The Royal Family are going media mad at the moment. For an organisation that prides itself on preserving the mystique of majesty, they are giving interviews at an unprecedented rate to mark the Jubilee.
The latest spokesperson is Prince William, who has given an extensive interview to the British patron saint of daytime TV and biscuits, Alan Titchmarsh, for an ITV doc entitled “Elizabeth: Queen, Wife, Mother”, to be screened on 1 June.
In the film, some lines from which are published in today’s Radio Times, William says that the Queen told him to “tear up” the original guest list for the ceremony in Westminster Abbey because it included 777 people whom neither he or Kate knew.
He also discloses that he doesn’t appreciate the Queen’s corgis: “They’re barking all the time . . . I don’t know how she copes with it,” he says, "But her private life with her dogs and her riding and her walking, it's very important to her. She has got to switch off. I would just question the noise!"
Speaking about his guest list, he says: “There was very much a subdued moment when I was handed a list with 777 names on - not one person I knew or Catherine knew.
“I went to her and said, 'Listen, I've got this list, not one person I know - what do I do?' and she went, 'Get rid of it. Start from your friends and then we'll add those we need to in due course. It's your day.'”
Talking about the crowds camped outside Clarence House on the night before his wedding last year, the Duke said: “They were singing and cheering all night long, so the excitement of that, the nervousness of me and everyone singing – I slept for about half an hour.”
William said he had grown closer to the Queen with age.
“We’re definitely a lot closer than we used to be,” he said. “I think being a small boy it’s very daunting seeing the Queen around and not really quite knowing what to talk about or what to ask her.
“I think over the years that’s got a lot better. I’ve grown up – hopefully – a little bit and tried to understand a bit more about her role and my own role.”
He also made an intriguing comment suggesting there was not much room for a future King to innovate: “There's not much wriggle room left for me to try and find my own path but I will do. It's just a matter of learning what's gone before me. She's an incredible role model. I would like to take all of her experiences, all of her knowledge and put it in a small box and to be able to constantly refer to it.”
On the Duke of Edinburgh, William says, “He makes her laugh because some of the things he says and does and the way he looks at life is obviously slightly different than her, so together they’re a great couple.
“One of the things I know that over the years they’ve loved is when things go wrong – they absolutely adore it because obviously everything always has to be right, but when things go wrong around them they’re the first people to laugh.”
In an accompanying interview with Radio Times, Titchmarsh rubbished the notion the crown could skip Charles.
“The idea that the succession might miss out Prince Charles altogether, and go straight to William, just because he’s a young man who’s married a glamorous young woman . . . I mean, come on, this isn’t Hollywood. This is the United Kingdom, not Tinseltown; our history stretches back a bit further.”
Sixty years and hardly a slip.