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24 photos of royals being regular dads

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cambridge kids prince william
Prince William gets tackled by his kids Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. The Duchess of Cambridge via Reuters
  • Royals' relationships with their parents aren't always easy, but they're still family.

  • Prince Philip played polo with his son Prince Charles when he was a teenager.

  • Prince William and Kate Middleton shared candid photos of their three children tackling their dad.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Prince Philip and the Queen had four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.

queen elizabeth II prince charles princess anne prince philip
The Queen holding Princess Anne and Prince Philip holding Prince Charles circa 1951. Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Prince Charles was born in 1948, four years before his mother, then Princess Elizabeth, became queen.

The Duke of Edinburgh still found moments of levity with his children amid a busy royal schedule.

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Prince Charles and Princess Anne being pushed on a swing by their father, the Duke of Edinburgh, on the grounds of Balmoral. PA Images via Getty Images

Prince Philip pushed Prince Charles and Princess Anne on a swing at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Philip played polo with Charles when he was a teenager.

Queen Elizabeth awards trophies to Prince Philip and Prince Charles after a polo match.
Queen Elizabeth awarding Prince Philip and and Prince Charles with trophies after a polo match in 1967. Michael Stroud/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth awarded them both trophies after a polo match in 1967.

Charles went on to become an avid polo player, with his father watching games in the stands.

Prince Charles, wearing a polo outfit, stands next to a horse as he talks to Prince Philip
Prince Charles and Prince Philip before a game of polo. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Philip gave Charles his first polo mallet when he was 15.

Their father-son relationship wasn't always easy.

Prince Charles and Prince Philip watch races at the Derby
Prince Charles and Prince Philip watch horse races in 1993. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Philip sent Charles to his former school, Gordonstoun in Scotland, which was far from the family's home. Charles reportedly had a tough experience at the school.

In an authorized biography of Prince Charles, author Jonathan Dimbleby wrote that Charles was "inevitably separated from his parents more than they might have wished," causing him to feel that his parents were "emotionally distant" as well.

But their close bond remained.

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Prince Philip kisses Prince Charles in 2017. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Charles released a heartfelt statement when Philip, his "dear Papa," died at the age of 99 in April.

"As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously," the statement read. "He was a much loved and appreciated figure and apart from anything else, I can imagine, he would be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and the Commonwealth, who also I think, share our loss and our sorrow.

The statement continued: "My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that. It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time. Thank you."

When Charles became a father, he pushed Prince William on swings the way his father had for him.

Prince Charles pushes a young Prince William on a swing
Prince William with his father Prince Charles in 1984. John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images

Charles posed for photos in honor of William's second birthday in the gardens of Kensington Palace in 1984.

Charles had double the fun when Prince Harry came along.

Prince Charles laughs with his young sons, Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince Charles with Prince William and Prince Harry in Kensington Palace in 1985. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

He lifted Harry onto William's shoulders when the two were small.

He took his sons bike riding around the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

Prince Charles rides his bike with Prince William and Prince Harry.
Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry at Sandringham Estate. Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images

Harry sat in a bicycle seat behind Charles, while William rode on his own.

After Princess Diana's death, Prince Charles took his sons on vacations to get away from it all.

Prince Charles skiing with sons Prince William and Prince Harry
The Prince of Wales And Prince William and Prince Harry Skiing in Canada in 1998. Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images

Charles took William and Harry on a father-son ski strip to Whistler, Canada, in 1998.

Like many families, his sons show him amusing memes on their phones.

Prince William laughs as he shows Prince Charles something on his phone while Prince Harry looks on
Prince William, Prince Charles, and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in 2014. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

William induced giggles when he showed Charles something on his phone at the Invictus Games in 2014.

He also bonds with his daughters-in-law.

Prince Charles laughs with Kate Middleton and Prince William.
Prince Charles, Prince William, and Kate Middleton in 2013. DANNY LAWSON/AFP via Getty Images

Charles laughed with William and Kate Middleton on a visit to Scotland in 2013.

Charles walked Meghan Markle down the aisle at her and Harry's wedding.

