William's 'worries over social change' message in tribute to Grandma: He writes of 'challenges to communities' in heartfelt homage to the Queen to mark her longest -ever reign (but adds she is such fun, too) 

  • Said the country had changed 'almost beyond recognition' during her reign
  • Praised her leadership as great source of pride and reassurance
  • Also spoke of importance of Prince Philip's role in supporting her 

He is the embodiment of the 21st Century prince who devotes himself to his young family and who until now has taken care to avoid controversy in public statements.

But in writing a heartfelt tribute to his grandmother the Queen, Prince William has touched on concern about the rapid pace of change in our era – and how it is ‘challenging our communities’.

By highlighting the issue, the Prince is for the first time strongly echoing the views of his father Prince Charles.

Role model: William has praised his grandmother's family values and the continuity she has given to generations

Role model: William has praised his grandmother's family values and the continuity she has given to generations

His comments come in a fascinating and heartfelt introduction to a new biography of the Queen by Lord Hurd, to commemorate her longest-serving reign.

In it, Prince William writes of how the Queen has provided ‘continuity’ and ‘reassurance’ for the nation through the ‘uncertainty’ of the ‘rapid social change’ of recent times.

The Prince says that the country has changed ‘almost beyond recognition’ during the Queen’s reign but that he personally draws strength from Her Majesty’s ability to embrace the future without compromising her own traditional values of ‘family and charity’.

The future heir to the throne writes that his grandmother has qualities that are rare among ‘leaders’ and that he is ‘privileged’ to have her as a role model.

He adds: ‘Over the last 90 years, the world has changed more rapidly than at any time in history.

‘When my grandmother the Queen was born in 1926, the wounds of the Great War were still healing, but few would imagine how soon they would be reopened.

‘The confidence of the previous century had morphed into uncertainty and many worried – as they still do – about the challenge presented to our communities by rapid technological and social change.’

The Prince – who has two children with the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, two, and Princess Charlotte, who was born in May – also pays tribute to what he calls the private side of the Queen as ‘a grandmother and great-grandmother’.

He says: ‘The Queen’s kindness and sense of humour, her innate sense of calm and perspective and her love of family and home are all attributes I experience first-hand.

‘I should add that no mention of the Queen is complete without paying tribute to my grandfather Prince Philip, who has devoted his life to supporting her. All of us who will inherit the legacy of my grandmother’s reign and generation need to do all we can to celebrate and learn from her story.

‘Speaking for myself, I am privileged to have the Queen as a model for a life of service to the public.’

In his tribute, Prince William says the Queen has shown that traditional values of family and charity have helped the country weather the storms of upheaval and change.

He writes that in a changed world ‘the role of charity, family, duty and compassion perseveres’.

‘I think I speak for my generation when I say that the example and continuity provided by the Queen is not only rare among leaders but a great source of pride and reassurance. Time and again, quietly and modestly, the Queen has shown us all that we can confidently embrace the future without compromising the things that are important.’

The Prince’s very personal tribute was last night welcomed by Royal commentators.

Biographer Penny Junor said: ‘I think these are very touching words. He talks about her as not just a leader but a role model for a life of service to the public.

‘The attributes he lists and finds admirable are the very attributes we would want our future king to subscribe to.’

And fellow Royal biographer Hugo Vickers added: ‘I am very pleased that he uses her as a role model because I don’t think he could have a better one.

‘I think Prince William and the younger Royals learn by example which is one of the great advantages of an hereditary monarchy.

‘He will do things the way he wants to do them in the fullness of time of course, but he will no doubt bear in mind how she does things.’

Rare Royal portrait by artist to the stars

The cover of Lord Hurd's new biography has a striking portrait of the Queen from a picture in the 1970s
The cover of Lord Hurd's new biography has a striking portrait of the Queen from a picture in the 1970s

The cover of Lord Hurd's new biography has a striking portrait of the Queen (left) from a picture in the 1970s (right)

The cover of Lord Hurd’s new biography features a striking portrait of the Queen by a fashionable artist more commonly associated with pop stars. 

Elizabeth Peyton painted the Queen in 2002 clad in a head scarf – a favoured garment of Her Majesty. 

However, the image appears to capture the Queen as she appeared in the 1970s.

US born Peyton is renowned for her stylised portraits of rock stars such as John Lennon and David Bowie.