Prince William has opened up about how fatherhood impacted his work in the air ambulance service in a new YouTube video.
The Duke of Cambridge, 39, who flew as a medic for two years with the East Anglian Air Ambulance until 2017, joined emergency responder couple, Will and Chloe, to discuss how they coped with their mental health during the Covid-19 crisis.
During the conversation, which was recorded last week and posted on William’s official YouTube channel today, the Duke also shared his own experiences of working in the air ambulance service.
The father-of-three explained he was ‘really affected’ during jobs where children were involved, adding: ‘For me, it was the relation with my personal life with the family and the incident I was at. I found that very difficult.’
Prince William, 39, has opened up about how fatherhood impacted his work in the air ambulance service in a new YouTube video
The video began with the Duke arriving at the home of Will, a paramedic, and Chloe, an emergency care assistant.
Once there, he set about interviewing the couple about how they managed their mental health while working in the emergency services.
The Duke explained: ‘People want to protect their families and loved-ones from horrendous and horrible and very sad things.
‘But you’re leading two very different lives and you’re blocking your loved-ones out from a very important part of who you are and who you are becoming.
The Duke of Cambridge flew as a medic for two years with the East Anglian Air Ambulance until 2017 (pictured in 2015)
‘There’s nothing in the training to promote that so we’re meant to individually adapt.
‘But you might not have the toolbox you need to deal with all these things. We need the training and education to help.’
Prince William confessed: ‘When I was in the air ambulance, any job I went to with children, that really affected me.
‘Much more than I think if I hadn’t had children actually. For me, it was the relation with my personal life with the family and the incident I was at.
‘I found that very difficult.’
The father-of-three said he felt particularly ‘affected’ by jobs which ‘related with his personal life’ (pictured, with Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis)
He continued: ‘There were a number of times when I had to take myself away because I was just getting too involved in it and feeling it.
‘Then I’d go to talk to someone else after the event was really important, but it continues. It doesn’t really leave you there, you just manage it better.’
Prince William worked as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance for 18 months between 2015 and 2017, before stepping down to take on more Royal roles on behalf of the Queen.
He left the role to spend more time in London when his children started school at Thomas’s, Battersea, and take on more royal duties to support the Queen.
The video began with the Duke arriving at the home of Will, a paramedic, and Chloe, an emergency care assistant and discussing the mental health of emergency responders
The Duke has previously spoken of how the job left him with ‘a very depressing, very negative feeling, where you think death is just around the door everywhere I go’.
The future king’s remarkably frank admissions come in a BBC documentary, A Royal Team Talk: Tackling Mental Health, which saw him discuss the issue with footballers including Peter Crouch and England manager Gareth Southgate.
Speaking about the ‘raw, emotional’ realities of working with the air ambulance, he said: ‘You’re dealing with families who are having the worst news they could ever possibly have – on a day-to-day basis.
He spoke candidly of the ‘particular, personal’ resonance he felt with some families, and added: ‘That raw emotion, I just thought listen, I can’t – I could feel it brewing up inside me and I could feel it was going to take its toll and be a real problem.’
During the conversation, which was recorded last week and posted on the YouTube channel today, the Duke also shared his own experiences of working in the air ambulance service
Last year, it emerged that Prince William wanted to return to the NHS as an air ambulance pilot to help efforts during the Covid-19 crisis.
A source told the Sun in March that the royal was contemplating a return to service.
The insider said: ‘William has been seriously considering returning as an air ambulance pilot to help in the current pandemic.
‘He knows the whole country is doing its bit and he wants to help. But it’s complicated as he was originally grounded from the job so that he could become a senior working royal.’
The insider added that Prince William was ‘very keen to to do anything he can to help.’
Last year, it emerged that Prince William wanted to return to the NHS as an air ambulance pilot to help efforts during the Covid-19 crisis