Prince Charles escorts Meghan Markle down the aisle at her wedding to Prince Harry
Meghan Markle walks down the aisle with Prince Charles during her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018. Dominic Lipinski/ - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Although their father-son relationship has become strained since Harry and Markle gave up their royal titles, Harry told Oprah Winfrey in March that he would "continue to try and make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship."

The Duke of Sussex said during his interview with Winfrey that Charles had refused to take his calls after he shared his plan in late 2019 to step back from royal life.

Prince William practiced using a baby car seat before the birth of his first child.

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Prince William with a newborn Prince George. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

On a February 2020 episode of the podcast "Happy Mum, Happy Baby" hosted by Giovanna Fletcher, Middleton revealed how nervous she and William were about bringing Prince George home.

"The duke, when he put Prince George in the car, that was seamless," Fletcher said of the televised moment after George's birth, when William and Middleton were shown fastening their newborn into the car seat.

"We didn't think so at the time," Middleton said. "We even tried to practice with a little baby doll, but you know, it just never works out the way you planned it, so it was quite hard to do that on the world's stage."

As Prince George grew up, William coached him through public appearances.

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Prince William speaks with Prince George of Cambridge as they arrive in Warsaw, Poland, in 2017. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

William bent down to talk to his son during their official visit to Poland in 2017.

And occasionally let him stay up past his bedtime.

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President Barack Obama visits with Prince George in April 2016. Getty Images/The White House

President Barack Obama said a quick good night to George, who was already in his pajamas, while visiting the UK in 2016. Obama later joked in his 2016 White House Correspondents' Dinner speech that George's pajamas were "a clear breach of protocol."

He gave Princess Charlotte a boost as they departed Germany in 2017.

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Prince William helps Princess Charlotte board their plane in 2017 at the end of their visit to Germany. Pool/Getty Images

He also watches YouTube tutorials to learn how to style his daughter's hair.

He took George and Charlotte to meet their new brother, Prince Louis, in 2018.

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Prince William with Prince George and Princess Charlotte in 2018. Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Middleton gave birth to Prince Louis at St Mary's Hospital in London, where his siblings were also born.

Like any dad, William chases after his kids.

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Prince Louis runs in a garden designed by Kate Middleton. Matt Porteous/Reuters

William and Middleton shared a series of candid photos on the official Kensington Palace Instagram of their kids playing in the RHS Back to Nature Garden that Middleton designed for the Chelsea Flower Show in London.

Sometimes, they catch him.

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Prince William tackled by his kids. The Duchess of Cambridge via Reuters

For Father's Day and Prince William's birthday on June 21, 2020, the duke shared adorably candid photos of himself being tackled by George, Charlotte, and Louis.

For his first Father's Day as a dad in 2019, Harry and Markle shared a sweet photo of their son, Archie, holding Harry's hand.

In this undated photo issued by Britain's Prince Harry Duke and Duchess of Sussex of their six-week-old son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor that they shared on their Instagram account @SussexRoyal to mark Father's Day, Sunday June 16, 2019.  Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex are celebrating their first Father's Day together with their son Archie, by sharing this new sepia toned image showing Prince Harry holding Archie, on their royal Instagram account. (The Duke and Duchess of Sussex/@SussexRoyal via AP) MUST BE USED WITH ORIGINAL TONING AS ISSUED - NO SALES - NO COMMERCIAL USE
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor holds Prince Harry's hand. Associated Press

The photo of 6-week-old Archie was posted to their now-inactive @SussexRoyal Instagram account.

Harry said hello to Markle and Archie after a polo match.

Meghan Markle, holding Archie, talks with Prince Harry while standing outside a black car
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with their son, Archie, in 2019. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Harry and William competed in the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match in Wokingham, England, in 2019.

Harry made funny faces at Archie on a visit to South Africa.

Meghan, Archie, Harry, Africa
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle play with Archie in 2019. Toby Melivlle/ Getty Images

The couple met with Archbishop Desmond Tutu during their royal tour of South Africa in 2019.

Harry and Archie had some father-son bonding in Canada during the 2020 holiday season before moving to Montecito, California.

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Prince Harry with Archie in Canada. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Instagram

On an episode of the podcast "Armchair Expert," Harry spoke about how he hoped to "break the cycle" of pain and suffering in his family.

"There is no blame," he told host Dax Shepard in the episode, which aired in May 2021. "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."

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