As we discussed last week, Prince William made a two-day trip to Vietnam to focus on wildlife conservation and to attend the International Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade. While in Vietnam, on November 17, William appeared on the VTV show ‘Talk Vietnam’ to discuss the illegal wildlife trade. William also talked about his family, his job as an EAAA co-pilot, and took questions from the audience.
I’m not going to quote or discuss his comments on the illegal wildlife trade, but you can watch the full interview in the video below. If you do watch the video, pay attention to William’s answer to the little girl’s question, because he never actually answers her question.
Anyway, the part I want to discuss is William’s comments on fatherhood, how his children have changed him, and what kind of future he wants for his children.
William’s role as a father:
“There’s wonderful highs and there’s wonderful lows. It’s been quite a change for me personally. I’m very lucky in the support I have from Catherine, she’s an amazing mother and a fantastic wife. But I’ve struggled at times. The alteration from being a single, independent man to going into marriage and then having children is life-changing. I adore my children very much and I’ve learnt a lot about myself and about family just from having my own children. It’s amazing how much you pick up from just in those moments. George is a right little rascal sometimes, he keeps me on my toes but he’s a sweet boy. And Charlotte, bearing in mind I haven’t had a sister so having a daughter is a very different dynamic. So I’m learning about having a daughter, having a girl in the family. But um, no it’s wonderful, it’s fantastic and it’s you got to make the time for the family.”
Having children has changed William:
“It’s changed my outlook a little bit. I’m a lot more emotional than I used to be about things, so I mind a lot more now. Whereas before I could kind of put it to one side and maybe come back to it later. Now I feel I can’t put it down, and it’s sort of constantly gnaws at me. I worry about the future more. When you have something or someone in your life to give the future to I think it focuses the mind more about what you’re giving them and are you happy that you’ve done all you can to leave it in a good state.”
Other legacies William would like to leave his children:
“I would like them to grow up with more simple aspirations. I think there’s a lot of huge aspirations and people living with an enormous amount of stuff that they don’t necessarily need. The materialism of the world I find quite tricky sometimes. And I would like George and Charlotte to grow up being a little bit more simple in their approach and their outlook and just looking after those around them and treating others as they would like to be treated themselves.”
I know a few of you guys have already commented on this interview in another comment section so I may be repeating things you’ve already said, but I want to add my own commentary anyway.
The “single, independent man” comment confuses me. William wasn’t “single” all those years before getting married – he was in a relationship with Kate and they were living together, right? So… William had a good 8 years to prepare him from going from “single, independent man” to husband. But, okay dude, sure.
I belly laughed when I heard William say materialism is tricky and people live with an enormous amount of stuff and that he would like his kids to be more simple in their approach and outlook on life. Because this is coming from a man with two giant mansions for homes, multiple staff, and helicopters to fly him from mansion to mansion. Bro, you yourself aren’t simple in your approach and you yourself live in a world of materialism, so have all the seats.
But to be honest the part that stood out most is his use of “huge aspirations” and tying it to materialism. I think William is confused, because having huge aspirations in life and being materialistic are two different things. One can have huge aspirations AND be materialistic, but having huge aspirations does not equal being materialistic.
Some examples of “huge aspirations”: being an astronaut, owning one’s own business, being a doctor. Having a goal that is not easy to achieve that one is going to have to put in a lot of work to achieve does not make one materialistic.
Conversely, one could be making minimum wage at a low-level job and still be materialistic. One may not have a lot of stuff or have a lot of money to buy stuff, but if one concerns themselves with their material possessions no matter how much they have then they are being materialistic.
Having huge aspirations is not a bad thing and it annoys me that William is equating huge aspirations and materialism. And yes, I’m focusing on a stupid word choice rather than William’s main point, but I don’t care, I wanted to get my thoughts off my chest.
So what “simple aspirations” does William hope George and Charlotte have? Not being a royal? And if William does find materialism to be “tricky” and would like George and Charlotte to “grow up being a little bit more simple in their approach and their outlook” then why does William continue to have two giant homes, take expensive vacations, etc? If William wants his children to have a more simple approach and outlook and not be materialistic then he should be setting that as the example.