(NEW YORK) — To the world, she’s Queen Elizabeth II, the beloved British monarch who has reigned for 60 years. But to her grandson Prince Harry, she’s just “Granny.”
“In a small room with close members of the family, then she is just a normal grandmother. Very relaxed,” the prince said in an interview with ABC News’ Katie Couric. “She obviously takes a huge interest in what we all do, that’s her children as well as her grandchildren. She wants to know which charities we’re supporting, how life is going in our jobs and such. So you know, she has a vested interested in what we do.”
Now, the prince has begun to see his most famous relative in a new light.
“When we were young it was very easy to take our grandmother for granted. She was just a grandmother to us. It’s only really sort of been over the last sort of five, eight to 10 years that I’ve actually really learned to sort of understand and accept the huge deal that she is around the world, especially within the U.K.,” Harry said.
The 27-year-old prince, who is the third in line to the throne, hit the road as his grandmother’s royal envoy for the first time this March, visiting the Caribbean, Central and South America to greet and thank her subjects.
The prince attended to royal business on the queen’s behalf, but was widely applauded for the fun and charm he brought to the task. He took on Olympic great Usain Bolt in a friendly 20-meter race in Jamaica and boogied with locals in Belize.
To royal watchers, it looked like the prince had not only found his groove, but also his own unique way to express the values of his grandmother, 86, who became monarch when she was only 25.
While Harry excelled on his first trip, taking on the level of royal responsibility that his grandmother did is something he can’t imagine.
“No, not a chance,” the prince said on having the queen’s duties at such a young age. “But this tour itself has been a brief insight as to what she had to deal with at a very young age … what she’s achieved and what she’s done and at the age of 25 … confronted with the world’s media. And you can see it in her face now. You can see it in the way that she parades herself is just immaculate. And she’s learned it from all the years of experience.”
To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration of her 60 years on the throne, Couric conducted several rare interviews with members of the royal family — including TRH Prince Harry, The Duke of Cambridge Prince William and The Duke of York Prince Andrew — which will air in an ABC network special, The Jubilee Queen With Katie Couric, on Tuesday, May 29 at 9 p.m. ET. The broadcast will also include interviews with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and give viewers special access inside Buckingham Palace.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN