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Exclusive: Amanda Holden prepares for 'goodbye' to daughter Lexi ahead of major life change

The Britain's Got Talent host is a mother-of-two

Amanda Holden Born Free's Footsteps to Freedom Ball, London, UK
Senior Features Writer
Contributing Editor
22 March 2024
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Amanda Holden has shared her emotion about waving goodbye to her eldest daughter, Lexi when she flies the nest to head to university.

The Britain's Got Talent judge, who also shares daughter Hollie with her husband Chris Hughes, was speaking to HELLO! at the Born Free charity gala on Thursday evening when she opened up about the difficult milestone every parent faces.

Amanda, of course, is thrilled about her daughter's prospects and keen for the 18-year-old to fulfil her potential, but the 53-year-old, who looked nothing short of stunning at the glitzy event in a neon yellow floor-length gown from Safiyaa, noted that it wouldn't be easy to accept.

Amanda Holden Born Free's Footsteps to Freedom Ball, London, UK© Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock
Amanda Holden at Born Free's Footsteps to Freedom Ball

"I want her to live the biggest life she can live," she told HELLO!, adding: "So I'll have to say goodbye. But children always come back."

Amanda's eldest turned 18 in January and has been considering her options when it comes to the next chapter in her life. Lexi is also said to be exploring university campuses in America.

This isn't the first time Amanda has shared her emotion over Lexi leaving the family home – the TV star broke down in tears during an episode of her programme with comedian Alan Carr, Amanda & Alan's Italian Job, when discussing her children flying the nest.

"They say you have 18 summers and then you're lucky to see them. It's so terrible because you wish so much of it away when you're a busy parent. And then you turn around and they're not even there," she said during a taping of the TV show.

Amanda and Lexi Hughes at The Fashion Awards © Getty Images
Amanda with her eldest daughter Lexi Hughes at the Fashion Awards

Amanda shares her two girls with record producer husband Chris Hughes. The pair met in Los Angeles in 2003 and began dating soon after. In 2008, the pair tied the knot with one-year-old Lexi in attendance.

On Lexi's milestone birthday, the proud parents were in disbelief at the time whizzing by. "Well...The time has literally slipped by and our beautiful @lexi.hughes_official is 18 today. We just cannot quite believe it," Amanda wrote on Instagram back in January.

"Darling. We are so proud of the intelligent, sensitive, funny, perceptive and loving woman you have grown up to be. We are here for you and love you so very much. Cannot wait to celebrate with our family and friends tonight!!"

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Amanda Holden at An Audience with Kylie© Getty
Amanda is a mother-of-two

It seems Amanda has instilled excellent values in her girls as they grow up into successful, independent women. While speaking with HELLO! at the charity gala, Amanda, who is a passionate advocate and long-time supporter of the wildlife conservation organisation, explained how she's encouraged her girls to follow in her footsteps.

"Born Free means everything. I've been a vegetarian since I was 13, I've got cats, dogs, rescues, and rabbits in my house, it's like a zoo! I've encouraged my children to be the same, both of my daughters are veggies as well."

But Amanda understands that not everyone follows suit, including her husband of 16 years: "I cook meat and serve it, my husband's not vegetarian, I don't ever lecture anyone and just let people be."

Amanda Holden and Chris Hughes smiling on holiday© Instagram
Amanda and Chris married in 2008

She added: "We need to make sure Born Free does more road trips and find ways to bring the campaign to the forefront. When one of those happens, I will drag [Lexi and Hollie] out of school because that's more educational really."

Meanwhile, Born Free has been working tirelessly to help stop the suffering of wild animals, whether in captivity or in their natural habitat. The gala event was in celebration of 40 years of dedication to the cause, as well as raising awareness and funds for the vital animal welfare, policy and care work being undertaken by Born Free. 

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