A new podcast has seen Prince William share his favourite memories, songs and life moments while taking a walk through the English countryside.
He recorded a special episode of Time to Walk, a podcast on Apple Fitness +, which is designed to encourage people to walk more often for the benefit of their mental and physical health.
In the episode, released today, William walks around the 20,000-acre Sandringham Estate in Norfolk where his family will once again this year join the Queen and the rest of the royal family for Christmas.
He talks about the importance of keeping mentally fit, reflects on a light-hearted moment when he was drawn out of his comfort zone, the value of listening as a way to empower others and an experience that led him to prioritise mental health.
It also provides an insight into his home life with his children and he shares a special memory of his late mother Princess Diana. Here’s what we learn from the show…
Tina Turner song reminds him of his late mother
During the podcast, William reveals that he listens to Tina Turner to keep alive memories of his beloved mum.
He recalls how listening to her track The Best takes him back to a “real family moment” driving to school with the late Princess Diana and his brother Prince Harry.
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He tells listeners: “When I was younger, Harry and I, we were at boarding school. And my mother used to play all sorts of songs to kind of while away the anxiety of going back to school.
“And one of the songs I massively remember and has stuck with me all this time, and I still, to this day, still quite enjoy secretly, is Tina Turner’s ‘The Best’ because sitting in the backseat, singing away, it felt like a real family moment.
“And my mother, she’d be driving along, singing at the top of her voice. And we’d even get the policeman in the car, he’d be occasionally singing along as well.
“You’d be singing and listening to the music right the way out into the gates of school, when they dropped you off. When I listen to it now, it takes me back to those car rides and brings back lots of memories of my mother.”
His ‘deep distress’ during his time with the air ambulance
In one particular candid moment, William talks about how he was left in deep distress while serving as an air ambulance pilot after dealing with a young child involved in a road traffic accident.
He shares the emotional crisis he underwent after helping to save the life of the boy at “death’s door”, who was only a few years older than his eldest son, Prince George.
The father-of-three said he was left feeling like “the whole word was dying” after what he experienced that day, and admitted: “It even makes me quite emotional now.”
He added that he felt “lucky enough” to find someone in the Air Ambulance Service that he could talk through his emotions with, and explained why he is campaigning for 999 heroes to get better mental health support.
In the podcast, he said: “It really hit me weeks later. It was like someone had put a key in a lock and opened it without me giving permission to do that.
“I felt like the whole world was dying. It’s an extraordinary feeling. You just feel everyone’s in pain, everyone’s suffering. And that’s not me. I’ve never felt that before.”
He likes to start his Monday mornings with a banging AC/DC track
In the podcast, William reveals the three tracks that hold special meaning for him.
And he said one is rocking AC/DC track Thunderstruck, which he loves to play to kickstart his week on a Monday morning.
He explained: “There’s nothing better than, on a Monday morning, when you’re a bit bleary-eyed after the weekend and trying to get yourself back into the grind of the week, listening to AC/DC, Thunderstruck.
“It absolutely wakes you up, puts your week in the best mood possible, and you feel like you can take on anything and anyone.”
George and Charlotte fight over what song to play in the mornings
BBC Children in Need/Comic Relief via Getty Images)
During the chat, William talks about his children Prince George and Princess Charlotte and their love of music.
And he reveals that most mornings, the two youngsters fight over which song to play before they go off to school.
He divulged: “What I’ve been amazed by is how much my children already have inherited my family’s love of music.
“Most mornings there’s a massive fight between Charlotte and George as to what song is played.
“And I have to, now, basically prioritise that one day someone does this one, and another day it’s someone else’s turn.
“So, George gets his go, then Charlotte gets her go. Such is the clamour for the music.”
He added: “It’s a really happy moment where the children just enjoy dancing, messing around, and singing.”
Princess Charlotte loves the Shakira track Waka Waka
Not only did William reveal his favourite songs, he also revealed what his children love listening to – the Shakira track Waka Waka.
He explained: “One of the songs that the children are loving at the moment is Shakira, Waka Waka. There’s a lot of hip movements! There’s a lot of dressing up.
“Charlotte, particularly, is running around the kitchen in her dresses and ballet stuff and everything.
“She goes completely crazy with Louis following her around trying to do the same thing.
“It’s a really happy moment where the children just enjoy dancing, messing around, and, and singing.”
He sang with Taylor Swift after following her up on stage ‘like a puppy’
The second-in-line to the throne also recalled the moment where he ended up on stage with Taylor Swift and Jon Bon Jovi singing Livin’ On A Prayer at a charity dinner.
He said: “I can’t believe I’m actually telling you this story… I turn up and Jon Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift are at the event, which nearly knocked me off my feet.”
He continued: “When I sat down to watch Jon Bon Jovi do his performance, I thought, ‘That’s it. My job is done. I’ll get a dinner in a minute, and I might be able to have a chat to some people, and, you know, I’m off-duty a little bit now.’
“Little did I think what was going to happen next. I’m sat next to Taylor Swift.
“She’s on my left – and after Jon does his first song, there’s a pause and she turns to me.
“She puts her hand on my arm, looks me in the eye and says, ‘Come on, William. Let’s go and sing’.
“To this day, I still do not know what came over me. Honestly, even now I’m cringing at what happened next, and I don’t understand why I gave in.
“But, frankly, if Taylor Swift looks you in the eye, touches your arm and says, ‘Come with me…’ I got up like a puppy and went, ‘Yeah, OK, that seems like a great idea. I’ll follow you.’
“I walked up on stage in a trance and then sort of halfway through Jon Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On A Prayer song, I wake up.
“And I’m thinking to myself, ‘Am I standing on the stage singing Livin’ On A Prayer when I don’t even know the words?'”
Prince Louis loves tractors
During the podcast as he walks around the Sandringham estate, William points out the things that he can see.
And it appears one of them is a tractor, to which he remarks that his youngest son Prince Louis “loves tractors”.
Another landmark that William passes on his walk is St Mary Magadalene Church on the Sandringham Estate.
It’s where the royals go every Christmas for their traditional Christmas Day service.
And William revealed exactly what takes place during the service, which is a private family event.
He said: “What’s very good about it is that we sit opposite each other as a family and, growing up, having my cousins sat opposite me has always been quite difficult to keep a straight face at times.
“I have had the giggles many, many times in the service. Luckily, no one’s filming it. So you can get away with it, and on Christmas Day it’s fun to have a giggle and enjoy yourself.”
He added: “My family spend their Christmases in Norfolk at Sandringham, in the UK. You’ve got big pine trees that are quite synonymous with this part of Norfolk. And I love the smell of pine in the winter. It’s very soothing.
‘As we’re walking along here, it’s been a walk that my family have done for many, many years on Christmas Day.
‘I have strong memories of walking down here, and my grandfather, he used to walk so fast that there’d be huge gaps and spaces between all of us, and there’d be us at the back with little legs trying to keep up.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.