King Charles is a doting grandfather to five grandchildren – but it was the arrival of his first granddaughter Princess Charlotte that elicited the sweetest admission from the royal.

The then-Prince of Wales beamed with pride as he spoke to reporters days after William and Kate welcomed their baby girl and admitted to wellwishers, “I was hoping for a girl!”

Charles was touring his model town development, Poundbury, near Dorchester in Dorset, at the time. And it was during his visit that he shared his very special wish for Charlotte.

“She is beautiful,” he said. “I was hoping for a grand-daughter – someone to look after me when I am very old.”

It’s clear how much joy being a grandfather brings to the King. His wife, the Queen Consort, previously gave an insight into Charles as a grandfather – and he sounds like the best!

“He will get down on his knees and crawl about with them for hours, you know making funny noises and laughing,” said Camilla during an appearance on BBC documentary, Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70.

Charles has a very special bond with his grandchildren

Charles, 73, and Camilla, 75 have ten grandchildren and step-grandchildren between them. As well as Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Archie and Lilibet, Camilla has five grandchildren: Lola and Freddie Parker Bowles (children of Tom Parker Bowles) and Eliza Lopes, twins Gus and Louis Lopes (children of Laura Lopes).

“My grandchildren adore him, absolutely adore him,” Camilla added. “He reads Harry Potter and he can do all the different voices and I think children really appreciate that.”

Prince William also appeared on Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, and described his dad as being a “brilliant” grandfather – although he wished he could spend more time with his grandchildren.

On whether Charles has time to be a granddad, the Prince said: “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.

“I think he’s… 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 okay. And he’s the fittest man I know but equally I want him to be fit until he’s 95.

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“So, having more time with him at home would be lovely, and being able to you know, play with the grandchildren. Because when he’s there, he’s brilliant. But we need him there as much as possible.”