Prince William jokes he needs a personal trainer after lockdown

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·6 min read
William joked he would need a personal trainer after the second lockdown in England. (Kensington Palace)
William joked he would need a personal trainer after the second lockdown in England. (Kensington Palace)

The second lockdown has been hard on all of us, with shorter daylight hours making it harder to cram in daily exercise.

And it seems it’s a problem for Prince William, too, who joked he would need a military personal trainer when England is released from the lockdown measures in place.

William, 38, held a video call with Leading Physical Instructor Damon Bell and others from the military as he marked Remembrance Day.

The royal recalled being “beasted” by trainers during his own time in the Royal Air Force.

Speaking to Bell, who is deployed on HMS Montrose in the Gulf on Op Kipion, the UK’s long-standing maritime presence in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, he said: “I remember being beasted by people like you Damon on the (HMS) Iron Duke.

“The on-deck PT was always quite a fun afternoon. I think after a number of lockdowns I might need your PT skills to help get back into shape again.”

Bell replied: “Always on the end of a Zoom call, Sir, whenever you’re ready.”

EMBARGOED TO 2200 TUESDAY NOVEMBER 10 Handout image dated 05/11/20 issued by Kensington Palace of (top row, left to right) Flight Sergeant Gemma Thomson and Leading Physical Instructor Damon Bell, and (bottom row, left to right) Corporal Jiwan Kumar Thapa and the Duke of Cambridge, during a video call to mark Remembrance week, where he has joked about needing to get back into shape after lockdown.
Flight Sergeant Gemma Thomson, Leading Physical Instructor Damon Bell, and (bottom row, left to right) Corporal Jiwan Kumar Thapa and the Duke of Cambridge on a video call. (Kensington Palace)

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William and Bell also spoke about the £40 million Navy drugs bust the prince was part of when he was on HMS Iron Duke in 2008.

As Bell said a recent haul was only half of the Duke of Cambridge’s effort, William replied: “I wasn’t going to bring that up but I’m glad that’s still being talked about.”

William also spoke to Flight Sergeant Gemma Thomson, whose son was born on Remembrance Day 2014, which William said was “very special”.

Flt Sgt Thomson said: “It is so much more than just physical sacrifices but also small sacrifices people continue to make. Remembrance, other than my son, is a very important time.

“Remembrance is so much bigger than myself is something I articulate to my son when I’m making him lay a wreath on his birthday.”

William said: “Got to get the balance of having a party and laying a wreath – one quite solemn, one quite chaotic.”

The pair joked about children’s parties and cake, with father-of-three William saying “then the sugar kicks in and it’s all chaos after that”.

Also on the call was Corporal Jiwan Kumar Thapa, of the Queen’s Gurkha Signals. He is stationed in Somalia and is the third generation of his family to serve, after his father and grandfather who were both in Gurkha regiments for the British Army.

William said: “You followed in a very proud history.

“We are very grateful for all the hard work and wonderful history that we have had with the Gurkhas. You have a fearsome reputation around the world.”

EMBARGOED TO 2200 TUESDAY NOVEMBER 10 Handout photo dated 09/11/20 issued by Kensington Palace of the Duchess of Cambridge during a video call where she marked Remembrance week by speaking to three women who have mourned the loss of partners or close family and heard how they have been supported by the Royal British Legion.
The Duchess of Cambridge during a video call where she marked Remembrance week. (Kensington Palace)

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William’s wife Kate also made video calls to mark Remembrance Day. The couple was able to attend the annual Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in London in person on 8 November, but are likely to have to carry out many of their duties via video calls now that England is back in lockdown.

Kate called military families who have lost loved ones and told them to be proud of the sacrifice and bravery they showed.

Kate said: “I’m sure you spend your time every day remembering your loved ones but it’s so important that the nation comes together and really spends time thinking about those who have lost their lives and the families that have been impacted.

“It’s been a real honour to speak to all of you and I think I speak for the whole nation when I say just how proud you should be of your loved ones, and for the sacrifice and the bravery that they’ve shown.

“I’ll certainly be thinking of you this difficult week and will be for many years to come.”

The duchess spoke to Charlton Taylor, 11, and his mum, Sonia Fleming, about Charlton’s father Royal Marine Michael Taylor, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

Charlton showed the duchess his dad’s medals, with the royal remarking: “It’s very special that you’re wearing them.”

EMBARGOED TO 2200 TUESDAY NOVEMBER 10 Handout image dated 09/11/20 issued by Kensington Palace of (top row, left to right) Chantelle Wynn and Serena Alexander, and (bottom row, left to right) the Duchess of Cambridge, Charlton and Sonia Fleming, during a video call where Kate marked Remembrance week by speaking to three women who have mourned the loss of partners or close family and heard how they have been supported by the Royal British Legion.
Chantelle Wynn and Serena Alexander, and (bottom row, left to right) the Duchess of Cambridge, Charlton Taylor and Sonia Fleming, on a video call. (Kensington Palace)

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Charlton was 10 months old when his father died, and Fleming’s other sons were 11 and 13.

She said: “Probably the hardest thing is doing it on your own.”

The Duchess of Cambridge, 38, also spoke to Chantelle Wynn, from Tamworth, who was widowed in 2015 when her husband took his own life, after struggling with post traumatic stress disorder following a posting in Afghanistan with the Territorial Army.

Wynn said: “Obviously, this time of year is always really bad and with his anniversary the day before Remembrance Day, this week is really significant. But we plod on and we’ve got family who support us so we get through.”

Watch: Socially-distanced service at the Cenotaph marks Remembrance Sunday

Kate, who wore a black and white blouse with a poppy pinned to the collar, asked Wynn what Remembrance Day meant to her now.

The mother of two replied: “We’ve always gone out and gone to the parades, which we still do now with the children just to show them that you have got to remember those who fought and those who have got invisible injuries and burdens – it’s not just those servicemen who died while they have been over there”

Kate replied: “It’s the physical and mental impact.”

William laid a wreath at the Cenotaph on Sunday, while Kate watched the ceremony from a balcony at the Foreign Office.

The Queen was also there, but with social distancing guidelines in place, the royals were spread out on more balconies than usual.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK