Prince William wants George and Charlotte to ‘talk about their emotions’

On the heels of Prince Harry revealing he sought counselling after Princess Diana’s death, Prince William has spoken out about the importance of nurturing emotional intelligence from a young age.
Prince William, Prince George, Duchess Catherine, Princess CharlotteGetty

In a candid new interview with mental health outlet CALMZine, Prince William has revealed he and Catherine are raising their children to speak openly about how they’re feeling.

Speaking about the British tendency towards keeping a ‘stiff upper lip, particularly when it comes to bottling up emotions, William said he was inspired by seeing the younger generation able to talk more openly about their feelings – and this was something he and Catherine hoped to emulate in their own family.

William says he and Catherine are raising their children to speak openly about their feelings.

“Catherine and I are clear that we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings.

“Over the past year we have visited a number of schools together where we have been amazed listening to children talk about some quite difficult subjects in a really clear and emotionally articulate way – something most adults would struggle with,” he said, adding that it gave him hope that things were changing.

“Emotional intelligence is key for us all to deal with the complexities of life and relationships.”

In the same interview, Harry also spoke about how his experience in the military had given him new insight into the beliefs that exist around masculinity and mental health.

Harry – pictured here during a visit to Lintern Military Base in NZ in 2015 – hopes that “if men see soldiers talking about mental health, it will give them confidence to do the same”.

“When you’re serving you look after your physical health, your training and your equipment, but not your head. There’s definitely been a misplaced sense of pride that has got in the way of people in the military community talking about their mental health and getting help,” he said.

“Hopefully if men see soldiers talking about mental health, it will give them the confidence to do the same.”

The interview – part of the publicity around the Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign – comes shortly after Harry spoke openly about seeking professional help in the years following Diana’s death.

Both William and Harry have spoken about the importance of having conversations about mental health.

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“I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well,” he explained, revealing he had come “very close” to breaking down on more than one occasion.

When questioned if he had seen a “shrink” for help, the Prince revealed: “I’ve done that a couple of times, more than a couple of times, but it’s great.”

Before getting help – urged on by William – the royal admitted to conning himself into thinking he was OK.

“So I was a typical 20, 25, 28-year-old running around going ‘life is great’, or ‘life is fine’ and that was exactly it,” he said.

“And then [I] started to have a few conversations and actually all of a sudden, all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the 
forefront and I was like, there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with.”

Harry says it was “only two years … of total chaos” before he was comfortable to express his feelings.

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