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.
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.
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.”