The Duke of Cambridge has spoken in detail for the first time about his life-changing role as a parent, outlining his hands-on approach to fatherhood and describing his new son as a “little bit of a rascal”.
In his first interview since Prince George was born on 22 July, William said he and Kate were enjoying their new experience as parents.
“He’s a little bit of a rascal, I’ll put it that way,” the duke said.
“He either reminds me of my brother or me when I was younger, I’m not sure, but he’s doing very well at the moment.”
Describing the new arrival as a “little fighter”, he alluded to more than the odd sleepless night, conceding that his son was not the best sleeper.
“He kind of, he wriggles around quite a lot,” he said. “And he doesn’t want to go to sleep that much, which is a little bit of a problem.”
William admitted he did not get up during the night to see to the baby as much as Kate, adding she was doing a “fantastic job”.
Sharing his feelings about George’s birth, he said he believed fatherhood had changed him already.
“I think the last few weeks for me have been just a very different emotional experience,” he said. “Something I never thought I would feel myself. And I find – again it’s only been a short period – but a lot of things affect me differently now.”
Asked about the moment he and Kate took George out of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, for the first time, he said they were “happy to show him off to whoever wanted to see him”.
He went on: “I think I was on such a high anyway. As any new parent knows, you’re only too happy to show off your new child and, you know, proclaim that he is the best-looking or the best everything.
“It’s nice that people want to see George so, you know, I’m just glad he wasn’t screaming his head off the whole way through.”
In a snapshot of the first hours after the baby was born, William spoke about changing his son’s first nappy. “I had every midwife staring at me, ‘You do it. You do it’,” he said.
He said he was “terrified” he would mess up fixing the baby’s car seat into the back of the vehicle in front of the world’s press and admitted he had practised the manoeuvre.
He said: “I know there’s been speculation about that. I had to practise, I really did. I was terrified that I was going to do some, you know, it was going to fall off or it wasn’t going to close properly. So, I had actually practised with that seat, but only once before.”
William said it was important for him to enjoy some independence and be able to drive his family away from the hospital. “Where I can be, I am as independent as I want to be. And same as Catherine and Harry,” he said.
“We’ve all grown up differently to other generations. And I very much feel if I can do it myself, I want to do it myself. And there are times where you can’t do it yourself and the system takes over or it’s appropriate to do things differently. But I think driving your son and your wife away from hospital was really important to me. And I don’t like fuss, so it’s much easier to just do it yourself.”
He said Kate was doing “very well”, while their black cocker spaniel was “coping all right” with the new addition.
“As a lot of people know who have got dogs and bringing newborns back, they take a little bit of time to adapt, but, no, he’s been all right so far,” he said. “He’s been slobbering sort of around the house a bit, so he’s perfectly happy.”
Asked about returning to work as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, William said: “Well, as a few fathers might know, I’m actually quite looking forward to going back to work. I’m just hoping the first few shifts I go back I don’t have any night jobs.”
The duke, who looked casual in a navy blue polo shirt bearing the logo of the Tusk Trust, of which he is a patron, also talked about his life as second in line to the throne.
Asked if he was doing things his own way, he said: “I’m just doing it the way I know this, you know. If it’s the right way, then brilliant. If it’s not, if it’s the wrong way, then I’ll try to do it better. I’m reasonably headstrong about what I believe in, and what I go for, and I’ve got fantastic people around me who give me great support and advice.”
• The duke was interviewed by CNN and the hour-long documentary, Prince William’s Passion: New Father, New Hope, will be shown on ITV next month.