The mom of three also admits, “My children have bottomless pits. I feel like a constant feeding machine.”

By Simon Perry
July 14, 2020 09:38 AM
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Prince Louis hasn’t quite got a grip on social distancing, his mom Kate Middleton revealed on Tuesday. The 2-year-old royal toddler can’t hold back from trying to hug others!

“Louis doesn’t understand social distancing. He goes out wanting to cuddle anything, particularly any babies younger than him,” Kate said in a candid new interview.

The mom of three also revealed that the appetites of her three children – Louis, Prince George, 6, and Princess Charlotte, 4 — have only grown amid lockdown.

“My children have bottomless pits,” she said. “I feel like a constant feeding machine.”

The lighthearted moment came as Kate appeared on BBC Breakfast on Tuesday to meet with parents and their children to discuss a new online education initiative called Tiny Happy People.

Kate Middleton
Kensington Palace
Prince Louis
The Duchess of Cambridge
Prince William with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis
The Duchess of Cambridge

The language and literacy initiative aims to address the language gap among children aged under 5 across the U.K. A quarter of children don’t achieve the required level of literary development when they start school at around 5 years old.

Among those Kate met at Sandringham last week was Dexter, 2, and his parents Kerry and Darren. Kerry asked her son to say pasta and then he attempted to say “Princess Kate.”

“You are so clever. Look at you, so many words,” the princess told him.

Kate Middleton
Kensington Palace

Kerry went on to tell Kate about some of the things they had learned as a family since taking part in the Tiny Happy People resource. She told the royal, who helped in the development of the program, that “talking is free, speech is free.”

Kate said, “The science also shows how important relationships are and safe and nurturing environments are for children particularly under 5.”

“That’s what really matters. It’s not necessarily about the toys, it’s not the exciting places you go with them, but it’s actually how you as parents interact with them. That’s what really counts," she continued.

Kate Middleton
Kensington Palace

Kate also spoke about the strains that lockdown has brought for families — including her own.

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“I think some elements are going to be really positive,” she told the BBC. “So families have been able to spend a lot more precious time together. And really reflected on some of the simple things that actually really do make a difference to their kids – particularly in the first five years. And for others, it’s been really tough on relationships and on money issues and relationship issues — it’s been a real challenge.”

Kate Middleton
Kensington Palace

One of the parents asked the royal how the lockdown period has been for her.

“It has been challenging – I think challenging for loads of people," she replied. "Some parts have been really positive – spending extra time with the kids and everything like that but it’s equally stressful. You’re in confined spaces and having to homeschool, that was definitely a challenge. I always respected teachers before but now I have a newfound respect for them.”

She added, “In a way, we have forgotten almost how important relationships are. It’s that connectivity, that intimacy that we’ve all really missed during lockdown. If nothing else, hopefully, one of the silver linings is that people actually will really, really re-value how those things are.”

Throughout her public work, Princess Kate has been learning about and immersing herself in the world around the early years of children and their families, as she explores the issues they face.

“Lots of parents and families you speak to — we all know how important it is to look after our children and to nurture and care for young kids," Kate said.

"Before I started all this work, I didn’t realize just how important it is. Some of the science behind all of it is extraordinary. Ninety percent of our adult brain grows before the age of 5. It shows what a precious time this is and what an amazing opportunity us parents have got to really nurture their minds and really put them in the best possible position for their future life.”

Kensington Palace

Kate opened up about her own issues as a first-time mom, admitting to the show's host Louise Minchin, “I think it’s really hard. So much focus particularly during pregnancy and when you’ve just got a newborn baby is on the physical development of your baby and you as a mother. But what I think is really missing – what I found was missing too – was the support there on how to help their social and emotional development. How do you interact with a newborn baby, what is it that you should be doing?”

And she sympathized with parents who have felt “judged if they feel they are not doing a good job or if something’s not right," she said, adding, “They don’t feel that they can reach out for help, which is really sad because we all need support. I needed support. We have to work with those around us who can be there as our lifelines.”

Using her expertise in childhood development and as a mom herself, Kate helped advise the creators of the program. Kate took part in some workshops in November 2019 that led to the development of two of the animated films on the site, helping with the characters and the background to the scenes, which include information about making eye contact with babies and singing to baby bumps during pregnancy.