‘Queen trained William from day one – it’s the benefit of a hereditary monarchy’

As the anniversary of her death approaches, royal expert Hugo Vickers says the late Queen Elizabeth II wanted to prepare a young Prince William for his role as future King and, over time, formed a close relationship with her grandson.

"I think the Queen prepared him a lot," he exclusively told OK! . "William has said over the years that he had the chance to watch her at work and follow her example, and that’s one of the great advantages of a hereditary monarchy.

"They are trained from day one and they can observe things, see how things are done and absorb things gradually, which is very important."

As a pupil studying at Eton College, the teenage prince would regularly visit his grandmother at nearby Windsor Castle, soaking up her knowledge and expertise on all things royal.

"She would teach him things in the Oak Room at Windsor, which he now stands in as Prince of Wales," former royal butler Paul Burrell told us.

Revealing how William would enjoy tea with The Queen "every Sunday", Paul also suggested she used those visits as an opportunity to school him in his future role.

"One day he will stand in that place as King and remember that little tea table with two places in front of the open fire where he would sit with his granny as she taught him about affairs of state, which is quite incredible," he revealed.

In 2001, William fell in love with his fellow University of St Andrews student Kate Middleton, and although the future Princess of Wales did not meet the late Queen until several years later, she was warmly welcomed into the royal fold.

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams says The Queen would have identified the fact that Kate and William had the potential to be a royal power couple from early on.

"We know that they got on extremely well with Queen Elizabeth," he says. "There is no doubt that there seemed to be a realisation on the Queen’s part as to how indispensable they’d be to the monarchy.

"She was very happy to think that they were the future, which they are."

Now, with Kate at William’s side, Richard says there is a sense of optimism that the Prince and Princess of Wales will carry on the late Queen’s legacy.

"As a couple, they are perfect," he tells OK! . "They are the world’s most glamorous royal couple – there’s no doubt about that whatsoever. They also have a wonderful ability to communicate both formally and informally, while William is particularly good when it comes to diplomatic situations.

He adds: "There’s tremendous interest in everything that they say and do, and they know this and use it very well. I think they’ve done everything to repay the trust placed in them. But everything depends on them, so they have got a lot of pressure on their shoulders."

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