Duchess Kate will give her kids low-tech Christmas gifts, she’s wary of screen-time

The Cambridge Family attend a special Christmas Pantomime performance at London's Palladium Theatre

Is anyone else a bit curious about why Katie Nicholl disappears for months on end and then pops up unexpectedly to throw sugar at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge? Nicholl is arguably one of the biggest Middleton-insiders of the royal rota, having truly written the book (several, in fact) on Kate’s rise from Waity to the Keenest Jazz Hands In The Land. Nicholl used to be the primary royal correspondent for Vanity Fair, but she’s been phased out in recent years. Still, I would have thought that Nicholl would have no issues landing a prestigious royal-reporter job at some other publication. Instead, it feels like she’s out in the cold, giving random interviews to OK! Magazine every so often. What gives? Here are some quotes from Nicholl’s latest OK! Magazine interview:

Kate buys the kids’ low-tech Christmas gifts: Kate is mindful not to lavish extravagant tech gifts on her kids Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. That’s because she’d reportedly prefer to get them practical presents so they don’t end up having too much screen time. Royal author and expert Katie Nicholl told OK!: “George enjoys his iPad at school, both he and Charlotte are quite tech-savvy and, like most children, there probably are technical gadgets and such like on their wish list. I’m sure they’re not going to want for anything, but when it comes to technology and screens, they are careful not to spoil them with extravagant gifting. If it is something that happens to be a computer game or something like that then they are cautious of screen time so it could be a more practical gift.”

The Cambridges will split their holiday between Sandringham & Berkshire: The Queen has already told her family she is well enough to host Christmas at Sandringham after recovering from a back sprain. Meanwhile, as well as spending time with Prince William’s family, the Cambridges are also expected to spend some of the festive season with Kate’s family in Berkshire.

The Cambridges will send gifts to the Sussexes: Kate Middleton and Prince William will give Christmas presents to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s children Archie and Lilibet this year, a royal expert has claimed. Nicholl alleged the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will give gifts to their whole family – including their nephew and niece. ‘Yes, of course [they will send presents]. They give gifts to the whole family and that includes all of their nieces and nephews.’

[From The Daily Mail & Daily Mirror]

Sources claimed last year that the Cambridges and Sussexes exchanged Christmas gifts, and that Kate was “surprised” that Harry and Meghan sent her a birthday gift too. I still want to know if one of the gifts was a bag of Clevr Blends lattes. Perhaps this year, Harry will send William ten sessions of BetterUp life coaching. OMG. The only one who I can honestly see participating in this kind of familial gift-giving thing is Meghan. She probably sends the Cambridge kids small, thoughtful gifts from the heart.

As for Nicholl’s suggestion that the Cambridges will split their time this Christmas… I doubt it? I think it’s far more likely that the Middletons go to Anmer Hall to stay for the holidays.

Royals Xmas Day church

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid and WENN.

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76 Responses to “Duchess Kate will give her kids low-tech Christmas gifts, she’s wary of screen-time”

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  1. Noki says:

    How about some typewriters?

  2. cws says:

    It’s very self-congratulatory information to share… oh, we give small, nnon-tehie gifts. Those kids have ponies and child-size vintage cars that belonged to their grandparents, they have plenty and get plenty more than small gifts.
    It’s smug and judgy to say.. oh, I worry about screen time. It’s jazz hands code for…look at me, I am such a good mother!

    • Harper says:

      Nanny Maria can take them outside for a bracing walk in the fresh air when screen time is over. Then she can read aloud some Dickens to George or help Louis with building blocks and sit with Charlotte and teach her to crochet potholders. Then report back to Mommy (who is busy shopping online) how things are going.

      I’ll never forget Kate’s supposed exhaustion once she was in lockdown with her kids, complaining that the days were so long and she had to set up the tent then take the tent down, then bake, then there were still six hours until bedtime. I bet Kate’s mindfulness toward screentime went out the window once she was with her kids 24/7.

    • Becks1 says:

      Screen time is definitely a not-so-subtle evaluator of how you are as a mother, or what kind of mother you are.

      The best mothers, of course, are the ones who do not let their children have any screen time and instead spend their days with their children baking, crafting, reading, and playing outside.

