As Patron of London’s Air Ambulance, The Prince of Wales has written the foreword for the organisation’s new booklet on bereavement.
The first booklet of its kind brings 12 families together, with their treasured memories loved ones, whom they lost suddenly and unexpectedly. It is intended to be offered to anyone suffers a loss of this kind.
In the foreword, Prince William wrote:
‘No two experiences of bereavement are ever the same. The sudden and often unexpected loss of a loved one can be profoundly difficult to process, even with the passing of time.
‘However, some solace can be found through the sharing of experience. The families who have contributed to this booklet have shared the most precious of memories, thoughts, and feelings. I would like to thank them for opening up and allowing us into their very personal journey.
‘I hope that this booklet will provide some comfort and support, and that you might find it useful. For those reading this who are bereaved, and whose world is now very different, my thoughts are with you.’
The Prince became Patron of London’s Air Ambulance in March 2020, after supporting the charity’s 30th anniversary in 2019. To mark the anniversary, he flew with the crew to launch the ’30 Years Saving Lives’ campaign and met staff and patients from the service at a number of fundraising events.
Prince William was a pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance between March 2015 and July 2017. Following his time with the EAAA, he has made a key part of his royal work to support the mental health of frontline workers.
Speaking on Apple’s Time to Walk podcast in 2021, The Prince of Wales noted how speaking about traumatic moments during the job ‘definitely helped, sharing them with the team, and ultimately, in one case, meeting the family and the patient involved who made a recovery, albeit not a full recovery, but made a recovery’.
‘But I think, as a human being, when you see someone in such dire circumstances, basically at death’s door, you can’t help but not be affected by that.’
During a virtual engagement in 2021 with frontline worker, the future King spoke about how seeing people die when he was an air ambulance pilot left him traumatised ‘for weeks on end’ and feeling like the world was a ‘darker, blacker place’. He also touched on the fact that it would regularly affect his ‘family life’.
He added: ‘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.’
You can access the bereavement leaflet here.