Surprising Details About Queen Elizabeth's Relationship With Prince William

Queen Elizabeth II's relationship with both of her grandsons has at least nominally been one of continuous support, which may come as a surprise, at least in the case of Prince Harry. Despite the younger royal's rapid departure from the crown in 2020 along with his wife, Meghan Markle, the queen has supported his decision in what Observer notes may be a parallel to her relationship with her sister Princess Margaret, who like Harry was also the younger royal sibling and similarly struggled to fulfill her royal obligations and have a social life. 

The connection between Elizabeth and William, second in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles, is also positive but qualitatively different. It truly began when his parents, Charles and Diana, were in the midst their very public and accusation-riddled divorce, with Charles' already poor public reputation tainted by adultery claims. As SheKnows reports, Elizabeth had, at the insistence of her husband, Prince Phillip, begun to foster a closer relationship with William during this time. 

Elizabeth II has prepared William to become King for most of his life

According to SheKnows, William was attending a boarding school a very short distance from Windsor Castle, and so was regularly invited to have lunch there. This had the dual effect of providing him with emotional support and giving the queen an opportunity to educate him, molding him into an ideal future royal to succeed both her and, eventually, his father as king. (In some unlikely event, William might take the throne immediately or shortly after Elizabeth). This has since evolved into a good yet very officious relationship where William regularly consults with his grandmother on royal matters and emulates her. 

The latter was especially true regarding his wife Kate Middleton, who did not have a royal background and thus had a tough time adjusting to both her new role and the extensive media attention that came with it, per Cheat Sheet. At least in part due to his imitation of the queen's methods of maintaining her own privacy, Middleton appears to have since adapted relatively well to royal life, in contrast to William's mother and sister-in-law.