Prince William says fatherhood can be ‘overwhelming’ & brought back emotions about Diana

In a documentary for BBC One to air next week, The Duke of Cambridge has said that becoming a father has made him deal with emotions about the loss of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Prince William described having kids as one of the ‘scariest’ events in his life, which has brought back grief from the death of Diana in 1997.

The Cambridge Family attend Trooping the Colour June 2019, with Prince Louis making his first appearance
Picture by James Whatling

William took part in the documentary ‘Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health’ to continue his work in getting men to talk about their emotions and problems through Heads Up. Talking to footballer Marvin Sordell, who has spoken about his own depression and suicide attempt, William opened up about his own mental health.

The former England U21 player said of becoming a father three years ago: “It was the hardest time of my life. I grew up without my father… and now I’ve got a child. I don’t really know how I’m dealing with this and I really struggled with my emotions at that time.”

The Royal replied: “I can relate to what you’re saying. Having children is the biggest life-changing moment, it really is and I agree with you.

Princess Charlotte arrives for her first day of school, with her brother Prince George and her parents The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at Thomas’s Battersea. Picture by Aaron Chown/WPA-Pool

The Duchess of Cambridge said she is never happier than being outdoors, in the countryside getting mucky with her children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis (Matt Porteous/Kensington Royal)

“I think when you’ve been through something traumatic in life like you say – your Dad not being around, my mother dying when I was younger – your emotions come back, in leaps and bounds.

Parenthood is ‘a very different phase of life’ the future King said, and that ‘there’s no one there to help you, and I definitely found it very, at times, overwhelming.’

“So I can completely relate to what you’re saying about children coming.”

Speaking of how he and his wife support one another, he commented: “Me and Catherine particularly, we support each other and we go through those moments together and we kind of evolve and learn together.

“But, emotionally, things come out of the blue that you don’t ever expect or that maybe you think you’ve dealt with.”

This isn’t the first time William has mentioned that he struggled in the adjustment to such a new way of life; in 2019, the Duke said that: “Taking care of a baby is a massive responsibility, and their utter vulnerability can be overwhelming. They are so fragile and everything’s so tiny, their little fingers and toes, you do feel like if you move them around too much they’re going to break almost, but they don’t.”

“The fear of having a newborn baby that’s very vulnerable and that’s what you spend most of your time worrying about, thinking what do I do? And that’s the thing isn’t it, it’s very daunting of how tiny they are when they first arrive.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their newborn, Prince Louis, on the steps of the Lindo Wing. Picture by Stephen Lock / i-Images

He has also said that he now gets ‘weirdly emotional’ as a father.

The Duchess of Cambridge has previously spoken about motherhood being ‘a life-changing moment’ and wants to encourage better maternal mental health. Catherine has described her time as a parent as a ‘rewarding and wonderful experience’, although she admitted it has been a ‘huge challenge’ at times.

She has also taken part in the ‘Happy Mum, Happy Baby’ podcast with Giovanna Fletcher, discussing how she felt leaving hospital with Prince George in 2013 to a wall of international media.

The Duke of Cambridge lost his mother at the age of 15, after she was involved in a car crash in Paris. But he is keen that Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are aware of their late grandmother and talks about her ‘constantly’, he says in the documentary.

William and Harry visit The Passages with Diana, Princess of Wales. (Photo courtesy of Kensington Palace)

“It’s important that they know who she was and that she existed.”

The programme will build on the conversation started in the BBC One programme, A Royal Team Talk, where the Duke met with well-known faces from the world of football for a candid conversation about the importance of men’s mental health and mental fitness.

You can watch Football, Prince William And Our Mental Health on BBC1 at 8.05pm on Thursday.

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