      Mothers who are still good but not as good as the first kind let their kids watch a show or two on the weekends but NEVER a tablet or video game and NEVER on a school night.

      then some mothers are even more laidback and let them have tablets and video games and sometimes on school nights but its still restricted, maybe time limits on the tablets, etc. These mothers are okay.

      Mothers who don’t give a eff let their kids have their tablets whenever, watch as much tv as they want, etc. These are obviously the worst mothers.

      In my experience, in reality, most mothers are somewhere in the middle of the best and the worst, usually closer to the okay mother than the best mother, but very few will admit that, most are going to describe themselves as being the best or the good mother in terms of screentime.

      Exhibit A: this article. Kate is obviously the best mother, so her kids screen time is very strictly monitored and they only use their ipads at school for educational purposes. As it should be.


      PLEASE NOTE this is all me being facetious and TIC based on my years on parenting message boards and I am not actually evaluating mothers based on their screen time rules for their kids, lol. Some weekends my kids don’t get their ipads at all and some weekends my kids spend hours on them. I’m just pointing out how the mommy wars break down even though we are all in the same boat.

      Also please note the same categories do not apply to the fathers. Is the dad with their child in the same house? Then he’s a rock star!! (again, sarcasm.)

    • Millenial says:

      I just kind of have to laugh because… isn’t this what all parents do? Especially for kids their age (under 10~)? Focus on toys and not on screen time/tech gifts…. that sums up pretty much everyone, doesn’t it?

    • Amy Too says:

      It’s very easy to restrict screen time when you’re not the one doing the parenting all day. I’ve been a nanny and some families will tell me that their kids get 30 minutes of screen time a day. And I’m there from the time they wake up to the time they’re put to bed, so all of that restricting falls on me. And when I come on Mondays I hear all about how they had “movie day” with mom over the weekends where they watched both Frozen movies back to back or something like that.

      The worst is when I show up at 7:30AM and the kids have woken up early and they’re sitting in front of the tv having their 30 minutes of screen time so they’re done for the day before I’ve even arrived.

      • Rulca says:

        Yes! This is exactly what I thought! It’s easy to say you restrict screen time when YOU HAVE NANNIES and YOU DON’T WORK. It’s just another way of showing off their money and class to us classless peasants who clearly are ruining our children’s “early years” by living in an apartment vs a vast estate with gardens and tennis courts for the kids to play in with ‘the help’. We peasants even let our kids watch tv sometimes while we’re working from home, the horror…

      • swirlmamad says:

        EXACTLY THIS. My own MIL drives me IN-sane with this….she’s constantly harping about the evils of screen time (iPad, tv, what have you). If she had it her way my kids would be quietly sitting in a corner reading books all day long. But she also admits how hard it is to raise kids and how she doesn’t have the patience and energy to do it in this day and age. It’s very, very easy for her to push non-screen time activities when she is not even close to being the one responsible for my kids’ care every day. Having a bookworm as a kid is great in theory, but also not realistic at all in the 21st century. Technology is here to stay and while I know and enjoy the value of a good book, many kids just aren’t into reading paperbacks as a hobby as they were when we were kids. I find it’s often the “sanctimommies” who love to brag how little screentime their kids are allowed.

  3. There she is with that maniacal laugh again looking like Gary Busey. Someone tell me the difference between her pic above and the one at this link: https://pagesix.com/2018/09/06/gary-busey-has-an-odd-way-of-smiling-for-the-camera-and-more-star-snaps/#1

  4. Haylie says:

    Katie Nicholas lies. The couple that can’t even say Archie and Lilibet’s names and bristle whenever they are mentioned aren’t sending the babies or their parents any Christmas gifts.

    • Noki says:

      I can actually believe that they might send. Just like they have the nerve to wish Meghan a happy birthday every year while still trying to make her life miserable. Its some sort of equalizer.

      • Amy Too says:

        I wonder what they all would send to each other considering the RF is known for doing cheap, tacky, or homemade gifts for each other. Are they really paying the shipping to send Harry and Meghan a “California beach Santa” toilet paper roll cover all the way from England to Montecito? Are they going to pay to send Lilibet a “give peas a chance” onesie? Are they sending Archie $15 worth of McDonalds money? (Do you guys remember that? My aunt always gave me McDonalds money when I was a little kid. Instead of just one gift certificate or giftcard for $10, it would be a little booklet of ten $1 gift certificates.)

