just trying to keep King Charles happy as he faces his own battles. Like any devoted wife, she is content if he is content.

Charles should be grateful for what he has – the love of a devoted son, daughter-in-law and their three children – and be wary of what he naturally wishes for in his desire to see his Californian grandchildren.

Above all, he must be considerate of the feelings of his beloved Kate. She’s worth a million Meghans.