The Princess of Wales has told teens she is still learning to fit into her royal role “every day”.
Princess Catherine, 41, who has children Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five, with her husband Prince William, 40, and married into the royal family in 2011, met a group of young people from St Katherine’s School in Bristol on Tuesday (16.05.23) who had received mentoring from athletes through The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
Two-time Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly, 53, who founded the group, told People about the princess’ talk: “They were just asking her about being a royal. Was it something that she wanted to do?
“And she said she ‘had to learn and she’s still learning every day’.
“It’s a struggle to know you can be accepted and fit in.”
Dame Kelly also praised Princess Catherine as “lovely” because she “was just willing to be asked questions”.
She added: “That was really nice because it showed somebody of her stature and status is human as well.”
The former athlete added about being impressed by the royal’s engagement with young people: “Doing public speaking isn’t a natural thing for lots of people, and she said she’s still working that out, how to project.
“She humanised everything to show not everyone’s perfect.
“It doesn’t matter what you’ve got or perceived to have as an individual – you’re still going to have those insecurities and need those learning tools that happen over life.”
Princess Catherine listened to the children talk about their struggles and how working with an athletics mentor has helped them manage their emotions.
The youngsters, who were aged 11 to 19, are taking part in the The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust’s ‘On Track To Achieve’ programme which is headed by Paralympic gold medallist Liz Johnson.
It brings well-being programmes to children’s hospitals and schools, and is often aimed at helping young people who face mental health challenges.
Princess Catherine visited the Percy Community Centre in Bath to see the work the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, set up by the athlete in 2008.
Kelly added: “She said, ‘Ask me questions as well.’ I asked her, I said, ‘You’ve got three children and do you see different traits in them?’
“She said: ‘Oh yes,’ and she said, ‘That’s the thing. It’s like learning how to handle the different traits and different needs and abilities even with three young children shows her the need to do it with masses of children.’”
The princess also took part in a game of bean-bag noughts and crosses during her visit and finished second after taking on Kelly.