An out of body experience. Prince William couldn't believe he had the courage to get up and sing alongside Taylor Swift and Jon Bon Jovi at a charity event at Kensington Palace, which took place in 2013.
"So, around about – it must be nearly 10 years ago now – I can't believe I'm actually telling this story. I went to a charity fundraising gala for Centrepoint, which is a young homeless charity that I am very fond of and have supported for many years. It's an annual fundraiser, and I turn up, and Jon Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift are at the event, which nearly knocked me off my feet, as well," the 39-year-old said on Apple Fitness+'s Time to Walk series, which premiered on December 6.
"When I sat down to watch Jon Bon Jovi do his performance, I thought, 'That's it. My job is done. I'll get a dinner in a minute, and I might be able to have a chat to some people, and, you know, I'm off-duty a little bit now.' Little did I think what was going to happen next," he continued. "I'm sat next to Taylor Swift. She's on my left. And after Jon does his first song, there's a pause, and she turns to me. She puts her hand on my arm, looks me in the eye, and says, 'Come on, William. Let's go and sing.'"
The dad-of-three is still shocked he performed with the two musical artists.
"To this day, I still do not know what came over me. Honestly, even now I'm cringing at what happened next, and I don't understand why I gave in. But, frankly, if Taylor Swift looks you in the eye, touches your arm, and says, 'Come with me…' I got up like a puppy and went, 'Yeah, OK, that seems like a great idea. I'll follow you,'" he recalled. "I walked up on stage in a trance, and then sort of halfway through Jon Bon Jovi's 'Livin' On a Prayer' song, I wake up," he says. "And I'm thinking to myself, 'Am I standing on the stage singing 'Livin' On a Prayer' when I don't even know the words?'
"But the Centrepoint young guys and girls were there all loving it and cheering away. So I thought, 'Well, if they're enjoying it, then the night is for them. So sod it. I can't be the doofus who's going to ruin it for everyone,'" he quipped. "And so I desperately try and remember some of the words and sing as hard as I can. Beneath my black tie, there was a lot of sweating going on. I felt like a swan, where I was trying to keep myself composed on the outside, but inside, the little legs are paddling fast."
William made it clear that he is not always "comfortable" when on stage — but this time was much different. "When I do speeches and things like that, I've done so many now, they're not a problem. But I've not done singing," he admitted. "At times, when you're taken out of your comfort zone, you've got to roll with it. And I think we've gotten to the stage in this life where we do micromanage ourselves. We do worry about: how do we look on social media? Who said what about me? What am I wearing? There's so many pressures, but I think making a fool of yourself is OK."
Ultimately, William was happy how the night played out. "It's OK to not take yourself too seriously and have those moments where you let go and you just go, 'Do you know what? I'm OK with this.' So, yeah, go on and have a laugh. And don't go and watch the video of me singing. Or do go and watch it, but just laugh to yourself about how I was feeling."