William and Harry
Princes William and Harry's loss of their mother, Princess Diana, in the Paris car crash of 1997 was a devastating blow. Their grandparents' natural reaction was to draw the two boys close, to ensure that they had a supportive family. Regular holidays at Balmoral and Sandringham were a part of the boys' childhood. In addition, both boys went to Eton, which is very close to Windsor Castle, where the boys joined their grandmother for tea and avice.
The Queen has been supportive of both boys and the choices they have made. She inspected Prince William at the Sovereign's Parade at Sandhurst Military Academy in 2006, but also enjoyed being shown, more informally, around his RAF Sea King helicopter base on Anglesey om 2011.
Both Harry and William have relished initiating their open-minded grandmother into the wonders of modern technology. They have introduced her to Facebook and Twitter and she has taken a keen interest in the myriad ways in which the Palace communicates with the outside world.
When Prince William married Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011, with his brother as his best man, his grandmother's delight in this joyous family occasion was plain for all to see. She has supported him in his desire to produce a pared-down guest list, with the emphasis on friends rather than celebrities, and had been quite amenable to the less formal aspects of the day. She had, however, been adamant that he should wear the uniform of a Colonel of the Irish Guards.
The Queen, not surprisingly, is beginning to reduce her workload as she enters her Jubilee year. Some of the more taxing overseas visits will fall on the shoulders of her two grandsons. For the first time, Prince Harry will undertake a solo overseas visit, when he goes on tour to Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. The central role the Queen's two grandsons will play in these Jubilee duties is a mark of the continuing confidence she has in them.