Prince Charles 'told Harry to soldier on' in face of critics during tough first few months of marriage

Camilla Tominey
Prince Charles accompanies Meghan down the aisle at her Windsor wedding to Prince Harry - PA

The Prince of Wales was a great support to Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle during their tough first few months of marriage together, according to a filmmaker who got to know him well.

Prince Charles advised his youngest son to ignore the critics and 'soldier on', claims John Bridcut, who spent a year with the heir to the throne filming a documentary to mark his 70th birthday last November.

Describing the heir to the throne as a “caring, kind and sensitive” soul - who has a close friendship with his sons, Bridcut claims the prince drew on his experience of his troubled marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales, to become a solid supporter of the the Duke And Duchess Of Sussex.

The filmmaker conducted in-depth interviews with the Prince, his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Princes William and Harry for ‘Prince Charles at 70’ which premieres on PBS in the US tonight.

“There is a close relationship between father and son and I'm aware that he gets along very well with both the daughters-in-law,” explained Bridcut. “He is naturally a warm person.”

Asked about the advice he passed to Harry and Meghan about their recent dramas involving the Markle family, Bridcut said: “His approach would be that you just carry on doing the job. He wouldn’t have added to that. His attitude would be that some of the attacks he would feel were unfair.

“He would apply himself and just carry on doing the job and soldier on and that’s what he’s done and it’s borne fruit.”

Bridcut claims the grandfather of three keeps his support of the younger Royals and his true nature hidden from the public.

Bridcut added: “He has got a natural aversion to being seen or described in anyway that he would see as saccharin. He does not want to be seen as a sentimental or touchy feely, because I think that’s part of what he sees as his private life and his private existence. So he doesn’t push that side of things.

"So I think that’s why it’s taken a while for people to notice it, because it’s not in their face all the time.”

However the Prince did show how close he is to Harry when he stepped in at the last minute to walk Meghan down the aisle at their Windsor wedding last May.

Bridcut says that the Duchess of Sussex’s delight at having the Prince replace her absent father Thomas Markle gave the world an insight into their close bond.

“Charles is being completely supportive - and could be seen in the very touching way in which he was involved in the wedding ceremony itself, which was sort of all quite understated.

"It was all very last minute of course the way things turned out. But what Camilla says in the film that I felt very strongly when I watched it myself with the way he held out his hand for Megan’s mother and that moment was completely unscripted and spontaneous, but totally typical of the man actually.

“He doesn’t advertise this but he is a very sensitive man and I’ve seen that myself a lot.

“And again, it is something that is not true of all royals. He goes to the opera and he will weep at the opera, because he gets moved by that.”

Prince Charles escorts Doria Ragland from St George's Chapel after her daughter Meghan's wedding to Prince Harry Credit: Getty Images Europe/WPA Pool

Speaking about the future king’s relationship with his sons, he added: “There was sense in which for a long time, people saw them as their mother’s sons and I think there’s been a growing awareness that actually they have a good relationship with their father and it’s actually quite touching and it’s sort of built in the last few years.

"I think people were surprised that they actually had a really good relationship with their father, without in anyway decreasing their devotion to their mother.

"It’s really interesting to see particularly Prince Harry has become a real champion of his father and in a way, they look more alike as the years go by.

“They’re different people obviously, but there is a real sympathy there and he in some ways physically reminds me of his father and I find that quite surprising, whereas William looks more like his mother.”

The documentary, which was first screened on BBC One in November, features scenes of the Prince in his home office in London and on working trips to Scotland and Wales, as well as abroad during visits to the Pacific island republic of Vanuatu and Caribbean countries struggling to recover from the recent deadly hurricanes.