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‘Self doubt is always lurking’: Prince William talks mental health with Harry Kane

‘Disappointment is part of life and how you handle it is crucial,’ Prince of Wales said

Laura Hampson
Monday 07 November 2022 11:15 GMT
'Self-doubt is always lurking’: Prince William talks mental health with Declan Rice

The Prince of Wales has discussed mental health and his first football memories in a new video with England men’s football captain Harry Kane, and England player Declan Rice.

In a special episode of COPA90’s Game of 5’s show, Prince William sat down with Kane, Rice and presenter Kelvyn Quagraine to talk about the extreme pressures of playing football on the world stage ahead of the 2022 Men’s Football World Cup which will be held in Qatar later this month.

When asked about his earliest football memories, William revealed that he was a defender at school and was “stuck in the back until I was tackled”.

He added that Rio Ferdinand was an inspiration for him when he was younger, and that he played a lot more football than he watched.

Speaking of self-doubt, and the toll it takes on your mental health, William said: “It’s interesting the difference between self-belief and self-doubt, and what kind of route your life takes.

“You know, self belief is so crucial, but self doubt is always lurking on both sides of everyone’s lives, no matter what walk of life you are in. If you take the wrong path or if something happens that’s in none of your control, then that can end up in self doubt quite quickly, and then things can get much harder.”

Discussing difficult moments in their football careers, Kane and Rice said losing the Euros final last year was one of them, but it was still important to “be there for each other in that low”.

“I think one of the greatest things about the Euros was when Bukayo missed the penalty and everyone went over to make sure he was OK… that was a really powerful moment,” Kane said.

“I think just to know that we’ve still stood up and backed our teammates and backed each other. Those moments are so tough, to have so many big highs and then just to have the complete low.”

Rice added: “There was a special moment after that game [the Euros final], the togetherness when we all come in a huddle after we’d lost that, and Gareth [Southgate] said some really important words.

“As a group, I think that brought us forward together because then we had to qualify for a World Cup in the next round of games. We really overcame that setback of losing that final, showed our togetherness and our strength and I feel that we are in a really good place as a national team that we can keep pushing and getting better because the togetherness we’ve built is really special to be a part of.”

Speaking as a football fan, William added: “You learn by playing a number of times and many other things in life that disappointment is part of life and how you handle it is crucial. Handling some of those really disappointing England results in the past, that was hard, I found that really difficult, because again the same euphoria that we had comes crashing down… You feel high and all together, and then normal life just gets on again.”

William is president of the Football Association, but reports last month said he had “no plans” to visit Qatar for this year’s World Cup as sources said there wasn’t space in his diary.

The decision comes as Qatar faces criticism over its human rights record and its stance on same-sex relationships.

If you are struggling to cope and are in need of support you can text SHOUT to 85258 from anywhere in the UK to start a free, confidential conversation at any time of day or night.

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