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What did Charles really think of Will and Kate's royal visit?

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales plays a ukulele made from a margarine tub while visiting the Dairy Crest creamery on July 12, 2011 in Davidstow, Cornwall, England

Andrew Lloyd/Andrew Lloyd/Getty Images

By most accounts, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's high-wattage Canadian tour and celeb-encrusted Los Angeles whistle-stop were home-runs for the British monarchy. Will and Kate somehow managed to look glamourous while earnestly fulfilling a number of duties and lifting spirits.

But one major critic has emerged: Prince Charles, according to the Mirror newspaper.

According to the paper, "Charles fears the couple's ­glamorous image will now overshadow the worthy work of other senior royals.

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"He told Palace aides that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's trip focused too much on media coverage and not on the serious reasons behind the tour."

While a palace leak feels a whole lot different in the wake of the ongoing News of the World phone-hacking case, observers say Prince Charles has spoken about his misgivings before. The huge turnout to see the newlyweds merely confirmed them. His do-good work in the areas of organics, agriculture and the environment just don't stack up, some say.

"Sources close to Charles, 62, say that on the one hand he is delighted the couple received the same welcome he and Princess Diana got on their 1983 Canada tour," reports the paper.

But as Royal author Phil Dampier pointed out to the paper: "Charles felt overshadowed by Diana and now it seems he feels overshadowed by their son. Some people may think he is jealous. I have always felt that as soon as William got married, Charles would feel sidelined."

He also added: "When Charles and Camilla visited ­Canada two years ago they were greeted by relatively small crowds. They are in their 60s and are not what you would call glamorous.

Granted, it's hard to compete with Will and Kate's celebrity hang-outs with Jennifer Lopez and Tom Hanks when one of your most recent public outings is to speak to a group of dairy farmers (sorry, dairy farmers.)

Even if his heart is in the right place. The site This is Gloucestershire reported: "Speaking to staff at Dairy Crest's creamery in Davidstow, Cornwall, where he started production of a charity-fundraising Diamond Jubilee cheddar, he praised it for paying its farmers higher prices for milk than others, adding: 'It seems like madness that it costs more to buy a litre of water in a supermarket than a litre of milk. Much more needs to be done to put the dairy sector, especially small and medium-sized firms, on a firm footing.' "

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Do you think the young royals are casting a warm glow on the British monarchy? Does Princes Charles have much ground to lose?

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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