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British RoyalsThe Cambridges

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge speak to fathers

William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
i-Images/ Pool

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released a video call with a group of fathers discussing adapting to fatherhood on Saturday evening.

During their video call, the four fathers spoke about how the UK-based charity Future Men have supported them all with a course on fatherhood; and how they have adapted throughout the pandemic.

The royal couple spoke with Peter Sen and his son Elliot, Graeme Mackenzie and his son Liam, Owen Smith, and Sarit Chaturvedi; as well as Owen Thomas, the Head of Father Programmes at Future Men.

Sen, holding his son Elliot, said, “I think being at home in lockdown has been a blessing and a curse.

“A blessing that I get to see every part of his development and that’s a real joy, and however poorly or badly he sleeps, he always wakes up with a big smile on his face.”

Chaturvedi said, “Parenting is probably the only sort of job if you can call it [a job] – it is a very, very difficult job – that we’re not given any hands-on approach on.

“You know, any other job you enter, you are shown the ropes. At the time it’s completely new to you, it’s very scary actually being a parent for the first time.”

Kate said, “Dads play such an important role it shouldn’t be a bad thing to reach out for help and advice.”

Future Dads is a one-day course offered by Future Men that teaches new and expectant fathers ways to take care of their baby, their partner and themselves as they adapt to fatherhood. The charity estimates that it helps around 500 new fathers every year.

William asked the men, “How does Future Men find some of these other guys out there who have not got the realisation, or the wherewithal if you like, to go looking for services like Future Men and be able to build on a happy future as a father?

“Because I worry an awful lot, a lot of dads out there who just don’t know what to do, and they don’t know where to go. And they may not have such good – either grounding, foundations or support around them to be able to know what to do.”

Kate has made early childhood development and mental wellbeing a cornerstone of her royal work. The 5 Big Questions survey she launched earlier this year, pre-coronavirus, is expected to publish its findings next week. The survey aimed to focus the scope of Kate’s Early Years Programme work.

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.