The Duchess of Cambridge also shared that she wishes her newborn niece Lilibet Diana, the daughter of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, "the very best — I can't wait to meet her!"

By Simon Perry
June 11, 2021 09:02 AM
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Kate Middleton hosted U.S. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden on Friday, showing the first lady all about her long-standing commitment and work for children and parents.

Kate, 39, and Biden, 70, went to meet youngsters and teachers at the Connor Downs Academy preschool in the Hayle neighborhood of Cornwall, where the Group of Seven economic summit is being held in remote southwest corner of England.

It is a shared interest for the two women: Biden is a lifelong educator who champions schooling and the value of teachers. Soon after arriving, the pair paused at the entrance to put on masks before sitting down in mini-chairs and took part in a lesson with the young students.

The Duchess of Cambridge (right) and US First Lady Jill Biden during a visit to Connor Downs Academy
Dr. Jill Biden and Kate Middleton
| Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

The kids "are quite aware of who's coming and obviously incredibly excited in the way that a 4 or 5 year old can be," the head of school told reporters.

When Kate and Biden first walked in, the children were perhaps too excited: The pair was greeted by silence. "They've scared to death," the first lady joked as Kate said it was "the quietest class I've ever been to."

In the classroom, Biden and Kate talked with the children about what they were reading and what they were drawing.

The Duchess of Cambridge (right) and US First Lady Jill Biden during a visit to Connor Downs Academy
Kate Middleton and Dr. Jill Biden
| Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

They also headed outside to feed the school rabbits some snacks - with Biden bringing along a bowl of carrots. She and Kate also chatted quietly, out of earshot of the press.

During a Q&A session at the event, Kate also briefly shared that she wishes newborn niece Lilibet Diana, the daughter of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, "I wish her all the very best. I can't wait to meet her!" she said.

"We haven't met her yet. I hope that will be soon," Kate said. (She added that they haven't FaceTimed yet either.)

Kate, in an outfit by Alexander McQueen, and Biden then led a roundtable discussion with a number of representatives from the early years sector who have been influential in the Duchess' work in this space.

"It's a huge honor to have you in the United Kingdom," Kate told the first lady. "I'm very much looking forward to the conversation."

Biden thanked the school for having them and had a special appreciation for "the children - who were so inspiring and so well-behaved," she said with a chuckle. She added, "Early childhood education is so important to lay the foundations of all of our students."

The Duchess of Cambridge (right) and US First Lady Jill Biden during a visit to Connor Downs Academy
US First Lady Jill Biden (left) and the Duchess of Cambridge talk with children during a visit to Connor Downs Academy in Hayle, West Cornwall, during the G7 summit in Cornwall
| Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

The early years are the main focus of much of Princess Kate's public work, and last year saw a hugely successful initiative "5 Big Questions on the Under Fives,"  in which her  Royal Foundation talked with parents, careers, teachers, kindergarten workers and families about the years between the ages of 0 and 5.

The Duchess of Cambridge (right) and US First Lady Jill Biden during a visit to Connor Downs Academy
Kate Middleton and Dr. Jill Biden
| Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
The Duchess of Cambridge (right) and US First Lady Jill Biden during a visit to Connor Downs Academy
Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

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Their outing took place as the G-7 economic summit that brought President Joe Biden to the U.K. got under way. The Bidens arrived in the U.K. on Wednesday for their first overseas visit since they entered the White House in January. For most of the leaders gathering in Cornwall, it is the first time that they have been able to have face-to-face talks since the coronavirus pandemic triggered global lockdowns in the spring of 2020.

It is the first in a series of events involving the royals at the G-7 on Friday. Later, Queen Elizabeth will be joined by Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Kate in welcoming world leaders and taking part in various events at the Eden Project. Despite earlier reports that the Queen will be meeting President Biden for the first time at Windsor Castle on Sunday, she will do so at the reception.

But there is no doubt that the royal welcome for the Bidens will be cemented when the president, 78, and the first lady will go for tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle on Sunday. President Biden is the 13th serving U.S. president that the monarch has met in her nearly 70 years on the throne.

Thursday was the day that would have been the 100th birthday of the late Prince Philip, who died in April, and Dr. Biden tweeted how she and President Biden were thinking of the family in their grief.

For the Queen, it is a busy, and poignant, week. Last Friday, her 11th great-grandchild Lilibet Diana was born, then she marked Philip's centenary privately at home at Windsor Castle. On Saturday, she will be feted at the annual Trooping the Colour parade before entertaining the Bidens for tea on Sunday.