Prince William shares how his poor eyesight has actually helped his anxiety

By Zach Harper

Stage fright is something many of us know a lot about. It can be daunting to speak in front of a large audience. If you're a royal, it's something you have to do quite often!

Prince William says he has experienced anxiety while speaking in front of other people. In his new mental health documentary, the Duke of Cambridge shared a way he's been able to get around his public speaking jitters.

"My eyesight started to tail off a little bit as I got older, and I didn't use to wear contacts when I was working, so actually, when I gave speeches, I couldn't see anyone's face," the future King says in Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health.

"And it helps because it's just a blur of faces and because you can't see anyone looking at you – I can see enough to read the paper and stuff like that – but I couldn't actually see the whole room. And actually, that really helps with my anxiety."

William met up with several players from Everton FC last year to talk about mental health. Photo: © CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

William is passionate about mental health, and the new film seeks to help further smash stigma around the issue when it airs May 28 on BBC One. In it, the father of three met with soccer players to discuss mental fitness – some of whom opened up to him about their own struggles.

Marvin Sordell, a former player with Fulham and Watford, told the prince about the difficulties he experienced after becoming a dad.

MORE: Prince William calls becoming a dad 'life-changing' and one of the 'scariest' experiences in new documentary

"You know, I found it really tough," Marvin told the prince. "I grew up without my father... I really struggled with my emotions at that time."

Of course, the future King lost his mother, Princess Diana, in a horrific car crash in 1997. He was just 15 years old at the time. He told Marvin he also felt all of those feelings coming back when he became a father. He and Duchess Kate have since had three children: Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 5 and Prince Louis, 2.

"Having children is the biggest life-changing moment," William said. "It really is... 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 – the emotions come back, in leaps and bounds."

He went on to say Kate helped him as those feelings came up.

"Me and Catherine, particularly, we support each other and we go through those moments together and we kind of evolve and learn together," he said.

"I can completely relate to what you're saying about children coming along – it's one of the most amazing moments of life, but it's also one of the scariest."

Last year, William – who is the President of the Football Association – started the Heads Up campaign. Like the new documentary, its intention is to use soccer to help people talk about mental health and remove stigma around it.

In this challenging time, it’s really hard to be separated from family and friends. It’s also a time when everyone needs a beautiful escape. Here at Hello! Canada, we’re still busy creating the magazine you know and love, to spread positivity and provide some entertainment as a gentle reprieve from all the hard news. And with our new special offer for subscribers, there’s never been a better time to have Hello! delivered directly to your front door. Why not treat yourself, or someone you love, today?

Don't miss a beat with HELLO! Canada's Daily Hits newsletter, your daily dose of royal and celebrity news, fashion, weddings and more. CLICK HERE to sign up for free!