Friday, 29 January 2021

Duchess Kate Talks Homeschooling, Hairdressing, Maths & "Feeling Pulled In So Many Directions"

The Duchess of Cambridge joined parents whose children attend Roe Green Junior School in Brent, and the schools headteacher Melissa Loosemore, to discuss homeschooling challenges, supports and the importance of light-hearted moments.

Kate joked she has become a hairdresser during lockdown much to the children's "horror". Kate noted, "As parents, we have day-to-day elements of being a parent but, I suppose, during lockdown we've had to take on additional roles that others in our communities or in our lives would have helped us with. We've had to become teachers. I, personally, feel pulled in so many different directions."

People reports:

'The mom of three, 39, spoke with a group of fellow parents in a candid video chat, in which she revealed which subject she struggles with most as she helps Prince George, 7, and Princess Charlotte, 5, with their assignments from home.

When asked how she would rate her math skills on a scale of 1 to 10, Kate replied, "-5."

"I'm obviously right at the bottom!" she said with a smile.

Melissa Loosemore, the headteacher of Roe Green Junior School in London, then asked Kate and the other parents to write down the one word that best described parenting during the pandemic.

"Exhausting," Kate wrote.'

A video of the discussion.

When asked about their main source of support, the parents answered their partners and family. Kate wrote "William". Headteacher Loosemore said, "We don't want it to be Bridgerton or something like that, do we."

Hello! writes:

'The Duchess was joined on the call by Nicole Seidemann, a mother of four, who talked about the importance of exercise to her mental wellbeing while parents Musadiq Subar and Rajana Panchani reiterated the critical value of peer support for parents during this tricky time.

Rajana spoke about how she had been forced to adapt the goals for both her children and herself as the homeschooling experience went on, saying: "I used to start each day with a list of things I wanted to achieve that day, and I shouldn't have bothered because you can't do all of those things anymore because you’re balancing your current role if you're working and balancing two different children's timetables, you've got a husband or a partner in the mix which is always complicated!

"You've got to still get the supermarket shopping in and you’ve got to do everything else and I find that list of things I’ve got to do every day is just not practical anymore.'

The conversation built on the key theme of Kate's early years survey 5 Big Questions. The Duchess told the group, "Being able to share your own experience with others who are going through the same thing makes it feel less daunting and makes you feel less isolated, so it's really important to reach out to loved ones and friends. Despite all the challenges facing us, whether it's feeling a lot more hectic or pushed within the patience spectrum, it’s been so lovely to hear from all of you.  I know how challenging it is juggling work and home life, school life and everything else that you as parents are doing."

Just over two years ago, when she was expecting Prince Louis, the Duchess visited Roe Green Junior School to launch Mentally Healthy Schools, a Heads Together's legacy project to support the mental health of young children in junior schools. During a speech to launch the programme Kate said, "My own commitment is to the youngest and most vulnerable in their early years - babies, toddlers and schoolchildren - and to support all those who care for them. The ultimate goal is that no primary school teacher, anywhere in the country, should in future have to wonder where to turn when it comes to the wellbeing of children in their care."

The Duchess was in green for the conversation. We saw her Massimo Dutti single-button, front flannel blazer. Kate first wore it last autumn for a video released to share insights from 5 Big Questions. Kate also wore a green ribbed top.

And her Daniella Draper G, C & L personalised necklace.

Kate completed the look with her Daniella Draper Cupid hoops. 


  1. I hadn't seen anything about this call and I absolutely loved it! Kate is so charming and authentic!! I admire and like her so much. Thank you, Charlotte, again for this wonderful post and your terrific blog where we can come to read about the latest Kate news and see the beautiful photos and videos that you include.

  2. Ahh another great video call. She is doing such a great job. I love the blazer and sweater. She looks lovely and agin so relaxed and comfortable in her interactions. I actually think all these Zoom calls during the Covid restrictions have helped her in her delivery. Love love all that she is doing.

  3. i loved this- so relatable and real. being a parent IS exhausting, right now. for everyone. we have so many roles to play and i have to say, i am also the hairdresser in the house (but my math score is a bit higher than Kate's, so at least i have that...)

    NY, USA

  4. I've homeschooled so much this year, my kids now have various looks and talk and behavior. There is the classroom habit, then the 'we-are-at-home' habit. All rather strenuous if you ask me.

  5. I love seeing her in these videos. It's so much more relatable than just fashion shots. Even though it's exhausting, I believe she and William will look back with fondness on the extra time they spent with their kids. Who could've predicted the situation we'd all be in?...

    I've noticed that the news is reporting more on the substance of her visits when it's virtual.

    -Victoria in Oregon

    1. Zora from Prague29 January 2021 at 20:14

      So well said, Victoria! I feel the same way.

