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Newlywed Royals Leave Wedding Reception
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Will and Kate drive from Buckingham Palace in Prince Charles's vintage Aston Martin on April 29.
TODAY contributor
updated 9/26/2011 9:48:50 AM ET 2011-09-26T13:48:50

The familiar question posed by sons everywhere, “Dad, can I borrow the car?” reached global proportions when Prince William took the wheel of his father Prince Charles’s beloved 1970 Aston Martin on his April wedding day.

But whether it was wedding-day jitters, or the fact that cameras from all over the world were trained on him as he drove off, the Prince blew his first drive as a married man — by forgetting to release the car’s handbrake.

Video: Prince William gets personal about the Queen (on this page)

The anecdote came courtesy of royal photographer Arthur Edwards during an interview with the BBC.

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After William took the wheel of Charles’s pricey ride as he and his new bride Catherine for the brief drive from Westminster Abbey to Clarence House, Edwards queried Prince Charles about handing the keys over to his son.

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“I said, ‘Did you mind him borrowing your car?” Edwards said. “Because he loves that car. It was a birthday present from his mother on his 21st birthday.

“He said, ‘Oh, no. He asked me if he could use it.’ "

But when Edwards told Prince Charles that Prince William seemed to struggle with the car, he answered, “Yes. Because he didn’t take the handbrake off.”

Slideshow: Will and Kate's royal wedding

Driving problems aside, Prince William says his wedding to Catherine was everything he had hoped, in no small part due to intervention from his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

In a new book on Queen Elizabeth titled “Our Queen,” London Daily Mail reporter Robert Hardman quotes Prince William about the queen giving him permission to alter his guest list for the royal wedding to include his pals.

Will got a shock, he told Hardman, at his first wedding meeting following his October engagement to Middleton. Just as he was getting ready to put together his guest list, he was handed one by palace officials.

“…I was given this official list of 777 names — dignitaries, governors, all sorts of people — and not one person I knew,” Prince William said, in a Daily Mail excerpt from the book, out in October.

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He decided to appeal to a higher power — his grandmother, ruler of Britain for the past 59 years. Her advice for dealing with that daunting document? Trash it.

“I rang her up…and said, ‘Do we need to be doing this?’ William recounted. “And she said, ‘No. Start with your friends first and then go from there.’ And she told me to bin the list.”

Story: Queen to Kate: Wedding dress display ‘horrid’
Britain's Prince William and his wife Ka
AFP - Getty Images file
In a new book, Prince William reveals that his grandmother, the Queen, wouldn't budge when it came to his wedding outfit.

Still, Queen Elizabeth II held her ground with her grandson when it came to his wedding attire. While Prince William mulled several choices — he’s not only a member of the Royal Air Force but commission in all three of Britain’s military services — his grandmother told him he was to wear his Irish Guards uniform.

“I was given a categorical: ‘No, you’ll wear this!’ “ William told Hardman. “So you don’t always get what you want, put it that way. 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!”

Slideshow: Wacky royal wedding memorabilia

Prince William made it clear he treasures the relationship with his 85-year-old grandmother, not only for the savvy she’s gained from serving as the head of the royal family since being installed as queen in 1953, but more simply, because she’s the family matriarch.

“I say to people, ‘She’s my grandmother to me first and then she’s the Queen,’ “ Prince William said. “Words that come from her, I take very personally and I really appreciate.

“There’s no question you can ask, and no point you can raise that she won’t already know about — and have a better opinion about.”

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Video: Prince William gets personal about the Queen

  1. Closed captioning of: Prince William gets personal about the Queen

    >>> we're back now at 7:43 with prince william speaking about his relationship with his grandmother, her majesty queen elizabeth ii and her role in the planning of his royal wedding . nbc's michelle kosinski is at buckingham pal also.

    >> reporter: for a new book coming out about the queen, prince william sat down with the author for in. depth conversations and told them flat-out, my grandma is incredible. he is the prince just starting to dip a toe into the sea of public duty. she, his grandmother, queen at only 25, about to be britain's longest reigning and much loved monarch. incredible, prince william calls her. in a new book "our queen." he tells author rob rosert hardman about putting together a guest list when he was simply handed one as princes are by palace officials. 777 names. dignitaries, governors, all sorts of people -- and not one person i knew, he chuckles as he recalls his own sense of helplessness. i looked at it in absolute who are row. he realized there was only one person who could resolve the issue -- the queen herself. 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, william says, she told him to throw the official list in the trash. i mean rubbish. oh, yeah -- that's the queen. although the prince reveals she would not allow him to pick out his own wedding clothes. i was given a catcategorical, no, you'll wear this, he says. representing the highest rank he holds -- good choice, he felt. another point for grandma/your majesty.

    >> he understood the queen had to be quite pragmatic, had a sense of duty, which sometimes meant that he couldn't get all his own way.

    >> reporter: william talks about how hard the queen insists on working even increasing it at age 85, that he and his family have suggested they take it easy but she won't hear of it. it is that passionate determination to serve that prince william says guides him now more than ever, calling his grandmother calm, poised, elegant, and natural. the new duke and duchess of cambridge after a first and very successful trip to california and canada have gone back to a relative low-key life. over the weekend they attended a friend's wedding looking understatedly regal, along with kate's popular sister pippa who may just be the next one down the aisle. and the prince who's earned great respect for his military service , saving lives as a rescue pilot, concedes he is not quite yet ready for the life in the spotlight that his grandmother has mastered for six decades. i try not to think about it, he says, to be honest. as i fly in my helicopter through the mountains of wales i try desperately hard not to think about it. that can wait until i'm a bit older. prince william says he sees the queen as first his grandmother, and queen second. and that he really admires the way the queen doesn't like celebrity at all. she likes duty. following in her footsteps, he now says that he plans to stay in the royal air force as long as he can, even after his current tour of duty ends in 2013 . lester?

    >> fascinating insight there, michelle kosinski , thanks very much.


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