        I would imagine they’re more likely to just send each other Christmas cards—the same cards they send everyone else on their list.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I do not believe anyone cares what Katie Nicholas has to say or what Katie Middleton is doing.

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        Katie Nicholas the seagull has to make the most of her manky herring. There’s only so much you can say about Kate.

    • Belli says:

      A member of staff might be tasked with sending something impersonal.

    • swirlmamad says:

      They might send because “optics” but that doesn’t mean Harry and Meghan actually keep them and give them to the kids. I know I wouldn’t.

  5. The Duchess says:

    Is it because she doesn’t want them to end up like her? Spending their days endlessly roaming the internet, shopping and watching make up tutorials, instead of getting up off their asses and working? Keen is so self-aware!

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      As a middle class woman who married royalty, she will be absolutely terrified for her children to be seen as ‘common’. I can only imagine the lengths she will go to.

  6. Layla says:

    Didn’t we hear this exact story this time last year as well? I could’ve sworn we did

    As for Meghan sending keeny and weeny the clevr latte’s gifts, wouldn’t it be amazing if she did? I like to image a little note saying “drink drink bitch bitch”

    • Pinkosaurus says:

      I bought my exceptionally lovely SIL a gift pack of CLVR lattes and some nice face masks, which I would have really liked for myself but couldn’t justify the splurge. She really deserves the treat though. If she really likes them, I might buy myself some to brighten up the long drab winter after the holidays. Your suggested gift tag note made me LOL. Kate could be so lucky to get them.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      If Meghan does anything of the sort, I’m sure Ma Middleton will be on to her liar friend in a flash. They twisted the chef’s knives story to make it fit a narrative so I shudder to think of what they will do next.

      • equality says:

        Maybe the knife gift (if true) was a slam or perceived as one if Kate doesn’t really cook like she claims. That may have been the joke.

  7. Sofia says:

    I’ve said it before but I agree that Meghan is the type of person to send the kids something (even if it’s just a card) on their birthdays. She might send W&K something but I think it’s more likely that only the kids get something. I don’t think she’s the type of person who extends the issues with the parents onto the kids if you know what I mean?

    • Becks1 says:

      She’s definitely sending the kids presents, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Harry was involved as well, he also doesn’t seem like he’s going to isolate the children because he doesn’t get along with their father. I also think she gives W&K something for their bdays etc but its probably like a donation to Camfed in their name or something.

  8. one of the Marys says:

    ‘too much screen time’ is such low hanging fruit. Ugh who cares. This entire article is made up fan fiction

  9. Zapp Brannigan says:

    Personally I can’t wait for Archie’s birthday and the royal social media accounts still having to use a two year old photo of him, and then no photo of Lily at all for her birthday. How will that be spun into “very much not a racist family”

    • equality says:

      I’m curious about the Queen’s Christmas broadcast because she usually shows pictures of the new babies. Lili and Sienna haven’t been seen yet. I wonder if the Queen will be showing either one.

      • Harper says:

        The Queen hasn’t been seen yet for the past week or so. They were in the habit of trotting her out via Zoom at first when the headlines were all about her health, but there have been no appearances in the past week and a half. They are finally allowing her to decline in peace.

      • Amy Bee says:

        The Queen’s Christmas message is going to be all about Philip. I think his picture will be the only one on her desk this year.

      • equality says:

        Probably the most will be about Philip but she does have to give a nod to encouraging the little people during a pandemic. You’re right about the pictures on the desk, and maybe even a large part of the video stream.

  10. Cessily says:

    I hope Duchess Meghan sends tights, lots and lots of tights.

  11. FancyPants says:

    So “tech” gifts are impractical? It’s 2022 in 3.5 weeks, Kate. Clinging to the idea of rocking horses and paper dolls is not making you better than us techie peasants, it’s putting your kids behind the curve. Also… I don’t believe you.

    • Lemons says:

      They wanted us to understand that the kids are not behind. They have all the computers and iPads they need at school (and presumably at home). They are VERY advanced and VERY modern! The most advanced, if you will.

