Insights on the Queen for 90th birthday TV event

Britain's Queen Elizabeth at a Westminster Abbey service on March 14. Some people have been so excited upon meeting her that they fainted, said Prince William.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth at a Westminster Abbey service on March 14. Some people have been so excited upon meeting her that they fainted, said Prince William.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Prince George calls his great grandmother "Gan-Gan"; people have fainted in front of her; and the Queen has an excellent "intelligence network" and is up-to-date with the latest news about the local community around Balmoral.

Members of Britain's royal family have given an intimate portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in interviews as part of a landmark two-hour documentary, "Our Queen At Ninety", to be screened on ITV television on Sunday to mark her 90th birthday on April 21.

The documentary will see the monarch "at work and at home", Buckingham Palace said on Saturday.

Prince William's wife, Kate, said the Queen was "really thrilled" to hear she had given birth to a baby girl, Princess Charlotte, last May and added that her elder child, Prince George, has his way of addressing the Queen.

"George is only 2-1/2 and he calls her Gan-Gan. She always leaves a little gift or something in their room when we go and stay and that just shows her love for her family."

LONG-LIVED ROYALTY

I said to my mother the other day, do you realise that when you reach 90, I shall have known you for 68 years? She had to laugh a little bit. ''

PRINCE CHARLES, heir to the throne

Prince William described how people tended to become starstruck at meeting his grandmother.

"A lot of people get very excited and sort of nervous around her. And I've seen some very comical moments. I've seen people literally faint in front of her."

He credited the Queen for being a guiding light in his life.

"Growing up, having this figurehead, having this stability above me has been incredible. I have been able to explore, understand, slightly carve my own path. I greatly appreciate and value that protection," he said.

His father, Prince Charles, heir to the throne, recalled saying to his mother: " 'Do you realise that when you reach 90, I should have known you for 68 years!' She had to laugh a little bit."

Prince Andrew, said his mother kept abreast of events in the local community around Balmoral.

"Her intelligence network of who's done what, what's happened, who's ill, who's died, who's had a birth, is extraordinary. How she finds out is a mystery."

Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince Charles' younger son, Prince Harry, also appear in the documentary.

Official celebrations for the Queen's birthday will take place in June with a mass street party outside Buckingham Palace and a service of thanksgiving in Saint Paul's Cathedral in London.

The Queen is the longest-serving monarch in British history, having been on the throne since 1952.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2016, with the headline 'Insights on the Queen for 90th birthday TV event'. Print Edition | Subscribe