Like millions of families around the world, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are self-isolating at home with their children and are going through their own challenges during this unprecedented time. And as for whether Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Princess Louis know why exactly they're cooped up at home and can't go to school right now, Kate Middleton talks to her kids about the pandemic in simple terms, as she shared during a recent interview with the BBC.
On Friday, Prince William and Middleton sat down for an interview via video call with the BBC from their country home of Anmer Hall in Norfolk County to discuss healthcare workers and mental health issues during the coronavirus outbreak. The couple also discussed how they've been spending time with their own children — 6-year-old Prince George, 4-year-old Princess Charlotte, and nearly 2-year-old Prince Louis — for the past three weeks.
Homeschooling them, for instance, Prince William dryly said has been going "great," while Middleton said she continued lessons through the holidays but "don't tell the children."
"I feel very mean," Middleton laughed. "But the children have got such stamina, I don't know how honestly."
As for talking about the reason why Prince George and Princess Charlotte are being homeschooled rather than going to their regular classes at Thomas's Battersea in London, Middleton said they're "aware" of the situation.
"It's been ups and downs, like a lot of families self-isolating," Middleton told the BBC. "George is much older than Louis is, but they are aware. Although you don't want to scare them, and make it too overwhelming, I think it is appropriate to acknowledge it in the simple ways, in an age-appropriate way."
While Prince William and Middleton did not elaborate on how they've explained the pandemic to their children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that parents discuss the coronavirus with kids in a way that is calm and reassuring. Try to avoid any language that attaches blame or could encourage stigma to the pandemic, and make yourself available to listen to their concerns as you explain what's going on. And teaching them everyday actions on how to avoid spreading the germ is also a great way to give children a feeling of control in an otherwise uncertain time.
Middleton and Prince William seem to be finding a way to protect their children while also making them aware of the world beyond their walls. Like when they shared a video of their little ones joining the rest of the United Kingdom in applauding health care workers in a sweet show of gratitude last month, for instance. The balance between protecting your kids and making them aware of danger is a delicate one, and its one that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are navigating along with parents all over the world right now.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.