Prince William And King Charles Are Reportedly Locked In An Ongoing Power Struggle

While some think that King Charles III should step down and let William, Prince of Wales rule, there doesn't seem to be any sign of that on the horizon. King Charles was the longest-ever heir-in-waiting in the United Kingdom, so it seems unlikely that he'd be giving up his crown soon. It could also be that he's following in his mother and grandfather's footsteps and serving as monarch until his death, as compared to his great uncle King Edward VIII who abdicated the throne.

With King Charles as the monarch for the foreseeable future, Prince William has taken over as the heir-in-waiting. While the two of them seem to share a close bond — with Prince William pledging to serve his father and King Charles thanking William at the coronation — some claim that there's an ongoing behind-the-scenes rivalry between the two.

In "Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy's Fight for Survival," written by royal journalist Omid Scobie, he alleges that William is trying to make his own place separate from his father and the rest of the family. "The prince, said an insider, knows his father's reign is little more than transitional, if only by virtue of the King's age, and is acting accordingly," Scobie wrote, and William is, "eager to establish himself as his own man," as reported by Newsweek.

Prince William may have slighted his father's traditional way of doing things

Some see the comments by William, Prince of Wales about how he wants to do more than others in his family as proof of a rivalry between him and King Charles III. While in Singapore for the Earthshot Prize, an environmental award that Prince William helped create, he talked with reporters about another passion project of his — homelessness. The royal editor for The Sunday Times posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, what Prince William said. "I've been in the homelessness sector for a long time and so rather than just being patron, I want to do more," the Prince of Wales was reported as sharing. "I want to actually build the homes. I want to provide them with the mental support, all the employment, and the education they might need."

Traditionally, the royal family has certainly had several patronages for a number of charities. And while they do almost certainly bring a level of attention and prestige to a cause, it could be seen as simply a symbolic position. So for Prince William to say that he wants to do things differently could be seen as a slight to the way that his father is doing things.

Prince William's plan to help combat homelessness involves him establishing housing on the Duchy of Cornwall estate. That is the same sprawling estate in the southwest of England that his father managed since 1969, and King Charles never converted the land for use as social housing.

King Charles may be jealous of Prince William

There have also been reports that King Charles III gets jealous of how popular William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales are with people. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex wrote about it in his memoir "Spare," saying that his father and Queen Camilla didn't like it when Kate and Prince William got more attention in the papers than they did. Jealousy certainly seems like it could help fuel any potential rivalry between father and son.

If King Charles and Prince William do disagree on a particular issue, it seems unlikely that either of them would back down without having their say. "I am sure they will butt heads as Charles is allergic to anyone telling him what to do," a former Buckingham Palace staff member told The Daily Beast, "and William is not exactly famed for his subtlety." However, that same former staffer thinks any clashes they have could end up being beneficial. "I think it is broadly seen as a productive rivalry rather than a destructive one because William respects his father's 'rank' as head of The Firm," they said. 

So it would seem that even if there is a secret ongoing rivalry between King Charles and his eldest son, it's unlikely to get as publicly dramatic as the falling out that his youngest son Prince Harry has had with the rest of the family.