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.”
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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.