Prince William admits the “burden” he hid from Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in the early years of their marriage

''I remember the pressure.''
Loading the player...

Prince William has opened up about the experiences he didn’t want to bring home to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during his time as a search and rescue pilot.

During the early years of their marriage, the Duke of Cambridge worked for the RAF Search and Rescue and the East Anglia Air Ambulance.

He gave up the job in July 2017, dedicating himself to royal duties full-time, but confessed on Thursday that he still thinks about his time with the air ambulance often.

The future king spoke at The Royal Foundation’s Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium.


“I remember the pressure of attending calls in the most stressful conditions, sometimes with tragic conclusions,” he told the crowd at The Royal Foundation’s Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium.

“I remember the sense of solidarity with my team, pulling together to do the best we could and sharing the weight of responsibility.”

The future king then revealed how the role weighed on his relationship with Catherine, as he never wanted to burden her with the things he had seen and experienced.

“I also remember returning home with the stresses and strains of the day weighing on my mind, and wanting to avoid burdening my family with what I had seen,” William said.

Having gone through those experiences himself, William voiced his praise and admiration for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic during the symposium.

The event was also attended by 200 leaders across emergency services including fire, ambulance, police and search and rescue, and William stressed how important it is that people in these fields get the support they need.

“Mental health is, and will remain, a firm priority for the UK’s emergency services,” the Duke of Cambridge said.

He then announced the landmark Blue Light Together initiative, which will provide specialist support to emergency responders and their families.

Loading the player...

Explaining that it will implement a uniform set of standards when it comes to mental health support in the emergency services, William called the initiative a “crucial step”.

“This is a crucial step in ensuring that the staff and volunteers who work so tirelessly for our nation can be properly protected,” he added.

This isn’t the first time the future king has spoken candidly about how working as a search and rescue pilot impacted him and wife Kate.

At the start of 2021, the duo appeared in a video talking about bereavement – a subject that William has been refreshingly honest about when it comes to his own experiences.

William gave up his work with the air ambulance in 2017.


“Something that I noticed from my brief spell flying the air ambulance with the team is, when you see so much death and so much bereavement, it does impact how you see the world,” he said.

“It impacts your own life and your own family life because it is always there.”

William gave up his work with the air ambulance in 2017 to transition into full-time royal work but has continued to voice his support for the incredible work the service does.

Unwind and relax with your favourite magazine!

Huge savings plus FREE home delivery

Related stories