Duchess Kate is ‘very strict on screen time’ with the kids, wants them to do crafts

kate garden show

I’ll be honest: I cannot believe that Kate has not done more on social media during the corona lockdown. I’m not saying that as some kind of hyper-critical nastiness. I’m honestly flabbergasted that the Cambridges’ staff have not realized that Kate would have been applauded for doing the bare minimum in the comfort of her own country home. She could have provided a reading list for kids and parents. She could have done a few Instagram videos of simple outdoor and indoor activities to do with kids. She could have done more than one bloody Zoom call with kids or frontline workers. All it would take is maybe 30 to 50 minutes every other day, providing a touch of whimsy and “everywoman” mom-ness to the lockdown. Instead, Kate has just been largely in the wind, like usual. (Update: over the past 24 hours, there was a flurry of activity from Camp Cambridge, how odd!) And in lieu of Kate actually getting off her royal bum, her staff are left to merely push these kinds of stories to Katie Nicholl. Did you know Kate limits her kids’ screen time? Oh.

Kate Middleton ‘is very strict on screen time’ and ‘won’t allow Prince George, Princess Charlotte or Prince Louis their own devices’, a royal expert has claimed. Katie Nicholl told Okay! magazine that the Duchess of Cambridge, 38, is keen to encourage creativity in her children during lockdown, and said they aren’t permitted their own mobiles or tablets.

She revealed: ‘The emphasis during this time will be on arts and crafts, painting and doing things that aren’t screen-orientated. Kate is usually very strict on screen time and keeps it to a minimum.’

The royal expert added that the lockdown at the Cambridge family home on Anmer Hall was providing a great opportunity for Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1, to get outside and explore nature. Katie revealed: ‘They’ve got climbing frames, swings and a pond, and each of the children are in charge of their own little patch of the kitchen garden.’

The family, who have been living in Norfolk for several weeks amid the coronavirus crisis, are currently preparing for Prince Louis’ 2nd birthday next week. And Katie revealed that despite the current restrictions, the family would do all they could do ensure he had a great day. She said that Prince George and Princess Charlotte were very likely to make their own cards and gifts for their little brother during one of their arts-and-crafts sessions. Meanwhile Prince Louis is most likely to be found playing outdoors, with Katie revealing that he was ‘happiest when exploring the grounds’ of Anmer.

[From The Daily Mail]

I wonder if Kate is discouraged from doing those cutesy videos at Anmer Hall because someone, somewhere in the Kensington Palace office is actually genuinely concerned about the optics. The optics of a barely employable woman parading around her extensive grounds and her large family mansion. But… if those optics are uncomfortable and they invite scrutiny, then why even prattle on and on about how Kate is such a normal middle-class mum with her country mansion, pond, gardens, tennis court and miles of acreage for the kids to play? Also, I feel like this is a moms-judging-moms thing. “Well, Kate doesn’t allow her kids any time on the iPad, so you’re a bad mother if you’re harried and overworked and you aren’t monitoring your kids’ screen time!”



Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and KensintonRoyal social media.

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75 Responses to “Duchess Kate is ‘very strict on screen time’ with the kids, wants them to do crafts”

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  1. Allie says:

    I’m not impressed with a mom who has a nanny and a full staff limiting their children’s screen time. Everyday moms who have to do their own cooking, laundry, house cleaning, childcare and now homeschooling plus, in a lot of cases, still work from home, are probably having to rely on some screen time to get some stuff done.

    • escondista says:

      OMG my 4 year old is living on her tablet and poptarts. She also helps me pick up the house all day which is fun for her! This is a blip in which i hope people are just giving themselves grace.
      I like to think of this time as an experience to improve technology skills for everyone. My elderly pediatrician is learning to FaceTime and diagnose from a distance. My coworkers are learning how to have online meetings and use technology in new ways. My kids will probably not be using crafting skills as much as IT troubleshooting and digital engagement in their adult lives, Kate. So bugger off with your privileged sharing right now.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Well said Escondista!

      • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

        @Esconditsa +1000

      • Trillian says:

        This sooo much. Plus crafting just means hours of cleaning up for me afterwards. She can do all her crafting when kindergarten re-opens 🙂

        Edit: I note that it mainly says the kids aren’t allowed their own devices, which is not saying all that much for a 1 or a 4 yr old. Plus a “minimum” of screen time can mean a lot of things.

      • Sophie says:

        Tablet and pop tarts! I love it!

        Thank you for the honesty. I am working from home and I have a 4 year old and 6 year old. Translation: my 6 year old now has a full time job as a babysitter.

    • Brenda says:


  2. Angie says:

    Totally. Sorry. Full time job from home and four kids to home school. Not too worried about screen time but glad you are Kate. This seems like the most tone deaf message possible to release right now.

    • Thaisajs says:

      Right? My 7-year-old literally spent the whole day yesterday playing a cupcake decorating game on her iPad cause I’m a single mom and I’m fortunate enough to be able to work FT from home but I have to work, not play with her. So screw you, Kate. I don’t need another reminder about how much I’m failing at being a good mom right now but we’re in a pandemic so enough with the super mommy stories.

      Whew, thanks, I needed to get that out of my system. 😉

    • Mac says:

      My sister is taking the opposite approach. It’s a pandemic, her kids are stressed and confused so she is letting them have more screen time because it distracts them from their reality.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      My daughter used to play a game called Animal Jam online for looooong periods of time, I also engaged with her in activities both inside and out,but I allowed myself to feel guilty but truth was I was home alone with her a lot and had cooking,cleaning,bills,laundry and that wasn’t during a pandemic.

      I am proud to tell you she is now a straight A student ,talented artist,speaks two languages fluently,has a job,and is a really nice young girl so nobody worry about the times when they are engaged via screen time.We aren’t bad moms if we aren’t gardening with them every day!

  3. Juliette says:

    GMAFB, she’s got a house full of nannies and staff to help out with the kids. I think that whatever helps families cope with being locked down, do that.

    Also, I side eye the terrible grammar in that article. “Orientated” is not a word. Totally grates on me when people use it. Sorry, snark of the day after being in my house for days. My b-day today so hubby is making me a nice dinner and I have a bottle of wine (or 2) I will be drinking. Slightlyu frustrated I can’t go anywhere lol.

  4. Lightpurple says:

    How absolutely surprising that Prince Louis, age one, almost two, doesn’t have his own mobile or tablet! Such parenting! Kate, how do you do it?

    • Kebbie says:

      Seriously. Why would any of those kids have cell phones?

    • aria says:

      I think your comment seems sarcastic anyways I answer that when prince George was little around 1 or 2, William said that George loves his iPad and plays games all the time in it. so I highly doubt they are laying Louis out of the electronic device.

    • Vava says:

      LOL. God what a stupid article. Oh and Louis has his own garden patch? RIGHT…..

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Yeah I think that’s a bit of a reach,his own garden well then I’m sure it comes with a gardener too,teach ‘em young.

      • Lady D says:

        I’m a hardcore planter and I had my son planting at two. His first garden was a fruit salad with strawberries, watermelon and blueberries. He loved it. I learned later that a favourite of kids are pumpkins and they get really excited watching their pumpkins grow. Part of it is getting to use their pumpkin for Halloween of course. I really wish I’d had the ability to film him at the time.

  5. Franatastic says:

    The standards for parenting in a crisis should not be held to the same standards as normal life. Esp if you aren’t in a mansion with a nanny. 2 adults Working full time. Baby. Autistic 4 year old who has had all his therapies closed or moved to telehealth. No developmental preschool. No playground time. Small back yard that he’s bored of after 6 weeks of lockdown.

    Peppa pig, tablet time, and telehealth are my quarantine survival tools. Otherwise I can’t work and if I can’t work we can’t have insurance. Give me all the Sesame Street videos.

    • Still_Sarah says:

      @ Frantastic : “The standards for parenting in a crisis should not be held to the same standards as normal life”. EXACTLY – it’s like vacation but in reverse because the kids are still with you all the time but no one’s having any fun.

  6. Becks1 says:

    I usually limit my kids screen time and consider myself to be fairly strict about it, especially for my 8 year old, considering he has friends who regularly play fortnite for hours on end.

    But right now? there is a lot more screen time that I would normally be comfortable with – my husband and I are both still working FT from home, and while yes, we are getting outside a great deal and we are doing crafts and art and baking and science experiments – we’ve also been watching a movie every night and my 5 year old has been on ABC Mouse for the past 45 minutes.

    Sue me lol.

    • Becks1 says:

      ALSO lets all remember that neither Kate nor will work 40 hours a week. I doubt either one is working 10 hours a week right now. So even without any help, they’re still in a better position than most people.

      This is such a tone-deaf message right now. If it was JUST about the crafts, or baking or something, it would be okay (show us a video of them making pizza at night or something), but the parts about screen time and how they have all this outdoor space etc – just so tone deaf.

