The Duchess of Cambridge today visited Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in north London; she was originally scheduled to visit in September, but had to postpone due to severe morning sickness. During her visit, she revealed that Prince William found it difficult to adjust to fatherhood.
The charity, Family Action, of which The Queen is patron, is among the organisations that provide services at the care facility, including care and mental health support for parents. The centre provides parents with support ranging from advice and friendly company to activities for their children and works with over 45,000 families nationwide.
At the start of the visit, the Duchess met with 39 year-old Billy, who is raising his seven-month-old daughter Violet alone after taking custody from her mother. Billy suggested that Catherine had told him that Prince William found it difficult in adjusting to fatherhood, struggling to figure out his role should be when his children were very small.
“She [Kate] was saying William was sort of similar and I just wanted to let her know how Family Action have been there for me and I think they need more support.”
“I was suffering from severe depression and I thought I’m not going to let my daughter go into care, I’m going to step up and do this – I managed to turn myself around. I’ve been doing it from day one at the hospital, fed her her first bottle,” Billy said.
Volunteer Maggie Sandy remarked: “We do offer support to dads specifically, I think it’s so important because dads so often get left out in the mix after the birth of a baby, sometimes they get sidelined and their feelings and wishes aren’t gathered.”
Kate bonded with a fellow parent over their children’s love of aviation. Mother-of-two Michelle said: “She was asking about what Jacob liked and he said he liked aeroplanes and she was asking if he’d seen a Spitfire and we said we liked going to the Science Museum and RAF museum.”
“She was saying how George likes helicopters, she was saying about the top floor of the Science Museum where the helicopters are.”
As children splashed around paint and glitter, the Duchess spoke with other parents, and a few children. One even tried to hide from her!
One little boy hiding from Kate today! pic.twitter.com/2nL820spk3
— Victoria Murphy (@QueenVicMirror) November 14, 2017
In the past, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, has described her time as a parent as a ‘rewarding and wonderful experience’, although she admitted it has been a ‘huge challenge’ at times. At least 20% of women are affected by mental health problems during pregnancy or in the first year following childbirth, and the Duchess has been passionate about tackling the issue as a whole, as well as maternal mental health.