The Duke of Cambridge has been an outspoken advocate for mental health charities, supporting multiple charities. He and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, have also recently been seen assisting nurses and care workers through their projects.
The reveal came from William’s remarks in a new BBC One documentary, Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health, which will air tonight at 8.05pm.
Prince William was asked by a grassroots footballer how being in the public gaze made him feel uneasy and anxious, to which he replied that he did the was younger but not so much now.
He said: “My eyesight started to tail off a little bit as I got older, and I didn’t used to wear contacts when I was working, so when I gave speeches I couldn’t see anyone’s face.
“And it helps, because it’s just a blur of faces and because you can’t see anyone looking at you – I can see enough to read the paper and stuff like that – but I couldn’t actually see the whole room.
“And actually that really helped with my anxiety.”
It came with candid comments about male suicide and mental health in football.
On suicide, Prince William said: “It’s scary and it’s frightening and it’s real.”
The duke believes the continuing “stigma” around mental health stems from the internalised grief and sadness the country felt after two world wars.
He also believed that people’s desire to forget the experience and “get on with life” can be harmful.
Prince William was followed by the BBC as he promoted his Heads Up initiative around the country.
The projects aim is to raise mental health awareness, and to encourage football supporters to speak about their problems.
The Duke said of the sport: “You know it’s weird because, I’ve always loved football but I love football more now than I’ve ever loved it before and I don’t know what it is, whether it’s because I’m a parent now and I need football more in my life, I don’t know maybe it is that.”
William has been an avid Aston Villa fan, and was seen at last years Wembley playoffs which saw the side get promoted to the Premier League.
Throughout the documentary, the prince meets with footballers and fans to learn about their experiences with mental health.
During a visit to West Bromwich Albion Football Club to meet players past and present who have experienced people close to them committing suicide, the duke said: “It is one of the biggest killers of young men under 45.
“As pain and grief goes, and I’ve heard this from sadly too many families who have been bereaved by suicide, it is one of the rawest forms of grief because you’re left with so many unanswered questions.
“Could I have done more, should I have done more, why did they do it?”
In the same series, Prince William opened up to Marvin Sordell about how fatherhood brought back painful memories of his mother’s, Princess Diana, death.
The Duke of Cambridge responded to a question about how becoming a father effected him: “Having children is the biggest life-changing moment, it really is.
“And I agree with you, I think when you’ve been through something traumatic in life – and that is like you say your dad not being around, my mother dying when I was younger – your emotions come back in leaps and bounds because it’s a very different phase of life.
“And there’s no one there to, kind of, help you, and I definitely found it very, at times, overwhelming.”