Earlier this year the Duchess of Cambridge spoke openly about her experiences of motherhood, including the challenges and feelings of guilt. And now Prince William has shared some of his most personal thoughts on fatherhood, describing having children as “one of the most amazing moments of life” but also “one of the scariest.”
William spoke about his experiences in a frank discussion with English former professional soccer player Marvin Sordell for an upcoming BBC documentary called Football, Prince William and our Mental Health. Discussing the pressures parents face, Marvin admitted to the Duke that he found becoming a father “the hardest time in my life” sharing that he grew up without his father and struggled with his emotions.
In turn, William noted: “Having children is the biggest life-changing moment, it really is…I think when you’ve been through something traumatic in life, and that is like you say, you’re Dad not being around, my mother dying when I was younger, the emotions come back, in leaps and bounds.”
The Prince also discussed how he and Kate work as a team when it comes to bringing up Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. “Me and Catherine particularly, we support each other and we go through those moments together and we kind of evolve and learn together… I can completely relate to what you’re saying about children coming along, it’s one of the most amazing moments of life but it’s also one of the scariest,” he said.
In the new program, the Duke meets players, fans, and managers from all levels of the game in an effort to start a conversation on mental health through football. Marvin, who retired from soccer last year at age 28, shared how his mental health was affected while playing the sport professionally. Speaking to William about his darkest time when he attempted suicide in 2013, he said: “I was in a really bad place. I got to the point where I thought I can’t do this anymore. I took a load of tablets and went to bed, not expecting to wake up. If I saw me in that situation now, you can tell a mile off there’s a big problem, big, big problem but it’s football though, literally we don’t look at these things and tackle them and try and solve them, we just think we just wanna put that away, and just leave it.”
At the start of this year Prince William launched the Heads Up campaign alongside the Football Association which aims to harness the influence and popularity of soccer to encourage more openness around mental health, particularly among men.
The full interview will be shown in the UK in Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health this Thursday at 8:05 p.m. on BBC One. At this point, it's unclear if or when it will air in the U.S.
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