Duchess Kate praises teachers in video call: 'You play such a vital role in looking after our children'

By Heather Cichowski

Duchess Kate praises teachers in video call: 'You play such a vital role in looking after our children'


Duchess Kate made her first appearance of the month in recognition of Children's Mental Health Week in the United Kingdom. The mom of three spoke with teachers from the Ribbon Academy in County Durham on Feb. 2 to hear about how they have been supporting students during the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 lockdowns.

The Duchess of Cambridge also wanted to make sure that the teachers were managing their wellbeing, too. "What an inspiring group of teachers! Although it's Children's Mental Health Week, it's hugely important we ensure our teachers are supported as well," the @kensingtonroyal Instagram captioned its video of Kate. "@_Place2Be have been champions of mental health in schools across the UK and continue to provide support to those facing challenges throughout lockdown."

The video call was in connection with Kate's patronage, Place2Be, and it was shared on Feb. 4 across the Royal Family's social media channels. The duchess spoke one-on-one with teachers, including headteacher Ashleigh Sheridan.

The duchess was full of praise for all of the teaching staff and recognized how vital a role they play in children's lives in more normal circumstances as well as during remote learning during lockdown. And she wanted to make sure that teachers were focused on their mental health and wellbeing, too. So, she asked the teaching staff rapid-fire questions about how Place2Be supported them.

Teacher Hannah Rispin explained, "You can't pour from an empty cup, so how can we fill the children's cups up, give them all this love, all of this enthusiasm, if we're not doing this ourselves? So we need to just take care of ourselves."

"You are a lifeline to so many families out there," Kate said to teacher Louise Tweedie. "I know it takes an awful lot of effort, energy, and patience.

"Thank you for the hard work you do on a day-to-day basis for the children that you look after."

Kate told High-Level Teaching and Learning Partner Chris Reay, "I want to say a massive thank you to teachers across the country. You're doing a fantastic job. It's been really, really hard work. But please look after yourselves."

Place2Be provides counselling and emotional support to children and teachers and has been for 20 years. In 2019/2020, the mental health service worked with 700 schools and reached over 380,000 students.

In honour of Children’s Mental Health Week, Kensington Palace shared drawings from pupils at the Ribbon Academy and encouraged "parents and children around the world to create a drawing." Some of the inspiring illustrations will be shared online.

Kate looked elegant for her video call in a blue tweed jacket from Rebecca Taylor, which appears to be recycled from her closet. The stylish royal wore the skirt suit to open the Ronald McDonald House Evelina London in February 2017.

The Duchess of Cambridge in the blue tweed suit at the Ronald McDonald House Evelina London opening on Feb. 28, 2017. Photo: © Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

For the video call, she completed her look with golden drop earrings which were showcased thanks to her sophisticated half updo.

Once again, the 39-year-old recorded her video call at Sandringham. She and Prince William have been using the Queen's residence for video calls during the last few weeks as they isolate nearby at their country home, Anmer Hall.

MORE: 'I've become a hairdresser... much to my children's horror': Duchess Kate talks to parents about the challenges they face in lockdown

Royals fans last saw the duchess partake in a video call centred around mental health as well as loneliness. She spoke with parents at the end of January about the new set of challenges they have faced since the COVID-19 lockdowns began, including the number of different hats they've had to wear. The questions were focused on some of the key issues raised in Duchess Kate's Early Years "5 Big Questions on the Under 5s" survey.

In one sweet moment from the video call, Kate opened up about cutting her kids' hair, much to the displeasure of Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2.

"I've become a hairdresser this lockdown, much to my children's horror, seeing mom cutting hair," the 39-year-old laughed.


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