Harry used to be keen for his dads attention

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Looking at photos of Charles and Harry together over the years, body language expert Judi James noticed a shift in the men’s behaviour. She claimed that after Harry distanced himself from the Royal Family and moved to the US in 2020, his body language when around his father demonstrated that his relationship with him had changed.

Judi said: “When Harry was quoted as saying ‘I lost my dad in this process’ in 2022, his choice of words made it sound heart-breakingly final, almost as though Charles had died.”

This is in reference to one of Harry’s many interviews in the lead-up to the release of his book, Spare. The “process” here was leaving the Firm at the beginning of 2020.

The body language expert continued: “It suggested the relationship was over rather than salvageable.

“Even when he claimed there was ‘a lot to work through’ the phrase sounded like a very bad omen. ‘Working through’ hinted at Charles having to join Harry in some of his soul-searching therapy sessions, which was never going to sound like the kind of idea Charles would view with much enthusiasm.

“Harry describes himself frequently and emphatically as his ‘mother’s son’ and this does more than hint about some pretty natural feelings of resentment towards both Charles and Camilla.

“Watching Camilla take the throne during Charles’s coronation will easily sting Harry badly.”

But was Harry and his father’s relationship ever close?

“Early photos of the boys with Charles and Diana do seem to show Harry primarily with his mother, who would shower him with the cuddles and hugs that he has recently complained about missing from his father, even when his mother died,” Judi said.

“With a wonderfully tactile wife and living the more openly emotional, therapy-loving US lifestyle, Charles’ more remote style of parenting must seem like an anomaly to Harry, but it was viewed as less abnormal at the time and perhaps just a by-product of his own upbringing.

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“After Diana’s death we were shown many photo opportunities that involve a very playful and besotted-looking dad with his two boisterous but equally loving sons, usually while they were dressed in ski gear.”

There are photos of Charles with his arm around Harry, and vice versa. Judi continued: “These now look like the relationship golden years for Harry and his dad.

“During these years there were several times Harry would be seen using body language that suggested he was keen to get Charles’ attention as much as possible.

“The currency used was teasing and playful banter, but Harry did seem to crave the kind of open affection and interest he had received as a given from his mother.

“The photos don’t always tell the exact story here. In fact it was always Harry and William giving the hugs to their dad or verbally nudging him to hug them for the cameras.

“Sometimes it was even the photographers doing the nudging. This wasn’t a PDA epiphany for Charles then, but his grinning responses to being egged on and teased like this always seemed to reveal the inner warmth and affection he felt for both his sons.”

Judi noted that “in Charles and William, Harry had two parental-style relationships, and when William married Kate, it looked as though Harry became the third person in a new team of three”.

“There were still signals of warmth between father and son though, with the peak perhaps being the sight of Charles’ signals of open pride and warmth as he accompanied Meghan up the aisle on her wedding day.”

But, more recent photos start to reveal a shift in Charles and Harry’s relationship. She said: “Visually it looks as though it was Harry’s decision to leave the Firm that caused a more open rift between himself and his father.

“When he later told Oprah Charles had ‘stopped taking my calls’ it sounded like a chilling state between father and son.

“The focus after Philip’s death had all been on Harry and William and the fact there were no moments to show Harry with his father tended to get overlooked.”

Judi also mentioned a photo that stood out for her following the Queen’s death last September. She said: “A photo taken through the window of Buckingham Palace just before the Queen’s funeral service looked more damning.

“Charles walked several steps ahead of Harry and Meghan on the wide staircase with his head down, apparently totally ignoring his son.”

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