The Duchess of Cambridge urges children to confront their fears and worries ‘with the help of others’ in the first clip from her CBeebies bedtime story, which will be broadcast this weekend.
Kate, 40, narrated one of her favourite children’s books, The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, by Jill Tomlinson, in a programme to be broadcast on Sunday at 6.50pm. The mother-of-three, who enjoys reading the title to children George, eight, Charlotte, six, and Louis, three, dressed down in jeans and a £179 Fair Isle Jumper from Holland Cooper for the TV appearance.
In a clip filmed in January at Kensington Palace to mark Children’s Mental Health Week, she says after reading the book: ‘Wow what an encouraging tale. ‘We can all feel scared sometimes, just like our little own friend Plop, but as Mrs Barn Owl said, it’s better to find out about the things that scare us before we make up our mind’.
‘And with the help of others we can often face things that worry us. Now it’s time for bed. Night night, and sleep tight.’ Kate is following in the footsteps of A-listers like Tom Hardy, Suranne Jones, Dolly Parton and Captain America’s Chris Evans, who have all brought their star power to Bedtime Stories, much to the delight of parents watching with their children.
The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark tells the story of Plop, the Baby Barn Owl, who learns to overcome his fear of the dark through encounters with a host of friendly characters. A picture shows Kate sitting cross-legged on a blanket in stonewashed jean and a cream knit jumper. Behind her is a wooden den in which the familiar smiling CBeebies toy is hiding.
A starry backdrop has been put up behind her, as well as a cosily smoking fire pit. There are also three stuffed owls, representative of her chosen bedtime story. Kate is not the only royal to show an interest in children’s literature – in 1984 her father-in-law Prince Charles appeared on Jackanory to read his tale, The Old Man of Lochnagar.
The theme for this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is ‘growing together’, encouraging children and adults to consider how they have grown emotionally and recognising that trying new things can help people move beyond their comfort zones, while challenges and setbacks can help them to mature and adapt.Kate, 40, chose her story to reflect the theme.
The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark tells of Plop, a baby barn owl who, although he has a large appetite and adventurous spirit, is afraid of the dark – unfortunate for a nocturnal creature – and refuses to go hunting with his parents.
Mrs Barn Owl sends him down from the nest to learn about the dark and he comes across a series of characters who show him how joyful the night can be, like a black cat who takes him exploring and a little boy waiting for fireworks to begin. At the end of the book he realises that the dark is not so bad after all.
The original 112-page book was loved by the duchess when she was a child and she now reads it to her children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, an aide said.