Wandering around the Norfolk estate of Sandringham, Prince William speaks during his walk for the Apple Fitness+ Time To Walk podcast, which promotes mental health through physical activity and reliving past experiences. He starts at St Mary Magdalene Church, the sixteenth-century building on Sandringham’s grounds where the Royal Family traditionally attends the morning service on Christmas Day.
He also reveals intimate details about the memories the estate conjures up for him about his grandfather, the late Prince Philip, and more lighthearted anecdotes around his children’s battle to control the music in their household.
Sarah Vine praised the Duke of Cambridge for passing the “ultimate test of a person’s character and maturity,” achieving “industrious authenticity” while avoiding the trap of “empty grandstanding.”
Writing for the Mail on Sunday, Ms Vine commented: “ In just 38 minutes strolling gently through the Norfolk countryside, we learn what so many Royal-watchers have lately come to sense is true of William.”
She added: “Everything about it, from the concept to the simplicity and sincerity of its execution – and the fact that Apple is making a six-figure donation to charity on his behalf – reinforces the impression of the Duke of Cambridge as someone who understands the crucial difference between superficial sentiment and meaningful action.”
She continued that the future king, 39, “embodies rather than wears the mantle of Royalty,” combining duty with “a real and heartfelt connection to other people”.
She called the Duke a “remarkably well-rounded human being” with “an acute understanding of the responsibilities and challenges of his role”.
In the podcast, Prince William opened up about wrestling with depression following a tragic incident in which he was confronted with the mortality of his eldest son, Prince George.
He recounted how one event, which he witnessed when working as a helicopter pilot for the air ambulance service.
He added: “You just feel everyone’s pain, everyone’s suffering. And that’s not me. I’ve never felt that before.”
It is thought that the day to which the Duke was referring was the one in which Bobby Hughes, five, was left with brain damage after a car accident.
Details like these are praised by Ms Vine, who sees William’s frankness as a testament to why “millions of British citizens […] look to the Monarchy for guidance and inspiration”.
She did not have the same praise for the Duke of Sussex, adding: “If William’s experiences have shaped him into a thoughtful, rather noble individual, poor Harry’s seem to have done the opposite.
“Where William is funny, self-deprecating, down-to-earth, philosophical about life’s trials, Harry – as we have seen time and again over the course of the past few months – is peevish, self-obsessed, grandstanding.”
She continued: “The contrast between Harry’s approach and William’s could not be starker.
“And this brief insight into William’s character offers us the clearest explanation yet of why relations between the two brothers have become so strained.”
It has been widely reported that the two sibling Dukes have seen their relationship suffer since Prince Harry made the move to California in 2020.
Ms Vine remarked: “For someone as measured and as thoughtful as William, his brother’s constant outbursts and apparent disregard for anyone else’s feelings save his own must be at best baffling, at worst infuriating.”