Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge have given an interview to BBC on the stress of lockdown and how important it is for us all to focus on balancing our mental well-being during this time.
When I originally wrote up my first draft of this article, I hadn’t been able to find much of the interview online and I hadn’t seen it, so the quotes below are from this BBC article.
William and Kate on looking after one’s mental health in general during lockdown.
In a wide-ranging interview about the pandemic, mental health and the NHS, Prince William described how the three-week lockdown had been “frustrating” for many people and “pressure, stress and isolation” had been building up. “If we are going to go forward with more time spent in lockdown, then there is going to be an ever-increasing need for people to look after their mental health and take it seriously and also know where to go to get the support they might need,” he said.
Catherine said there had been a focus on physical well-being during the lockdown – with people being told one of the reason they can leave their homes is for one form of exercise a day. “While that’s hugely important we mustn’t forget our mental well-being as well and making sure you’re reaching out to those people around you that you have access to – even if it’s over the phone or online to really make sure you have those conversations,” she said.
Prince William said there was a concern people might think they were “not worthy of support” because of the pressure on services during the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s important that other people aren’t forgotten and those who do need help, and do need support, and haven’t necessarily ever had to think about their mental well-being, start to do that in this weird climate we’re in,” he said.
William and Kate on their own family – Prince Charles’ diagnosis and homeschooling their kids.
Prince William also spoke about how he felt anxious for his father Prince Charles when he tested positive for coronavirus after having mild symptoms. “I have to admit, at first I was quite concerned, he fits the profile of somebody, at the age he is at, which is fairly risky,” said Prince William. But he said his father had experienced many chest infections and colds, so he felt optimistic Prince Charles would recover.
He also said he worried about his grandparents – the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh – but they were doing everything they could to ensure they were protected and isolated.
The duchess said they had faced “ups and downs” during the lockdown “like lots of families”. She said homeschooling their children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – had been “challenging” but they had a kept a strict regime. “We don’t tell the children we’ve actually kept going through the holidays. I feel very mean,” she added.
The couple also said they have been keeping in touch with other family members through online video calls. “It gets a bit hectic, I’m not going to lie, with a two-year-old you have to take the phone away,” Catherine said. “It’s quite hectic for them all to say the right thing at the right time without pressing the wrong buttons. But it’s great and it’s nice to keep in touch with everybody.”
William and Kate on the NHS workers.
During the interview, the duke and duchess also praised NHS workers and said they were making the nation proud with their “stoicism and determination” to get through the pandemic. But Prince William said some staff were understandably anxious and it was important not to alienate those who “worry” and “are scared going to work every single day”. He said NHS workers often have to absorb the pain and loneliness of coronavirus patients and “take it home to their families”.
“We’re not superhuman, any of us. So to be able to manage those emotions and that feeling is going to take some time after all this is over as well.”
The duchess added: “What we’re seeing now is the NHS and the frontline workers doing the most extraordinary job. And that’s really come to the forefront in the last few weeks. It’s going to dramatically change how we all value and see our frontline workers. That is one of the main positives you can take from this.”
This isn’t the full interview, but here is a 9-minute chunk of it with a good amount of quotes.
I believe this interview is part of their support of Every Mind Matters – they also released photos of them on the phone a few weeks ago, and they’ve recorded a TV commercial as well – so they spoke about that also.
William and Kate also praised 99-year-old Captain Tom Moore who has raised tens of millions for the NHS.
I appreciate what William and Kate, and other British royals – Charles and Camilla, Sophie – have been doing the last few weeks in trying to beat the drum for mental health and charity while working from home. To be honest, though, I’ve found it hard to cover because I don’t know what to say about any of it. I don’t want to provide you all with empty platitudes when we’re all dealing with so much right now, but I also don’t want to spiral into something super depressing either because that’s not helpful.
I will say, I hope anyone who reads my blog is coping as best you can. None of us are “doing well”, so I won’t say that; we’re all just trying our best to cope during a difficult situation. I hope that you are able to get the food you need and have the financial means to do so, and to stay safe.