The Duchess of Cambridge has told a single father how her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, initially found it difficult adjusting to parenthood.
Kate met father Billy, 39, during a visit to a care centre for expectant and new parents, after her own pregnancy led to a previous trip being delayed.
Billy is raising his seven-month-old daughter Violet alone after taking custody from her mother and spoke about his experiences at Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in north London.
The Duchess, who is currently pregnant with her third child, described how William had felt he did not know what exactly to do when he first became a father.
Family Action, a charity of which the Queen is patron, is among the organisations providing services at the care facility, including vital care and mental health support for parents.
Speaking after meeting Kate, Billy said: ‘She was saying William was sort of similar and I just wanted to let her know how Family Action have been there for me and I think they need more support.’
Billy said the mother of his daughter showed up on his doorstep out of the blue, saying she was pregnant and had already had two children taken away so could not care for a third.
He said: ‘I was under mental health myself, I was suffering from severe depression and I thought I’m not going to let my daughter go into care, I’m going to step up and do this – I managed to turn myself around.
The Duchess of Cambridge, 35, is visiting Hornsey Road Children’s Centre, after postponing her planned engagement in September as she battled severe morning sickness
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The Duchess of Cambridge doesn't seem to be slowing down in the run-up to Christmas. It's been a busy few weeks of engagements for the mum-to-be!
Today she paid a visit to Hornsey Road Children's Centre in London and she looked positively glowing in a cream coat, which is by Goat.
It's the second time in as many weeks she's worn the British brand, but whilst her burgundy dress was a brand new purchase, Kate first wore this cover-up back in 2013 when she was pregnant with Prince George. It looks like she might even be wearing the same little Topshop Peter Pan collar dress underneath as well, only this time she added her trusty boots by Stuart Weitzman.
The good news is it's still available to buy, so click (right) if you fancy giving your autumn/winter wardrobe a regal reboot. The neutral shade will go with everything, but it's also available in other colors too!
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Mother-of-two Kate bonded with youngsters during the visit, which she had to postpone while battling severe morning sickness
The Duchess is back in the full swing of royal duties after battling hyperemesis gravidarum in the early stages of her pregnancy and looked glowing today as she visited a children’s centre in North London
The Duchess had the chance to meet families and children in the nursery who have benefitted from Hornsey Road Children’s Centre’s support
The Duchess was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers as she left the centre. Kate was no doubt delighted to be able to reschedule her visit after pulling out in September due to severe morning sickness
‘I’ve been doing it from day one at the hospital, fed her her first bottle.’
The north London hub is used by parents to provide them with support ranging from company for parents to activities for children. It works with around 808 under-fives in the area.
Volunteer Maggie Sandy had been working with Billy and other parents.
She said: ‘We do offer support to dads specifically, I think it’s so important because dads so often get left out in the mix after the birth of a baby, sometimes they get sidelined and their feelings and wishes aren’t gathered.’
The Duchess looked understated but elegant in a cream coat by Goat worn over a black dress, teamed with knee high boots
The Duchess had the opportunity to chat to staff and other parents during the visit, while children enjoyed an art session
Kate opted for a monochrome look for the visit, which was rescheduled after she had to pull out of her planned engagement in September. She kept her look simple, accessorising with a small black clutch bag
The Duchess had the opportunity to learn about Family Action perinatal mental health services which operate nationwide
Expectant mother Kate looked delighted to spend time with young people at the centre during the visit
Kate learns more about perinatal mental health services during the engagement
Kate had earlier met with mothers and their young children while they were at play, bonding with one over their sons’ shared love of aircraft.
Mother-of-two Michelle said her son Jacob, four, was fond of planes – while Prince George is a fan of helicopters.
‘She was asking about what Jacob liked and he said he liked aeroplanes and she was asking if he’d seen a Spitfire and we said we liked going to the Science Museum and RAF museum.
‘She was saying how George likes helicopters, she was saying about the top floor of the Science Museum where the helicopters are.’
Glitter and paint had been splashed around as the Duchess made conversation with a group youngsters, her creme jacket standing out among their red paint-proof bibs.
Pregnant Kate will hear the experiences of some parents who have been helped by the charity Family Action during the visit, and those who volunteer to provide support
Her outfit, which included the long, light-coloured coat and knee-high boots, had been designed by Goat.
As with her previous pregnancies, Kate had been battling hyperemesis gravidarum – a condition which causes severe sickness in pregnancy.
It forced the expectant royal to step back from public life for several weeks, including a visit to the Hornsey Road Children’s Centre.
The visit comes as Kate continues looking at the issues and challenges in the area of maternal mental health.
The Duchess opted for a more comfortable choice of footwear than her usual high heeled court shoes, bringing out a pair of her trusty black knee high boots
Kate has, in the past, described her life as mother to Prince George and Princess Charlotte as a ‘rewarding and wonderful experience’, but admitted that it had been a ‘huge challenge’ at times that has left her feeling a ‘lack of confidence’ for periods.
She opened up about her maternal struggles in March as she attended the launch of a series of films aimed at helping new parents cope with depression and other mental health issues.
The Duchess is pregnant with her third child, due in April 2018.
Kensington Palace was forced to announce Kate’s third pregnancy on September 4 because – as when she was expecting Prince George and Princess Charlotte – Kate was suffering with severe morning sickness.
William and Kate, both 35, already have two children: Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2.
Kate will be heavily pregnant on an official visit to Norway and Sweden with her husband early next year.
The Palace said the couple had been asked to undertake the Scandinavian visit on behalf of the Foreign Office and William will also make a solo trip to Finland next month.