Prince William reveals he felt "lonely and isolated" after huge role change

He opened up for World Mental Health Day

rince William waits for his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II to arrive for an offical visit to RAF Valley where Prince William is stationed as a search and rescue helicopter pilot on April 1, 2011 in Holyhead, United Kingdom. The Queen toured the airbase meeting staff and families and was given a guided tour of a Sea King search and rescue helicopter by Prince William
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince William and Princess Kate are marking World Mental Health Day this week with a series of related royal engagements.

On Wednesday, the Prince of Wales was in Milton Keynes visiting the Blue Light Hub there. He was there to highlight the importance of helping emergency responders with their mental health, something he knows a lot about, since he spent two years as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance after leaving the Royal Air Force.

"For me, the traumatic jobs were what triggered me," he said (via GB News).

"The biggest issue was when I left altogether… when you do retire or step away from what you’re doing, don’t underestimate that a bit of a cliff fall can happen.

"Because not only do you suddenly — life suddenly catches up to you a little bit — but then you’re also quite isolated… Your teammates aren’t around to catch you and that can feel quite lonely and isolating."

He continued, "At the time I didn't notice it happen. Afterwards, you realise it's not normal. I do worry about people retiring. We have to be better at managing long-term health" (via Express).

This is far from the first Prince William has addressed how taxing it can be working as an emergency responder, especially when it comes to workers' mental health.

"I took a lot home without realising it," William said back in 2018, referring to his time as an air ambulance pilot.

He added: "If you see sad things every day, you think all life is like that, you're just seeing all the sad things, all the pain every day.

"I think that for the medical community, particularly, [it] must weigh a lot on their minds. That you're always dealing with despair, sadness, injury, things that are really quite troubling. The attrition builds up and you don’t really have the opportunity to off-load it."

Mental health has been a cause close to William's heart for many years, and he often incorporates it into his royal work.

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn is a celebrity and royal news writer for Marie Claire. As a London-based freelance journalist, she writes about wellness, relationships, pop culture, beauty and more for the likes of InStyle, Women's Health, Bustle, Stylist and Red. Aside from her quasi-personal investment in celebs' comings and goings, Iris is especially interested in debunking diet culture and destigmatising mental health struggles. Previously, she was the associate editor for Her Campus, where she oversaw the style and beauty news sections, as well as producing gift guides, personal essays and celebrity interviews. There, she worked remotely from Los Angeles, after returning from a three-month stint as an editorial intern for in New York. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she interned at goop and C California Style and served as Her Campus' national style and LGBTQ+ editor. Iris was born and raised in France by a French father and an English mother. Her Spotify Wrapped is riddled with country music and One Direction, and she can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.