| (Top) Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, at their wedding at Westminster Abbey, London, on April 29, 2011; Queen Elizabeth. (AP)
London, May 21: Prince William has revealed in a television interview that he tore up the official wedding guest list that was handed to him and substituted his friends and those of his fiancée Kate Middleton.
What is surprising is that his act of defiance was encouraged by the Queen. William and Kate are now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
William was interviewed by Alan Titchmarsh for an ITV1 documentary about his grandmother called Elizabeth: Queen, Wife, Mother. William also revealed he got just half an hour’s sleep the night before his wedding on April 29 in Westminster Abbey because of his nerves and the noise of the crowds camped out on the Mall.
Selected extracts of the prince’s interview with Titchmarsh, who normally does gardening programmes, have been published in the listings’ magazine, Radio Times.
“There was very much a subdued moment when I was handed a list with 777 names on — not one person I knew or Catherine knew,” said Williams. Upset, he marched off to see the queen.
“I went to her and said, ‘Listen, I’ve got this list, not one person I know — what do I do?’ and she went, ‘Get rid of it. Start from your friends and then we’ll add those we need to in due course. It’s your day.’”
William, second in line to the throne, admitted it would be a hard act to follow the queen who celebrates her diamond jubilee next month with street parties all over the United Kingdom.
He said: “There’s not much wriggle room left for me to try and find my own path but I will do. It’s just a matter of learning what’s gone before me. She’s an incredible role model. I would like to take all of her experiences, all of her knowledge and put it in a small box and to be able to constantly refer to it.”
Titchmarsh, who spoke to several members of the royal family for the documentary, said William will have to wait to become king. He dismissed the notion that the succession would skip Prince Charles and leapfrog to William, as some anti-Charles lobbies want.
He told the Radio Times: “The idea that the succession might miss out Prince Charles altogether, and go straight to William, just because he’s a young man who’s married a glamorous young woman ... I mean, come on, this isn’t Hollywood. This is the United Kingdom, not Tinseltown; our history stretches back a bit further.”
Around 1,900 people were invited to the service at Westminster Abbey, with about 650 asked to the lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace given by the Queen, and approximately 300 invited to the dinner at Buckingham Palace given by Prince Charles.
William invited his school mates from Eton, and the couple also asked common friends from their time together at St Andrews University in Scotland.