A day after they announced the news of Kate’s pregnancy, William said the baby was “very good news” amid the anxiety of Kate’s ongoing struggle with severe morning sickness.
And he added, “We need Catherine to get over this first bit and then we can start celebrating. It’s always a bit anxious to start with, but she’s well.”
Kate is being cared for at their home in Apartment 1A in Kensington Palace as she battles Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). She was also afflicted by the condition during her pregnancies with Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2.
Meeting dignitaries at a policing and mental health conference in Oxford, William said, “There’s not much sleep going on at the moment.” And when he was congratulated on Monday’s announcement by chairman of Oxfordshire County Council Zoe Patrick. He replied, “Thank you, it’s very good news.”
During his appearance in Oxford on Tuesday William, 35, spoke about mental health and how it can be supported by emergency services.
William recently ended his career as an air ambulance pilot, but has vowed to make issues facing first responders “a focus of his work for many years to come,” the palace says.
He told the delegates, “Being a member of the emergency services takes considerable mental strength and resilience, and I believe there is more that we can and should do to support all first responders to look after their mental health. You are skilled at helping people in extreme distress – so you should be looked after just as much.”
He said he was lucky in his workplace because his bosses were good at recognizing the mental health needs of the air ambulance staff. But, he added of the strains, “There were days when, like you, we would have to watch our colleagues save some lives, and lose others. We saw traumatized parents dealing with the shock of having children involved in catastrophic accidents.”
“There were patients we lost who we fought hard to save. I know that these real life tragedies can stay with you for a long time afterwards – even when we like to pretend they don’t.”
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William spoke about Heads Together campaign he, Kate and Prince Harry set up and added, “Don’t get me wrong: there is a place for a stiff upper lip, and for a sense of humor to help get through a situation. But there is also a place for openness and mutual support – that has to be part of the mix and, till now, it has not been sufficient.
“Our aim has been to help tackle the stigma surrounding the issue, and to make it easier for people to get help as soon as they need it, without worrying what others will think of them.”
Praising the discretion of British policing, he told an amusing story of one of his overseas trips, when policing was far from quiet. He watched as “two rival tiers in a police force – one local, one state” vied for “supremacy to escort a convoy I was in. The two motorcycle groups repeatedly bumped into one another at high speed, nudging one another off the road, until one force caved in and relinquished the road in favor of the other.”
“What was very funny was that the visit was semi-private but I think that by the end of my very first journey the whole city knew I was there. Discreet policing it was not!”
After the speech, he joined a session with members of the public and police officers who have been affected by mental health challenges.
The conference will be a part of building a new national strategy for the police service on mental health.
Later, he took part in a workshop on Respond, which is a new training package developed in the north east of England to help agencies work together to challenge the stigma around mental health.