‘We’re a family, not a company’: How 18-year-old Charles alluded to the kind of king he’d become… 54 years ago at Christmas at Windsor Castle
Prince Philip famously referred to the royal family as “The Firm,” but a new documentary tonight will suggest that his son King Charles has a very different take on it.
In footage shot when he was just 18, Charles says, “I’d rather think of us as a family than a company. I tend to think of my family as very special people.
“And in that sense, I’m just now starting to see my parents and the rest of my family as different people, you know what I mean? That you regard them as having their own distinct characteristics.’
He made the candid remarks in Royal Family, the 1969 behind-the-scenes film commissioned by the late Queen that hasn’t been broadcast in over 45 years. But they will be featured tonight in the new documentary Charles R: The Making Of A Monarch, on BBC1.
Spanning seven decades, the film features archived and never-before-seen footage of the king as a young man, showing an early passion for nature, gardening and animals.
In footage shot when he was just 18, Charles says, “I’d rather think of us as a family than a company. I tend to think of my family as very special people. Pictured: Charles and Anne decorate Windsor Castle’s Christmas tree
Charles made the candid remarks in Royal Family, the 1969 behind-the-scenes film commissioned by the late Queen that hasn’t aired in over 45 years
An intimate sequence shows a Christmas family gathering at Windsor Castle, where teenage Charles and his sister Princess Anne decorate the tree with their mother. Elsewhere, James and Marina Ogilvy, Princess Alexandra’s children, enjoy a hallway full of extravagant gifts, including a race car, a huge blue giraffe, and red space hoppers.
But being a prince didn’t save Charles from a rebuke from his mother, with the late Queen shouting, “Charles, come on!” as he happily starts throwing sticks at a bonfire in the woods.
In another fragment from early adulthood, the king is seen accompanying his mother on one of his first engagements, to see how coins are made at the Royal Mint.
Charles reflects on how he learns the work of a working Royal from his family, saying ‘It helps a lot if a lot of people are all doing the same thing because you can talk to them about it. You know, your own experiences and the fun things that happened. And you can learn a lot from each other.’
Simon Young, the BBC’s history director, said the 60-minute program offered ‘a new insight into (Charles’) remarkable life’, adding: ‘It is a real privilege to be familiar with such rare, unseen archival material to create a new and distinctive archival material. portrait of someone so famous and photographed.’
- Charles R: The Making Of A Monarch airs tonight at 8pm on BBC1.
Charles is depicted throwing sticks on the fire with the family