The Duchess of Cambridge reads bedtime story to mark Children's Mental Health week

7 February 2022, 23:50 | Updated: 7 February 2022, 23:57

The Duchess of Cambridge has recorded a bedtime story reading for CBeebies.
The Duchess of Cambridge has recorded a bedtime story reading for CBeebies. Picture: Kensington Palace

By Daisy Stephens

The Duchess of Cambridge has donned a comfy sweater and sat down by a fire to record a bedtime story reading for CBeebies.

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Sat cross-legged on a rug, Kate narrates the modern children's classic, The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, by Jill Tomlinson, to mark Children's Mental Health Week.

The duchess is following in the footsteps of Hollywood star Chris Evans - best known for playing Captain America, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, and British actor Tom Hiddleston, who have all appeared on CBeebies Bedtime Stories.

For the broadcast on the BBC's channel for young children, the duchess wears jeans and a Fair Isle jumper and appears to be sat in the corner of a green space, with a hot chocolate within reach, two soft toy owls for company, and a fire bowl burning away.

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Patricia Hidalgo, director of BBC Children's and Education, said the reading "perfectly" represented the theme of Children's Mental Health week - Growing Together.

"I couldn't be more proud to have the duchess read a CBeebies Bedtime Story as we mark the 20th anniversary of our CBeebies and CBBC channels," she said.

"It's such a special and relevant tale and perfectly represents this years' Children's Mental Health week theme.

"I can't wait to see her deliver her own take on such a classic story and I'm sure our audience can't either."

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, illustrated by Paul Howard, tells the story of Plop, a baby barn owl, who is helped by others to grow in confidence and overcome his fears.

Children's Mental Health Week is a national event that aims to highlight the importance of the issue and Kate, whose reading will be screened on Sunday, picked Tomlinson's book as the story chimes with this years' theme of Growing Together.

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Youngsters and adults are being encouraged to consider how they have grown emotionally, recognising that trying new things can help people move beyond their comfort zones.

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark read by the duchess on CBeebies Bedtime Stories will be screened at 6.50pm on Sunday.