    • Deering24 says:

      A few years back, a fair amount of tech moguls (Bill Gates, among them) were bragging that they limit their kids’ screen time and have them learn low-tech things. Same kind of ‘”Sh’yeah–right” humble-bragging…

  12. Amy Bee says:

    Katie has no clue what’s going with the Cambridges and the Sussexes and I don’t believe there were any gift exchanges between them. Meghan is nice but I don’t think she’s had anything to do with the Cambridges since she left the UK in November 2019.

  13. Lemons says:

    We don’t care, Kat(i)e.

  14. Margaret says:

    Why did we need to know about them sending gifts to the kids?. Why ?.

  15. Harla says:

    I wonder if Kate’s more concerned that the kids will start finding out about their father, her and how they’re perceived outside of Salty Isle.

  16. Ashley says:

    It’s really easy to limit screen time when you have tons of childcare! I haven’t had childcare for my youngest in two years thanks to Covid, and my older two were in virtual school at home all of last year. Screen time is helping me survive!

  17. Lila says:

    Autographed copy of The Bench.

  18. Over it says:

    Nah. Kate and the kids are going to the Middletons and William is going as far away from all of them as he can. Unless william plans to light up Archie and lili bedrooms with his incandescent bulbs, I don’t know what he would send them. You can’t spend a year smearing a woman in books, tabloids, television, and court and then want to do a gift exchange. It just doesn’t work like that. Also 10 bucks says Willy wanka and buttons still haven’t met lili yet

    • swirlmamad says:

      You are absolutely right. Like I said above, they could send all they want but there is no way I’m going “Look at the lovely gift Uncle William and Auntie Kate sent!” after the sh*t they put me through over the last few years. That ish is going in the trash and you get a cursory thank you (NOT in calligraphy). Ha!

  19. MsIam says:

    My guess is that Katie Nichols has been busy writing a fan fiction book about Kate, because that seems to be her specialty. “Catherine at Forty, Preparing to Be Queen! (Eventually)”

  20. Feeshalori says:

    Sure she wants to limit her kids’ screen time and maybe have Nanny Maria monitor it, Kate can’t have them looking at all the social media trashing their aunt and uncle and asking their parents uncomfortable questions. They’re never too young to start being aware of this. And you can’t limit time when they’re at school and they take tech classes or their classmates have cell phones. Unless she wraps her children in a cocoon at school, she and William may be in for some uncomfortable scenarios if they ask about the awful things being said about uncle Harry and aunt Megan on the Internet. But I’m sure they’ll dump that into Maria’s lap to handle as well.

  21. Red Weather Tiger says:

    It’s easy to monitor screen time closely when Nanny Maria and her team are there to entertain your children. Does Nanny keep an Excel spreadsheet to show Good Mother Kate when and how her kids spend their very, very limited screen time?

    Also, is the opposite of “high tech gifts” that “spoil” children…”practical presents”–like what? Mittens? A new saddle? What? I don’t believe a single word of this “We Are So Wholesome” narrative.

    • swirlmamad says:

      Also, her kids are all under 10. What kid wants “practical” gifts? Those poor kids probably hate everything they get.

  22. Quincytoo says:

    I wonder if part of their screen time is FaceTiming their father so they can remember what he looks like ?

  23. Jay says:

    Oh good, she’s back with more Mom shaming. I do find it interesting that it’s “Kate” deciding on gifts for the children, not “The Cambridges”. Even Katie Nichols doesn’t want the job of convincing us that William is involved, lol.

    As others have noted, it’s easy to be “low tech” when you have a nanny or two to do all of the reinforcement and planning fun activities. I would also add that it’s a subtle show of privilege that your three children have not only the space to be playing outside or do art projects, but also an adult with the time to supervise them, even a little.

    I was listening to a radio interview about children’s health and the expert said, essentially, we need to stop lecturing parents like it’s an education issue – it’s not. They know perfectly well that their children should be going outside to play instead of watching a movie, we don’t need more ways to tell them that. But parents also know their neighbourhood, whether or not there is even a playground close by, whether or not there was recently a shooting or an overdose there. I’m guessing that’s not something Kate the great mom needs to be concerned about on the extensive grounds in any of her homes, but Kate the early childhood education “expert” should be concerned.

  24. MangoAngelesque says:

    Of course she’s wary of screen-time; she doesn’t want them to Google Daddy and see all the gardening articles.

