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Princess Kate Shares Rare Childhood Photo With Father Michael Middleton to Promote Early Mental Health Awareness

Princess Kate Shares Rare Childhood Photo With Father Michael Middleton to Promote Early Mental Health Awareness
Princess Kate with an inset of her father Michael Middleton.Shutterstock (2)

Just a princess and her papa. Princess Kate shared a rare glimpse of her childhood with a personal photo from her early years with dad Michael Middleton.

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“‘Faces are a baby’s best toy.’ On Tuesday we launched #ShapingUs to raise awareness of the vital role our early years play in shaping the rest of our lives,” the Princess of Wales, 41, wrote via Instagram on Saturday, February 4. “This weekend, we’d love for you all to spend time with your friends, families, colleagues and communities talking about your early childhoods and how they’ve shaped your lives.”

The photo shows the England native in her father’s arms as a baby. She wore a white dress with a yellow floral design lace trim on the sleeves and collar. Her little hands reached up for her dad’s face. While Michael, now 73, held his eldest daughter, wife Carole Middleton was behind the camera.

Kate — who is mother to Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7 and Prince Louis, 4 — has focused much of her charity work on supporting children in their early years so they can become healthy and happy adults. The Shaping Us campaign is intended to increase public understanding of the importance of the first five years of a child’s life.

Related: Royals Get Candid About Their Mental Health Struggles

In June 2021, just after celebrating her 10th anniversary with husband Prince William, she launched The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which drives awareness of the impact of the early years. The Shaping Us campaign is part of the Centre for Early Childhood’s efforts.

Princess Kate Shares Rare Childhood Photo With Father Michael Middleton to Promote Early Mental Health Awareness
Princess Kate as a child with her father Michael Middleton. Courtesy of The Prince and Princess of Wales/Instagram

The Duchess of Cornwall continued in her Saturday Instagram post, “I hope you’ll also consider joining me in sharing a picture of yourselves before your fifth birthday to help with those conversations and to share some smiles and memories too.”

As part of the campaign, Her Royal Highness filmed a chat with Roman Kemp, released on the Prince and Princess of Wales’ YouTube channel on Friday, February 3.

“Everyone cares about and takes a lot of time over their physical health, don’t they? But they find it much harder to not only talk about their mental health but actually understand ways in which we can also look after it,” Kate explained to the British radio host, 30.

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She went on to explain why her work is focusing on the first five years of life. “Early childhood, and there’s lots of different ways to talk about it, but for us, really, it’s from pregnancy to the age of 5,” the University of St Andrews alum explained. “Because it’s when our brains are growing the fastest, it’s at its most malleable, so it’s really such a critical time to lay the foundations for our future adult selves, really. It’s a bit like building a house and without strong foundations, without this sort of solid start in life then those building blocks are much harder to build later on in life.”

Kemp was among the first to join Princess Kate’s childhood photo challenge on Saturday, sharing a snap of himself wearing boxing gloves at age 5. “These early years are the moments that shape who we become in later life,” he captioned the picture via Instagram. “A time that should be filled with so much love and nurturing but for so many isn’t the reality. This has to change.”

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