  6. It was not a surprise that Kate named William as a supporter during this time, but it was still cute.

  7. I think Kate meant well in joining this call and of course she can empathize with other parents and feel exhausted, but when she said she has become a hairdresser for her kids I didn’t know what to think... when we see her in her different calls this week we can see that clearly there is a hairdresser on site. I understand that she wants to come across as a normal parent just like everyone else, but the fact is she is not like everyone else, she enjoys immense privileges that no one else has access to. I like that she took part in this call but I don’t think she should have mentioned hairdressing. Just my two cents.

    1. I hear what you are saying, but I wonder if the family is trying to limit interactions with others as much as possible. I am guessing, but Kate may have been referring to the couple of times she took scissors to the boys fringe/bangs.

    2. I think it would be a good thing if she acknowledged her privileges despite changes in their lifestyle due to covid, and kept the focus on families who are truly exhausted and struggling. She and her family are not relatable precisely because of the access they have to tons of help even if all three kids are home all the time.

      They have an entire separate private house from the Queen to do their work business in, clearly have access to hair styling even if Kate does trim their bangs here and there, and you know they have help tutoring the children while also getting help keeping their homes and couture clothing in order. “We’re just like you” just doesnt work anymore, however reassuring it is to know that their lives have also changed in some way. It would go way farther to acknowledge privileges while also showing immense care for those less fortunate.

    3. Well said Leelu, I agree.

    4. MizBev in Colorado31 January 2021 at 14:38

      I do not agree because we know that they are part of the royal family and all and have a work space in the Sandringham but how on earth can we speculate on whether or not there is a hairdresser or how involved they are or are not with their children. Gosh, to make those kinds of speculations with no concrete evidence is not fair.
      They could very well be spending all of their time with the children and Kate just might be able bodied enough to style her own hair. You do not give her and
      William much credit.

    5. The UK is still in lockdown right now so we really don't know if her hairstylist is doing her hair at the moment. Kate is maybe rich and have help but at the end of the day she's a human being with feelings just like everyone. I do agree with MizBev in Colorado, I think there are times where people over speculate too much and dismiss all of the great work W&K and their royal foundation have been doing throughout the year.

    6. Zora from Prague31 January 2021 at 19:16

      +1 MizBev and Davion. "You know they have help tutoring the children"... how could anyone possibly know??? She is a hands-on Mum of three young kids. Plus, she doesn't only have privileges, she has responsibilities as well (as a parent plus as a member of the Royal Family). And like everyone else, she has had to learn how to cope in lockdown, even though her situation and everybody else's situation are different.

    7. I might be completely wrong here, but the way I understood it was that part of the reason why they started to work from Sandringham is so that they can have some of their office staff (I have no idea if it include a hairdresser), which they did not have when working from Amner Hall.
      And if you look at Kate’s hair during lockdown it definitely look more DIY. So I think you might be wrong on the hairdresser front.

    8. Valerie in Arizona1 February 2021 at 02:41

      Reading Charlotte’s next post on the kick-off for Place2Be I can’t help looking at that meme “70% of parents feel judged by others and among these parents, nearly half feel this negatively impacts their mental health” and thinking about how we have become so judgmental with social media. Can’t we just find the good without carping? And it’s not just Kate of course, I am talking about social media in general. One of my favorite uplifting Youtubers Andrew Cotter recently mused how he once thought social media was about being sociable.

  8. This green pants suit by Massimo Dutti looks great on Kate and just the right shade of Green. I did not notice in Nov, 2020 because she was sitting that it was a new pants suit. I think Kate is likely this more modern, professional chic outfits that look appropriate and great on her.💚

    1. Well said anon, exactly my thought depicted.


  9. Danielle, I can not tell if Catherine used a hair dresser for her calls. I have long hair and I am able to pretty easily style it the way hers is in most of these videos. No idea if she is getting monthly hair coloring and cuts.

  10. Valerie in Arizona30 January 2021 at 22:21

    No one is like anyone else. And I think all of the people who agree to appear with Catherine would agree. We have no idea what each person in that video is like—income bracket, number of children, etc. We happen to have a fair idea of Kate’s life but then again personally I don’t know how many staff she has at Anmer apart from Maria the nanny and I think they still have Antonella the cook? Charlotte, actually that would be an interesting post, does anyone know how many staff W & K have with them? Not to be confrontational but because to me it’s an interesting topic.

    1. Hello Valerie,

      I'm afraid it's very difficult to know. I expect it's changeable at present depending on restrictions. The only mention of staff was a recent tweet from Emily Andrews suggesting there's Nanny Maria Teresa, "housekeepers to clean and cook, gardeners, office staff and PPOs". I will certainly see what I can find out and do a post if I can get a clearer picture. Everything is so up in the air at present.

    2. Oh I love the virtual video of the duchess of Cambridge she exactly what she would to best checking other was good too plus the fact I love her hair


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