Brits should lose the ‘stiff upper lip’, says Prince William

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Britain's Prince William (2nd L), Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George (L) and Princess Charlotte (R) arrive at a children's party at Government House in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie - RTSQ2D6
The prince says he and Kate want Prince George and Princess Charlotte to grow up feeling they can open up about their emotions.

Prince William has called for an end to the “stiff upper lip” culture – a day after his brother revealed he had counselling years after the death of their mother.

The Duke of Cambridge said he wants Prince George and Princess Charlotte to be able to talk about their emotions.

And Kensington Palace released a video on Tuesday of the Prince discussing the issues surrounding mental health with pop star Lady Gaga.

In an interview with charity publication CALMzine he also highlighted the importance of role models opening up about their mental health.

“Catherine and I are clear we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings.

“Over the past year we have visited a number of schools together where we have been amazed listening to children talk about some quite difficult subjects in a clear and emotionally articulate way, something most adults would struggle with.

“Seeing this has really given me hope things are changing and there is a generation coming up who find it normal to talk openly about emotions.”

He added: “The recent interview by Stormzy about his depression was incredibly powerful and will help young men feel that it’s a sign of strength to talk about and look after your mind as well as your body.

“There may be a time and a place for the ‘stiff upper lip’, but not at the expense of your health.”

During the video call with Prince William, Lady Gaga said that her decision to reveal she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after she was raped at the age of 19 has changed her life.

She said: “There is a lot of shame attached to mental illness, you feel like something is wrong with you. In my life I go ‘oh my goodness look at all these beautiful, wonderful things that I have, I should be so happy’.

“But you can’t help it if in the morning when you wake up you are so tired, you are so sad, you are so full of anxiety and the shakes that you can barely think.

“Even though it was hard, it was the best thing that could come out of my mental illness was to share it with other people and let our generation as well as other generations know that if you are feeling not well in your mind that you’re not alone.

“We have to make the strongest, most relentless attempt we can to normalise mental health issues.”

Prince William added: “It’s time that everyone speaks up and that everyone feels very normal about mental health, it’s the same as physical health.

“We shouldn’t be ashamed of it and just having a conversation with a friend of family member can really make such a difference.”

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Harry, who was 12 when Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris, admitted going off the rails in his 20s.

He said he had only tackled his grief when he was 28 and faced with the feeling that he was “on the verge of punching someone”.

“Losing my mum at the age of 12 and shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years has had a quite serious effect on, not only my personal life, but on my work as well.

“It was only three years ago… from the support around and my brother and other people saying ‘you really need to deal with this – it’s not normal to think that nothing has affected you’.”

Prince Harry (second right) was just 12 when his mother Princess Diana was buried
Image:Prince Harry (second right) was just 12 when his mother Princess Diana was buried

The Prime Minister said his decision to speak out would help “smash the stigma around mental health”, while mental health charity Mind described it as a “true turning point”.

Theresa May said: “Mental health problems affect people of all ages and all backgrounds.

“The bravery of those in public positions who speak out about their experiences helps smash the stigma around mental health and will help thousands of people to realise they are not alone.”

 

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