Prince William has opened up about his time working for the emergency services, and how he hid the stress and struggles he faced from his family, including wife Kate Middleton.
The Duke of Cambridge worked as a pilot for the RAF Search and Rescue and the East Anglia Air Ambulance up until 2017, when he took on royal duties full time.
While delivering a speech at The Royal Foundation’s Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium on Thursday 25 November, William revealed the struggles he faced while working on the frontline.
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He spoke of how he hid the ‘burden’ from Kate, as reported by the Daily Star, William recalled: “I remember the pressure of attending calls in the most stressful conditions, sometimes with tragic conclusions.
“I remember the sense of solidarity with my team, pulling together to do the best we could and sharing the weight of responsibility.”
He continued, outlining how the stress he faced would directly impact his family life: “I also remember returning home with the stresses and strains of the day weighing on my mind, and wanting to avoid burdening my family with what I had seen.”
During his speech on Thursday, the Prince also acknowledged the difficulties of all frontline workers, and the additional mental toll that working with coronavirus has added to their jobs.
200 emergency service leaders were in attendance, including those from fire, ambulance, and police departments, as they watched William outline a brand new mental health initiative.
His work will see the introduction of a new set of standards for providing mental health support to emergency workers and their families, called The Blue Light Together initiative.
Stating it was a “crucial step”, he said: “Mental health is, and will remain, a firm priority for the UK’s emergency services.”
The Duke has previously opened up about his time as a pilot, speaking of the lasting impact of working within the emergency services.
In a video released earlier this year with Kate, William explained: “Something that I noticed from my brief spell flying the air ambulance with the team is, when you see so much death and so much bereavement, it does impact how you see the world.
“It impacts your own life and your own family life because it is always there.”
Prince William graduated from Royal Air Force College Cranwell in 2008, before joining RAF Search and Rescue Force the following year.
In 2015, he joined the East Anglian Air Ambulance as a full-time pilot.
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