A natural athlete! Prince William got in a rigorous rowing exercise alongside members of the Royal Navy — all for an important cause.
“Joining the past, present and future crews of HMS Oardacious for a very important conversation about mental health,” the Prince of Wales, 40, captioned a Sunday, May 21, Instagram video. “For #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek we headed out onto the water, chatting everything from teamwork to food rations and just what it takes to look after your mental health when rowing across the Atlantic.”
The full video — which was shared by William and wife Princess Kate’s YouTube channel — saw the Duke of Cornwall team up with the HMS Oardacious squad for a rowing workout.
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“When you see it like this, you realize how, actually, it’s not a very big boat,” William joked during the outing, sitting in the middle of the four-person vessel.
The Duke of Cornwall looked athletic in his blue pullover and dark shorts, complete with a pair of sunglasses and sneakers. While they rowed, William asked the group about their experience racing and the importance of prioritizing mental health. By the end of the sail, the group turned the questions back to the duke to ask how he felt about joining them on the water.
“Good! [It was] a good warm-up,” William noted with a laugh. “I need the exercise, good!”
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William learned a lot from the HMS Oardacious crew, especially how they balance prioritizing their physical fitness with their mental well-being.
“Submarine service, you know, you have to have a certain mentality to do your job,” the Duke of Cambridge — who previously served in the British military as a pilot — said in the Sunday video. “You’re in a metal tube for month son end, lots of your life’s pleasures away. You don’t have sunlight [or] fresh air.”
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He continued: “Understanding our support networks is crucial because a lot of people don’t have a support network. So I think in the military, we’re very good at being able to form close bonds and realize that the only way we can get through all this is to help each other and support each other through.”
William— along with wife Kate, 41 — has long been an advocate of supporting mental health platforms, especially as a veteran.
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“The relation between the job and the personal life was what really took me over the edge,” he said during the This Can Happen conference in November 2018. “And I started feeling things that I’ve never felt before. And I got very sad and very down about this particular family.”
The prince — who shares three kids with the Princess of Wales — further explained that working on “traumatic jobs involving children” impacted him. “You start to take away bits of the job and keep them in your body,” William added at the time. “And of course, you don’t want to share with your loved ones because you just don’t want to bring that sort of stuff home.”
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