It's nine more sleeps until Christmas! If you're not quite in the festive spirit yet, the perfect tonic for that came in the form of A Berry Royal Christmas which aired on BBC One earlier tonight. The one hour programme saw the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge team up with the Queen of Baking and national treasure Mary Berry for seasonal fun, visits to charities close to their hearts, and of course the obligatory spot of baking.
The documentary has been uploaded to YouTube (It may not be left up long though).
The programme opened with footage of Kate and Mary chatting at RHS Wisley about the inspiration behind the project and encouraging children to spend more time outdoors. "Being outside and being in nature is such a great environment for children to learn lifelong skills." Kate told Mary one of Louis' first words was "his version of Mary" because her cookbooks are at his eyeline at home. She added: "He would definitely recognise you if he saw you." Kate talked about growing their own vegetables and how much Louis loves beetroot and Charlotte is particularly fond of 'Charlotte' potatoes.
"Being outside and being in nature is such a great environment for children to learn lifelong skills." — The Duchess of Cambridge on her work in the Early Years sector. #ABerryRoyalChristmas pic.twitter.com/HEFGCrBNhb— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 16, 2019
As Kate and Mary iced cakes, Kate said she believes in the old saying, "it takes a village to raise a child". Parents, grandparents, the community as a whole and many others. The Duchess talked about making birthday cakes for the children. More from Hello!
"I love making the cake," she shared. "It's become a bit of a tradition that I stay up till midnight with ridiculous amounts of cake mix and icing and I make far too much. But I love it."
From there, Mary spent time with William at his patronage the Passage. The homeless charity supports 130,000 people through it's resource centre, homelessness prevention projects and two innovative accommodation services. William first visited the Passage with Diana as a child and became patron earlier this year. During a chat he credited Kate with steering their work towards mental health: "We share ideas, but she was the one who linked all the mental health stuff together. She realised that my work, her work and Harry's work were all headed in different directions, but all dealing with mental health."
"It had a profound impact on me." — The Duke of Cambridge on the visits he made in his youth to the @PassageCharity with his mother Diana, Princess of Wales #ABerryRoyalChristmas pic.twitter.com/LEsgUrbtnU— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 15, 2019
William spoke about the Queen carving her path as a young monarch, Charles' work with the Prince's Trust, and charity visits with Diana which influenced him. People reports:
'The royal dad said that when he drives Prince George and Princess Charlotte to school, they’ll notice people who are homeless on the street and ask questions.
“On the school run – I know it sounds a little bit contrite – but on the school run already, bear in mind 6 and 4, whenever we see someone who is sleeping rough on the street I talk about it and I point it out and I explain,” said William, who is patron of the homelessness charity Centrepoint. “And they are all very interested,” he added. “They are like: ‘Why can’t they go home?’”
William also praised his late mother Princess Diana for immersing him and his brother Prince Harry into the world of those who are less fortunate. Speaking during a visit to The Passage homelessness he told Berry, “It was one of the first places I came to actually. I must have been between 8 and 10, something like that. It had a profound impact on me.”
“My mother knew what she was doing with it. She realized that it was very important when you grow up – especially in the life that we grew up – that you realize that life happens beyond palace walls, and that you see real people struggling with real issues.”
Despite Prince George's enthusiastic cheers supporting Aston Villa, William revealed he is a Chelsea supporter. He revealed George wrote his Christmas list for Santa early: "He's a very good drawer. We might get him something for drawing or football."
Kate invited Mary to visit the Brink, a dry bar run her patronage Action on Addiction in Liverpool. They spoke to a group supported by the charity who openly discussed addiction issues and the journey to recovery. The Duchess talked about how difficult this time of year can be, with Mary opening up about losing her son. Kate added: "One of the things that really struck me was the inter-generational cycle", adding it's so important to include children in the recovery process. The pair made non-alcoholic drinks before departing. Kate shared memories from St Andrews as she served refreshments: "Reminds me of my university days when I did a bit of waitressing." "Were you good?" asked Mary, at which the Duchess laughed and replied: "No, I was terrible!"
Many of you asked about Kate's outfit when the above photo was released. Palace Avenue via Twitter identified it as the sold out Massimo Dutti High Neck Dress.
Mary asked Kate about the impact of working with organisations dealing with issues such as addiction:
"You've taken on so much interesting stories, quite traumatic stories. You have to allow yourself time to reflect and really take in what you've learned before you sort of dive into your own life and get into the school pick ups".
Then it was time for a very special Christmas party at the Rosewood Hotel, celebrating those helping people in need over Christmas and representatives from William and Kate's charities. Nadiya Hussain was crowned winner of the 2015 Great British Bake Off , which mary judged. Nadiya is a lovely lady who has bravely spoken of her own mental health struggles. Following introductions it was time for competition as Kate and Mary went up against William and Nadiya to prepare a roulade. There was a bit of bending the roles on both sides before Mary declared a draw after which Kate turned to William and said: "I think you're going to have to produce one of these at home now."
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 16, 2019
More from Hello!
'Kate opened up about the couple's home life to Mary Berry during the upcoming Christmas TV special, A Berry Royal Christmas, with Mary asking if the Prince ever cooks for his wife. "He sometimes does actually," Kate revealed. "He's very good at breakfast." The royal then reflected on the early days of her romance with William, when they were both studying together at St Andrews. "In [our] university days he used to cook all sorts of meals," Kate revealed. "I think that was when he was trying to impress me, Mary. Things like Bolognese sauces and things like that."
Joined by the Irish Guards, Child Bereavement UK and volunteers from helpline Shout, they worked on a selection of roulades before sitting down for a chat.
The party concluded with a lovely performance of 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' by actor and singer Luke Evans. It was a heartwarming watch and a very timely reminder to remember all those giving up Christmas with their families and friends to look after others. I watched the programme live and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was fascinating to go behind-the-scenes with amazing organisations and hear Kate and William's personal takes on their work and of course to hear more about the children. I see requests for a Kate and Mary spin off already :)
To view Mary's recipes from the show, click here to visit the BBC website.
Rebecca English reports the Queen's pre-Christmas luncheon is on Wednesday. We should see arrival photos around lunchtime.