The Daily Mail‘s Robert Hardman has followed Queen Elizabeth II‘s reign for the past twenty years, and will soon release Our Queen, an in-depth account of the sovereign. Hardman was able to secure an interview with Prince William for the book, who praised his grandmother’s 60 years on the throne. “She cares not for celebrity, that’s for sure,” William told Hardman. “That’s not what monarchy’s about. It’s about setting examples. It’s about doing one’s duty, as she would say. It’s about using your position for the good. It’s about serving the country — and that really is the crux of it all.”
Describing Her Majesty as his “grandmother first, then the Queen,” William described the woman who ascended the throne at 25 as “incredible.” Their relationship has strengthened with time, and the second-in-line feels that he can come to his grandmother with any sort of question.
When it came time to put together the guest list for his wedding to Catherine Middleton (now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge), William took issue with one thing in particular. “I came into the first meeting for the wedding (with Buckingham Palace officials), post-engagement, and I was given this official list of 777 names — dignitaries, governors, all sorts of people — and not one person I knew,” William told Hardman with a laugh. “They said: ‘These are the people we should invite.’ I looked at it in absolute horror and said: “I think we should start again.” I rang her up the next day and said: ‘Do we need to be doing this?’ And she said: ‘No. Start with your friends first and then go from there.’ And she told me to bin the list.”
How did Queen Elizabeth, usually very stoic in public, behave on William’s wedding day? Her Majesty was “Positively playful,” according to one source. “She was literally skipping.”
Hardman’s book, Our Queen, will be released in the UK on October 6th. No confirmation yet on its release in the US.