    • Meghan says:

      I get the arts and crafts out for my 3.5 year old and he gets bored after 5 minutes. He loves to help me bake but unless I want to buy a whole new wardrobe when I go back to work I can’t eat all of our baked goods every single day. At least when he watches 3 hours of Dino Dana he is learning all about dinosaurs and science and experiments!

      Our local PBS station has switched to different classes for kids who are out of school. It’s great for thos students and seems to cover a wide variety of topics (one was about Medieval times) but I am kind of bummed that the educational programs he likes aren’t being aired right now.

      • Becks1 says:

        Yeah, 3.5 is a tricky age, for sure. Mine are 5 and 8 and that is a lot more manageable as these things go, and my 5 year old is obsessed with art/coloring so he can draw pictures for an hour straight. My 8 year old has been harder to manage actually because he is so used to school, friends, activities, etc.

        I wonder if our PBS is showing anything different, I haven’t checked…..

        but yeah, I feel like we are all just in survival mode right now. I take each day as it comes and just try to get through, whatever that may mean on any given day.

      • Dal says:

        The only way I’m getting through is because of Dino Dana haha!

      • Lady D says:

        I switched from baking to cooking too, Meghan because of sugar. I taught my bebop how to make meatballs, stuffing for pork chops, scrub veggies for stew, mix the dough for baking powder biscuits, layer the crockpot, etc.,

  7. Yoyo says:

    There goes Cain again can’t keep his foot out of his mouth complaining about business travelers not using Zoom etc.
    Says the man with a private helicopter to fly him to KP to Norfolk.

  8. Harla says:

    I’m rather surprised that there hasn’t been more outrage that all the senior royals decamped to their rural, second homes during this pandemic when local government have been pleading with second-home owners to not do this.

    I bet it’s easy to limit screen time for one’s children when they have acres and acres of open space and aren’t crammed into a 2-bedroom flat with no open area. Poor lambs.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      I’ve seen plenty of snarky comments about the second home issue on social media whenever the Queen/Charles/W&K are in the news. Obviously the press itself has remained quiet except for Charles running off to Scotland.

  9. Bavarian says:

    herkids are little and shouldn’t have more screen time than 30 min a day. maybe it’s because iam German but i don’t get the hate. my kids are way older and have a strict limit as i limit myself

    • HMC says:

      It’s the context. Right now schools are closed and parents either still have to work or are working from home. I’m lucky enough that Kiddo is done with school but others arent. So they’re trying to make sure their children are educated along with working full time from home. A lot of the education is now down over the internet also. Keeping kids occupied is important, they also can’t or shouldn’t be going to friends houses.A parent juggling emails, conference calls and video conferences can’t take their kids outside to play or stop what they’re doing to do crafts. Right now it’s tone deaf.

    • mika says:

      This issue has nothing to do with screen time. It’s about being passive aggressively lectured about parenting, during a pandemic, by holding up an extremely rich person as a model.

  10. Carrie says:

    Now children
    Do you want to garden, or
    Do you want to play on the climbing frame? or
    Do you want me to push you on the swing? or
    Do you want to do colouring in, or
    Do you want to draw a picture?
    And just like she’s got her next 5 questions

    • Yoyo says:

      Poor Maria, will need a real holiday, after this pandemic.
      Now Maria, the children need to do arts & crafts, then take them in to the garden and check if roses are in full bloom, or daddy trampled them down making his escape.

  11. rawiya says:

    She should have totally done an Instalive arts and craft session. The day before the main instagram account should have had a list of items the kids would need (paper, crayons, glue etc) and then the day of, she goes on Live and makes a paper bag puppet or food-colouring bubbles or something. THEN, the Instagram account asks parents to send in the photos of their kid’s finished product and they showcase it. BOOM. At least three days of totally gush-worthy publicity.

    Or she could have done afternoon readings, where every few days she reads a story on Live to kids. I follow someone on Instagram who does this–and while she’s not ‘royal’ famous, she does have a large following–and a lot of people tune in. LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow/Star Trek fame does this, too.

    There’s a lot our English Rose could be doing, especially in her kids/arts wheelhouse. Those two activities I mentioned could also have her own kids’ participation. How much would the DM cream themselves if Charlotte was seen painting alongside mumsy?

    (I should do their PR.)

