Prince William On Singing With Taylor Swift: I Don't Know What Came Over Me
By Emily Lee
December 6, 2021
Prince William is fondly looking back on a memorable encounter he had with Taylor Swift nearly ten years ago. In a rare candid moment, the Duke of Cambridge recalled joining Jon Bon Jovi and Swift on stage amid a charity fundraiser to belt out 'Livin' on a Prayer' together.
"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," Prince William began. "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."
"When I sat down to watch Jon Bon Jovi do his performance, I thought, 'That's it. My job is done. I'll get 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,'" the future king recalled. "Little did I think what was going to happen next."
"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,' " Prince William continued.
"To this day, I still do not know what came over me," the Duke of Cambridge said of his decision to hop up on stage alongside Swift and Bon Jovi. "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, okay, that seems like a great idea. I'll follow you.'"
As the second person in line for the British throne, it's a rare sight to see Prince William let loose in public. This might be the royal was even more surprised than anyone else to find himself on that stage. "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 recalled. "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," he remembered happily. "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.' 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."
Prince William spoke about still feeling nervous when he's performing public duties. Though he's gotten more comfortable giving royal speeches over the years, he remembers feeling a bit self-conscious about his singing when rocking out with Swift and Bon Jovi.
"Now, a lot of people might think that I'm comfortable on stage. 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 said "At times, when you're taken out of your comfort zone, you've got to roll with it. 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 okay.
"It's okay to not take yourself too seriously and have those moments where you let go and you just go, 'Do you know what? I'm okay with this,'" he continued. "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."