Kate Middleton’s life certainly has changed since becoming a mother. While viewing the work of the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative at Mitcham's Bond Primary School on Wednesday, January 17, the Duchess of Cambridge admitted that she has had to take a step back from sports following the births of her children — Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
The royal, who is expecting her third child in April, spoke to kids at the school about her love for tennis. She said, “A big thank you from me as well because I've loved playing with you all — it's so energetic and exciting to be part of it, so well done for all the hard work."
Kate revealed that she is less sporty since becoming a mother Photo: Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images
"And I love tennis. I think it's a great sport, I was really sporty when I was little, less so now that I've got lots of babies,” Kate added while patting her baby bump.
Prince William’s wife showed off her maternal side throughout her busy day and even hugged one child goodbye. Despo Stevens, a teacher, noted, “How delightful that it didn’t feel like royalty at a distance but royalty amongst the people. I’m in awe of how down to earth and engaged she was with everyone. The children didn’t hesitate in showing her affection — that is how they are here — and she didn’t seem to mind at all. I’m sure her mothering instinct came out.”
The Duchess viewed the work of the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative at Mitcham's Bond Primary School Photo: Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images
During her visit, Kate revealed that she and the Duke of Cambridge are "very competitive" when it comes to playing tennis. Ms. Stevens shared: “[The Duchess] said she plays tennis with William and that they’re very competitive, but she didn’t say who wins."
The head teacher also revealed that Kate has been playing with her four-year-old son Prince George. The educator shared: ”She said she is trying to play tennis with Prince George and said that he is enjoying some of the extra curricular clubs at school. She also said that Charlotte is enjoying nursery."
The pregnant royal took part in practice sessions in the school hall with children during her visit Photo: Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Kate, who is patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) — home of the Wimbledon championships — was at the 480-pupil school to see the work of the community program that works with around 65 schools in the boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth to offer free coaching sessions and promote the benefits of physical activity. She took part in practice sessions in the school hall with children as young as four, as well as 11-year-olds, covering agility, mentoring and racquet skills.
Earlier in the day, the 36-year-old royal visited children at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Kate met with patients and chatted about her family’s favorite food. One of the young patients named Rafa revealed that he likes olives, to which Kate replied: "I used to eat lots and lots of olives when I was little as well." When the young patient added that he also likes pasta, Kate revealed: "Charlotte likes pasta too."
Kate showed off her maternal side during her busy day of engagements Photo: Frank Augstein-WPA Pool/Getty Images
The Duchess — who stepped out sans her iconic sapphire engagement ring due to the hospital’s policy on minimal jewelry — officially opened the Mittal Children's Medical Centre, which is home to the new Premier Inn Clinical Building. Kate met the youngsters in the children's playroom and also heard from their families about their experience with the new facilities.
Prince William's wife then addressed the small crowd and said: "I just wanted to say a huge thank you for having me here today. It's been my first trip to Great Ormond Street Hospital and I've been so impressed with everything I've seen and the scale of the work that's going on here. It's been wonderful to meet so many families and young people, and I've been so inspired by their bravery and courage at such a difficult time."