In the final episode of Apple’s Time To Walk podcast series, The Duke of Cambridge has spoken of walking as a means of supporting his mental health, as well as his favourite songs, and how his children fight over what songs to play in the kitchen in the mornings!
Recorded back in February at Sandringham, William took a three-mile jaunt between St Mary Magdalene Church – where Princess Charlotte was christened – and the family bolt hole, Anmer Hall. He describes the location as ‘very special, very peaceful’.
Guests choose locations that are ‘meaningful’ to them’, and chat as they walk to record the episode.
In an Instagram post, the Duke wrote: “Walking has been a feature of my life during the good times and the bad, come rain or shine.
“For me, it provides an opportunity to clear my mind and gain some perspective. It’s a key part of how I manage my mental health. It can be a very sociable exercise or a moment of complete calm and isolation.
“In the hope of inspiring a few other people to get active and take some extra time for their own mental health – I wanted to share a few of my stories and favourite songs with you in an episode of Time to Walk.”
As part of the appearance, SHOUT, Crisis and Lifeline Australia are to receive donations to continue supporting those in need.
Discussing his family’s outdoorsy nature, the Royal commented: “My whole family have a passion for walking – whether it’s my Grandmother still taking her corgis out at 95; my father embarking on lengthy rambles over the summer in Scotland; or my own children making their first appearance at our annual walk to church on Christmas morning at Sandringham.”
Turning to music, The Duke of Cambridge recalled how his mother, Diana, would play Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best’ on journeys back to school, where she would sing along at the ‘top of her voice’ to help ease the anxiety of leaving home.
“You’d be singing and listening to music right the way up to the gates of school when they dropped you off and that’s when reality kind of sunk in – you really were going back to school,” he explained.
“Because before that you’re lost in songs – want to play it again, just to keep that family moment going. And when I listen to it now it takes me back to those car rides and brings back lots of memories of my mother.”
Another favourite is AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’, especially on Monday mornings, to help ‘get back into the grind of the week’.
“It absolutely wakes you up, puts your week in the best mood possible, and you feel like you can take on anything and anyone,” he added.
The third song he chose was by Shakira: “One of the songs that the children are loving at the moment is Shakira, W’aka Waka’. There’s a lot of hip movements going along with a lot of dressing up.
He gives some insight into family life at home. “Charlotte particularly is running around the kitchen, in her dresses and ballet stuff. She goes completely crazy with Louis following her around trying to do the same thing.”
Something he has opened up about before was his time with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA). The Duke was a pilot with the charity for two years, 2015 to 2017, and referred to the emotional toll that took, seeing pain up close.
One accident in particular involved a boy who was around the same age as his own son, Prince George, at the time.
William said the youngster was ‘in serious difficulty’ having been hit by a car and his parents were ‘hysterical.’ The crew dealt with the situation and got the patient to hospital but William said the trauma stayed with him for weeks afterwards.
“I went home that night pretty upset but not noticeably. I wasn’t in tears, but inside I felt something had changed,” he said. “I felt a sort of, a real tension inside of me. And then, the next day, going back in again to work, you know, different crew. On to the next job.
“And that’s the thing, you’re not always all together. So then you can’t spend a day processing it.”
He added: “I felt like the whole world was dying. It’s an extraordinary feeling. You just feel everyone’s in pain, everyone’s suffering.
“And that’s not me. I’ve never felt that before. My personal life and everything was absolutely fine.
“I was happy at home and happy at work, but I kept looking at myself, going, ‘Why am I feeling like this? Why do I feel so sad?’
“And I started to realise that, actually, you’re taking home people’s trauma, people’s sadness, and it’s affecting you. But I can’t explain why I had that realisation what was going on because a lot of people don’t have that realisation.”
Apple Fitness subscribers can stream the podcast at any point.