    Or, can you imagine, if they started running through the house doing Dramatic Jazz Hands at everyone because they image-searched Mummy and that’s all they saw for twenty pages?

  25. My memory is fuzzy on the details, but wasn’t Katie Nicholl named as being somehow involved in the Prince Harry phone hacking case? I wonder if the reason she hasn’t “reported” as much lately is due to VF sidelining her in anticipation of the upcoming trial, in case shit hits the fan once it’s disclosed what she has done or how deeply involved she could potentially be.

  26. A says:

    I was the last generation before all this tech really took off, and honestly…I have distinct memories of being parked in front of television screens for a lot of my childhood. That’s not to say my parents let me watch it endlessly, but I’m willing to bet that the majority of my contemporaries/millenials, who constantly stress about limiting screen time for their own kids, probably had WAY MORE screen time themselves, growing up. And speaking for myself…I turned out just fine. Television, as it turns out, doesn’t rot your brain. Who knew.

    It’s honestly really funny to see friends I had in middle and high school, ALL of whom I knew spent endless amounts of time on Facebook and playing video games, fret about their kid watching a tv show on their tablet while sitting in a waiting room or something. It just seems like a whole lot of anxiety about proving to other people what you do as a parent. And I don’t think it’s fully fair that parents get to mindlessly doom scroll on their phones and social media, but expect their kids to grow up being mindful and present when they can’t demonstrate that behaviour towards them. By far, it’s grown ups who need to be limiting their screen time, but won’t. But sure, let’s worry about the kids.

    Anyway, as others have said, it’s easy to talk about limiting screen time and giving kids low tech gifts when you’re not on the hook for planning activities and outings and keeping the kids occupied. Kate is very much in the vein of every other aristocratic upper class mother. She’s got a nanny to fob all of that day to day onto, but damnit if she won’t try to look good and connect with her audience, even if it means lying and showing off how middle-class she is.

    • Deering24 says:

      Heh–truly. It seems each generation of parents is given their very own special media guilt-trip. In a history of Nancy Drew, it mentioned a lot of educators and editorial writers thought kids’ serial books like that and the Hardy Boys, etc., were bad for kids–“too sensationalistic.” Always something…

  27. Jules says:

    I can’t believe this wretched family and fleet street are making such a big deal about her being lightly beige. I am not trying to erase Doria’s contribution and importance here.
    It does make me think, if they are this horrible to Meghan, someone darker complected would have met Diana’s fate 🙁

  28. NotSoSocialB says:

    HRH–> Her Royal Hyena

  29. CrystalBall says:

    Once again Kate’s PR team is trying to reinforce her image of being a ‘perfect’ mummy. So I am utterly disgusted that the keen queen of early-year importance has had absolutely nothing to say at all about the death of six year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes in the UK.
    While Kate was keen to be photographed at the vigil of murdered 33 year-old Sarah Everard, she quite obviously doesn’t care enough about a 6 year-old child’s torturous death, certainly not enough for the standard palace press release that ‘she is saddened by the loss of another innocent life’. Her lack of empathy and her stunning silence speak volumes to the nature of this superficial duchess. Arthur’s tragic death has moved a nation and dominated the news headlines for days on end – yet the silence from ‘caring’ Kate remains deafening.

    • Nic919 says:

      The sad part is that Kate has compromised herself to such a degree by staying with William and putting up with his issues that she can’t avoid messing up her kids. Kids can’t help but notice that their mother is tolerating awful treatment from their father and that she takes it out on Meghan and others because she doesn’t have the courage to leave that toxic relationship. It doesn’t matter how much or little screen time they end up having or the quality of schools they attend. The children will see their mother accepted being treated with disrespect because of a title and a tiara and they won’t respect her either.

      Diana had some self respect and left. Even though it was a messy breakup, both William and Harry saw that their mother wasn’t going to put up with poor treatment. I can only imagine what the kids see behind the scenes because at this point the public behaviour of William toward kate is disrespectful. When you don’t respect yourself then others, including your kids, won’t respect you and that is the main lesson she’s teaching those kids right now.

  30. Likeyoucare says:

    Poor meghan. She tried to limit her children screen time.

    But lily is too busy writing nuclear code on meghan’s ipad
    and archie had already claim harry’s ipad too write his third best selling children books.