It is five years since Prince William publicly expressed a wish for his workaholic father to spend more time with his grandchildren.
Now, despite grappling with the packed schedule of a monarch, it seems King Charles has finally taken the hint and is stepping up his duties as a grandfather.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the King has been spending more time in Windsor than he did as Prince of Wales, typically visiting on weekends.
A source said: ‘Charles wants to spend more time with his grandchildren. There’s so much love there.
‘Before, they were miles away from the Waleses but geographically they are now much closer so he can spend more time with them, and he’s very glad [of it].’
For decades Charles spent as little time as possible at Windsor Castle but this has changed in recent months. William and Kate are also understood to be spending less time at their country bolthole, Anmer Hall in Norfolk, during term time.
Insiders have credited Camilla and Kate for getting the family together more frequently but William will likely take some of the credit.
When asked in 2018 whether his father has time to be a grandfather, William told documentary makers: ‘It’s something I’m working more heavily on, put it that way. I think he does have time for it, but I would like him to have more time with the children.
‘Now he’s reached his 70th year it’s a perfect time to consolidate a little bit because, as most families would do, you are worried about having them around and making sure their health’s OK – and he’s the fittest man I know but, equally, I want him to be fit until he’s 95.
‘So having more time with him at home would be lovely, and being able to play around with the grandchildren. Because when he’s there, he’s brilliant. But we need him there as much as possible.’
There were fears that as King it would be even trickier to fit in being a grandfather but, having just turned 75, Charles is streamlining his priorities to spend more time with George, ten, Charlotte, eight, and Louis, five.
A source said: ‘His habits are that he heads to Highgrove [in Gloucestershire] for the weekend and will stop at Windsor on Fridays.
‘Obviously, that makes it more possible to see his grandchildren, with whom he has an incredibly warm and fond relationship.’
Queen Camilla has previously described Charles as a hands-on grandfather who will ‘get down on his knees and crawl about with them for hours . . . making funny noises and laughing’.
He even turned his beloved gardens at Highgrove into a toddler’s playground for Prince George. In 2015, when George was two, Charles refurbished the treehouse once enjoyed by William and Harry.
The desire to be closer to the Wales children is most likely not unrelated to the painful estrangement from his two grandchildren overseas.
Last week reports claimed that Prince Harry spoke to his father for the first time in six months, ringing him to wish him a happy 75th birthday, while Archie, four, and Lilibet, two, recorded a video singing Happy Birthday.