Prince Charles ignores questions about his parenting after Harry reveals he suffered from 'cycle of pain and suffering'

·Royal Correspondent
·6 min read

Watch: Prince Charles ignores Harry question during Cardiff visit

Prince Charles avoided answering questions about his parenting as he took on engagements in Wales the day after criticism about "genetic suffering" from his son Prince Harry about his childhood.

Harry, 36, told Dax Shepard on a podcast in the US that he wanted to break the cycle of pain and suffering in his family, saying he did not want to parent in the same way he had been brought up.

Arriving in Cardiff for a day of engagements in South Wales, Charles was asked if he agreed with Harry, but carried on walking.

In the episode of Armchair Expert released on Thursday, Harry said: "I don’t think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody, but certainly when it comes to parenting, if I’ve experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on, basically.

"It’s a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway so we as parents should be doing the most we can to try and say ‘you know what, that happened to me, I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen to you’."

Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales gestures during a visit to BCB International, a supplier of protective, medical and defence equipment, in Cardiff on May 14, 2021, during his day-long visit to Wales. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Charles at BCB International, a supplier of protective, medical and defence equipment, in Cardiff. (AFP)
CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 14: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales enjoys a refreshment as he visits supplier of protective, medical and defence equipment, BCB International, on May 14, 2021 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Charles stopping for a cup of tea as he visits supplier of protective, medical and defence equipment, BCB International. (WPA Pool/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 14: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales visits supplier of protective, medical and defence equipment, BCB International, on May 14, 2021 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Charles was on his first Welsh engagements since his father died. (WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Read more: 'He's treated me the way he was treated': Inside Prince Charles and Harry's very difficult relationship

Harry went on to discuss his father's childhood, and how the school he had gone to played a role, in that, even linking back to how the Queen and Prince Philip had brought up Charles.

Charles famously called his school Gordonstoun "Colditz in kilts" and had disliked it so much he decided to send his sons elsewhere to school.

But to Philip, Gordonstoun had been a refuge when he had nowhere else to go, and he had loved his time there.

In 1994, a biography about Charles approved by the prince, spoke about the Queen as "emotionally distant" and called Philip "harsh" and "hectoring".

But Charles has been much warmer about his parents in recent years, lavishing praise on them.

Watch: Prince Harry: I won't pass down my trauma to my kids

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Charles, 73, was in Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil on Friday, his first engagements in Wales since the funeral of his father, the Duke of Edinburgh. 

However it's believed he was staying at his private home in the country after the ceremony for Prince Philip.

The prince went to BCB International, which makes survival gear and other protective, medical and defence equipment, which is used by the armed forces, health workers and outdoor enthusiasts.

On arrival he met managing director Andrew Howell and his family who all hold senior positions within the company – wife Janey Howell and their daughters Emily, 28, Gabriella, 26, and Isabella, 23.

He joked to the daughters: "Does he pay you?" to which Gabriella responded: "In hugs and kisses".

Later being shown what going into the packs, he asked if the high energy biscuits were any good, to which he got the reply "no", prompting laughter.

Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales gestures during a visit to BCB International, a supplier of protective, medical and defence equipment, in Cardiff on May 14, 2021, during his day-long visit to Wales. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles laughed when he heard the high energy biscuits in the pack were not good. (AFP)
CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 14: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales unveil a plaque to officially open the new headquarters of BCB at the end of his visit to the supplier of protective, medical and defence equipment, BCB International, on May 14, 2021 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Charles used a camouflage net to unveil a plaque to officially open the new headquarters of BCB. (WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales lights Fire Dragon fuel during a visit to BCB International, a supplier of protective, medical and defence equipment, in Cardiff on May 14, 2021, during his day-long visit to Wales. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles lighting Fire Dragon fuel during a visit to BCB International. (AFP)

Read more: Prince Harry's outburst against Charles likely to deepen rift with William

During the visit he also took part in a demonstration of camouflage nets being cut, and unveiled a plaque opening the new headquarters, which had been covered with a net.

He watched a demonstration of Fire Dragon fuel – an all-weather, eco-friendly and toxin free fuel which is currently being used by the Ministry of Defence, for soldiers to heat their food and water. It can also be used as a hand sanitiser.

The prince then gamely had a go at lighting it, using a flint and striker, getting a few sparks which prompted a cheer.

As he was struggling to get a spark, he said: "It takes time to work these bloody things out."

Once it finally worked, he said "see, it takes time" turning to the cameras and adding: "You thought I wasn’t going to do it."

Charles was given a bottle of BCB's hand sanitiser during lockdown and subsequently accepted an invitation to visit the site.

He gave an impromptu speech at the headquarters before unveiling the plaque before he left, he said: "I shall now be able to go away and set fire to my hand gel and hope I shall be able to do some useful cooking on it."

From there, Charles visited members of the RAF who helped with a mass COVID-19 testing programme in Wales, at the Engine House in Merthyr Tydfil.

The Prince of Wales meets members of the RAF who helped during the mass testing for Covid-19 in South Wales, as part of his visit to the Engine House youth charity in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. Picture date: Friday May 14, 2021.
The Prince of Wales meets members of the RAF who helped during the mass testing for COVID-19 in South Wales, as part of his visit to the Engine House youth charity. (PA Images)
The Prince of Wales meets volunteers and staff during a visit to the Engine House youth charity in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. Picture date: Friday May 14, 2021.
Charles watched some young people during a karate session at the Engine House youth charity. (PA Images)
The Prince of Wales meets volunteers and staff during a visit to the Engine House food bank in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. Picture date: Friday May 14, 2021.
The house also operates a food bank. (PA Images)

The Engine House is now a community centre which runs a food bank alongside sessions for people in the local area.

Charles popped in on a karate lesson and watched a dance presentation from a group which holds its weekly sessions in the Engine House.

He met children from Abercanaid School, who were taking part in a plogging session, where litter picking is combined with jogging.

Charles last visited Engine House in 2006, when the centre had been saved from demolition.

He then made a trip to the town's former synagogue, where he heard of plans for its restoration.

Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C), wearing a face covering due to Covid-19, visits the former Merthyr Tydfil Synagogue in Merthyr Tydfil, on May 14, 2021, during his day-long visit to Wales. (Photo by REBECCA NADEN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by REBECCA NADEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles at the former Merthyr Tydfil Synagogue which is being restored. (AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C), wearing a face covering due to Covid-19, visits the former Merthyr Tydfil Synagogue in Merthyr Tydfil, on May 14, 2021, during his day-long visit to Wales. (Photo by REBECCA NADEN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by REBECCA NADEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles was shown around the former Merthyr Tydfil Synagogue which has fallen into disrepair. (AFP)

The building is the oldest synagogue in Wales but has been empty since 2006, although urgent repairs have been carried out after it was bought in 2019 by the Foundation for Jewish Heritage.

Friday's engagement is not the first time Charles has avoided questions following an interview given by his youngest son.

In March, Harry sent shockwaves through the palace when he gave an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, but when asked about it on an engagement, Charles kept quiet.

However William did not. Asked if his family was racist, William leapt to their defence, saying they were "very much not a racist family".