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Prince William on Fatherhood: “You Realize How Precious Life Is”

There’s a new documentary airing tonight in the United Kingdom called When Ant and Dec Met the Prince: 40 Years of the Prince’s Trust. In it, British television hosts Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly take a look inside Prince Charles’ charity, The Prince’s Trust, which helps young people get into jobs, further their education, and pursue specialized training.

Filmed over the course of a year, the documentary features an inside look at Prince Charles — including his relationship with his sons, Princes William and Harry. Describing their father as “incredibly driven to do his duty,” Prince William said that he looks up to his father for all the work he has done over the course of his life to help others. Prince Harry agreed, and added that his advice is always “incredible.”

But it was when discussing how fatherhood has changed him, that Prince William really opened up and got personal about the impact Prince George and Princess Charlotte have had on his life:

“I’m a lot more emotional than I used to be, weirdly. I never used to get too wound up or worried about things. But now the smallest little things, you well up a little more, you get affected by the sort of things that happen around the world or whatever a lot more, I think, as a father. Just because you realize 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.”

It is clear that Prince William was touching on how the early loss of his mother, Princess Diana, when William was only 15 years old, has taken on a new significance now that he is a father himself. Her death, which he has described as “the most painful experience,” has left a gaping hole in his life — and now that he has children of his own, it has become that much more apparent.

While it can be easy to take each day for granted — especially when you’re in the trenches during the early years — it’s a lesson we can all learn from Prince William’s heartbreaking experience: every single day we have is a gift.

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