When Prince William was born, the late Queen Elizabeth II was quick to make a hilarious quip about his appearance, with King Charles being the butt of her savage joke.
Life always feels lighter when a new baby is welcomed into the world. After all the pre-planning, with homes being filled with newborn essentials, the best-selling baby products of all time and even the free baby stuff you can get as a new parent, it's a joy when the newborn finally arrives.
For family members, the first time meeting a new addition will be filled with fuss over the choice of baby name, questions about the baby weight and handing out gifts for the new mother or maybe even gifts for the new dad. But when Queen Elizabeth II met her grandson Prince William for the first time, she instead made a hilarious joke about his appearance and King Charles was likely unhappy with the quip.
That's because, according to reports in Marie Claire, when she met her grandson Prince William, who currently sits first in the royal line of succession, for the first time, the late Queen's first words to him were, "Thank heavens he hasn’t ears like his father!"
But the witty one liner did nothing to damped the new father's sprits as he penned a sweet letter to his cousin, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, detailing Prince William's birth and sharing his love and adoration for both his newborn son and his wife, the late Princess Diana.
As reported by OK! Magazine, the then Prince Charles wrote to his family, "The arrival of our small son has been an astonishing experience and one that has meant more to me than I ever could have imagined.
"I am so thankful I was beside Diana's bedside the whole time because I felt as though I'd shared deeply in the process of birth and as a result was rewarded by seeing a small creature who belonged to us even though he seemed to belong to everyone else as well."
The King's ears have, oddly, become 'well-renowned,' according to OK! Magazine who state that the characteristic is now part of 'his iconic image.' They even took centre stage during royal drama The Crown's filming process, with one of the actors who played Charles speaking out about how he believes his own ears helped him to get the role of the young Prince.
“When I was at school, I was embarrassed by them [my ears] and I wanted to pin them back. Now it’s like, ‘Thank God I didn’t’," he told OK! Magazine. "Hopefully I would have been considered regardless but it helped and, the way I see it, it saved The Crown production on some prosthetics!”
The late Queen's quip likely wasn't taken to heart by her eldest son as she has long been known for her savage sense of humour. Back in 2013 while the world was waiting for news of Prince George's arrival, she was asked about whether she thought he would be a girl or a boy during an engagement in the Lake District. True to form, she replied, "I don’t think I mind. I would very much like it to arrive. I’m going on holiday.”
Speaking about the late monarch's witty sense of humour, royal historian Robert Lacey told The BBC, "Laughing things off has been an important survival technique. She obviously takes her job seriously - but at the same time, it doesn't stop her having a sense of the ridiculous."
For historian and author Sir Anthony Seldon, this sense of the ridiculous is what made the late Queen's reign so successful. "A defining characteristic is that she doesn't take herself too seriously," he said. "It's significantly contributed to the success of her reign.
"She's quick to see when people are not at ease. The ability to be entertained and to see the funny side of life helps to keep her in contact with people."
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Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for Goodto.com. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.
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