The Duke of Cambridge has followed in the footsteps of Dolly Parton and Naomi Campbell and recorded an audio walking tour to encourage the public to get active for their mental health.
William strolled around the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, sharing personal stories and music as part of the Time To Walk series featured on the Apple watch, for the technology company’s Fitness+ subscribers.
Listeners are able to immerse themselves in walks featured in the series, hearing the footsteps of the narrator and the sounds around them as they take the audience on a journey through locations important to them.
During the recording, made in the spring, the duke talks about the importance of keeping mentally fit, reflects on a light-hearted moment when he was drawn out of his comfort zone, the value of listening as a way to empower others, and an experience that led him to prioritise mental health.
His walk takes him from the Queen’s residence, Sandringham House, past St Mary Magdalene Church – where the royal family attend the Christmas Day service – and ends at his nearby home of Anmer Hall.
William has also picked three of his favourite songs and explains why they are important to him.
Jay Blahnik, Apple’s vice president of fitness technologies, said when Time To Walk was launched in January: “Walking is the most popular physical activity in the world, and one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies.
“A walk can often be more than just exercise – it can help clear the mind, solve a problem, or welcome a new perspective.”
The duke had listened to Time To Walk before taking part and was impressed by the aim of the series to help listeners support their wellbeing by encouraging them to get active, as it chimes with his own campaigns to promote the mental health of the nation, especially emergency services workers.
William has chosen three charities, offering support for those in crisis or emotional turmoil, to each receive a five-figure donation from Apple in light of Christmas being a challenging period for many and the positive impact walking has on mental health.
The organisations are Shout, the text helpline service developed by William’s Royal Foundation, Crisis Text Line, which provides a similar service but globally, and the Australian charity Lifeline, which provides crisis support for people in emotional distress.
– Apple will stream three special audio airings of the Time To Walk episode featuring William free of charge on Apple Music 1, the global radio station on Apple Music, on Monday.