On Wednesday, Prince William joined a group discussion with moderator U.K. radio host Roman Kemp, to chat about Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). This charity is one of the key partners of Heads Together, the campaign led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
While the discussion was certainly serious, the Duke started things off on a lighter note, joking that his brother has not yet asked him to be the best man in his upcoming nuptials.
“He hasn’t asked me yet, just to clear that up. It could be a sensitive subject,” William said, noting that the F.A. Cup soccer finals take place the same day as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. It was fitting for the discussion, as CALM recently launched the “Best Man Project” in hopes of showing men that they don’t have to wait for a special event (like a wedding) to prove they are a supportive friend.
As we all know (and love), Prince William is a fierce advocate on the subject of mental health. During the interview, he noted how he truly bonded with his brother through many heart-wrenching discussions following the death of their mother, Princess Diana.
“Our relationship is closer than it’s been because of the situation we’ve been through,” Prince William explained. “Losing our mother at a young age, it’s helped us travel through that difficult patch together. You’re like-minded. You go through similar things — it’s a bond, and it’s something you know you’ve tackled together and come out better for it.”
This message is so important for our husbands, friends, and sons. It’s admirable of Prince William to stand up and speak out not only about how important it is for men to open up about their feelings, but how one can truly benefit from leaning on a friend.
“That’s the thing about being a best mate, inevitably one of you is sometimes on an up, while the other is on a down. You’re always there for each other and repaying that favor,” William said.
While Prince Harry has opened up about keeping his grief to himself, William has done the opposite.
“I knew that if I trapped this inside and it got worse, and inevitably I would get worse in the future and I’d be a burden to my friends and family. I didn’t want that for my life. I didn’t want the traumatic moment that happened to me to then affect my life for the rest of my life, and I knew my mother wouldn’t want that for me either. So I actively went around dealing with it. Talking about it.”
Bravo, William! Being open and honest about emotions can be extremely difficult for both men and women. It’s powerful to see someone of such importance address the media about this topic in hopes of making a difference.
As someone who has greatly suffered from anxiety and depression, the statement that really spoke to me was when the Duke said:
“We’ve got to break that down where it’s okay to talk. Sons, fathers, it’s okay to have that chat. Someone’s got to be the brave one and take the first step. Say I’m putting it out there: That upset me, or that pissed me off. You’ve got to take that initial step to bring that conversation to a head.”
Amen! We need to put an emphasis on the fact that it’s MORE than OK for men to talk about their feelings — and Prince William has done an excellent job on starting this conversation.