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Prince William and Gareth Southgate talk mental health in Sandringham

The royal met the England manager in support of the Heads Up campaign

Danielle Stacey

The Duke of Cambridge shared a glimpse of the Sandringham Estate's gorgeous gardens as he chatted with England manager Gareth Southgate in support of the Heads Up campaign. The pair spoke about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation's mental wellbeing, and the role football can play in encouraging more people to seek support.

READ: Prince William and Kate Middleton treat their children to a special staycation - details

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WATCH: Prince William and Gareth Southgate talk mental health 

Prince William, 38, and Gareth, 49, met during a socially distanced visit on the Sandringham Estate earlier this month. The pair conversed on separate wooden benches in the sprawling gardens of the Queen's Norfolk abode, where the royals usually spend Christmas together. A tree-lined lake could also be seen behind the pair in the film.

Discussing mental health, the Duke said: "The idea of being able to talk about it is not a weakness. The idea of being able to be open about your emotions and fix a problem is a positive, it’s a strength, not a weakness. And I think that that culture is something that we hopefully are seeing a slight shift in."

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Gareth spoke about overcoming challenges which had an impact upon his mental health

Gareth said: "I think there is very often this feeling 'I'm the only one, there's nowhere to go' and some of the most successful people in the world have had these issues or have problems with self-confidence, self-belief. It doesn't have to be an extreme case. There are various issues with people’s mental health, that can affect how they feel or how they perform and it’s making sure that we don’t feel that there’s a stigma for people, that it’s acceptable to look for help."

Discussing missing the penalty at the Euro 1996 tournament, Gareth continued: "You walk away from the stadium feeling that ultimately you are the person who is responsible for that finishing. I never felt anger, actually I just felt regret, remorse, responsibility. To a small degree that still lives with me, to have failed under pressure, under that huge spotlight is hard professionally to take.

"It's tough because even now I still have regrets for the team I played with. So although I’ve had elements of resurrection and redemption, the team I played with missed the opportunity to win a major tournament and those guys didn’t get another chance... The reality is, we have to face those things, and we can't hide from them. I can't hide from the fact that happened. Then I have a decision in how I approach dealing with it and time has given me the opportunity to put that into a better perspective."

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Football may be behind closed doors, but it is so important that we keep breaking the silence around mental health - and make our support heard by those who need it. Today we are proud to share the first three episodes in our new #SoundOfSupport series, ahead of the #HeadsUpFACupFinal. Each episode will see two familiar faces from the footballing world sit down for a candid conversation on mental health. In this episode, right off the back of their first Premier League win in 30 years, @liverpoolfc manager Jurgen Klopp and player@andyrobertson94 discuss how they’ve dealt with setbacks in their careers, grieved the loss of loved ones who never saw them make it in the game, and celebrated the supportive culture in their club. For more episodes in the series, swipe up in our stories.. If you need to talk but don’t know where to turn, click the link in our bio to connect with one of our charity partners. You can text HeadsUp to 85258 at any time of day or night – for free and in confidence – to be connected with a trained crisis volunteer. #HeadsUp #HeadsTogether #HeadsUpFACup #HeadsUpFACupFinal #SoundOfSupport #MentalHealth #MentalHealthAwareness #Conversations #Football #Liverpool #Klopp #JurgenKlopp #Robertson #AndyRobertson

A post shared by Heads Together (@heads_together) on

The short film is part of #SoundofSupport series ahead of the Heads Up FA Cup Final on Saturday 1 August. Other football stars and fans included in the series include Jesse Lingard and Maya Jama, Jürgen Klopp and Andy Robertson, Phil Foden and İlkay Gündoğan, Rio Ferdinand and Owen Farrell, and Alex Scott and Troy Deeney. 

To mark the culmination of the campaign, the Duke of Cambridge will host an outdoor screening of the match between Arsenal and Chelsea on the Sandringham Estate, which will be attended by a small group of frontline workers, beneficiaries of the campaign's charity partners, local fans, and Heads Up ambassadors.

William and Kate have been residing at their nearby country home, Anmer Hall, with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, since the UK lockdown was imposed in March. The Cambridges reportedly enjoyed a family trip to the Isles of Scilly in Cornwall this week.

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