Home Australia Not-so-Sweet William! There was a time when the prince was prone to rant and rave, says a leading royal author… (And can you guess the target of his anger?)

Not-so-Sweet William! There was a time when the prince was prone to rant and rave, says a leading royal author… (And can you guess the target of his anger?)

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William looks less than happy as he follows his father to Glasgow

Prince William, it is often said, has come a long way.

The former ‘Party Prince’ is today replaced by a loving father who rarely fails to cut a dignified and often humorous figure in public.

At 41, the Prince of Wales is not only a key force in the monarchy, but also popular with the public.

However, the outlook has not always been so sunny, as author Robert Lacey explains in his best-selling biography, Battle of Brothers. Storms were far too frequent.

William looks less than happy as he follows his father to Glasgow

William looks less than happy as he follows his father to Glasgow

The brothers are together in Westminster Abbey in March 2020. It is the last official engagement for Harry and Meghan - and the mood is somber

The brothers are together in Westminster Abbey in March 2020. It is the last official engagement for Harry and Meghan - and the mood is somber

The brothers are together in Westminster Abbey in March 2020. It is the last official engagement for Harry and Meghan – and the mood is somber

William, head bowed, stands with Prince Charles outside Clarence House to mark the Queen Mother's 98th birthday

William, head bowed, stands with Prince Charles outside Clarence House to mark the Queen Mother's 98th birthday

William, head bowed, stands with Prince Charles outside Clarence House to mark the Queen Mother’s 98th birthday

Perhaps it was expected. King Charles himself has been no stranger to the occasional outburst.

Nevertheless, William’s stepmother Camilla is said to have been surprised by his tantrum.

‘He has proven that he was not sweet William when he got excited,’ writes Lacey.

“In the years following her marriage to Prince Charles in 2005, Camilla told members of her own family and close friends of her surprise at discovering this unexpected side of Prince Charming – ‘the boy has a temper!’

‘Charles’ wife was horrified by the shouting and tumult which William occasionally unleashed on her husband in her presence.

‘The ranks were broken, according to Camilla’s account in the early days, with William shouting and Charles meekly submitting at the receiving end. As she described it, William held nothing back.’

It was an anger, Lacey suggests, similar to William’s sense of himself as future king.

Today it’s largely hidden, but little brother Harry has his own views on William’s anger.

Writing in his memoir, Spare, Harry claims that in a row in 2019 at Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace, William had ‘grabbed me by the collar, ripped my necklace and he knocked me to the floor’.

A dog bowl was apparently broken in the breach. (Prince William has never given his version of events.)

According to Lacey, the anger had been evident from early on, particularly when his mother, Diana, had appeared in a 1995 Panorama interview with the now disgraced Martin Bashir.

Much to the embarrassment of William, then studying at Eton College, his mother had appeared on national television and discussed the breakdown of her marriage to her father and her affair with James Hewitt.

According to a friend, the ‘healer’ Simone Simmons, Diana soon felt the full force.

“All hell broke loose,” Diana Simmons said. ‘…He started shouting and crying and when she tried to put her arms around him he pushed her away.

‘Diana got a taste of how William’s intensity could lead to his infamous rage. The next day he apologized to his mother for his temper with a small bunch of flowers.’

Princess Diana felt the full force of William's temper after the 1995 Panorama interview

Princess Diana felt the full force of William's temper after the 1995 Panorama interview

Princess Diana felt the full force of William’s temper after the 1995 Panorama interview

Robert Lacey says Prince William used to lash out at his father

Robert Lacey says Prince William used to lash out at his father

Robert Lacey says Prince William used to lash out at his father

¿The ranks were broken,' from Camilla's account to friends

¿The ranks were broken,' from Camilla's account to friends

‘The ranks were broken,’ of Camilla’s report to friends

Camilla was said to have been surprised by William's tantrum

Camilla was said to have been surprised by William's tantrum

Camilla was said to have been surprised by William’s tantrum

Writing in the Daily Mail, Lacey concluded:

“It must be emphasized that in recent times – and especially since the adjustments the royal family had to make in 2019 and 2020 in the wake of their differences and Harry’s departure – father and eldest son have grown much closer together.

‘Prince Charles and Prince William now clearly understand the need to work closely together for the future of the monarchy.’

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