Another reason the Queen prefers to spend her time with the couple – who are parents to daughter Mia, five and Lena, one. – is down to their preference to stay out of any “royal dramas”
“They are certainly light relief. She can be herself around them and she does not care for the alleged feuding among William and Harry.
Ms Seward added: “I think the Queen is closest to Zara and Peter [Zara’s brother] as they were her first grandchildren and have always been the favourites.
“She’s at her most relaxed around them; as a child she used to give Zara a smack around the legs when she was naughty, which was frequently.
“The Queen gets on well [with Prince William and Kate], but don’t have the same kind of easy-going giggly time with her as Zara and Mike do.”