Prince William talks to frontline staff about family during trip to Edinburgh

Prince William highlighted the importance of speaking with family members as he met emergency service heroes in Edinburgh to watch the Scottish Cup final.

By Katharine Hay
Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 7:15 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 12:38 pm

William spoke to first responders and their families at Cold Town House in Edinburgh on Saturday to say thankyou for their hard work during the pandemic.

The duke, 38, who was on the second day of his Scotland tour, chatted while watching St Johnstone defeat Hibernian 1-0, with the game shown on big screens in the rooftop bar by Edinburgh Castle.

Speaking to a table of first responders, William asked how they had kept in touch with families during lockdown.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

He said: “The funny thing is, when I spoke to my family I found it so good to catch up, but then you haven’t anything to catch up on because no-one had done anything.”

When one guest said they had not seen their in-laws for a year, William joked: “Some people are quite happy they haven’t seen their in-laws for a year.”

After laughter, he added: “I love my in-laws.”

The duke also took time before the match began to speak to communications manager Kirsten Walker, 36, and her sister, police officer Lindsay Walker, 39, whose father Brian Walker took his own life in June 2018 aged 68.

The Duke of Cambridge watches the Scottish Cup Final with emergency responders at the Cold Town House in the Grassmarket rooftop bar in Edinburgh picture: Jeff J Mitchell

Lindsay said afterwards: “He seems to care a lot about mental health generally and the importance of talking and supporting each other generally.”

Kirsten said: “We’ve been affected by suicide and so we had a good chat about mental health and he was clearly passionate about it.

“We have both had traumatic bereavement, as he lost his mum and me and my sister have lost our dad.

“We are all trauma survivors and so is he.”

Those watching the game with William were either emergency responders or a family member suffering trauma and bereavement.

Many have spoken about their mental health challenges and how they have reached out for support.

William was in Edinburgh on Friday for his Heads Together initiative that uses football to fight the stigma of not talking about mental health issues in young men.

He has previously spoken about the impact of “traumatic” air ambulance call-outs while he was serving as an air ambulance pilot, which nearly took him “over the edge”.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.