The Prince of Wales cracked jokes at an iconic LGBT entertainment venue as he commemorated the end of Pride month with a heartwarming short film on mental health.
William, 41, quipped that he felt ‘underdressed’ during his visit to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London as he sported a cream blazer and pale blue shirt to chat with volunteers from The Mix and Shout, a youth charity.
‘I should’ve come in some sequins or some glitter,’ he remarked. ‘Maybe next time I’ll bring it.’
Alexis Caught, who is also an author and podcast host specialising in mental health and wellness in the queer community, joyfully replied: ‘Come back on Friday night!’
The interview-style video also saw the royal in conversation Michael Lister and Sharvari Patil – both 20 – as he asked them about navigating mental health challenges.
He slammed the ‘unbelievable, terrifying’ statistic that one in eight young men in the community kill themselves.
‘Now, we categorically know it is not sexuality or gender identity which causes mental ill health,’ Alexis replied.
‘It’s actually experience from the wider world. Experiencing homophobia, discrimination, negative discourse on social media, bullying, lack of protections, fear about how you’re going to be rejected by family perhaps.
‘All of those things add to the mental load.’
The Prince also heard about the difficulties young men in particular may face, especially when it comes to asking for mental health support.
‘I think it’s very difficult to sometimes tackle it for young men,’ Michael said.
‘You know, young men are very notorious for not wanting to open up, not wanting to share, not wanting to look vulnerable.’
‘I think guys particularly find emotions quite difficult, don’t quite know how to deal with them,’ William agreed.
‘Strong emotions, no emotions, whatever it might be, kind of, find it quite hard and I think that’s where we’ve got to get better at having an open conversation about these things.’
The father-of-three finished by thanking the volunteers ahead of the Pride parade celebrations tomorrow, adding: ‘I feel a big party coming on for you!’
‘Thank you for your insights of growing up,’ he continued.
‘I think it will mean an awful lot to everyone to talk about it and hear it from people who have lived it.’
The Mix and Shout are both charity partners of the Heads Together campaign which was founded by The Royal Foundation.
Both charities offer free, confidential support for young people who are struggling and feel alone.
William has for years been vocal in his support of the LGBTQIA+ community.
In 2019, the father-of-three said he would wholeheartedly support his children if they were gay as he spoke to young people disowned by their own parents because of their sexuality.
The future king was the first royal to open up on the subject and admitted he had discussed it with his wife Kate.
He had also confessed a worry that his kids could also be ‘persecuted’ if they were gay.
When asked about his children he said: ‘The one thing I’d be worried about is how they – particularly the roles my children fill – is how that is going to be interpreted and seen.
‘So Catherine and I have been doing a lot of talking about it to make sure they were prepared. I think communication is so important with everything, in order to help understand it you’ve got to talk a lot about stuff and make sure how to support each other and how to go through the process’.