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Prince William and Prince Harry encouraged Tom Bradby to face mental health struggle

The ITV journalist has a close relationship with the royal brothers

Gemma Strong

Prince William and Prince Harry have developed a strong bond with ITV newsreader Tom Bradby over the years. He was asked to conduct the first interview with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge following their engagement announcement in 2010, and was subsequently invited to their wedding. He also famously presented a documentary focused on Harry's official visit to Africa last year with the Duchess of Sussex.

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Now the 53-year-old has spoken about the impact the royal brothers have had on his life – in particular, shaping his attitude to mental health. Tom revealed to the Daily Mail's Sebastian Shakespeare that William and Harry's campaign to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness prompted him to go on extended leave in 2018 because he was suffering from crippling insomnia.

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"I later told them, 'This made a big difference to me personally; the things you said made it easier for me to say to my employer, 'Look I'm not well, I need to take three months off,'" he shared.

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Tom famously presented a documentary focused on Harry and Meghan's visit to Africa

"Before that, I genuinely thought, I cannot not go into work because of a mental health issue, that's ridiculous."

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The father-of-three continued: "I can remember thinking as I made the call to ITN, 'I'm kind of OK to admit to this.' I think them [William and Harry] speaking out was a game-changer because of their immensely powerful position. Also, it's just logic that they've had mental health issues due to their mum's death — they'd be superhuman if they didn't."

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During an appearance on Good Morning Britain in January, Tom spoke about the Princes' relationship in the wake of Harry and Meghan's decision to step back as senior royals. "There are lots of people who would love there to be – including, I think the brothers themselves – would love them to be closer again, and with any luck, that will happen," he stated.

"But you know as families, we all know that stuff happens, things are said. And also it's a family dispute within a family firm. You know, you're working in a big family firm and everyone has their wishes and desires and ambitions, and they all have to be balanced up. And it's very hard."