"It's always a worry though for a parent. We have to keep our cool,” the Princess of Wales said
Kate Middleton had her three kids top of mind during a visit to a children’s hospital.
The Princess of Wales, 41, empathetically spoke about stress around hospital visits with fellow parents at the Evelina London Children's Hospital on Tuesday. Princess Kate has served as patron of the medical center which cares for children with rare and complex conditions since 2018, and she visited to officially open the new Children’s Day Surgery Unit.
The Princess of Wales took a tour of the new wing designed to replicate a child’s journey on their day of surgery and learned more about how the hub is transforming care by consolidating everything young people need into one place. The royal mom of three shares Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, with her husband Prince William, and she said she could relate to high nerves while talking with one family in a pre-op cubicle, Hello! magazine reported.
"It’s always nerve-wracking as a parent. I’ve taken mine into hospital for different things. You're always at least worried, but you’ve got a great team [here],” Princess Kate said, according to the outlet.
The princess gave another glimpse into her parenting style while chatting with Miwa Stephenson, whose 4-year-old daughter Saya was recovering from a minor procedure that morning.
"It's always a worry though for a parent. We have to keep our cool. It's so hard,” Princess Kate said according to Hello!, giving Miwa a hug.
The Princess of Wales’ relatable revelations were just one way she put others at ease at Evelina London on Tuesday. The Children’s Day Surgery Unit opened its doors in July, and Kate made it official with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The state-of-the-art facility treats a variety of conditions like tonsillitis, removal of adenoids, hand injuries, minor plastic surgery and ophthalmology, and will enable Evelina London to accommodate an additional 2,300 children per year.
Thank you to all the brilliant staff for your commitment to looking after the children in your care. pic.twitter.com/6Cto3g1HBD
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) December 5, 2023
Receptionist Alice Green tells PEOPLE she was one of the first people Princess Kate spoke to, and the royal was instantly warm.
"I was really anxious earlier, but she was really lovely and down to earth," Green tells PEOPLE. "I thought it might be formal and strict, but it was so comfortable speaking to her. She was asking about our roles — and said that we are the face of Evelina, the first contact people. She wished us Merry Christmas.”
“She is well known for working with children, and it’s really lovely for her to come and speak to people and actually take interest. It is really lovely,” Green adds.
Through visits to hospitals and hospices, Princess Kate has seen firsthand the impact that comprehensive care and support can have on young children. At the time, the palace said her patronage of Evelina London “provides an opportunity to champion the medical professionals working on the front line in children’s healthcare, and shine a light on their work supporting children in their early years.”
Children’s causes are a key part of Kate’s philanthropic platform as a working royal, and she’s honed her focus on the early childhood years to early development and the critical role that caretakers play in the first few years of life.
To take awareness to the next level, Princess Kate launched the landmark “Shaping Us” campaign in January. The effort is an offshoot of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which she established in June 2021.
The Royal Foundation defines the long-term Shaping Us campaign as "a major new awareness-raising campaign to increase public understanding of the crucial importance of the first five years of a child's life." The initiative hopes to transform "the issue from one of scientific interest to one of the most strategically important topics of our time," a statement says.
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On Friday night, Shaping Us will converge with her third annual Christmas carol concert at Westminster Abbey in a full-circle moment concluding its first year. Kensington Palace said the show will be linked to Shaping Us and highlight “the hope of new life and why it is so important to build supportive, nurturing worlds around children and the adults in their lives.”
Supported by the Royal Foundation, Princess Kate spearheaded and hosted the first Royal Carols: Together At Christmas concert in December 2021 to pay tribute to the incredible work of individuals and organizations across the U.K. who supported their communities through the COVID pandemic.
The theme has slightly shifted each year, and last year’s rendition of Royal Carols: Together At Christmas honored Queen Elizabeth following her death in September 2022.
All bets are on that Princess Kate might bring along some special guests to the upcoming carol service: her kids! Prince George and Princess Charlotte adorably made their debut at the concert last year and smiled as they arrived with their parents.
While Prince Louis didn’t tag along, he might join this time as he’s another year older, and was on his best behavior at the biggest royal event of the year — King Charles’ coronation in May.
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