The Duke of Cambridge has spoken of his pride at how his father has rewritten the role of the Prince of Wales to transform the lives of others, even as he admits he will not follow directly in his footsteps in favour of being his “own man”.
The Duke, who will one day be the next Prince of Wales, said his father had been the “most charitable” Royal ever to be in the role, leaving him “so proud” of all the people he has helped.
But, he said, he will do things in his “own style” when his turn comes, insisting: “I think it’s important that each generation does things a little bit differently than the previous.”
The Duke is understood to want to work on fewer causes then his father, who has more than 420 patronages, spending more time to work deeper with each of them. Currently those causes include mental health, conservation, homelessness, youth engagement, and the Armed Forces.
Speaking on the documentary, the Prince is asked by interviewer John Bridcut about the unusual role, largely defined his own charitable interests during his decades as heir.
“You have to make of it what you feel is right,” the Prince said. “There’s nothing laid down, that’s what makes it so interesting, challenging and of course complicated.
“Each one of my predecessors had to find out how they would do it. A lot of them dropped dead or were killed before they got very far.
“I mean the Black Prince was the first one and he rushed about doing all the complicated bits and fighting battles while his father sat somewhere else.
“He was busy winning his spurs, and in a sense that’s still what has to happen I think.”
Asked whether he thought he had now set a template for future Princes of Wales, he said: “I doubt it. I mean my eldest son William may want to do it differently, slightly.
“The whole point is it has this flexibility about it.”
The Duke of Cambridge told the programme: “There are so many things I admire about my father: his work ethic, his passions, all that sort of side of things are absolutely crucial to how he’s been such a successful Prince of Wales and an amazing father.
“But personally I want to be my own man and take my own style, my own passions and my own interests my way, and do things slightly differently.
“I think it’s important that each generation does things a little bit differently than the previous.”
He added: “He’s the most charitable Prince of Wales there probably ever has been, and he’s made the next generation care more and be more involved in charity.
“One of the most things I’m most proud about my father is the Prince’s Trust.
“I think what he set up there for young people has been absolutely incredible. The amount of people I go around the country who tell me about the Prince’s Trust...I mean honestly its phenomenal, it really is and I’m so proud for the amount of people he has helped.”
The Duke of Sussex also spoke about the unique position his father has been in throughout his life as a working Roya.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but his sole job was to sit quietly and wait,” he said. “He was one of the first people in the family to end up making the most of that role, of that position.”