King William would ‘robustly challenge’ advice of prime ministers

Prince William, when he becomes king, will “robustly challenge” advice from his prime ministers in private if he feels it would damage the monarchy, insiders have said.

Friends of the Duke of Cambridge have revealed he was concerned the Queen was left with “no choice” but to agree to Boris Johnson’s controversial request to prorogue Parliament in 2019.

Royal sources also revealed the Duke has grown much closer to his grandmother and the Prince of Wales in recent years, as he has counselled them on how to steer the monarchy through recent crises.

The future king is said to be considering a different approach to reigning to his grandmother, whom he sees as assiduously maintaining a position “above politics”.

However, sources told The Sunday Times the Duke was not happy about the situation the monarchy was put in when Mr Johnson asked the Queen to prorogue parliament at the height of the Brexit debate in 2019. Mr Johnson apologised to the monarch after the move was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court later that year.

Sources said the Duke sees his role as king as keeping out of politics but he would offer a “more private, robust challenging of advice” if he feared requests would place the monarchy in jeopardy.

The revelations came as it emerged that the Duke, 38, feels his relationship with his grandmother has “greatly improved” in recent years and that they are now “more aligned than ever”. He has been a key adviser to the Queen and his father as the Palace has navigated the scandal of the Duke of York’s association with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein as well as the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as working members of the Royal family.

A courtier said: “That has changed the way the Queen sees him and values his input.”

Friends also described how there had been a “renaissance” in the relationship between the Duke and his father in recent years. “Part of William’s evolution is that he has become closer to his father – he sees their similarities,” one friend said.

The Duke is reportedly determined to heal his strained relationship with his brother, who sources said he will “miss for ever” after the Sussexes moved to America.

Palace sources also described how relations between the brothers hit a low point when the Sussexes launched their “Sussex Royal” website without warning in 2019, a move the Duke considered to have “blindsided” the Queen “in an insulting and disrespectful way”.

Meanwhile, a former private secretary to the Duke revealed that while he is “not someone who loves ceremony”, he has no plans to rein in the pageantry of the monarchy when he ascends to the throne.

Miguel Head, who worked for the Duke between 2008 and 2018, said: “When he gets the top job he won’t do away with it all. He is mindful that the monarchy represents something timeless that’s above all of us, and many people like the magic and theatre of it.”

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