Michael J. Fox Says Late Mom 'Would Freak Out That Future King' Prince William Gave Him a Standing Ovation (Exclusive)

The actor, who is one of 11 cover stars featured on PEOPLE's 50th anniversary issue, also recalled sitting next to Princess Diana at a movie premiere

<p>Getty (2)</p> Michael J. Fox; Prince William

Getty (2)

Michael J. Fox; Prince William

Michael J. Fox is looking back on his career and the people who have supported him through it.

Speaking exclusively with PEOPLE for the magazine's 50th anniversary, the Back to the Future actor, 62, named his late parents, Phyllis and William Nelson Fox, as being the most supportive people during his career — and the moments that he wishes they could have seen.

"I would love for them to see all this stuff now, with the Academy Award and the BAFTAs," he says, recalling the most recent British film awards where he received a standing ovation before presenting the best film nominees earlier this year, including a royal audience member in Prince William.

"My mother would freak out that the future king of England stood up for me. My mother would just go out of her mind," Fox adds. Phyllis died in September 2022 at age 92, while William died in 1990.

Related: Michael J. Fox Laughs and Reflects on What He's Learned Through His Incredible Journey: 'You Can Do Anything'

<p>Kate Green/BAFTA/Getty</p> Michael J. Fox at the BAFTAs on Feb. 18, 2024

Kate Green/BAFTA/Getty

Michael J. Fox at the BAFTAs on Feb. 18, 2024

"If you're a 22-year-old kid from Burnaby Eastburn, which if you know Burnaby, you know Eastburn is the roughest part," Fox tells PEOPLE. "I said that to a friend of mine the other day, I sent him a text. Because he sent me a text about the standing 'O' at the BAFTAs and about Prince William. And I said, 'Who would have thought? East Burnaby street rat and a standing ovation from the future king of England.' "

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Keystone/Getty Princess Diana at the premiere of 'Back to the Future' in London
Keystone/Getty Princess Diana at the premiere of 'Back to the Future' in London

The Family Ties alum also shared another royal encounter with PEOPLE: when he sat next to Princess Diana at the London premiere of Back to the Future in December 1985.

"It all got so crazy," Fox says of the meeting. "There's nothing I could think of that wouldn't happen."

"With the royal premiere of Back to the Future, I sat next to Princess Diana," he continues. "I realized if I was like a fake yawn and an arm stretch away from being on a date with her. That one, and just moments like that, were so surreal."

For more on our 50th Anniversary, check out our special digital issue and pick up the latest copy of PEOPLE, now on newsstands.

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