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Prince William

William may be keeping a generally low profile during these end-of-summer weeks, especially because this time of year marks the anniversary of his mother’s death, but the Daily Mail reports that the normally press-shy Prince has granted his first sit-down interview to an author. The interviewer is the Mail’s own Robert Hardman, who, the paper says, has enjoyed “special access inside the royal world” for the past two years for a Diamond Jubilee biography of the Queen, to be published in October.

Hardman says his interview with William about his grandmother was “engaging” but won’t offer any other details.

“There is this timeless quality about her,” says Hardman of the Queen. “The more you talk to Her Majesty’s family and to her people, the more impressive the scale of her achievement becomes.”

In other royal-related news:

Prince Charles invited his daughter-in-law’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, to spend some time at Birkhall, his Scottish mansion on the edge of the Queen’s Balmoral estate, over the weekend, which included an English “bank holiday” yesterday. “William is said to be delighted that his new in-laws seem so at ease in the company of his father and The Duchess of Cornwall,” Hello! magazine reports.

Prince Charles gathering chanterelles.

• Charles also seems to have found some time to relax on his own over the weekend, far from the madding crowd.  He was seen – and photographed – carrying a basket and picking mushrooms, while other royals were out shooting grouse. (via The Daily Mail)

• Even 14 years after her death, Princess Diana remains Britain’s favorite royal, according to a Skype survey. The poll, whose results don’t appear to be scientific, asked Britons who they’d most like to have a Skype chat with, and Diana came in first, ahead of such living royals as Prince William and the Queen. “Kate languished in seventh place with just four per cent of the vote in the poll,” noted the Express. “Above her came Henry VIII, Queen Victoria and Prince Harry while Camilla was bottom of the list.” Tomorrow (August 31) is the fourteenth anniversary of Diana’s death.

• Her wedding was televised around the world, her wedding dress is the centerpiece of an exhibit being visited by hundreds of thousands of people. Now Kate’s house will be open to the public for Halloween “ghost tours.” Kensington Palace, Kate and Wills’ London home, is believed by some to be haunted by ghosts, including the spirit of Queen Mary. (via The Mirror)

• The Sun has video of Prince Harry jumping – though it looks more like falling – into a pool at a Croatian nightclub on Saturday. Decide for yourself here.

• Finally, a note about yet another royal wedding. On Saturday, Prince Georg Friedrich Ferdinand of Prussia, the great-great-grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II, married Princess Sophie of Isenburg in Potsdam, Germany. The only problem: Germany abolished its monarchy in 1918, after World War I. Descendants of German royalty can still use their titles, which are incorporated into their names, and have no legal meaning. In contrast to Kate and Wills’ nuptials, “several hundred onlookers lined the streets outside of the church to see the couple, who were relatively unknown until the announcement of the wedding,” reported the Associated Press, which also noted that the wedding “has rekindled German interest in the nation’s long-defunct royals.” The wedding was shown on live television – local public TV – but the broadcast itself brought criticism from the former communist Left party.

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By Paul Hechinger