The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gave a rare joint TV interview to BBC Breakfast recently, with it being aired on the morning show yesterday.
The interview was done via video call, with the couple calling host Tina Dahley (who was at home) from their country residence of Anmer Hall, situated on The Queen’s Sandringham Estate, where they discussed home schooling their three children, the importance of accessing help for your mental health during the pandemic and also passed on their congratulations to national hero, 99-year-old Captain Tom Moore.
Mental health in lockdown
The reason for the interview was to highlight the importance of looking after your mental health during this strange and scary time. The release comes as it was revealed the couple have narrated a video in support of Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters platform. The film will be shown on national TV channels in the U.K. on Monday April 20th.
Prince William said that there was an “ever-increasing need” for people to know where to access the help and support as necessary. The couple particularly showed their concern for the mental well-being of NHS staff, who they praised, but said that they would be carry the “pain, suffering and loneliness” which patients are coping with, and that they are “the ones who absorb that and take it home to their families.”
The royal couple are encouraging people to talk to one another using technology and to also use online tools such as Every Mind Matters to help them during the coronavirus pandemic. “Staying connected, staying positive and being able to talk to friends and family is so crucial,” the future King explained.
The Duke and Duchess spoke of the ‘extraordinary job’ NHS staff and frontline workers are doing, and how that will ‘dramatically change’ how we value them in the future.
“The NHS and the frontline workers are doing the most extraordinary job” – The Duchess of Cambridge, speaking with the BBC pic.twitter.com/iwQdigPfbO
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 17, 2020
Staying in touch with family
Speaking of connecting, the couple revealed that they are keeping in contact with family via video calls, which is something they encourage people to do to assist in keeping mental health well. Catherine admitted that the calls can get a bit hectic with their children as but that it is “great and it’s nice to keep in touch with everybody”.
“I think your father [Prince Charles] and my parents and our families and things like that have really loved keeping in touch with the children because it’s really hard, particularly over family times like Easter and things like that, and not seeing each other. So we have been making sure we share in on birthday calls and things like that just to make sure we keep in touch with each other.’
She mentioned that it can be tricky with a toddler; Prince Louis turns two later this month. “With a two-year-old you have to take the phone away. It’s quite hectic for them all to say the right thing at the right time without pressing the wrong buttons. But it’s great and it’s nice to keep in touch with everybody.”
Louis “sees the red button and he always wants to press the red button, the Duke explained.
Discussing home schooling for Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the Duchess said that it was important to avoid scaring them in the current environment and also making it “too overwhelming”.
“I think it is appropriate to acknowledge it in the simple ways and age appropriate ways,” the mother-of-three said.
William and Kate said that homeschooling had been challenging, with Catherine adding with a laugh: “Don’t tell the children, we’ve actually kept it going through the holidays!”
Pupils in the UK usually have one or two weeks off school at Easter.
“I feel very mean,” the Duchess added. “The children have got such stamina, I don’t know how. Honestly, you get to the end of the day and you write down the list of all the things that you’ve done in that day.
“It’s just having that bit of structure actually. And it’s great, there’s so many great tips online and fun activities that you can do with the children, so it hasn’t been all hardcore.”
Like many parents, the couple are being creative with their version of education, which they revealed was ‘fun’, including pitching tents, cooking and baking.
The Cambridge family are known to have a vegetable patch at Anmer Hall.
Captain Tom Moore’s inspirational fund-raising
The Royals also made a video message for 99-year-old Captain Tom Moore, who has stolen the nation’s hearts by fundraising to walk 100 laps of his garden.
The veteran finished his 2,530-yard trek at his home in the Bedfordshire yesterday, and has raised a staggering £18 million for the NHS.
“It’s incredible. It’s amazing,” said Prince William of Moore’s efforts. “What I love also is that he’s a 99-year-old war vet, he’s been around a long time, he knows everything and it’s wonderful that everyone has been inspired by his story and his determination.
— Captain Tom Moore (@captaintommoore) April 17, 2020
“I think he’s a one man fundraising machine and God knows what the final total will be but good on him. I hope he keeps going.”
After watching the video, Captain Moore said: “Well that I think is absolutely amazing. That my super prince can say something like that.”
The Cambridges have also donated an undisclosed amount to the campaign.
Worry about Prince Charles’ coronavirus diagnosis
On a more serious note, William admitted that he had been concerned for his father, Prince Charles, after he tested positive for COVID-19, but thankfully only a mild case. However, the Duke was also optimistic his father would recover.
“I have to admit, at first I was quite concerned, he fits the profile of somebody, at the age he is at, which is fairly risky.’ But he added that he was optimistic Charles would recover.
“My father has had many chest infections, colds, and things like that over the years. And so, I thought to myself, if anybody is going to be able to beat this, it’s going to be him.
“And actually he was very lucky, he had mild symptoms. I think the hardest thing he found was having to stop. And not being able to go and get a bit of fresh air and a walk,” the Duke said.
“He’s a mad walker and just loves walking so I think he found it quite difficult. Especially, also I think with his mental health, being stuck inside and not being able to go for walks.”
As for his grandparents, The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh? Well, the 37-year-old is worried about them too, but said they are doing everything that they can to ensure they are protected and isolated:”Obviously I think very carefully about my grandparents – who are the age they’re at, we’re doing everything we can to make sure that they’re isolated away and protected from this.”
Finding a silver lining in the situation, William said that the impact of people not flying around the world for business had been a positive, and he now hopes people can work from home more in the future.
The Duke opened Birmingham’s ‘field hospital’ at the NEC yesterday, via video link, following on from Prince Charles’ opening of the London Nightingale centre earlier in the month.
Working from home is something The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are getting used to, as are many others around the U.K. and the world: last week William and Catherine hosted a virtual round table on Zoom with a number of mental health organisations that they are involved with. These included Place2Be, Action on Addiction, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families – of which Catherine is patron – Shout, Best Beginnings, Mind, CALM, Contact Group, Young Minds, The Mix, and Mental Health Innovations. The call involved a discussion on the issues arising as a result of coronavirus.