Aug. 19, 2013 at 8:10 AM ET
In his first official interview since the birth of his son George, Prince William revealed the details of his first days of daddy duty.
"I did the first nappy, a badge of honor," he said, using the Brit word for diapers. "I had every midwife staring at me."
In an interview that aired Monday on CNN’s "New Day," the 31-year-old revealed that Prince George is "a little bit of a rascal...He either reminds me of my brother or me when I was younger, I'm not sure, but he's doing very well at the moment."
Duchess Kate, Will said, is doing "a fantastic job" as a mom.
"For me, Catherine and now little George are my priorities — and Lupo," he said of the couple's Cocker spaniel. "As a lot of people know who have got dogs and bringing a newborn back, they take a little bit of time to adapt, but he's been all right so far. He's been slobbering around the house a bit, so he's perfectly happy."
As for masterfully placing the baby into his car seat the day they left the hospital, William admits it wasn't his first go-round.
“I know there’s been a lot of speculation about that,” he said. “I had to practice. I really did. I was terrified that it was going to fall off."
Another move that surprised royal watchers: Will driving his wife and the baby home himself.
"I think driving your son and your wife away from the hospital was really important to me," the prince said. "I don't like fuss, so it's much easier to do it yourself.
“I’m as independent as I want to be, same as Catherine and Harry,” he said. “We’ve all grown up differently to other generations. I very much feel if I can do it myself I want to do it myself. And there are times when you can’t do it yourself and the system takes over — or it’s appropriate to do things differently."
The prince is well aware that doing things his own way — and not the traditional way — might be unsettling to some.
"I'm just doing it the way I know," he said. "And if it's the right way, then, brilliant. If it's the wrong way, then I try and do it better. I'm reasonably headstrong about what I believe in and what I go for and I've got fantastic people around me who give me great support and advice."
Prince William, like any other proud dad, was only too happy to share his new baby with the world.
"Really, we were happy to show him off to whoever wanted to see him," the prince said. "As any parent knows you're only too happy to show off your new child and proclaim he's the best looking or the best everything."
The last few weeks, Will said, "have been a very different emotional experience. It’s something I never thought I would feel myself. It’s only been a short period, but a lot of things affect me differently now.”
Like any other parent, Prince William suddenly finds himself captivated by the new baby.
Take a recent polo match, for instance, where the prince said he had trouble getting his head in the game with images of nappies dancing in his head as he thundered down the field.
Parenthood makes you think about a lot of things, not the least of which is preserving the planet you’re bequeathing to your kids. In William’s case, the birth of a son just intensified a long abiding need to protect wildlife for future generations.
Like his father before him, the prince has always been passionate about preserving Africa and its endangered species. Now he’s got an added incentive: He’d like his son to be able to enjoy the same Africa he did as a boy, when his father, Prince Charles, took him there.
He’s hoping to spark that interest in the young price, perhaps, by “whispering sweet nothings in his ear,” William said. “I’ll probably have toy elephants and rhinos around the room and cover it in lots of bushes and things like that — make him grow up as if he’s in the bush.
“At the moment, the only legacy I want to pass on to him is to sleep more and maybe not to change his nappy quite so many times.”
That interest in conservation has become so much of a family affair that the prince’s wife, Duchess Kate, may make her first public appearance joining her husband at an awards dinner for Tusk, an organization that fights to protect endangered special in Africa, on September 12, according to an ITV report. That’s something Palace officials have yet to confirm. Kate hasn’t attended a public event since the July 22 birth of Prince George.
The portion of the interview that aired Monday was part of a one-hour special, “Prince William’s Passion: New Father, New Hope,” which airs on CNN on September 15th at 10 pm E.T.