Prince William recalls being traumatised for ‘weeks on end’ during air ambulance pilot days

The Duke of Cambridge opens up about his own mental health

HRH Prince William the Duke of Cambridge, meets patients and staff and attends at a groundbreaking ceremony at The Royal Marsden in Surrey
Prince William recalls feeling 'darker days'
(Image credit: Photo by Jack Hill - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Duke of Cambridge has paid homage to frontline workers during the global pandemic, as he “really worries” about the mental health impact on staff seeing “such high levels of sadness, trauma and death” following his own experience of such trauma from his days as an air ambulance pilot. 

  • Prince William and Duchess Catherine heard about the mental health impact of covid-19 on frontline workers during a video call on behalf of Just ‘B’ support line
  • The Duke recalls his own memories of trauma from the workplace from his time as an air ambulance pilot 
  • The Cambridge’s royal foundation is providing financial support through its covid-19 Response Fund 
  • It follows royal news that Prince Harry is 'heartbroken' over his family situation

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have once again shown their support for frontline workers, working tirelessly throughout the global pandemic.

The royal couple joined a video call with members of emergency services to hear about the mental health impact of covid-19 on staff experiencing such high levels of trauma and death.

Having worked as an air ambulance pilot, Prince William revealed his own personal experience of suffering trauma from the workplace. And said he “really worries” about the devastating impact the pandemic could have on frontline workers moving forward. 

Prince William worked as a helicopter pilot

Prince William worked as a helicopter pilot 

(Image credit: Getty)

The father-of-three recalled, “Some of it I noticed from my previous spell flying with the air ambulance with the team.

“When you see so much death and so much bereavement it does impact how you see the world. It is very interesting what you said about being able to see things in a different light.”

For William, he said it had an impact on not just his life, but his family life too. As he took the burden home to Anmer Hall with him. 

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge ride in an open air Jeep on a safari at Kaziranga National Park on April 13, 2016 in Guwahati, India

Prince William and Duchess Catherine have shown their support for frontline workers 

(Image credit: Samir Hussein / Contributor Getty)

“I think you said about thinking everyone around you is going to die, that is what really worries me about the front line staff at the moment,” he confessed. 

“That you are so under the cosh at the moment and so pressurised and you’re seeing such high levels of sadness, trauma, death, that it impacts your own life and your own family life because it is always there.

“You’re so drawn into it, which everyone is, it is only natural that would happen.

“But that’s what I think a lot of the public don’t understand, that when you’re surrounded by that level of intense trauma and sadness and bereavement.

“It really does, it stays with you, at home it stays with you for weeks on end, doesn’t it, and you see the world in a much more, slightly depressed, darker, blacker place.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take Prince George and Princess Charlotte to school

Prince William said trauma impacted his family life 

(Image credit: Getty)

The Cambridge’s royal foundation is providing financial support through its covid-19 Response Fund and has partnered with NHS England, NHS improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care to help fund Hospice UK’s Just ‘B’ support line - created to help NHS staff, social care workers, carers and all emergency services personnel in these difficult and unprecedented times. 

And it’s a cause the Duchess is incredibly proud of. “Never has there been a more important time to have services like this out there, so I am so glad they are being used as well.”

Georgia Farquharson

Georgia writes across Woman & Home and Good to Know and specialises in all things royal. Previously labelled the "Queen of the royals," Georgia knows the whose who and what's what when it comes to the monarchy. When she's not eagerly following the royal family, Georgia enjoys shopping and self-care. She lives with this motto in mind; "if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough."