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Prince George and Princess Charlotte ask Duke why homeless people have no home to go to

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 16/12/2019 Victoria Ward

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 5: Princess Charlotte, waves as she arrives for her first day at school, with her brother Prince George and her parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at Thomas's Battersea in London on September 5, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images) © 2019 Getty Images LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 5: Princess Charlotte, waves as she arrives for her first day at school, with her brother Prince George and her parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at Thomas's Battersea in London on September 5, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince George and Princess Charlotte have expressed an interest in homelessness after watching rough sleepers on their way to school and asking "why can't they go home?", the Duke of Cambridge has revealed.

The Duke said he made a point of discussing the struggles faced by others as he drove his elder two children to school at Thomas’s, Battersea.

He made the remarks in a BBC Christmas special as the Cambridges joined forces with Mary Berry, taking the 84-year-old former star of The Great British Bake Off along to some of their royal engagements.

Video: Prince William's equality encouragement for his kids (Bang Showbiz)

The visits are interspersed with intimate conversations about their lives, in which both discuss what inspires their work and their determination to ensure that their children, Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, four, and 18-month-old Prince Louis, understand how fortunate they are.

The Duke chatted to Berry during a visit to The Passage, a homeless charity in central London  of which he is patron.

He described how his mother had taken him there when he was around eight years old, acutely aware of the importance that her sons were aware of what life was like outside palace walls, and vowed to take his own children too one day.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Mary Berry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are posing for a picture: The Duke made the remarks in a BBC Christmas special as the Cambridges joined forces with Mary Berry © BBC/Shine TV/Kensington Palace/PA The Duke made the remarks in a BBC Christmas special as the Cambridges joined forces with Mary Berry

“It had a profound impact on me,” he said. “My mother knew what she was doing with it.”

“I know it sounds a little bit contrite, but on the school run already, bearing in mind they’re six and four, whenever we see anyone who's sleeping rough on the streets, I  talk about it,” he said.

“I explain why and they’re all very interested. They’re like, why can’t they go home?”

Gallery: Prince William and Catherine - The family album (Photo Services)

Lifting the lid on family life behind Kensington Palace walls, the Cambridges also revealed Prince Louis “absolutely loves” home grown beetroot and George is a Chelsea fan, despite his father’s efforts to the contrary.

As the Duchess gave Berry a tour of her new play garden at RHS Wisley, she spoke about how much her children loved being outside and her desire to encourage families to spend time together and to “focus on the simple things”.

“Sometimes, when it’s chucking it down with rain and it’s freezing cold and I’m dragging (the children) outside they would probably rather be staying inside,” she laughed.

a person sitting at a table with a cake: Mary Berry joined the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on a number of royal visits for the BBC1 programme A Berry Royal Christmas © BBC/Shine TV/Kensington Palace/PA Mary Berry joined the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on a number of royal visits for the BBC1 programme A Berry Royal Christmas

“But I think it’s so important.”

She described how her children had collated a “crazy little” collection of bits and pieces procured from various places that they proudly show grandparents and friends.

“George thinks it’s a museum,” she said. “It’s very sweet. It’s quite small, it’s full of these little treasures, whether it’s a crab’s claw or a little shell he’s found that he loves.

WOKINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Louis of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge attend the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match, in which Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex were competing for the Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Polo Trophy at Billingbear Polo Club on July 10, 2019 in Wokingham, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images) © 2019 Max Mumby/Indigo WOKINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Louis of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge attend the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match, in which Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex were competing for the Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Polo Trophy at Billingbear Polo Club on July 10, 2019 in Wokingham, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

“And that’s what’s so nice - for them their world’s quite small.”

The couple's large, modern kitchen at Kensington Palace is clearly at the heart of family life.

The Duchess said she thoroughly enjoyed cooking with the children and encouraged them to be as creative and as independent as possible.

UK, Great Britain, England, London, View Of Homeless Person Resting On Wooden Bench © Copyright Kypros 2017 all rights reserved UK, Great Britain, England, London, View Of Homeless Person Resting On Wooden Bench

She revealed that one of the last things they cooked together was Berry’s pizza dough, proudly telling the veteran presenter it had been a great success.

She said they grew their own vegetables, including carrots, beans and beetroots, which were a “massive favourite”.

“Louis absolutely loves beetroot,” she said. “Charlotte obviously likes her Charlotte potatoes."

WOKINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince George of Cambridge plays with a polo mallet as he and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge attend the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match, in which Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex were competing for the Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Polo Trophy at Billingbear Polo Club on July 10, 2019 in Wokingham, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images) © 2019 Max Mumby/Indigo WOKINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince George of Cambridge plays with a polo mallet as he and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge attend the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match, in which Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex were competing for the Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Polo Trophy at Billingbear Polo Club on July 10, 2019 in Wokingham, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

When it comes to birthdays, the 37-year-old is just like any other parent and loves staying up late to create an impressive cake.

“It’s become a bit of a tradition that I stay up until midnight with ridiculous amounts of cake mix and icing,” she said. “I make far too much but I love it.”

Berry also joined the Duchess on a trip to Liverpool to visit the Brink, the UK's first dry bar set up by Action on Addiction, which provides a safe space for those suffering from addiction.

As they blended mocktails behind the bar, the Duchess admitted she had once suffered an unfortunate mishap with a blender.

”I did this with a spinach soup once and forgot to put the lid on it,” she said.

“We ended up with spinach soup on the ceiling.”

As they set off to serve their drinks, she added: “It reminds me of my university days when I did a bit of waitressing. I was terrible.”

The Duchess confessed that the nature of her charity work often had a profound personal impact and that it was not always easy just to switch off and return to her own life.

“You’ve taken on so many interesting stories - quite traumatic stories - and you have to allow yourself time to reflect and really take on what you’ve learnt before you dive into your own life and school pick ups,” she said.

The Duke admitted that it was his wife who did most of the cooking at home, suggesting that his own talents barely stretched beyond making a cup of tea, although the Duchess conceded he was “very good” at breakfast.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 11: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends a Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Sir Donald Gosling at Westminster Abbey on December 11, 2019 in London, England. Sir Donald Gosling, Chairman of National Car Parks (NCP) an honorary Vice-Admiral of the Royal Navy and former owner of the motor yacht Leander G, died on September 16 2019. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images) © 2019 Max Mumby/Indigo LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 11: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends a Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Sir Donald Gosling at Westminster Abbey on December 11, 2019 in London, England. Sir Donald Gosling, Chairman of National Car Parks (NCP) an honorary Vice-Admiral of the Royal Navy and former owner of the motor yacht Leander G, died on September 16 2019. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

She added, somewhat ruefully, that in their university days, when they first started dating, he used to cook all sorts of meals, including bolognaise.

“I think that was when he was trying to impress me Mary,” she laughed.

The Duke also revealed it was his wife who was the mastermind behind the incredibly successful mental health campaign spearheaded by the younger royals at Kensington Palace.

“She realised that my work, Harry’s work and her work were all headed in different directions but all dealing with mental health," he told Berry. "She was the one who joined the dots and said we need to tackle mental health.”

The Duke, who is a keen Aston Villa fan, revealed that Prince George had already written his list for Father Christmas and that they planned to get him something to do with either drawing or football.

“He loves his drawing, he’s a very good drawer,” he said.

“He’s loving his football as well. I’m trying not to be too biased. I said you can support anyone but Chelsea. So naturally, he supports Chelsea.”

A Berry Royal Christmas is on Monday at 8.30pm on BBC One.

Our Christmas Together Appeal proudly supports Age UK and The Children’s Society who are providing vital services to society’s most vulnerable this festive season. Because no one should feel alone. Together we can make a big difference. Join us here.

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