Britain's Prince William opens up about his mental health journey including a harrowing 2017 incident that left him emotionally scarred and depressed in a new Apple Fitness+ special.
To be released on Monday, the special is part of the Time to Walk audio series, available to subscribers of the tech company's fitness app, which features various personalities sharing their life experiences in a recording during a walk.
The Duke of Cambridge recorded his segment on the grounds of Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham Estate.
"Walking has been a feature of my life during the good times and the bad, come rain or shine. For me, it provides an opportunity to clear my mind and gain some perspective. It’s a key part of how I manage my mental health," Prince William said, announcing the special on the Instagram account he shares with wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
"It can be a very sociable exercise or a moment of complete calm and isolation. In the hope of inspiring a few other people to get active and take some extra time for their own mental health – I wanted to share a few of my stories and favourite songs with you in an episode of Time to Walk."
The duke said Apple will donate to three mental health charities in exchange for his appearance on the series: Shout 85258, Crisis Text Line and Lifeline.
During his walk, Prince William reveals the impact of dealing with life and death moments when he was a helicopter pilot with East Anglian Air Ambulance, becoming emotional as he describes meeting a former patient.
"It even makes me quite emotional now," William says as his voice breaks recounting an incident in 2017 when he and his air ambulance crew were despatched to an accident site where a boy, 5, was knocked down by a learner driver leaving him with brain damage.
He describes how the incident left him feeling as if "the whole world was dying" and how it triggered his depression.
The Daily Mail reports that Prince William has maintained a close relationship with the boy, identified as Bobby Hughes, and his family.
The Duke of Cambridge also shares poignant moments, and describes how his mother Princess Diana would sing Tina Turner's The Best while driving him and brother Prince Harry to school.
"Because sitting in the backseat singing away, it felt like a real family moment. My mother, she'd be driving along singing at the top of her voice and we'd even get the policeman in the car, he'd be occasionally singing along as well. When I listen to it now it takes me back to those car rides and brings back lots of memories of my mother," he says.
His daughter, Princess Charlotte, goes "crazy" dancing to Shakira's Waka Waka, he shares. "Charlotte particularly is running around the kitchen, in her dresses and ballet stuff. She goes completely crazy with Louis following her around trying to do the same thing."
His hype song is AC/DC's Tunderstruck, he reveals.
"There's nothing better than, on a Monday morning, when you're a bit bleary-eyed after the weekend and trying to get yourself back into the grind of the week, listening to AC/DC's Thunderstruck," he says. "It absolutely wakes you up, puts your week in the best mood possible, and you feel like you can take on anything and anyone."
Prince William's special follows his brother Prince Harry's mental health documentary series, The Me You Can't See, which released on Apple TV+ in May. The series, co-produced by Oprah Winfrey, featured Prince Harry sharing intimate details of his mental health, along with famous names such as Lady Gaga, NBA players DeMar DeRozan and Langston Galloway, Olympic boxer Virginia “Ginny” Fuchs and chef Rashad Armstead.
Time to Walk also features singers Shawn Mendes and Dolly Parton as well as supermodel Naomi Campbell and actors Zachary Quinto and Stephen Fry, in which they prompt users to take that extra step and stay active.
The series is available to all Apple Fitness+ subscribers, which officially launched in the UAE in November and is currently available in 21 countries.
– Additional reporting by PA