When the weather is too cold or wet to play outside, Duchess Kate (nee Middleton) likes to join the children in their new “dance studio” at Anmer Hall, their country estate. “It was a DIY job — a fun project,” a friend exclusively tells Closer Weekly, on newsstands now. “There are mini yoga mats and blocks and children’s exercise games in the studio, too.”
Like parents all over the world, Kate and Prince William have slowly adjusted to working, homeschooling and keeping their kids entertained during lockdown. It hasn’t always been easy — the children were devastated when their dog Lupo died in November — but Kate and William “are embracing this time they have together as a family, rather than seeing it as a negative,” says the friend.
On weekdays, Kate, 39, and William, 38, carry on their charitable work remotely, while the nanny, Maria Borrallo, oversees the children’s online schoolwork. Prince George, 7, loves his science classes best. “He is learning about the solar system and wants to be an astronaut when he grows up — as well as king!” confides the friend. Princess Charlotte, 5, is also quite bright — she and George are both learning to speak Spanish with Maria, a native of Spain — but she wants to grow up to be a ballerina. “She’s a creative little girl who loves the arts,” says the friend.
Little Prince Louis, 2, “was supposed to start nursery school, but that’s been put on hold,” explains the friend. “Kate and William are really disappointed. They think it’s important for Louis to meet other children his own age.” Fortunately, the three siblings get along well. “George loves being a big brother and spends hours reading books to Louis,” says the pal.
The children planned a fun party to mark Kate’s 39th birthday on Jan. 9. “The three of them love birthdays,” says the friend. “They made handmade birthday cards and William helped them bake and decorate a cake.” On the big day, Charlotte even plugged in her karaoke machine so that she could entertain her family with a solo rendition of “Happy Birthday.”
Although William and Kate sometimes feel a little restless in these unusual times, they are grateful to have such a warm, healthy marriage to support them. “Lately, they’ve spent more time together than ever before. And yes, they bicker over little things sometimes, but their arguments are usually very short-lived,” says the friend, who adds the couple made a pact many years ago to never go to bed angry. “Kate is definitely more stubborn than William, but she’s reasonable. Usually, she just needs some time to herself to cool off — and William gets it.”
While the couple can’t indulge in real “date nights” these days, they do try to carve out some time to be together. “They try to have dinner at home alone once a week or they will go on a walk to keep their connection strong,” says the insider, who adds that Kate, especially, has been relishing this time away from London. “She definitely prefers living in the country,” says the friend. “She says life feels more normal there.”
For this story and more, pick up the latest issue of Closer magazine, on newsstands now.