Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Will Kate and Meghan make the cut this year?
Well, here we are in the countdown to the most important royal event of the year.
Expecting the next royal baby in April, we’re obsessing over who will look after the new arrival, when it will arrive, the due date, and how Kate and Meghan will raise their own children.
And now, a royal expert has shed some light on the identity of the most special person the Queen calls – and why.
Writing in The Telegraph, royal author Penny Junor says that while the Queen calls regular friends and family, there are two people who receive the endearing royal voicemail calls “at the most important times”.
Image copyright Ian Gavan Image caption There’s a small list of people who were named on Buckingham Palace’s ‘most important calls’ list
Queen Victoria was the monarch when the phone service between London and Edinburgh was first launched. Since then, phone calls by the sovereign were recorded so that the person she was phoning knew who it was and could tell others about it.
Princess Alexandra was the queen’s long-term private secretary and, as such, the very senior person who tended to be on the receiving end of the unexpected call.
According to Junor, Andrew Stewart, Victoria’s nurse and son of later King George V, received all the recorded royal calls on behalf of his mother.
Read more: A handpicked list of people the Queen calls
Even Prince Charles can’t call royals off the list
On top of the regular calling lists made up by families – which includes phone numbers of people Kate and Meghan plan to invite to their wedding – there’s another list of people the Queen calls at “the most important times”.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Prince Charles can also call favoured royals on the list
Queen Elizabeth has called Andrew Stewart six times in the past six years, and “emphatically, at the most important times”.
The reason? He was the senior person giving her advice who was able to answer her. But what about Prince Charles and Prince William? How come they can’t get on this list?
According to Junor, the key reason is simple: the Queen’s assistants and secretaries have to read her handwriting.
“[Kate and Meghan’s] staff don’t know the set list, so if they have a problem they would probably have to call one of the other trusts or caretakers on the list,” Junor explains.
“It’s a nice selection of people, but you can see how it’s going to present difficulties for the new parents, and in the same way Prince Charles and Diana were made aware of who was on the list and who wasn’t, and how to cope with it and how to avoid upsetting anyone.”
So which person do you think the Queen should call when she’s expecting her second royal baby?
About the author
Penny Junor has been writing about the royal family for 20 years. Her latest book is The Story of the Queen . It’s part memoir, part biography and is packed with facts about the monarch’s early life and reign, as well as going behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
To book a copy, visit thebluetheatre.com or bookshops nationwide.