It’s probably not often that royalty is interrupted as they speak to the public on engagements – but a sweet baby did exactly that to the Princess of Wales today.
Kate was visiting Riversley Park Children’s Centre in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, this morning to meet with health visitors as well as parents with their young babies.
At one point, she sat and chatted with a group of women, who were all bouncing little ones on their laps – including Mischa Kerr, 36, and her nine-month-old Talia Saliba-Kerr – who spent the entire session holding Kate’s right hand.
But as she chatted, another infant in the room, 10-week-old Raphael Pickering dared interrupt the conversation – by letting out a huge surprise burp.
It came as he was being winded by red-faced mum Brogan Goodwin, with Kate immediately turning around to check out the noise as she and the other women chuckled.
And in an instant, she told the youngster: “Well done you!”
Afterwards, she added: “It’s always really reassuring, you spend ages trying to make that happen.”
The mum said afterwards: “I thought he was going to be sick, I thought ‘please don’t vomit on the princess’, but luckily it was only a burp.
“I’m going to wait till his 18th birthday to tell him.”
While mum-of-four Mischa also said afterwards: “I’m sure someone recorded it (hand holding) and will show it to me but her brothers will be jealous.
“It’s great that she came down as it’s important that everyone learns what resources are available and the incredible work the health visitors are doing.”
Earlier, Princess Kate arrived at the children’s clinic and went on a walkabout to meet young children from local schools who were gathered outside the venue.
For the occasion, she wore a £450 green leopard print dress from Samantha Cameron’s label Cefinn along with white Jimmy Choo heels.
She then chatted to health visitors about the research being funded by a £50,000 grant from her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.
The study will trial and evaluate the use of the Alarm Distress Baby Scale (ADBB) in the UK and is being run in partnership with the Institute of Health Visiting and the University of Oxford.
The scale is used to assess how babies interact with their environment, focusing on eye contact, facial expressions, vocalisation and activity levels to help health professionals and families better understand the ways babies express their feelings, and support parents with bonding.
But the hour-long visit was a surprise to mum-of-three Lindsay Martin, 39, who arrived for an appointment for her son at the same time.
Three-year-old Nate Martin – wearing an Aston Villa shirt which is the club Prince William supports – decided to sit on the floor meaning Kate bent down to have a chat.
Lindsay said afterwards: “I thought there was a fire drill because so many people were outside so I sat in my car for ten minutes. It was only when I saw so many people in suits that I realised it was something different.
“She initially came down to Nate and noticed his Aston Villa football shirt. I didn’t know she was coming today but I know William is a Villa fan and when she saw the shirt she said ‘I’ve seen that badge before.
“Nate sat down in the middle of the gangway and refused to move.
“She apologised for interrupting Nate’s medical appointment.
Elsewhere, speaking to health visitors about the ABDD scheme, she said: “How much you can pick up in terms of baby cues at such a small age and help pass on to parents this and signs to look for, and this is how they communicate with you, I find that fascinating.”
In a second room staff thanked Kate for choosing to pilot the ABDD to their area and warned of a shortage of health visitors.
Speaking to staff, Kate told them: “The more health visitors, the better.”
She said: “You play such a critical role in society for families and I’m aware of the pressure you are under.”
Talking about working with under-fives, Kate described how vital it was to have a “holistic” approach.
She said: “Right at the beginning the more you can do to help facilitate that the better the opportunities are later on.”
On her ADBB pilot, she added: “I came here to see what’s going on, not only about the Alarm Distress Baby Scale project which is really exciting, but to thank you for the amazing job you are doing and to highlight and celebrate this critical area.
“It is such a wonderful and valuable role that you all play for the future of the whole society being able to celebrate that and perhaps put a spotlight and show public what work is going on behind the scenes.”
The princess saw first-hand how the ADBB model is being used by health visitors to support parent-infant relationships and early childhood development during her visit to Denmark in February 2022.
Following the trip, Princess Kate and her centre have been working closely with the Institute of Health Visiting to explore the potential for implementing ADBB in the UK.
It can also be used to recognise early signs of psychological distress, enabling specialist support to be accessed as soon as it is needed.
The ADBB trial is running for a period of 10 months and is being carried out at the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, and Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust.