The Duke of Cambridge recently admitted to his fears as a father to TV presenters Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly on an ITV documentary focusing on Prince Charles’ charity, the Prince’s Trust.
Prince William told the duo that fatherhood makes him cry far more often and he said he worries about “not being around to see your children grow up”.
Having lost his mother Diana, Princess of Wales when he was only 15, William said that after the birth of his two children Prince George and Princess Charlotte he is now a more emotional person and tends to “well up at the smallest little things”.
When asked if becoming a father 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 who also featured in the documentary told Ant and Dec that the Royal Family “love it” when things go wrong on official visits. Most organisations hosting royal engagements view mistakes as disasters, but the family secretly prefer it when things go awry, especially the Duke of Edinburgh.
Harry 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 two princes shared memories of their father the Prince of Wales and grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh who would ruin school plays for the boys by laughing at the wrong times, even if Prince William would give them a “death stare” from the stage not to.
Prince William recalled: “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.”
Prince Harry remembered another time at one of his plays: “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.”
When the boys attended Eton that would receive letters from their father in his famous scribbled handwriting. The letters were so illegible that they would trade them for a second opinion to ensure they were not being told off without knowing it.
“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.” said Prince Harry
Prince William said they would read the letters to each other “just in case it was a b********* we didn’t know about”.
Adding on that: “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.”
Now all grown up, the brothers talked about how they enjoy being neighbours at Kensington Palace when they are both in London. Prince William said that his younger brother will “pop round and he comes and scrounges all food off us and things like that” and Prince Harry said he likes to hear his nephew Prince George playing on his toy tractor outside.
For an entire year, Ant and Dec shadowed Prince Charles to find out about the work the Prince’s Trust does. The £70m per year charity has so far helped 825,000 disadvantaged and vulnerable youth gain education or work by helping them with loans and mentoring.
They even were given an uncommon on-camera chat with the Duchess of Cornwall where she lovingly speaks of how she is “really proud” of her husband’s “incredible” achievement in setting up the Prince’s Trust.
“He does have incredible energy…if you’re passionate about something you can do it” Camilla said.
Prince Charles also spoke about the birth of his granddaughter Princess Charlotte saying: “It’s very nice having a granddaughter, hopefully somebody to keep an eye on me when I’m tottering about on my Zimmer frame.”
Adding on that he has not “had the nappy course” but is confident that “at a pinch” he could change one.
Maybe one day his sons will follow in his footsteps as the Prince of Wales figures he is “probably getting past my sell-by date” and that hopefully one of the boys will “take an interest in [the Prince’s Trust].”
When Ant & Dec Met The Prince: 40 Years of The Prince’s Trust will be shown on ITV1 on Monday, January 4 at 9pm.