The Duke of Cambridge says fatherhood has made him more emotionally in tune with the world around him.
In an interview with ITV – details of which can be read exclusively in Tuesday's Radio Times magazine – Prince William reveals that fatherhood has reinforced his emotional connection to Africa.
“The wildlife is incredibly vulnerable and I feel a real protective instinct, more so now that I am a father, which is why I get emotional about it,” he reveals. “You want to stand up for what is very vulnerable and needs protecting. Elephants, rhinos and many other animals that are persecuted don’t have a voice.
“I do regularly daydream, and Africa is definitely one of the places I go to. I’ve got hundreds of animals on my iPhone, noises and sounds of the bush, so if I’m having a stressful day, I’ll put a buffalo, a cricket or a newt on and it takes you back instantly to the bush. And it does completely settle me down.”
During the interview, his first since becoming a father and conducted at Kensington Palace in early August by Jane Treays, the Prince's eyes well up when he is shown pictures of the uglier side of poaching – footage of a rhino bleeding to death.
“It’s horrifying... It’s hard to put into words, the depth of sadness that I would feel if they became extinct,” he says.
The Prince also says he hopes to teach his son George about his passions but adds that he has more pressing concerns – such as changing nappies.
“At the moment, the only legacy I want to pass on to him [George] is to sleep more and maybe not to have to change his nappy quite so many times, but as he gets older I’m sure he’ll pick up the bug of conservation.”
The programme, Prince William’s Passion: New Father, New Hope, will air on ITV on Sunday 15 September.
Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times magazine.