Prince William has shared in a new YouTube video how fatherhood has affected his work in the air ambulance.
The Duke of Cambridge, 39, who flew the East Anglian Air Ambulance for two years as a medic until 2017, joined emergency rescue couple Will and Chloe to discuss how they were coping with their mental health during the Covid-19 crisis.
During the conversation, which was taped last week and posted to William’s official YouTube channel today, the duke also shared his own experiences working in the air ambulance service.
The father-of-three explained that he was ‘very affected’ during jobs that involved children, adding: ‘For me it was the relationship with my personal life with the family and the incident I was dealing with. I found that very difficult.’
Prince William, 39, shares in a new YouTube video how fatherhood affected his work in the air ambulance service
The video started with the Duke arriving at the home of Will, a paramedic, and Chloe, an emergency room.
Once there, he began interviewing the couple about how they handled their mental health while working with the emergency services.
The Duke explained: ‘People want to protect their families and loved ones from horrible and terrible and very sad things.
“But you lead two very different lives and you block your loved ones from a very important part of who you are and who you are becoming.
The Duke of Cambridge flew for two years as a medic with the East Anglian Air Ambulance until 2017 (pictured in 2015)
“There’s nothing in the training to promote that, so the idea is for us to adapt individually.
“But maybe you don’t 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, every job I had with kids really touched me.
‘Much more than I think if I hadn’t actually had children. For me, it was the relationship with my personal life with the family and the incident I was involved in.
“I found that very difficult.”
The father of three said he felt particularly “affected” by jobs “related to 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 too busy and feeling it.
“Then I would go talk to someone else after the event was really important, but it goes on. 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 functions on behalf of the Queen.
He left the role to spend more time in London as his children went to school at Thomas’s, Battersea, and took on more royal duties to support the Queen.
The video began when the Duke arrived at the home of Will, a paramedic, and Chloe, an emergency room, and discussed the mental health of emergency workers.
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 corner.”
The future king’s remarkably candid confessions come in a BBC documentary, A Royal Team Talk: Tackling Mental Health, in which he discussed the matter with footballers like Peter Crouch and England manager Gareth Southgate.
Speaking about the “rough, emotional” reality of working with the air ambulance, he said: “You’re dealing with families who have the worst news they could ever have — day to day.
He spoke candidly of the ‘special, personal’ resonance he felt in some families, adding: ‘That raw emotion, I just thought, listen, I can’t do it – I felt it bubbling up in me and I felt it went on to take its toll and become 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 working in the trauma helicopter.
Last year it emerged that Prince William wanted to return to the NHS as an air ambulance pilot to aid efforts during the Covid-19 crisis.
A source told the Sun in March that the royal family was considering returning to service.
The insider said: “William has seriously considered returning as an air ambulance pilot to help with the current pandemic.
“He knows that the whole country is doing its part and he wants to help. But it’s complicated because he originally got his job so he could become a senior royal.”
The insider added that Prince William was “very eager to do anything to help.”
Last year it emerged that Prince William wanted to return to the NHS as an air ambulance pilot to aid efforts during the Covid-19 crisis