Last month five-year-old Princess Charlotte was pictured out delivering parcels of pasta she had made at home with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and her brothers Prince George and Prince Louis. And now her parents, Prince William and Kate, have revealed their own secret voluntary work during the coronavirus outbreak.
READ: Sophie Wessex's touching show of support for Kate Middleton revealed
WATCH: William and Kate speak to young volunteers
The Duchess has become an NHS Volunteer responder, along with the Duchess of Cornwall, Countess of Wessex and Duchess of Gloucester. The royal women have been making "check in and chat" calls to people who are self-isolating. Kate's calls have included one to Donna Williams, 42, a mother of two who is currently shielding her daughter Alessandra who has a rare form of Type 1 Diabetes.
Meanwhile the Duke has been manning a helpline for people in crisis as one of 2,000 volunteers who have trained to help people contacting the Shout85258 text messaging service. He had previously revealed his plans to train for the role on a visit to Devon last September, but his involvement was not publicised in case it led to the service being inundated by people hoping to speak to the royal. But during a video call to fellow Shout volunteers, William revealed: "I'm going to share a little secret with you guys but I'm actually on the platform volunteering."
Princess Charlotte delivering food parcels last month
"Are you? That's amazing," replied one of the callers, Jo Irwin.
His revelation, in a previously unseen clip from the May 15 call, was released by Kensington Palace to mark Volunteer Week. Aides confirmed the second-in-line to the throne had completed his 25 hours of online training to help service users work through their problems and HELLO! understands the Duke is an active volunteer.
William and Kate also thanked volunteers working to help their communities through the pandemic in calls to organisations in West Yorkshire and Wales. During a call to Conscious Youth, which supports young people from mainly black and other ethnic minority backgrounds in Huddersfield, Dewsbury, and other parts of Kirklees, the royal couple joked about the highs and lows of home schooling Prince George, six, and five-year-old Princess Charlotte. Speaking to co-founders Sophie Simpson and Serena Johnson, William admitted: "I struggle with Year 2 maths."
William and Kate speaking to volunteers from Conscious Youth
Sophie said afterwards: "We were talking about the struggles of teaching at home. Both Serena and I are parents as well and I guess we totally understood their saying: we can’t teach maths and English like they do at school. The Duke and Duchess totally agreed that teaching Year 2 maths was very difficult. I could agree with them because I teach that as well and I'm struggling."
Cain Adams, 16, told the couple how he had started volunteering by offering to play chess with children. Kate said: "Cain, you'll have to give me some lessons. I'm terrible." She added: "It's so impressive to see young people volunteering. Would you recommend volunteering to other young people?"
Summer Hall, 14, said: "Yeah. It's such a good experience and I've got so many other opportunities out of it, like this. Imagine if everybody had it. It would be just so amazing."
The Duchess told them: "I think the world would be a better place with more of you both in it, because you're giving so much back, not only to the young people but to your community as a whole. So really well done for all your hard work." William added: "It's brightened up our day seeing all five of you. It's a lot of smiles on the screen. So it's good to see everybody."
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The couple also spoke to volunteers from Machynlleth Community Corona Response
William and Kate also spoke to volunteers from Machynlleth Community Corona Response, in Powys, mid Wales. The 100-strong group is helping vulnerable people with shopping and cooking and by manning a telephone helpline. Members have also produced 3-D printed visors, scrubs and facemasks for health workers, while others are growing produce for meals. Kate told volunteers Kim Bryan, Sadie Maund, Katie Hastings, and Martin Kemp that she has been planting seedlings at home with George, six, Charlotte, five, and two-year-old Prince Louis.
The Duke and Duchess also spoke to 91-year-old great grandmother Lynda Edwards-Ryley, who was lonely and isolated before Sadie, 31, began helping her with medication and then shopping before sorting her out with a speaker phone and iPad to help her keep in touch with her family.
"It's just like having another daughter," Lynda told the couple before telling them about how she once drove a Bentley.
"I hope you didn’t get a speeding ticket, Lynda," William joked.
Kate said: "One of the things that would be amazing, I think, is if everyone in their communities was to carry on and still celebrate volunteering in the way that they have been during the pandemic. Everyone's got something to give back."
The Duke added: "Thank you for all the volunteering you’re doing, thank you for all the time and effort you’re putting in. It's been hugely rewarding and important that you guys are doing that and you have been a lifeline to all the people who you’ve helped in the area."
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