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Prince William reveals trauma as rescue pilot and what sparks fond Diana memories

·2-min read
The Duke of Cambridge on the job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance  (PA)
The Duke of Cambridge on the job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (PA)

Prince William said he was “taking home people’s trauma, people’s sadness” while working as an air ambulance pilot.

Speaking on Prince William: Time To Walk, the Duke of Cambridge spoke candidly about dealing with life and death moments as well as shining a light on what brings back treasured memories of his late mum Princess Diana.

The duke, who served two years as an air ambulance helicopter pilot, said he still gets emotional thinking about the traumatic moments on the job.

Diana, Princess of Wales enjoys a day out at Thorpe Park amusement park with her sons, William and Harry (PA Media)
Diana, Princess of Wales enjoys a day out at Thorpe Park amusement park with her sons, William and Harry (PA Media)

“Talking about those jobs definitely helped, sharing them with the team, and ultimately, in one case, meeting the family and the patient involved who made a recovery, albeit not a full recovery, but made a recovery – that definitely helped,” he said.

“Because – it even makes me quite emotional now – when they come in and say ‘thank you’, and, ‘Here he is. He’s okay.’

“…It still even affects me now. But I think, as a human being, when you see someone in such dire circumstances, basically at death’s door, you can’t help but not be affected by that.”

He recorded his emotional chat while walking around the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

Elsewhere in the recording, Prince William said listening to Tina Turner’s The Best brings back fond memories of his mum Princess Diana singing at the “top of her voice” while she drove her sons to school.

He said: “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.”

“You’d be singing and listening to music right the way up to the gates of school when they dropped you off and that’s when reality kind of sunk in – you really were going back to school,” he added.

“Because before that you’re lost in songs – want to play it again, just to keep that family moment going. And when I listen to it now it takes me back to those car rides and brings back lots of memories of my mother.”

In another moment, Prince William showed a lighter side when he confessed he was way out of his “comfort zone” when Taylor Swift got him up on stage to sing Livin' On A Prayer with rocker Jon Bon Jovi.

Looking back at the 2013 fundraising gala for homeless charity Centrepoint, he said he “got up like a puppy” when the singer looked him in the eye and asked him to sing.

He added: “You know, I think, over time, you start to feel quite attached to those moments and those memories before.”

– Apple will stream three special audio airings of the Time To Walk episode featuring William free of charge on Apple Music 1, the global radio station on Apple Music, on Monday.

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