Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince George and Prince William
Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince George and Prince William Royal Mail/Ranald Mackechnie

As Britain and the royal family celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday on April 21, Prince William shared how his grandmother has been a huge support system who helped him cope with the tragic death of his mother, Princess Diana.

The Duke of Cambridge spoke to Sky News and talked about how the Queen has been a strong female influence to him, especially when he was a teenager. William was 15 years old when Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

"Having lost my mother at a very young age, it has been particularly important for me that I had somebody like the Queen to look up to and who has been there and has understood some of the more complex issues when you lose a loved one,” William said.

William also talked about how he and his cousin, Peter Phillips, were reprimanded by Queen Elizabeth when they were still children. He said that it was one of the fondest memories that he had of his grandmother as a child. William said that the Queen also offered support and guidance to his younger brother, Harry, during those difficult times and spent time with them in the years following their mother’s death.

People writes that Prince Harry calls his grandmother “the boss.” The younger prince said that he still views his grandmother more as the Queen instead of a family figure. He said that he has such huge respect for his grandmother, akin to a boss, although he occasionally still sees her as his grandmother.

At present, the Queen is still very supportive of his activities. William said that his grandmother understands that he is a family man and wants to be around his children as much as possible. He said that everyone in the royal family runs a very busy schedule, so there is a proper time and place to assume more responsibilities. He continued that all these duties, together with the duty to serve the Queen whenever necessary, was a good balance.

William is anticipating more royal responsibilities as the future King of England, but he is currently focusing on his family and job in the meantime.

Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday celebration will be held in June.