Kensington Palace released footage today of Kate taking Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five, to work with other volunteers at Windsor Baby Bank, based in nearby Maidenhead.
They went after school one day last month to help out, armed with bags and boxes of goodies for children in the Windsor and Maidenhead area less fortunate than themselves.
Kate, 41, was keen to give them a lesson in helping others, something they will be expected to do for the rest of their lives whatever else lies ahead for them.
“Here there’s lots of people who give up their time and there are lots of volunteers who come and help,” she told the three children as they brought gifts into the charity’s headquarters from their car. “And so you’re the volunteers for this evening.”
Wide-eyed at the sight of all the toys and clothes stacked up in the warehouse, one of the children, thought to be Charlotte, can be heard, saying: “Ooh la la.” Shortly afterwards the camera cuts to her admiring a coat.
Rebecca Mistry, the joint chief executive of the baby bank, can be heard telling the three royal siblings: “What we would like you to do is try and choose some presents for children who are a similar age to you guys. So if you think about what you would like to play with.”
Louis, is seen admiring a big toy gorilla, while George is writing tags for gift bags, and Charlotte can be seen in several scenes of the short film admiring children’s and baby’s clothes. Louis says of the gorilla:”This is a big guy.”
They went to the baby bank, one of a network of similar centres around the country providing essential items to struggling families with babies and young children, to support an initiative launched by Kate’s Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. Last month it launched an initiative to support families in the run-up to Christmas.
The children packed gift bags as part of the Christmas Pyjama appeal, and also packed referral bags containing clothes and toys for local families.
Ms Mistry said they had been doing something similar for a while. “This is our fifth year of doing it, 1,500 of these gift bags,” she said.
Kate can be heard telling George: “All these bags are donations and we then have to go and then sort them and put them in all the boxes.”
As the children sort through clothes, Charlotte is seen laughing with her mother over one baby toy and then holding up a babygrow: “This is Welsh,” she says.
One of the volunteers remarks: “George wants to come back. So that’s good.”
And Kate is seen telling George: “You can see how rewarding the work is, isn’t it, knowing that you’re helping out others.” “Yes,” he replies.
One in four children under five are currently living in poverty in the UK. Kate went to the same baby bank in April and promised to return one day with her own three children – or “perhaps my helpful ones and not my unhelpful ones!”
Rebecca Mistry said of that earlier visit: “You could see her passion. Those first five years are crucial.”
Kate called for the 250 nationwide Baby Banks to be more “visible” in villages, towns and cities, as she kick-started an awareness campaign for baby banks for the festive season as part of her Royal Foundation for the Centre for Early Childhood.
On that visit the Princess said: “There are so many families in challenging circumstances. Every child should have the basic essentials. The needs are really huge.”
She added: “The baby banks need to be in the community. They are a real lifeline for people facing poverty. We need to normalise it and make it more visible, put them where families and children are.”
Discussing examples of how some struggling parents reuse soiled nappies, Kate said: “Some of the stories you hear are really desperate that’s why places like this need to be in every community and normalised and put on the same platform so the general public do see the needs and for those families that are valued.”
She launched the campaign as The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood published an “Issues Index”, which found that a third of the general public cite financial pressures as the biggest issue facing parents and carers in 2023.