Prince William & Kate Middleton Share Empowering Message About Mental Health

The royal couple hosted a special edition of Radio 1’s Newsbeat.

by Sophie McEvoy
Prince William and Kate Middleton at the BBC Radio One’s Newsbeat

In honour of World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10) Prince William and Kate Middleton fronted a mindfulness-focused episode of BBC’s Newsbeat. The 15-minute segment aired on Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra, and the Asian Network this afternoon. Hosted by presenter Pria Rai, the royal couple were introduced as "two very special Newsbeat reporters,” with Kate later reminding listeners that the last time they were there was to promote the launch of Heads Together, a charity created by the Prince and Princess of Wales with Prince Harry in 2016.

This time, the royal couple were joined by a number of guests including Dr. Abigail Miranda from the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families, mental health activist António Ferrerira, Emma Hardwell from a charity called The Mix, and music therapist Ben Cowley.

As each guest shared their personal story and journey with mental health, the royal couple listened intently, asking important questions like how each realised they were struggling, what they did to deal with the problem, and why it’s so hard for some to reach out in the first place, particularly following lockdown.

William shared his "useful analogy" on speaking about mental health, likening it to a toolbox and that oftentimes people struggle to figure out which tools and methods they can use to treat their mental health. "Big family networks and support networks around people are really important, but a lot of people don't realise what they actually need until it actually comes along," the Prince of Wales explained. "You can be living one life one minute, and something massively changes, and you don't realise you don't necessarily have the tools or the experience to be able to tackle that."

Highlighting the importance of finding the right tools and methods for you, Kate added: "There's no right or wrong; that's the thing as well. Different things will work for different people and it's just sometimes trying, isn't it, as well." The Princess of Wales noted that everyone looks after their mental health differently, with some finding "expression through music or art."

Kate was particularly interested in what Dr. Miranda had to say, as the Princess of Wales has a lot of experience working with early learning and child development through several organisations and charities she supports. The royal explained: “Some of the things I’ve been learning with my work within early childhood and the early years is [to do with] how we manage and cope with life later down the line, which often traces back to how we’ve learned to manage and express and regulate our emotions right back from the earliest years of life.”

Through their work in mental health, Kate expressed how she and William always try to encourage people to look after their mental health "in the same way as their physical health... in the same way we go to the gym, we need to look after our minds as well."

As the special concluded, William reiterated that there “needs to be thought about having a meaningful conversation on mental health, but it shouldn’t stop here, because talking about mental help is so important and it’s definitely the first step for us to keep talking, having these conversations, and reaching out for help.”