    • Yoyo says:

      If she read a story, it would’ve to be close caption.
      The BBC had to use cc when she is speaking to adults.

    • Becks1 says:

      @rawiya – those are all really good ideas and you SHOULD do their PR.

    • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

      @You should be their PR guru, Rawiya! I wonder whether Kate will mysteriously take your suggestions on board in the next week – the Daily Wail certainly seems to use our gossipy speculations as ‘sources’ in their “articles”…

    • Brenda says:

      These are all great ideas. Way to think. Watch them “come up” with this idea now.

    • Marie says:

      I truly cannot think of anything stupider. She’s not a “mummy” blogger. It’s the kind of stuff Fergie is doing on her YouTube page. Everyone just stay home and let the experts do their jobs.

    • Ellen Olenska says:

      If she wanted to own the media she should be doing story time accompanied each day by a different one of her kids who could “help “ turn the pages or read a page or two…would take 20 minutes a day and guarantee non stop FFQ articles. She could also show tiny gardening/ science ideas like getting a carrot to sprout in a paper cup or turning celery a different color by dying the water it’s in. Or making paper beads out of newspaper/ magazine pictures. The tiniest thing would be a win.

  12. girl_ninja says:

    She needs to be strict with her husband and getting him some Crest whitening strips.

    Doesn’t she have some he could borrow? I know she whitens hers.

  13. B says:

    I tend to think they don’t want her out shining the rest of the family or her husband.

    After being furloughed I’m making scrubs/ scrub bags and yeah my daughter watching to much telly.

    Utterly clueless.

  14. S808 says:

    I’m not a parent and probably don’t have a leg to stand on in this convo but if you’re gonna advocate less screen time for kids right now, I’d suggest different means other than arts and crafts. For the average parent, arts and crafts can be time consuming as they have to supervise and can be messy. Also, if the games/videos are educational I don’t really see the issue with more screen time right now.

  15. Kyle Owens says:

    @B from what I’ve seen she doesn’t have the ability to outshine her husband or anyone else. There is no intelligence in there, no empathy, nor any indication of a desire to work.

    • B says:

      You are right. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. But they have staff in double figures. Surely some one is suggesting these things. It’s not rock science.

      We get she wants to be a full mummy.

      But they could Blue Peter it, “here’s one the staff made earlier….

  16. Brenda says:

    Some of these comments are giving me comfort. I keep questioning myself regarding my kids screen time I am allowing this grace period. I get to work and do housework in peace and there’s no whining and need a break from trying to understand Common Core Math.

  17. Brenda says:

    I actually don’t have a problem with her doing what’s best for her kids. But I bet they have tons and tons of space to run around and a whole big back and front yard. I have none of that, so it’s Roblox, Minecraft and kids YouTube it is and reading.

  18. ClaireB says:

    I am so glad I clicked on this article today, because the comments are making me feel so much better about our household! We’re normally relatively strict about screen time (no video games during school week), but right now, I’m letting them play for hours after they’ve done their homework. My 13-year-old gets to play his Xbox way later than I think is good, but it’s almost the only socializing with his friends that he gets on a daily basis. We do make them take breaks during the day, which helps with their attitudes and health, but it’s been so hot in Florida recently that making them go outside is a chore and they’re miserably hot and sweaty after 10 minutes.

    I do keep telling myself that this is a temporary solution for us and that I can be kind to myself (and my husband!) by letting the kids be occupied, but I do still feel guilt, especially when people like Kate tell us that they make sure their kids are outside playing on their swing sets somewhere out on the estate! Must be nice, Kate, but the rest of us don’t live like that.

    • SomeChick says:

      Kate don’t know your life.

      She needs better PR advisors. Time to retire those musty “courtiers.”

      Ever see a Shakespeare play? Were they ever the good guys?

      Kate. Ya in danger, girl!

  19. yinyang says:

    Okay Kate we don’t need you to be sanctimonious at a time like this, no really just stop.

  20. Case says:

    Kids are stressed and confused too right now, even if they’re too young to understand the situation. I don’t think screen time is a bad thing at all to let them have fun and give parents a break.

    In fact, I’ve never gotten why screen time is bad for kids, particularly when it comes to watching educational TV or kid’s movies. It’s important for kids to learn how to follow stories and think creatively. I have a cousin who never watched Disney movies as a child and now as a young adult she still has trouble following a movie’s storyline.

  21. Ali says:

    Normally I am the limiting a screen time parent. They only play video games on the weekend, we don’t take electronics in the car or have the at dinner, that type of thing.

    Now all bets are off. My youngest kid’s favorite thing right now is his app that reads books to him and I’m so grateful for it. I also subscribed to Disney + once the shut in was made official. My bigger kid and I amuse ourselves with watching TikTok videos together. Not gonna stress about screen time. Way bigger things to worry about.

    Oh and we made homemade play dough the first week. Clean up took longer than it was an entertainment for him. We haven’t done any crafts since lol.

  22. Awkward symphony says:

    Judging by how dolled up she was during the zoom sessions its clear that she’s still using a hair dresser+stylist on top of the housekeeping staff and chef and possibly live in tutors (or virtual)+nanny Maria. I dont think they are getting what they wanted from this embiggening campaign as the comments on daily fail is back to Dolittles days! These fluff pieces are further infuriating people who are struggling to put food on their table

  23. Nic919 says:

    Why do stories about the kids only seem to involve Kate and not William? Does he not take a role in parenting? Monitoring screen time isn’t something just mothers need to do.

    The royal stenographers remain very sexist in how they write these articles. As if only Kate is doing the parenting. William lives there too, at least that’s what they keep telling us, so what does he do with the kids?

    And to the parents who are quarantined with young kids… just do what works to survive. No one should be judgmental on the use of tablets.

  24. olala says:

    i am a single mother. my daughter is 11. i do not see any problem with so called “screen time” This can be different to everyone..She has to do her school on tablet. she watches movies but also does some coding etc. she actually learns vital skills that will be used in her adult life. Also the less pressure the more relaxed she is. she is not addicted to her tablet like I see some kids who have strict rules are. They trying to grab tablet at any occassion as they denied it. My daughter easily leaves ger tablet and does other stuff reading, running, etc.

  25. RoyalBlue says:

    You can tell a few things from her comment:

    she never held down a full time job before and has no idea what most of us are going through.
    Her idea of working from home is playing tennis, getting her hair and makeup penciled in and chatting with Jason.
    She has no clue what it takes to juggle a job and children.
    Her job is safe as is her paycheck, and she is in no danger of losing it in the outcome of the pandemic
    She is not currently working a 9-5 job and has all the time in the world to do crafts with her children. Why would her kids have phones anyway? Nanny Maria got hold of a proper governess to help and homeschool for the upper class has been underway ever since. No Easter hols for the royal spawn. Their schedule is chock full of painting, cooking, drawing, paper planes, board games, history lessons starting from 1066, music lessons, tennis lessons, dance classes, phonics, numeracy, literacy, etiquette lessons, FFF king lessons, how to support the FFF king lessons, baking pudding lessons, waving and curtsying, learning the difference between dressing for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Well OF COURSE they don’t have time for the iPads! Geez 🙄

  26. Kate says:

    Nobody should Make anyone else feel bad as to how they decide to handle parenting while being stuck inside. Kate needs new PR staff badly because this could not have been released at a worse time for everyone else who doesn’t have a full staff.

  27. Sass says:

    Wants them to do crafts 😂😂😂

    I hate doing crafts with my kids! No way has this woman had to do a craft in her adult life 😂

  28. MangoAngel says:

    Oh, how much of a difference it would have been if this message had been Kate saying, “I generally tend to be pretty strict about the kids’ screen time, but I cannot begin to say how invaluable I have found technology to be during these last weeks! Parents everywhere need that little bit of help, whether it’s in assisting with homeschooling, connecting with friends and family while social distancing, or even just to give yourself a break and let your kid zone out with a game or video while you get other work done (or sneak a quick bit of Candy Crush for yourself!)”

    She could have been So. Much. Better.

    But nope.

    Hell, Dolly Parton has been being an angel just by reading kids a bedtime story at night. Kate actually has 3 kids. She could have posted a video of three little pajamaed royals being read to by Mummy, for all the children of the U.K., but nope. I mean, remember the Aaaaawwwws heard ‘round the world when little Prince George greeted President and First Lady Obama in his pjs and robe, with his little slippers?

    If they’re worried about optics, don’t show massive grounds or opulent rooms. Show cozy and sweet. But they’d never think of it, because it’s just not in their programming.

  29. Serinekat says:

    So we are a US military family living in the U.K. During this lock down I’m sewing masks for my British neighbours and offering help for senior British neighbours. Another American family is funding several 3D printers going 24/7 making PPE for the NHS. We all have kids too.
    Way to lead Royal Family. Quite keen of you all.