Prince William Hid the "Burden" of Working as an Emergency Responder From Kate Middleton

He wanted to protect her and their children.

The Duke Of Cambridge Introduces New Workplace Mental Health Initiatives
(Image credit: Getty/Chris Jackson)

Prince William's time serving as an emergency responder was tough on his mental health, and he often felt like he shouldn't share that weight with his family.

Speaking at the Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium on Nov. 25, the Duke of Cambridge recalled his time working for the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue and the East Anglia Air Ambulance.

"I remember the pressure of attending calls in the most stressful conditions, sometimes with tragic conclusions," he said (via the Daily Star).

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

When he went home at night, Prince William didn't feel he should talk about his distressing work. "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," he said.

The duke quit the emergency services in 2017 to focus on royal duties.

Christening Of Prince Louis Of Cambridge At St James's Palace

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The Symposium marked the launch of the Blue Light Together initiative, which will aim to support emergency workers and their families with their mental health.

On Instagram, the duke wrote, "Supporting the mental health of our emergency services is extremely personal to me. I often think about my time working for RAF Search and Rescue and the East Anglia Air Ambulance.

"I am therefore delighted to announce that senior leaders representing the national bodies have today signed the Mental Health at Work Commitment on behalf of emergency services right across the UK. This is an unprecedented agreement, and it sends a powerful message to all emergency responders that mental health is, and will remain, a firm priority for the UK’s emergency services.

"It means that, for the first time, a uniform set of standards for supporting the mental health of emergency responders will be adopted and integrated into their workplaces. This is a crucial step in ensuring that the staff and volunteers who work so tirelessly for our nation can be properly protected.

"And finally, once more I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks on behalf of a grateful nation to all emergency responders—from whichever service, doing whatever role, in any location across the UK."

Ahead of the event, the duke released a candid conversation he had with two emergency responders, Will and Chloe, in which they discussed how they coped with the stresses of their jobs.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.