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.Story: Class crown? Duchess Kate taking royal lessons
“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.Story: Royal wedding sets Internet record, Guinness says
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’
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.”
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