I've had too many sad families with the air ambulance, William tells charity

The Duke of Cambridge has offered a glimpse of the emotional impact of his work as an air ambulance pilot.

William visited the Young Minds youth mental health charity with the Duchess and asked for "an easy one" when told they would be listening in to real calls to its helpline from concerned parents.

He told the volunteers at their London headquarters: "I'm carrying a lot of things at the moment. I'll be in floods of tears at the end otherwise.

"I've had too many sad families with the air ambulance so I can't have any more stuff. Something on the lower level if I can."

William has been a part-time helicopter pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) since July 2015, having previously served with RAF search and rescue. He donates his salary in full to charity.

William's comments came the day after he shared his experience of losing his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, while comforting a family who had recently experienced loss.

During a visit to Keech Hospice Care in Luton on Wednesday, William sympathetically rested his hand on the shoulder of Ben Hines, 14, who lost his own mother, Alexandra, in June 2015 at the age of 40, telling him: "Time makes it easier."

Speaking at Young Minds on Thursday, the Duke also revealed that he still gets nervous thinking about his GCSEs, on the day thousands of schoolchildren in England and Wales received their exam results.

Young Minds volunteer Saida Tahir, 46, told him they see a rise in calls around results time in August.

William replied: "It still gives me the heebie jeebies, I still get sweaty palms thinking about it."

The Duke took his exams at Eton, receiving three A*s, five As and two Bs.

Speaking after their meeting, Mrs Tahir, a special needs teacher and mother-of-two, said: "It brings memories back of his own exams, which is great because he remembers what it was like for himself and the anxiety he went through."

She added that the royal couple had seemed "passionate" about child mental health.

Over the past year, William and Kate have focused much of their public work on promoting the emotional and psychological well-being of children, teenagers and adults.

Young Minds is a member of the Heads Together umbrella group of existing charities brought together by the Cambridges and Prince Harry to tackle a problem that often brings stigma.

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