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King Charles plays doting father to Prince Harry in unearthed viral clip

King Charles III and Prince Harry‘s father-and-son relationship has become the focus of a new viral video, after footage of the pair filmed for a 1994 documentary resurfaced on social media site TikTok.

Charles’ parenting skills and attitudes as a father were pulled into public focus earlier this year with the publication of Harry’s Spare memoir. In the record-breaking book, the king’s younger son made a number of revelations and allegations about his childhood and adolescence, including an account of Charles’ remoteness.

In one key account, Harry revealed that his father found physical intimacy difficult with his children, detailing that he didn’t hug his son when he broke the news that Princess Diana had died after a car crash in 1997.

Charles didn’t respond to the claims made in Spare, in line with the blanket “no comment” stance adopted by the wider royal family.

In 1994, Charles made a similar move to Harry, by collaborating with an official biography that made claims about his own childhood, including that his parents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, were cold and remote.

To go with the book, Charles filmed a documentary with its author, Jonathan Dimbleby, titled: Charles: The Private Man, the Public Role. The documentary featured scenes filmed with the then-prince’s two sons and also his attitudes toward co-parenting with Princess Diana, who he had separated from two years earlier.

Uploaded to TikTok by user ab0ut_r0yals on October 15, footage of a young Harry being injured during a soccer game at the royals’ Balmoral estate in Scotland while Charles comforts him in the aftermath has been viewed over 120,000 times in 24 hours.

Captioned “miss this moment,” Charles is photographed with his arm around Harry, stroking his nose after the prince appeared to have injured his face during the game.

The clip has received in excess of 9,000 likes and numerous comments, many of which reflected on the royals’ relationship today.

In Spare, one of the most overt complaints that Harry listed against his father was his age. Charles was 35 years old when Harry was born, something the prince wrote proved to be a “barrier” between the two of them.

“I’d always assumed that I’d be a young husband, a young father, because I’d resolved not to become my father,” he wrote.

“He’d been an older dad, and I’d always felt that this created problems, placed barriers between us. In his middle years he’d become more sedentary, more habitual. He liked his routines. He wasn’t the kind of father who played endless rounds of tag, or tossed a ball until long after dark.”

In the 1994 interview with Dimbleby, the broadcaster asked Charles if he enjoyed spending time with Harry and Prince William, to which he responded: “Of course I do. And they like being with me. But what is marvelous is to see them develop and start to get good at certain things and develop interests and all that. It gives me enormous pleasure and satisfaction and pride.”

When the interview aired on June 29, 1994, in Britain, it was watched by a reported audience of 13 million people. It’s perhaps best known today for Charles’ overshadowing admission on camera to being unfaithful to Princess Diana during their marriage.

Asked if he had tried to remain faithful to his wife, Charles admitted that he had “until it [the marriage] became irretrievably broken down.” He was also asked about his friendship with Camilla Parker Bowles (now Queen Camilla), who at the time he was reported to be having an affair with.

Charles described Camilla as “a great friend of mine” and went on to add that she would “continue to be a friend for a very long time.”

The evening the interview aired, Diana attended a charity dinner in London wearing a black cocktail dress that was later dubbed the “revenge dress” as pictures of the daring design were run alongside write-ups of Charles’ revelations.

The interview is said, in part, to have influenced Diana to take part in the 1995 interview with BBC’s Panorama program.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek‘s royal reporter, based in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email royals@newsweek.com. We’d love to hear from you

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