Kate Middleton Wears a Mask During Visit to a Baby Bank: I 'Literally Burst Into Tears'
The royal mom visited a baby bank, a charity that acts as a food bank for baby supplies
Kate Middleton stepped out on Tuesday in support of one of her biggest royal causes — supporting parents and caregivers of young children.
The royal mom of three headed to Sheffield in South Yorkshire to visit Baby Basics, a charity that acts as a food bank for baby supplies such as diapers, wipes, food and books for families in need.
During her visit, Kate helped unpack donations and spoke with parents "about how baby banks have provided them with invaluable support when they have needed it most," the Kensington Royal Instagram account shared on Tuesday. For the outing, Kate wore a white Suzannah dress paired with silver heels and a face mask by Amaia, one of the Duchess' favorite children's brands.
Kate made some private visits to other baby banks across the U.K. earlier this year and shared on Tuesday how emotional those visits can be. The mother of three revealed that she "literally burst into tears" after returning home from a baby bank in West Norfolk at the beginning of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
"It can get very emotional," Kate said, according to video obtained by The Daily Mail. "I remember a couple of the families I met from King's, Lynn and I went home and literally burst into tears, their stories were so moving. The struggles they have gone through, the bravery they have shown ... in extraordinary circumstances. Helping their families through extraordinary times."
A 2018 survey estimated that one in 100 families in England with children under 5 have visited a baby bank, and the need for their services and donations has increased amid the COVID-19 pandemic. After hearing about the demand during a previous private visit to Baby Basics in West Norfolk, Kate spearheaded a drive for donations from brands and high street retailers.
"Over recent months, I have heard from families who have been supported by baby banks through the most difficult of times and I have been deeply moved by their stories," Kate said. "Having somewhere to turn to for support is important for all families, and baby banks work every day, up and down the country, to provide immediate, tangible and practical help for parents and carers when they are most in need."
The Duchess of Cambridge added, "Baby banks are driven by incredible volunteers, demonstrating the power of community spirit in supporting families and coming together to raise the next generation. Thanks to the generosity of the companies taking part in this initiative, baby banks across the U.K. will be able to support even more families through this particularly challenging time."
This marks Kate's first outing since she recently headed to the Isles of Scilly, just off the south-west tip of England, with Prince William and their three children for a family vacation. For William, it was a throwback to his own childhood when he and brother Prince Harry were taken to the islands by their parents, Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
William and Kate, both 38, chose to stay in the U.K. for the staycation with children Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2, amid the continuing challenges to foreign travel — and the possible quarantine that is required afterwards – due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It emerged that the family of five was there when fellow tourists spotted William and Kate out for a ride on bikes on the isle of Tresco last week. A fellow vacationer told the Daily Mirror, "William and Kate were riding their bicycles, having a laugh. They looked so happy enjoying the weather. I did do a double-take. They were really friendly and said hello."
Kate previously spoke about the strains that lockdown has brought for families — including her own — last month during an appearance on BBC Breakfast to meet with parents and their children to discuss a new online education initiative called Tiny Happy People.
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"It has been challenging – I think challenging for loads of people," she said. "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."