Princes William and Harry pay tribute to the Queen in US TV interview

Duke of Cambridge also speaks of his deep sadness that his mother was not there to witness his wedding

The Duke of Cambridge and his brother Prince Harry have spoken movingly of their mother the late Diana, Princess of Wales, in an interview for US television.

Prince William revealed his deep sadness that his mother was not there to witness his wedding, and had never met his bride, Catherine Middleton.

"I sort of prepared myself beforehand so that I was sort of mentally prepared … I didn't want any wobbly lips or anything going on," said William, 29. He added: "It's the one time since she's died, where I've thought to myself it would be fantastic if she was here, and just how sad really for her, more than anything, not being able to see it.

"I think she would have loved the day and I think, hopefully, she'd be very proud of us both for the day. I'm just very sad that she's never going to get a chance to meet Kate."

Harry said: "I think she had the best seat in the house, probably. But yeah, she would have loved to have been there". The 27-year-old said he had been "massively nervous" on the day. "Everybody was nervous," he recalled.

"The whole thing was a bit of a blur to be honest because there was God knows how many millions or billions of eyes focused on us. Luckily, mainly those two [William and Catherine]."

During the programme, the princes also pay tribute to their grandmother.

The pair were interviewed by Katie Couric, of ABC News, as US networks compete for coverage of the British royals during the jubilee. Piers Morgan is set to anchor rival network CNN's coverage of the jubilee weekend's events. The ABC documentary, The Jubilee Queen With Katie Couric, aired last night, examined the relationship the princes enjoy with the Queen.

Prince William revealed how she urged him to ignore protocol and make his wedding as personal an occasion as possible, given the global media attention. Of the guest list, he said: "I was given a list in the first meeting of 777 names, and not one of them on there I knew. So it was a bit daunting and it was like, well, that seems to be the guest list's sorted, but no room for friends or family. And I wasn't too happy about it. She [the Queen] said, 'Ridiculous. Get rid of the list. Start from your friends.'"

His brother said that to him and his brother, she was just "granny." "In a small room with close members of the family, then she is just a normal grandmother. Very relaxed.

"She obviously takes a huge interest in what we all do, that's her children as well as her grandchildren. She wants to know which charities we're supporting, how life is going in our jobs and such. So you know, she has a vested interested in what we do.

"When we were young it was very easy to take our grandmother for granted. She was just a grandmother to us. It's only really sort of been over the last sort of five, eight to 10 years that I've actually really learned to sort of understand and accept the huge deal that she is around the world, especially within the UK."

Having recently undertaken his first overseas tour to Jamaica, Belize and the Bahamas on behalf of the Queen, Harry, two years older than his grandmother when she became monarch, said he could not imagine taking on such duties at such a young age.

"No, not a chance," he said. "But this tour itself has been a brief insight as to what she had to deal with at a very young age … what she's achieved and what she's done and at the age of 25 … confronted with the world's media. And you can see it in her face now. You can see it in the way that she parades herself is just immaculate. And she's learned it from all the years of experience." Prince Harry added his grandmother had shown a remarkable ability to adapt through the years. "She's managed to get the family to move with the times, and I think that's incredibly important," he told Couric. "You can't get stuck in a sort of an old-age situation when everything else around you is changing. So you have, you have to go with it."

Buckingham Palace announced on Tuesday that the Duke of Cambridge has been made a Royal Knight of the Order of the Thistle by the Queen. He is already a Knight of the Garter, while his younger brother does not hold either title. A St James's Palace spokesman said of William: "It's his 30th birthday this year and also the diamond jubilee and the Queen felt it was an appropriate time to bestow the honour."

Alan Titchmarsh's "Elizabeth, Queen, Wife, Mother," is due to be broadcast on ITV on Friday.


Caroline Davies

The GuardianTramp

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