Prince William: How Queen Elizabeth Helped Plan My Wedding
Grandma knows best!
Prince William and Duchess Kate had an awful lot of input planning their historic April 29 wedding -- perhaps the most important coming from William's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.
William, 29, gave his first interview ever about England's long-reigning monarch, 85, and their relationship, in author Robert Hardman's new book The Queen, as excerpted in the Daily Mail.
And the no-nonsense Queen was happy to advise her grandson on dealing with a daunting invite list for his special day with Kate, 29. "I was given this official list of 777 names... dignitaries, governors, all sorts of people. and not one person I knew," William says in the interview.
Flummoxed, William called up the Queen. "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 [throw out] the list. She made the point that there are certain times when you have to strike the right balance. And it's advice like that, which is really key, when you know that she's seen and done it before."
But the Queen was less permissive when it came to her grandson's wedding day attire. As member of more than one military service in England, the Prince had a choice of uniforms to wear down the aisle.
"I was given a categorical: 'No, you'll wear this!'" William said, explaining that he was told to wear his uniform corresponding with his spot at Colonel of the Irish Guards (his most senior military appointment).
"So you don't always get what you want, put it that way." William, laughing, recalled. "But I knew perfectly well that it was for the best. That 'no' is a very good no. So you just do as you're told!"
Explained England's future king of their special relationship: "I say to people, 'She's my grandmother to me first and then she's the Queen. Words that come from her, I take very personally and I really appreciate...My relationship with my grandmother has gone from strength to strength."
He continued: "As a shy, younger man it could be harder to talk about weighty matters. As I''ve got older, she's become an even more important part of my life, so it's much easier. And obviously, with the wedding, she was a massive help."
He can't imagine going through that romantic, historic day without her help. "For me particularly, being the young bloke coming through, being able to talk to my grandmother, ask her questions and know that there's sound advice coming back is very reassuring...she won't necessarily force advice on you...She'll let you work it out for yourself. She's always there for a question or two, for whatever it is you might need."