PRINCE William revealed that he had overcome the anxiety of public speaking by not wearing contact lenses so that he could not see his audience.
This step is similar to the method used by King George VI, whose attempt to overcome his nervous stuttering during World War II was the subject of the blockbuster film The King’s Speech.
William and his great-grandfather, who did his most important radio addresses in an almost empty room, discovered that they could only beat the crippling heir if they felt they were not being watched.
The future king was speaking as part of tonight’s BBC1 football documentary, Prince William And Our Mental Health, which examines a range of psychological issues affecting men.
Wills, 37, said, “Because I couldn’t see everyone’s eyes, you didn’t feel like the weight of the room was looking at you.
“You say to yourself:” It must be going well. I don’t want to spoil that ”. There are a lot of people watching and you can see some people.
“My eyesight started to twist a bit as I got older, and I was not used to wearing contacts when I was working, so actually when I was speaking, I couldn’t see anyone’s face.
“It helps because it’s just a little bit of blur of faces, and because you can’t see anyone looking at you. I could see enough to read the newspaper and stuff like that, but I couldn’t really see the whole room.
“STIGMA OF MENTAL HEALTH”
“And in fact, it really helped my anxiety. “
The prince made the documentary to plot his Heads Up campaign with the Football Association which aims to use football as a means to get men to tackle mental health issues ranging from depression to suicidal thoughts.
Although he admits to using a method similar to George VI, played by Colin Firth in the 2010 film, Wills says that wartime attitude could actually hurt us.
He added, “Why do we still have a taboo and a stigma about mental health? It seems to be largely due to the war, you know, two world wars.
“There is not much discussion, no explanation, no advice you can have to get a whole generation through the atrocities and the sorrow and sadness that an entire nation felt about two world wars .
“I think that in itself, a generation internalized their problems because they just wanted to continue their life, they just wanted to move on, but right now, we have to start asking ourselves if it is relevant in the world of today and how they lived. And it is not.
“We need to be more open and able to talk about things that really matter, things that affect your daily life before they harm your relationships, your professional life and everything around you. “
The prince met with footballers of yesterday and today to discuss the problems of the game and how to overcome them.
He had a pint with 41-year-old Frank Lampard to discuss how the issue is handled in football clubs.
The Chelsea boss said the players, who often suffer from extreme stress and anxiety, rarely talk to each other about their problems when he begins his career.
He said, “We were stuck in the Stone Age in many ways. I think things are moving forward – awareness is huge. I was certainly at fault. And now I look back and say, “I wish we had a little more maturity.”
“I grew up in a family where you sort of saw that the way it is, is that you don’t give too much emotion, you keep things to yourself, you may not get involved together in an emotional way.
“And I’m trying to get away from it, but I think some of these things are inside and I think opening up and talking about other people’s experiences is the only way to start addressing it. “
The prince also met with players from one of Sands United’s local charities for men affected by the death of a young child.
But the prince’s most revealing and personal discussion was with former Watford and England striker under 21, Marvin Sordell, 29, who left football last year due to the depression.
Marvin, whose other clubs include Coventry, Bolton and Burnley, said his problems started when he became a father in 2017, and it reminded me of painful memories of not having a growing father.
Wills sympathized by saying, “Having kids is the biggest life-changing moment, it really is.
“I think when you have experienced something traumatic in life and, as you say, your father is not there, my mother dying when I was younger, the emotions come back by leaps and bounds.
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“Because it’s a very different phase of life and there’s really no one there to help you. I certainly found it sometimes very overwhelming. “
While the documentary shows pictures of Wills and Kate with Prince George during a match, he also revealed that becoming a father made him realize the value of football.
He added: “Football is such an important part of the fabric of this country. It goes very far with us. It’s very spiritual, it’s very close to us. “
- Football, Prince William And Our Mental Health is on BBC1 tonight at 8:05 p.m.