It's not every day that you receive personal replies from the Duchess of Cornwall, Ed Sheeran, Andy Murray, Helena Bonham Carter, Malala Yousafzai and Paul McCartney, but that's exactly what happened when Natasha Kaplinsky suggested to her two children, Arlo, 12, and daughter Kika, 11, that they write letters during lockdown.
In a new interview and photoshoot in HELLO! magazine, Natasha tells how it started out with letters to friends, family and neighbours, and was just another way to try and keep them occupied and stave off boredom.
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But it soon grew into an impressive collection of replies, not only from their nearest and dearest, frontline workers, and stay-at-home heroes but also from some of the most famous names from around the world.
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A new book out this week, Letters from Lockdown, with all proceeds going to Barnardo's, includes the fascinating and heartfelt correspondence of these and many more well-known names, describing their experience of the pandemic and hopes for the future. In her letter, the Duchess of Cornwall told the children: "Like you, I have been writing lots of letters, and I have also been working my way through a big pile of books, which I have greatly enjoyed."
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Helena, who revealed that she'd done a lot of snoozing and reading during lockdown, said she felt positive about the future. "I hope you do too," she wrote. "You haven't been able to do the things you are used to, but what you have built is a superpower that will last for the rest of your life. Resilience. Don't underestimate that."
While Ed Sheeran's letter disclosed he'd had a baby and had set about a DIY project to make a cot from the same wood that his guitars are made from.
Letters from Lockdown is out this week
In her role as President of Barnardo's, Natasha is keen to raise awareness of the "many millions of people" who have been badly affected by the pandemic and is determined to raise money for the charity which helps the country's most vulnerable children.
She tells HELLO!: "I hope that there is a reconnection with kindness and compassion that maybe people have lost sight of, that you can make an enormous difference to your community if you just reach out to those who are around you."
Letters from Lockdown introduced by Natasha Kaplinsky (Wren & Rook, £8.99), all profits from the sale of the book will go to Barnardo's.
To read the full article, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale now. Subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.