Heartbreaking reason sick Charles had to keep away from the Queen as a child

Lady Anne Glenconner – a close childhood friend of the late Queen Elizabeth II and her sister Princess Margaret – has opened up on King Charles' childhood, revealing he was often kept away from his monarch mother as a youngster due to his poor health.

Lady Anne maintains a solid connection with the King and still sees him regularly – a friendship which has lasted decades as Charles would often stay at Holkham Hall as a boy with the Earl and Countess of Leicester.

She exclusively reveals to OK! that he'd often come to stay when recovering from common childhood diseases such as chicken pox and mumps, as it was too dangerous for him to be around the Queen at that time.

“The Queen was very fond of my mother," she recalls. "So, my mother said ‘Why doesn’t Charles recuperate at Holkham? We’ll look after him’. Which was wonderful!

"He came quite often and he loved working in my mother’s pottery making pots."

Having never been educated with groups of children, the Queen hadn’t built up the necessary immunity to childhood ailments, and Lady Anne's mother was seen as a maternal figure during some of those times.

Lady Anne adds: "She taught him how to drive and I remember he later wrote to my mother saying ‘Darling Elizabeth, thank you so much for letting me drive your van and Jag.’"

Another fond memory that has stayed with the King all these years is recalled with a laugh.

"I was talking to the King the other day and he said he used to love going eel fishing with my father on the lake," she tells us. "They would put these baits on which had a green top and when an eel was caught, the bait turned over and showed red so you could see from the shore if you had any eels.

"He told me that the awful day came when my father said they were going to cook one so they went down to the kitchen and cut up the eel, put it in the pan, and of course, eels don’t die so each separate bit was jumping out of the pan!

"I think in the end my father saw the panic in his eyes and thought they’d call it a day. He said he always remembers that."

Now 12 months into the "top job", as a long time friend of the King, how does she think the first year of his reign has gone?

"Wonderfully," says Lady Anne without hesitation. "He’s done absolutely amazingly well, he’s embraced every part of the role, and has been embraced in return.

"The great thing about King Charles is that he really loves people, he cares about people and minds about them. He’s a workaholic and he has already proved himself to be an incredible King – he has already shown that."

She adds: "He is so passionate about things and everyone he talks to always says that he seems so interested in what they have to say. I’ve known him all his life and I’m so pleased that he’s had such a wonderful beginning to his reign which will be a massive success.”

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