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Prince William says fatherhood brought back "traumatic" emotions from Princess Diana's death

Prince William and Kate host virtual bingo
Prince William and Duchess Kate host virtual bingo for seniors 01:21

In a documentary set to air this week, Prince William described having children as a "life-changing" experience, but said it brought back emotions from when his mother died. William was 15 years old when his mother, Princess Diana, was killed in a car accident.

In "Football, Prince William And Our Mental Health" — an upcoming documentary — William spoke with former professional soccer player Marvin Sordell, who grew up without a father. Sordell described becoming a father as "the hardest time in my life," according to BBC News.

The 37-year-old William responded that having children is the "biggest life-changing moment" for him. He and his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, have three children: Princes George, 6; and Louis, 2; and Princess Charlotte, 5.

Princess Diana with Prince William and Prince Harry during a ski vacation in Lech, Austria, on April 10, 1991. Getty

"And I agree with you, I think when you've been through something traumatic in life — and that is like you say your dad not being around, my mother dying when I was younger — your emotions come back in leaps and bounds because it's a very different phase of life," William said. "And there's no one there to, kind of, help you, and I definitely found it very, at times, overwhelming."

William added that emotions can "come out of the blue." He described parenthood as "one of the most amazing moments of life, but it's also one of the scariest."

William and his brother, Prince Harry, have focused on mental health with their Heads Together campaign. In 2017, the brothers spoke with William's wife about how they didn't speak about their own mental health after their mother's death.

"We've never really talked about losing a mum at such a young age," Prince Harry said to his older brother. "When you speak to other people's families, you think, 'Wow, I don't want them to have to go through the same thing.'" He added that he wants to encourage people to share their problems starting from a young age instead of "bottling them up."

BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief 'Big Night In'
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince Louis of Cambridge clap for NHS carers on television during the BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief "Big Night In" at London on April 23, 2020, in London, England. Getty

William, meanwhile, stressed the need to "prioritize your mental health. Someone has to take the lead and force that conversation."

Harry now is the father of Archie, 1, with wife, Meghan. 

Last week, William spoke with Lifelines Scotland, an organization dedicated to mental health of emergency workers, the importance of mental health for frontline works amid the coronavirus pandemic. "When you become a paramedic, when you become an emergency rescuer, when you become a police officer, when you're in the fire brigade, you know the mental health is absolutely at the core of what you do," he said.

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