As the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations come to a close, we spoke to former British Prime Minister Sir John Major all about his own relationship with the royal family.
Speaking to Classic FM's John Suchet before the Jubilee Pageant last week, Sir John gave a fascinating insight in to the relationship between the prime minister and the Queen.
"The prime minister briefs the Queen on what has happened, what is happening, what he expects to happen", he says, "I could say things to the Queen in total privacy that I didn't say even to my most senior cabinet colleagues."
John Major was the ninth Prime Minister to be elected under the Queen's reign. This coincided with a particularly difficult time for the royal family, particularly the year 1992, which the Queen described as her 'Annus horribilis' following a fire at Windsor Castle and a run of divorces that included the seperation of her son Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
But despite the difficult years, John Major insists that the monarchy is still in "very safe hands".
"You sometimes hear that the royal family is having a downturn in popularity, but if you go out in to the country, in to the rural areas, you'll find the roots of the Monarchy as an institution...I think the strength and extent to which the monarchy is a fundamental part of our way of life is so deeply rooted now as to make it as secure as it as ever been."
Listen to the full interview with Sir John Major below.