Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have been "attacking the kitchen" during lockdown, the Duke of Cambridge revealed this week.
Prince William said: "I've done a little bit of baking. The children have been attacking the kitchen and it's just been an explosion of flour and chocolate everywhere. Catherine's been doing quite a bit of baking."
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He opened up about his family's cookery sessions on a visit to Smiths the Bakers in King's Lynn, a short drive from his Anmer Hall in Norfolk. The family-run bakery, which serves the Sandringham Estate, reopened on June 15 after 11 weeks of closure.
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After using hand sanitiser as he arrived, William heard how staff had been furloughed and owners had adapted their business by setting up a delivery service and selling flour and sugar to meet increased demand for baking ingredients.
"I was saying the other day about how I'm worried about the waistline of the nation," joked William. "I think we've all eaten so many cakes and chocolate.
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William bought four pain au chocolat and a plain croissant for his children
"All the NHS team, they're so grateful, all the local communities have been giving them loads and loads of sweets and chocolate which is great for them. "They must be enormous now and brushing their teeth five times a day, with the amount of sugar."
He told staff: "I can't come in here and not buy anything, so have you got any pain au chocolat at all? Have you got any more by any chance? My children will not talk to me if I turn up without enough." He asked for five pain au chocolat but there were only four left, so he opted for an additional plain croissant.
Taking out his card to make a contactless payment of £4.15 for the treats, he said: "I hope this works. Good, it's still working - first time out in a while!"
He paid with a contactless card at the local bakery
Smiths, which has been in business since 1971, has a Royal Warrant, meaning it supplies goods or services to the households of the Queen, Prince Philip or Prince Charles. Paul Brandon, who runs the business with his wife Teresa, told the Duke how customers were starting to return.
"The important thing is that shops like yours can get the footfall back in again and the high street and town feel like it's getting a little bit more back to normal," said William. "Because I think everyone's just been, you know, it's like they've just been in a daze. They don't quite know what to make of it all."
The royal was presented with a birthday cake ahead of Sunday's celebration
William also shared his frustration that bakery products now have to be wrapped in plastic. "It's a shame because we were doing quite well on the anti-plastic and then this comes along and we have to protect the food. It's heartbreaking," he said.
Before leaving, he spoke to trainee Ted Bartram and furloughed tearoom deputy manager Sarah Easthall about how they have been coping. And he was presented with a vanilla sponge cake with white icing, cream and jam ahead of his 38th birthday on June 21.
The words "Happy Birthday Prince William from all at Smiths the Bakers" were piped in blue icing on the top of the cake, which was decorated with iced football boots, footballs and Union flags. He was also given a loaf of Norfolk crunch bread and a jar of Sandringham loose tea.
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