Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge sitting in front of a laptop computer: Kensington Palace Kate Middleton talking with the parents this week


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Kensington Palace Kate Middleton talking with the parents this week

Kate Middleton is getting candid about the challenges of homeschooling her children during lockdown amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The mom of three, 39, spoke with a group of fellow parents in a candid video chat, in which she revealed which subject she struggles with most as she helps Prince George, 7, and Princess Charlotte, 5, with their assignments from home.



Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge sitting in front of a laptop computer: Kate Middleton talking with the parents this week


© Kensington Palace
Kate Middleton talking with the parents this week

When asked how she would rate her math skills on a scale of 1 to 10, Kate replied, “-5.”

“I’m obviously right at the bottom!” she said with a smile.

Melissa Loosemore, the headteacher of Roe Green Junior School in London, then asked Kate and the other parents to write down the one word that best described parenting during the pandemic.

“Exhausting,” Kate wrote.



a person standing in front of a group of people posing for the camera: Kensington Palace


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Kensington Palace

“As parents, we have day-to-day elements of being a parent, but, I suppose, during lockdown we’ve had to take on additional roles that others in our community and lives would have helped us with,” she added.

One of those new roles has brought “horror” to her children — George, Charlotte and 2-year-old Prince Louis — she admitted.

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"Well, maybe I was the first person ever to be in this family who ever had a depression or was ever openly tearful. And obviously that was daunting, because if you've never seen it before how do you support it?" Diana said during her BBC Panorama interview in 1995. She was open about seeking treatment for post-partum depression, bulimia, and marital problems. "You'd wake up in the morning feeling you didn't want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself," the princess said of this time, adding, "I received a great deal of treatment, but I knew in myself that actually what I needed was space and time to adapt to all the different roles that had come my way. I knew I could do it, but I needed people to be patient and give me the space to do it."

“I have become a hairdresser in lockdown – much to my children’s horror!” she said.

Kate also told the group that her husband Prince William has been the biggest support to her during the pandemic. It was clearly the right response – as other parents answered their partners and other family members. “We don’t want it to be Bridgerton or something like that, do we?” quipped Loosemore.



Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge sitting at a table with a laptop and smiling at the camera: Kensington Palace Kate Middleton talking with parents earlier this week


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Kensington Palace Kate Middleton talking with parents earlier this week

The other parents on the call all have children who attend Roe Green Junior School in Brent, which Kate visited three years ago to launch her Mentally Healthy Schools project.

The video chat, which took place on Tuesday from her new office space at the Queen’s Sandringham House, was intended to build on some of the key issues that came up in Kate’s work for children aged 0-5, or the Early Years – such as parental well-being and loneliness.

“I know how challenging it is juggling work, home life, school life and everything else that you as parents are doing, so really well done,” Kate said.

“Fingers crossed, let’s hope for the positivity as you’ve all been saying,” she continued. Make sure everyone looks after themselves — it’s very hard to prioritize but it’s definitely needed now more than ever.

“It’s important for our children that we look after ourselves too.”



Maxwell Perry Cotton, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge posing for the camera: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George


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Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George

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Nicole Seidemann, a mother of four, talked to the Duchess of Cambridge about the importance of exercise to her mental well-being, while fellow parents Musadiq Subar and Rajana Panchani spoke about how much they value support from their friends and colleagues during this difficult time.

The group also discussed the issue of parental loneliness. Kate’s Early Years survey found that loneliness was rising dramatically during the pandemic – from 38 percent to 63 percent — as parents find themselves cut off from support networks, friends and family.  



Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge sitting posing for the camera: Matt Porteous / The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge/Kensington Palace via Getty The Cambridge family Christmas card


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Matt Porteous / The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge/Kensington Palace via Getty The Cambridge family Christmas card

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The Mentally Healthy Schools initiative was launched three years ago by The Royal Foundation in association with The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Place2Be and Young Minds. It is a free website for schools, drawing together reliable and practical resources to improve awareness, knowledge and confidence in promoting and supporting pupils’ mental health.

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