The Duke of Cambridge has voiced concern about new fathers who have no idea what to do and no one to turn to.
The Duke, a father-of-three, said he worried “an awful lot” about men who did not have a support network or anyone around them who could offer crucial guidance at such a daunting time.
Both the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge took part in a video call with a group supported by Future Men, a London-based charity providing guidance to men and boys.
The Duke asked: "How does Future Men find some of these other guys out there who have not got the realisation, or the wherewithal if you like, to go looking for services like Future Men and be able to build on a happy future as a father?
"Because I worry an awful lot, a lot of dads out there who just don’t know what to do, and they don’t know where to go. And they may not have such good – either grounding, foundations or support around them to be able to know what to do."
The Duke has previously spoken of the “life-changing” moment he became a father after the trauma of his young life, revealing that having children was one of the “scariest” moments he has experienced.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s video call with Future Men
He said the emotions linked to his mother’s death, when he was just 15, flooded back “in leaps and bounds” after the birth of Prince George, as he felt overwhelmed by the realisation that Diana, Princess of Wales, was not there to help him.
The Duke’s relationship with his own father, the Prince of Wales, has been a rocky one, but the pair are said to have grown much closer in recent years.
In a 2018 interview to mark Prince Charles’s 70th birthday, the Duke admitted, “I would like him to have more time with the children… to, you know, play around with the grandchildren. When he’s there, he’s brilliant, but we need him there as much as possible.”
Photograph of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, released to celebrate The Duke’s birthday
Credit: The Duchess of Cambridge
On Father’s Day in June, Kensington Palace released a photograph of father and son leaning on each other affectionately, offering a rare insight into how their relationship had evolved.
The video call with fathers came as the Duchess of Cambridge prepared to release the results of her landmark national survey on Early Years development.
The Duchess has made championing the early development of children one of the main pillars of her public work, examining the impact they can have on adult life.
She told the fathers on the Zoom call: "Dads play such an important role it shouldn’t be a bad thing to reach out for help and advice."
One of the participants, Darren Smith, who is married with a son called Messiah, said: "We’re superheroes to these kids, we’re their role models. We have to set a good example, for the kids and the future men of tomorrow."