Kate tells how she, Prince William and the children have coped with lockdown in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 12:58 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:26 14 July 2020
The Duchess of Cambridge has said Prince Louis is too young to understand social distancing and wants to “cuddle everything”.
Kate revealed how her two-year-old was coping with the restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic as she met parents to mark the launch of the BBC’s Tiny Happy People digital resource.
The Duchess, Prince William and their three young children have been staying at Anmer Hall, near King’s Lynn, during the pandemic.
MORE - Prince William on life in lockdown in Norfolk
Chatting with Kerry, Darren and their son Dexter, also two, under a large canopy in the gardens at Sandringham for a film shown on BBC Breakfast, the Duchess said: “I was just saying, Louis doesn’t understand social distancing.
“So he goes out wanting to cuddle everything, particularly any babies younger than him.”
Kate also remarked on Louis’ ability to run at speed and how Louis and Dexter were “very close” in age with their birthdays only being a month apart.
Kerry, from Norfolk, said: “He’s now taken to running everywhere.”
Kate replied, laughing: “Oh my God, I know that. You put Louis down and he’s off.”
MORE - Prince William visits village pub for chat, chips and cider
She also opened up about Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Louis’ large appetites, saying: “My children have bottomless pits. I feel like a constant feeding machine.”
Dexter was asked by his mother: “Can you say Princess Kate?”
When he obliged and delivered the words with a big smile, the duchess replied: “You are so clever. Look at you. So many words.”
Kate asked Dexter: “Is that your digger? It’s very nice. Louis would like that digger.”
The Duchess met three families who have been involved in the creation and piloting of the online platform.
The Duchess met three families who have been involved in the creation of Tiny Happy People, which features free activity and play ideas for children up to four years old.
Dressed in a long black dress decorated with large white polka dots, Kate also held a socially distanced chat with Ryan and his eight-month-old daughter Mia, from Dunstable, and Henrietta, Abu and their 11-month-old daughter Amirah, from London.
Kate expressed her own feelings about how to cope with a return to normality as children are given more freedom.
“How do you extend that umbilical cord having had that precious time together? I know from personal perspective having lots of that extra time together is fine,” she said.
“But then actually being able to stand back again and go back to how things were, it’s really hard for lots of families.”
Ryan asked the Duchess how she had coped with lockdown, and she spoke about the stresses of home-schooling.
Kate said: “It’s been challenging, challenging for loads of people. Some parts have been really positive, spending extra time with the kids.
“It’s equally stressful, you’re in sort of confined spaces and having to home-school - that was definitely a challenge.
“I always respected teachers before, but now I have a new-found respect for them.”
Kate also had a frank conversation with Henrietta and Abu after the couple said their relationship had suffered during lockdown.
The Duchess described the responsibility of parenting as “really tough”, and told them: “I think you’re doing an amazing job.”
Kate said Tiny Happy People is “gold dust” for parents and said she wished she’d had access to the tips and tools available as a first-time mother.
The Duchess has been working behind the scenes on the broadcaster’s education initiative and was interviewed by BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin about the project.
Kate stressed it is not the toys that children have which matter, but how parents interact with their youngsters.
“The science also shows how important relationships are, and safe and nurturing environments are, for children, particularly under five,” she said.
“That’s what really matters. Actually, it’s not necessarily about the toys, the exciting places you go with them.
“It’s about how you as parents interact with them. That’s what really counts.”
Kate secretly visited Broadcasting House last November to work on some of the video resources, helping with the character and background development for the two animations.
- Tiny Happy People can be found at bbc.co.uk/tiny-happy-people
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