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Why Prince Charles Is ‘Pragmatic’ About Not Seeing George and Charlotte as Much as They See the Middletons

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Prince Charles “comes alive” around his grandchildren, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

But the future king gets less time with them than Princess Kate‘s parents, Carole and Mike Middleton.

Though some in Charles’s inner circle question why he doesn’t get as much time with his grandchildren as Kate’s parents do, the Prince of Wales himself sees the situation more logically.

“He is pragmatic about it,” a royal insider tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “He is accepting that a daughter gravitates toward her own family.”

Amidst her royal role, Kate has remained close with her family, including her parents and siblings, bride-to-be Pippa and brother James. And while 3-year-old George and 2-year-old Charlotte frequently see the Middleton side of their family – Prince William and Kate even skipped the traditional royal Christmas celebrations at Sandringham last year to spend the holiday in her hometown of Bucklebury — they see Grandpa Charles a bit less.

Watch the full episode of The Amazing Lives of Prince George and Princess Charlotte now on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN or download the PEN app on your favorite device.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(2)

 

Charles does love spending time with his grandchildren, a source close to the royal family told PEOPLE in 2015. So much so that he refashioned William’s childhood treehouse for George and Charlotte when they visit him at Highgrove House.

“Charles and Camilla absolutely adore being grandparents and are enthralled with Charlotte and George,” the source said. “Charles is a warm and caring guy, but he comes even more alive around little George. He loves spending time with him.”

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Kate has continued to be honest about the positive impact her family had on her growing up — and how she hopes to instill those same values in George and Charlotte.

“[They] taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect and honesty,” Kate said of her parents in February. “William and I want to teach our little children . . . just how important these things are as they grow up. In my view, it is just as important as excelling at maths or sport.”