Prince William tells Ant and Dec he fears not seeing his children growing up
Britain's Prince William, whose mother Princess Diana died when he was 15, says fatherhood has made him more emotional and he cries more often
Published 03/01/2016 | 09:21
BRITAIN'S Prince William has admitted fatherhood has made him cry far more often and he finds himself worrying about “not being around to see your children grow up”.
The Duke, who lost his mother Diana, Princess of Wales when he was 15, said he tended to “well up at the smallest little things” after the birth of his children Prince George and Princess Charlotte made him a more emotional person.
Meanwhile Prince Harry disclosed that the Royal family “love it” when things go wrong on official visits because it makes them more memorable, and the Prince of Wales joked that he is “getting past my sell-by date”.
The princes were talking to the TV presenters Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly for an ITV documentary about the Prince of Wales’s charity, the Prince’s Trust, which will be shown tomorrow night.
Asked if fatherhood has changed him, Prince William said: “I'm a lot more emotional than I used to be. Yeah, weirdly.
“I never used to really get too wound up or worried about things but I now the smallest little things can get – I can feel – you well up a little bit more.
“You get affected by things that happen around the world or whatever a lot more I think as a father, just because you realise how precious life is and it puts it all in perspective, the idea of not being around to see your children grow up and stuff like that.
“But you know, from some of my earliest memories I remember my mother and father taking us to charities and organisations and showing us, you know, what goes on. And I think it's seeing such a broad spectrum of life, it's really important from a young age, to give you a bit of perspective to go 'you know, you don’t just live in a palace', it's very important you get out and you see what goes on in the real world.”
Prince Harry told Ant and Dec that gaffes and mistakes were usually viewed as disasters by charities or other organisations hosting royal engagements, but royal visitors secretly prefer it when things do not go to plan, particularly the Duke of Edinburgh. He said: “Everywhere we go, everything is sort of rehearsed so much, that it's always bang on correct, perfect. But we all, no more so than our grandfather, love it when things go wrong.
“And you always turn round and say, ‘don’t worry, it’ll probably go wrong’ and then it does go wrong and they're sort of crying; I say ‘Don’t worry about it, it's actually …now I will remember it even more’. And it’s true.”
The brothers both shared memories of the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh ruining school plays for them by laughing in all the wrong places, even when Prince William gave them a “death stare” from the stage to implore them not to.
Prince William said: “I was in a play and I remember it was called Santa’s Smag or something like that, I can't remember, some sort of Christmas play and I was a wizard and I came on and I narrated it. There was meant to be a bit of pyrotechnic explosion in front of me and I jumped on stage and nothing happened, and so I started reading it and of course at this point I was quite panicky and then the pyrotechnic went off as I was reading.
“I was like ‘Er…’ and literally he couldn’t stop laughing the whole way through the production and so several times I'd stop, I’d cast an eye across, a big death stare, and then I'd try and get back to my lines, it was terrible. Honestly.”
His younger brother said when he was in a separate school play: “There was a particular scene that he found very amusing, much more amusing than the rest of the audience … it wasn't funny, no one else was laughing but because of something, he just burst out laughing, in fact my grandfather was there on the same night and it was just the two of them.
“And it's all I could hear. And no one else – no one else laughs, he always laughs at the wrong moment, and doesn't think ‘Oh I shouldn’t – I should probably stay quiet’, he just thinks it's the best thing ever.”
During their time at Eton the princes would receive letters from their father but his famous “black spider” handwriting was so bad that they would have to swap them for a second opinion in case they were being told off without realising it.
Prince Harry said: “At school, we regularly swapped letters and said ‘erm, I think I know what it says, can you read it to me?’ And it was just drivel.”
Prince William said they would read the letters to each other “just in case it was a b********* we didn’t know about”.
He added: “His writing in his letters is notoriously difficult to read but as it gets later in the evening, it's about 12 o'clock when he's writing letters, we can tell instantly. When he's falling asleep you get these long sort of As that disappear off the page.”
The Princes also discussed the joy of being neighbours at Kensington Palace when they are both in London. Prince Harry said he likes hearing Prince George playing on his toy tractor outside, and Prince William said Harry will “pop round and he comes and scrounges all food off us and things like that”.
Ant and Dec spent a year shadowing the Prince to find out about the work of the Prince’s Trust, a £70m per year charity that has helped 825,000 disadvantaged and vulnerable young people move into education or work by giving them loans and mentoring.
They were allowed a rare on-camera chat with the Duchess of Cornwall, in which she affectionately described being “really proud” of her husband’s “incredible” achievement in setting up the Prince’s Trust.
She told them: “He does have incredible energy…if you’re passionate about something you can do it.”
Speaking about the birth of Princess Charlotte, the Prince of Wales told Ant and Dec: “It’s very nice having a granddaughter, hopefully somebody to keep an eye on me when I’m tottering about on my Zimmer frame.”
He added that he has not “had the nappy course” but “at a pinch” he could change one.
He also said he hopes one of his sons “might take an interest in [the Prince’s Trust] because I’m probably getting past my sell-by date now”.
When Ant & Dec Met The Prince: 40 Years of The Prince's Trust will be shown on ITV1 on Monday, January 4 at 9pm