Prince William reveals bizarre trick for overcoming his fear of public speaking

Prince William speaking in front of a backdrop covered in logos
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Duke of Cambridge has revealed his worsening eyesight helped him overcome his fear of public speaking.

Prince William has confessed to utilising his worsening eyesight to overcome his fear of public speaking.

Prince William giving a speech

The Duke of Cambridge admitted his eyesight has deteriorated with age. And, rather than wear contact lenses for work, William, 37, overcame his anxiety over public speaking by relying on not being able to see the audience.

Prince William made the admission during an appearance in a BBC documentary - Football, Prince William And Our Mental Health - during a discussion about his mental health.

A huge part of his job is addressing large crowds, but even the future King is not immune to nerves as he worries he "best not mess this up".

Kate Middleton and Prince William

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."

On reflection, Prince William had inadvertently eased his anxiety over public speaking. “I didn’t realise at the time but looking back I’m like that’s what helped because I couldn’t see everyone’s eyes, you don’t feel like the whole weight of the room is watching you.”

It comes after he admitted becoming a parent brought back traumatic memories of his mother's tragic death.

Speaking in the same documentary, Prince William said, “Having children is the biggest life-changing moment, it really is.”

William was in conversation with professional footballer Marvin Sordell – who grew up without a father. And touched on his own experience of growing up without a parent.

The royal added, “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."

Sarah Finley

Sarah is a freelance journalist - writing about the royals and celebrities for Woman & Home, fitness and beauty for the Evening Standard and how the world of work has changed due to the pandemic for the BBC. 


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