Prince William has spoken out in a surprisingly revealing new interview, as he graces the cover of men’s magazine GQ this month.
The King-to-be held nothing back in his interview with politician Alistair Campbell, speaking about the heartwrenching loss of his mother, his fierce protection of his family life, and the realities of looking after his mental health.
Alongside the open interview is also a candid picture of the Cambridges at home in Anmer Hall – and it’s the first time we’ve seen a new family snap of Prince William, Catherine, Prince George and Princess Charlotte for months.
The family look relaxed and playful in the shot – which even features their beloved family dog, Lupo.
In the interview, Prince William spoke honestly about the loss of his mother when he was just 14 years old, after Prince Harry also discussed how painful the grief was for him.
The Duke of Cambridge admitted that, “I would like to have had her advice. I would love her to have met Catherine and to have seen the children grow up. It makes me sad that she won’t, that they will never know her.”
But, ahead of the 20th anniversary of her death, William revealed that he is better able to cope with the loss now, saying “I am in a better place about it than I have been for a long time, where I can talk about her more openly, talk about her more honestly, and I can remember her better, and publicly talk about her better.”
The Prince also spoke out about how public his grief over Princess Diana’s death was, saying “It has taken me almost 20 years to get to that stage. I still find it difficult now because at the time it was so raw. And also it is not like most people’s grief, because everyone else knows about it, everyone knows the story, everyone knows her.
“It is a different situation for most people who lose someone they love, it can be hidden away or they can choose if they want to share their story.”
Famously private, the Duke also discussed how keeping his family stable and secure is the thing that helps him through his royal duties.
He said, “I could not do my job without the stability of the family. Stability at home is so important to me. I want to bring up my children in a happy, stable, secure world and that is so important to both of us as parents.
“I want George to grow up in a real, living environment, I don’t want him growing up behind palace walls, he has to be out there. The media make it harder but I will fight for them to have a normal life.”
Prince William also spoke about his mental health campaign Heads Together, which he’s been championing with both Prince Harry and Catherine in recent months.
“Smashing the taboo is our biggest aim. We cannot go anywhere much until that is done. People can’t access services till they feel less ashamed, so we must tackle the taboo, the stigma, for goodness sake, this is the 21st century.
“I’ve been really shocked how many people live in fear and in silence because of their mental illness. I just don’t understand it.”
“He also admitted that he knows his own public perception can be of someone stoic and reserved, saying, “I know I come across as quite reserved and shy. I don’t always have my emotions brewing, but behind closed doors I think about the issues, I get very passionate about things.
“I rely on people around me for opinions, and I am a great believer in communication on these issues.”
Alastair Campbell’s full interview with Prince William appears in the July 2017 issue of British GQ, available on newsstands and as a download from 1 June.