Montreal-native Autumn Phillips opened up about marrying into the Royal Family during a rare interview with the CBC's Peter Mansbridge. The Canadian newsman caught up with the mother of two and her husband Peter Phillips ahead of the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations this weekend in London. "They've been very kind to me and were very welcoming," said Autumn, who married the Queen's oldest grandson in 2008. "You don't think of them as the Royal Family when you're with them. They're just like every other family."
Autumn admits that the transition to royal life wasn't seamless, but she soon found her footing with a little help from her new family. "I've had some people in the family who have guided me and helped me through it," she said, adding with a smile, "and told me what to wear and when to wear it."
Reflecting on the monarchy, the 38-year-old told host Peter that the Royal Family are quite normal. "Aunts, uncles, children, mothers, grandparents - it's the same thing behind closed doors. It's just a family."
Still, she admits that there are times when she has to pinch herself while in the company of the Queen. "She's an amazing woman and she's an amazing role model for all of us and the children, so you do pinch yourself because of that and you're lucky enough to be in her presence."
And even though she moved to the UK to live with Peter following their wedding, the homegrown royal says she can't shake a few true north Canadianisms. "I never dropped the word 'eh.' That's still at the end of my sentence replacing the question mark. And the children correct me now when I say tomato."
Should she ever need a refresher on her homeland, Autumn says she knows just who to call. "The Queen knows more about Canada than I ever will. She keeps up with everything Canadian. She's been to Canada 22 times and seen every province and territory. She's been everywhere. I would love to see as much of Canada as she and the Duke have.
The Queen passionately speaks about Canada. I think as Canadians we have a lot of respect for the Queen and she really has respect back. It's a mutual admiration."