King Charles Held Prince George "Like an Unexploded Bomb" in First Years of the Young Royal's Life: Body Language Expert

It took him a while to adjust to being a grandpa.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge during the annual Trooping The Colour ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 13, 2015 in London, England.
(Image credit: Photo by Mark Cuthbert / Getty)

These days, King Charles III looks like a sweet and devoted grandpa to his own five grandchildren, plus his wife Camilla's four grandchildren.

But according to one body language expert, this didn't quite come naturally to him when his first grandchild, Prince George, was born in 2013.

In fact, for the first few years at least, Judi James observes that Charles was quite distant with little George, while he wasn't as distant with Charlotte and Louis when they were born—most likely because he was more used to his new role by then.

"Charles was 65 when George was born and his first grandson seemed to place him in the position of 'Grandpa-in-training,'" James told Express.

"His body language only later suggested a much more confident, hands-on approach to both Charlotte and Louis as well as Camilla’s [four] grandkids.

"In the few photos we have of them together, Charles seems to have held George like an unexploded bomb.

"His affection is obvious but he also looks inhibited when it comes to relaxed touch and cuddles."

For James, there's another reason Charles might sometimes treat George a little differently to his siblings and cousins: the simple fact of where the nine-year-old stands in line to the throne.

"Perhaps knowing how important it is for George to take on a more serious, weighty role as soon as possible, Charles seems to be seen peering at him with interest and warmth but from a less than tactile distance," James observed after looking at family photos.

"Even when George sits on his lap for the official photo Charles has his hands placed gingerly around George’s ribs."

But James also explained that these observations by no means imply that the grandpa and his eldest grandson don't have a special relationship—quite the contrary.

"This is probably a slow-burn relationship though that could lead to very profound bonds of shared passions, causes and mutual respect," she said.

"Like his grandfather, George seems to be growing into a rather thoughtful young man who takes his royal duties seriously, and his interest in the environment and gardening will be something they can both share."

Charles III is grandfather to Prince William's three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, and Prince Harry's two children, Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.

Meanwhile, he is likely to also often spend time with Camilla's grandchildren, Eliza, Gus and Louis Lopes, and Lola Parker Bowles.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.