Prince William spoke of seeing death ‘personally’ says expert
The future monarch worked as an air ambulance pilot for the East Anglian Ambulance (EAAA) between 2015 and 2017. He flew on several Helicopter Emergency Medical Service missions.
But in a candid confession, the Duke of Cambridge opened up about how he went to “dark places” after seeing the loss of life on a daily and weekly basis.
Speaking to Mail Plus Palace Confidential about Prince William’s time as a helicopter pilot royal expert Rebecca English said at times the experience was traumatic for the future King.
She said: “Last week, William underwent one of his regular video calls with frontline staff.
“And he was speaking to them about mental health and the importance of them retaining their mental health in this very difficult period.
Prince William admits he ‘went to dark places’ in candid confession
Prince William was part of the Air Ambulance
“And during the course of that, he really quite candidly and emotionally opened up about his own experiences as an air ambulance pilot and how he dealt with the trauma of seeing the loss of life on a daily or weekly basis.
“And he made it really clear that he found that really quite difficult and sometimes it took him to quite a dark place.”
Ms English went on to say how it did have an effect on his own family.
She said: “And it did have an effect on his family life.
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Prince William has been an advocate for mental health
“And he was saying to them, ‘Well, it was bad for me but for you facing seeing bereavement in an unprecedented way it is really important for you to continue to reach out and be really aware of your mental health.”
While this period left him in dark places, William has expressed his concerns about the NHS during this health crisis, and told frontline workers how he “really worries” about their mental health.
He added: “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.”
William’s work helping the NHS has not gone unnoticed, and he has been encouraged to help with the services in London.
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The London Ambulance Service boss, Garrett Emmerson, said: “As [William] knows well, we have an air ambulance service here in London.
“I know he would be welcome there any time.”
William also became the patron of the London Air Ambulance last March.
A source told at the time: “William has been seriously considering returning as an air ambulance pilot to help in the current pandemic.
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“He knows the whole country is doing its bit and he wants to help.
“But it’s complicated as he was originally grounded from the job so that he could become a senior working royal.”
The insider continued: “That role is even more important now given that Charles has been ill, Harry has walked away with Meghan and Andrew has been effectively barred from public life.
William has been an advocate for mental health
“But William is very keen to do anything he can to help.”
William has been an advocate for mental health awareness and alongside Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and his brother Prince Harry, they established the Heads Together campaign.
The campaign aims to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative mental health services.