Prince William opens up on 'cliff fall' of loneliness after leaving 'traumatic' job

Prince William

Prince William visited the Blue Light Hub in Milton Keynes

Dorothy Reddin

By Dorothy Reddin

Published: 12/10/2023

- 10:08

The Prince of Wales worked as an air ambulance pilot between 2015 and 2017

Prince William has opened up on facing a "cliff fall" of loneliness after leaving his "traumatic" job as an air ambulance pilot.

The heir to the throne joined a roundtable discussion with emergency service employees to talk about his experiences as a first responder.

The 41-year-old warned the young emergency personnel that the trauma "catches up to you" and that they may experience a "cliff fall" of loneliness if they leave their career in service.

William said: "For me, the traumatic jobs were what triggered me.

Prince William

Prince William opened up about his time as an air ambulance pilot


“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.”

Prince William worked for the East Anglian Air Ambulance Service between 2015 and 2017.

He has already opened up about how he battled with some experiences and carried the trauma "home" with him.

Prince William

Prince William joined a roundtable conversation with emergency service people


In a visit to an emergency services hub in Milton Keynes, the prince commented: “I had an armour up, as I know you all do, but a couple of them penetrated in.

“I can’t explain how or why they did and I couldn’t shake them and they built up over time.

"Then each job I went on after that I couldn’t quite keep it away, I’d take it home, and then it just built from there.”

The South Central Ambulance Service, Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service all work at the Blue Light Hub in Milton Keynes.

Prince William

Prince William has been open about his mental health before


Prince William

Prince William worked as a pilot between 2015 and 2017


Prince William and Princess Kate are fulfilling numerous engagements to mark World Mental Health Day, which occurred earlier this week.

The father-of-three is passionate about supporting the mental well-being of those in the emergency services after his time as an air ambulance pilot.

William added: “As you know it’s World Mental Health Week, so it felt very appropriate to come and have a chat to you guys and highlight again the fantastic work that you do on a day-to-day basis... but also to understand where the pressure points are in your day-to-day lives.

“I’d love to hear about how we’re getting on with the taboo and stigma around mental health. Are we making the difference that we think we’re making? I want to hear it from you guys because that’s where it matters.”

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