Prince William shares his favourite memory of his grandmother29 MAY 2012
In a touching tribute to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Prince William has shared his favourite memory of his grandmother.
The year was 2006, when the Prince graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy, with the royal matriarch looking on proudly.
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"Taking part in the Sovereign's Parade at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is a moment I will never forget," he wrote on the website, Historypin.
The famous snap of the dashing young cadet smiling as the Queen inspects him accompanied the post.
"After a very demanding 44-week course, it was a memorable celebration of personal and collective achievement for everyone concerned. I felt especially proud to receive my commission as an officer in front of my grandmother, The Queen.
"She has been an incredible role model to me over the years, so it was very special to have her present for my graduation."
Kate Middleton – at the time still 24-year-old William's girlfriend – also attended the ceremony which laid the foundation for his career as a Search and Rescue pilot in the RAF.
As the Prince nears his 30th birthday and edges ever closer to his destiny as future King, the sovereign’s guidance and advice are increasingly important to him.
And when he celebrates on June 21, one of his most prestigious gifts will come from her.
The Queen will award her grandson the titles Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle – the highest honour she can bestow in Scotland. .
The ceremony will be the zenith of the personal and professional relationship William enjoys with his "incredible" grandma.
"She's my grandmother to me first and then she's the Queen," he told royal biographer, Robert Hardman.
"Words that come from her, I take very personally and I really appreciate".
And indeed, the monarch has been an enduring presence at all the milestone moments marking in his life.
Most notable was her role in helping plan his wedding to Kate – when she urged her grandson to prioritise those closest to him rather than bowing to aides' desire for a list dominated by official figures.
"I came into the first meeting for the wedding, post-engagement, and I was given this official list of 777 names — dignitaries, governors, all sorts of people — and not one person I knew," revealed the Prince.
"And she said: "No. Start with your friends first and then go from there. And she told me to bin the list.
It's advice like that, which is really key, when you know that she's seen and done it before."