Prince William lost his public speaking nerves thanks to his deteriorating eyesight.

The 37-year-old future king admitted he used to experience a "bit of anxiety" ahead of having to address a crowded room, but when he was unable to distinguish faces because of his poor vision, he felt more confident as he didn't feel under so much scrutiny.

He said: "You're like, 'This has to go right. I don't want to mess this up'. There's a lot of people watching and you can see certain people.

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"My eyesight started to sort of tail off a little bit as I got older, and I didn't used to wear contacts when I was working, so actually when I gave speeches I couldn't see anyone's face.

"It helps because it's just a bit of a blur of faces, and because you can't see anyone looking at you. I could see enough to read the paper and stuff like that, but I couldn't actually see the whole room.

"And actually that really helped with my anxiety.

"I didn't realise at the time but looking back I'm like that's what helped because I couldn't see everyone's eyes, you don't feel like the whole weight of the room is watching you."

Prince William shared in the new documentary Football, Prince William and our Mental Health that his deteriorating eyesight helped his public speaking nerves. Photo / Getty Images
Prince William shared in the new documentary Football, Prince William and our Mental Health that his deteriorating eyesight helped his public speaking nerves. Photo / Getty Images

Elsewhere in the documentary, titled Football, Prince William and our Mental Health, the royal - who has Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2, with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge - admitted becoming a father brought back the trauma of losing his mother, Princess Diana, in a car crash in 1997.

Speaking to Marvin Sordell, who quit football last year due to depression, he opened up after the former Watford striker admitted becoming a dad in 2017 brought back painful memories of growing up without his father.

William said: "Having children is the biggest life-changing moment, it really is.

"I think when you've been through something traumatic in life and that is, like you say, your dad not being around, my mother dying when I was younger, the emotions come back in leaps and bounds.

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"Because it's a very different phase in life and there is no one really there to help you. I definitely found it at times very overwhelming."

Football, Prince William and our Mental Health is airing now on the UK's BBC One channel