The Queen might not approve of Prince William’s favourite hobby, but the pair reportedly have a good relationship.
However, it wasn’t always the case and it filled the Queen with ‘great sadness’ when William was younger, according to a royal biographer.
As second in line to the throne, William has been schooled in the ‘art of kingship’ since he was a boy. But his mother – the late Princess Diana – expressed concerns about her eldest son becoming the monarch one day, and during a TV interview to the BBC’s Panorama she said: ‘Well, then you have to see that William’s very young at the moment, so do you want a burden like that to be put on his shoulders at such an age? So I can’t answer that question.’
Diana’s private secretary Patrick Jepherson said: ‘It was no secret that towards the end of her life, reactionary elements in the establishment were questioning her desirability as a mentor in the art of kingship.’
Royal biographer and expert Ingrid Seward describes how the Queen guided Prince William when he started studying at Eton in her book, My Husband and I: The Inside Story of 70 Years of the Royal Marriage as she was saddened by the fact she rarely saw her grandchild during his early years and hoped to play a bigger role in his life as a teenager.
She wrote: ‘The one person who could help, who had to help, was the Queen. She knew only too well what pressures William was facing. She told her advisors she feared he might crack up like his mother had.
‘He started joining the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for lunch. Afterwards Prince Philip would leave the Queen and her grandson together in the Oak Drawing Room overlooking the quadrangle.
‘They talked in a way they never could have done before. One of her great sadnesses was that, until the separation, she had hardly seen him. Now, at last, she was able to do so on a regular basis and form a proper relationship.
‘In this quiet intimacy, the Queen was able to impress upon William that the institution of the monarchy was something to be upheld and respected, and worth preserving.’