kate-middleton

Kate Middleton's sweet secret calls revealed: 'Call me Catherine'

The Duchess has reached out to Len Gardner

Gemma Strong

The Duchess of Cambridge has been reaching out to an 85-year-old pensioner during the coronavirus pandemic. Kind-hearted Kate has made phone calls to Len Gardner, who is a full-time carer for his wife, and shared sweet details of her home life with children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, her love of pasta making and even sheep-shearing!

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Len spoke about the pair's conversations to the Sun, and revealed how the Duchess had immediately dispensed with formalities on their very first call, telling him, "Call me Catherine."

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"Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would be talking on the phone to the future Queen of England," said Len, who is battling bladder cancer and is a carer for his wife, Shirley, who has Alzheimer's.

"I will treasure our conversations for the rest of my life. Those calls helped me because they gave me something to look forward to."

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Kate first phoned Len on 13 May, from the Cambridge's Norfolk family home, Anmer Hall.

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The Cambridges pictured outside Anmer Hall

"I was flabbergasted when I found out who would be calling. The first question I asked was, 'How do I address you?' She said, 'Call me Catherine'," he revealed. "After the first two sentences I didn’t feel like I was talking to someone so important.

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"…She told me Prince George and Princess Charlotte were playing in the garden and she was keeping an eye on them through the window."

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Kate spoke about her eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte

The pair also discussed their shared love of Italian food, with Kate asking whether Len made his own pasta. "I said I don't because I haven't got a pasta machine and in any case, you have to use a special flour.

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"About three days after our conversation, a brand new pasta machine arrived from the Duchess. Two days later I got two kilos of '00' (the Italian grading system) flour from Buckingham Palace.

"I can tell you, this lady you see on television that goes into the crowds and talks to people - what you see is what you get. She is a very, very nice person."

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The Duchess shared sweet insights into her family life

About a month after their first phone call together, Kate called again.

"We spoke for about 40 minutes and I learned more about the Duchess's children," Len recalled. "Apparently they have thousands of sheep down at Sandringham and her eldest children couldn't understand how we get wool without killing the animal. So she took them down to the sheds to watch the sheep being sheared.

"It was the sort of conversation I might have with anyone about their family. She didn't mention William much. But I gabble on a lot."

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