The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Manchester and the Children’s Global Media Summit today, tackling issues of mental health and social media. During the course of their visit, Prince William revealed that his son, Prince George, had recently played a sheep in his school’s nativity play.
William and Kate were speaking to schoolchildren on a visit to the BBC’s Bridge House in Media City, Salford, when the second in line to the throne mentioned: “I went to my boy’s nativity play. It was funny. He was a sheep!”
The visit came the morning after the Cambridges attended the annual Diplomatic Corps reception at Buckingham Palace with Prince Charles, Camilla and The Queen.
At the BBC, the royal couple attended a “stepping out” session, which consists of a focus group of children giving feedback on new children’s TV programmes.
The BBC’s Director General Tony Hall was on hand to show the Duke and Duchess around the building. Children from Salford’s Friars Primary School joined William and Catherine, in watching a film made by 14-year-old Josh Gale for Newsround about developing obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Josh revealed that he had informed his father about his mental health problems in a Q&A session. He said: “It was metaphorically and physically like a weight off my shoulders. I was wanting to tell someone but I thought no-one would understand.”
The Duke of Cambridge told the children, who were asking Josh questions: “You’re much better than the adults at questions. Very good questions.”
“You’re a shining example to everybody”. Take a look at what happened when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) met inspiring #mentalhealth speaker Josh. https://t.co/7kbK6UvVOn pic.twitter.com/Xkz8NzO2Pm
— BBC Newsround (@BBCNewsround) December 6, 2017
Catherine, who, like her husband, has a passion for tackling the stigma around mental health, said: “People are so worried about what they say, they aren’t saying anything at all, and what we’ve found from speaking to people is it’s so good to have conversations.”
The next stop on the busy schedule was a visit to the Children’s Global Media Summit at Manchester Central Convention Complex.
Here, the future King and Queen were greeted by popular children’s characters such as Danger Mouse, Peppa Pig, Elmo and Postman Pat.
William and Catherine both seemed to enjoy speaking to youngsters waiting outside. Jeffrey Dunn, chief executive of Sesame Workshop said that the Prince spoke about how “exciting it was” to see Elmo.
Alex Okosi, managing director of Viacom Africa, said he spoke to William about the work his company was doing to help young people without access to education.
“He understood the importance of education and trying to bridge that gap between those with unlimited access and those who will never get it. He was a really cool guy,” Okosi said.
The Children’s Global Media Summit was founded in 1995 in order to help steer the future of children’s programming in a rapidly-changing world. The event involves technology innovators, policymakers, and executives from all over the world.
As the Duchess attended a “Sesame Workshop” hosted by the team behind the hit children’s TV show, Sesame Street, Prince William delivered a speech at a private meeting related to the Cyber Bullying Taskforce, aimed at continuing efforts to find a universal tool for children to report bullying.
The 35-year-old Royal started by praising the spirit of Manchester, after this year’s terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert.
“First of all, a word if I might about this great city of Manchester – to which most of you are visitors. You may have seen, if you have had a chance to go outside, the symbol of the bee everywhere in the city – the bee is Manchester’s symbol, a reminder of this city’s industriousness and creativity.
“It is also a reminder of Manchester’s community spirit, the sense of pulling together. Manchester has had a tough year, and I personally stand in awe of the way that the people of Manchester have united in bravery and support of one another. This community is a great example to all of us, wherever we are from.”
William then went on to mention the importance of protecting young people from the dangers of social media: “Parents like Catherine and me are raising the first generation of digitally-immersed children.
“My alarm comes from the fact that so many parents feel they are having to make up the rules as they go along,” he said. “We can be optimistic about the way digital media will help our children when we can be frank about our concerns.
“As a HEMS and Air Ambulance pilot, I was called to the scenes of suicides and I witnessed the devastation and despair it brought about. And I felt a responsibility to do something about it.”
Just as the couple were about to leave, a child shouted: “Hi Prince Harry!”
William giggled and retorted, “I’m not ginger!” before getting in the car.