Bedtime is about to get a bit more regal this weekend, as it has been announced that The Duchess of Cambridge will make a special appearance on CBeebies Bedtime Story!
CBeebies Bedtime Story is no stranger to big names, with actor Tom Hardy being a firm favourite, as well as Elton John, Rege-Jean Page, Dolly Parton, and Ryan Reynolds having taken on the job of reading a story to the young children of Britain before bed. But this will be the first time a member of the Royal Family has sat down for the role!
In Catherine’s appearance, she will read The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson; it is schedule to mark Children’s Mental Health Week, but will also coincided with the 20th anniversary of CBeebies and CBBC, the BBC’s children’s offering.
The Duchess was snapped wearing a fairisle jumper and jeans, as she sat on a patterned blanket to read the story, in front of a woodland-esque scene. As a mother of three, she is no stranger to the bedtime story.
Plop, the baby Barn Owl at the centre of the story, is afraid of the dark – unhelpful for a nocturnal owl! It is through the story and meeting various others that he learns the dark is not so bad, after all. This was a book Kate enjoyed as a child, and has shared with her family.
Children’s Mental Health Week will run from the 7-13 February this year and is in its seventh year. It was set up in 2015 by Catherine’s patronage Place2Be, and the Duchess has done something to mark the occasion every year – from special engagements to releasing special video messages – as a way to bring awareness to the importance of children’s mental health and how they can be supported by the adults around them. One in six children and young people have a diagnosable mental health problem, and many more struggle with challenges from bullying to bereavement.
This year, children and adults are being encouraged to consider how they can grow emotionally, recognising that trying new things can help people move beyond their comfort zones, and that challenges and setbacks can help them to mature and adapt.
On Catherine’s appearance, Patricia Hidalgo, Director of BBC Children’s and Education, said: “I couldn’t be more proud to have The Duchess read a CBeebies Bedtime Story as we mark the 20th anniversary of our CBeebies and CBBC channels.
‘It’s such a special and relevant tale and perfectly represents this years’ Children’s Mental Health Week theme. I can’t wait to see her deliver her own take on such a classic story and I’m sure our audience can’t either.”
The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark read by The Duchess of Cambridge will air at 6.50pm on Sunday 13th February on CBeebies.