Princess of Wales visits Iceland supermarket to discuss early years development
The Princess of Wales has popped down to budget supermarket Iceland to chat about her Shaping Us campaign as part of her work into early years development.
Kate, 41, who is committing to early years support through her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, spoke with the executive chair of the supermarket chain, Richard Walker, in a video posted on the Prince and Princess of Wales’s Instagram account.
The mother-of-three mastered business chic in a recycled Zara white tweed blazer with gold buttons and a white top underneath, paired with denim jeans on her visit to the store in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
Her brunette locks were swept away from her face and hung down her shoulders, while she accessorised with teardrop earrings and opted for a touch of neutral make-up.
During the conversation she discussed with Mr Walker how businesses can support children and their carers to help set the foundations for key employability skills ‘in the earliest years of our lives’.
In the clip, Kate tells Mr Walker: ‘You hear time and time again that these soft skills, you know, the creativity, the collaboration, the critical thinking, the flexibility, the resilience.
‘You know, these are things that you’d hear that businesses are looking for and it’s really interesting seeing how, actually, so often, the foundations for those skills are built in the earliest years of our lives.’
Mr Walker added: ‘Looking at the Shaping Us campaign and reading some of the science behind it, it really challenged my thinking and it made me think what more we can do, personally as a parent, but also actually as a business.’
A nodding, smiling Kate added: ‘That’s the thing, is that so many of your employees but also customers, their parents, their grandparents, we all know that it’s important to look after their wellbeing because those are the people that are raising children today.’
The Princess of Wales, 41, made a surprise appearance at Iceland in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, as part of her work on the Shaping Us campaign from her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood
Mother-of-three Kate appeared in the aisles of the supermarket to chat to Richard Walker, the chairman of Iceland
Kate mastered business chic in a structured tweed blazer which she has worn several times before, a white knit top underneath and denim jeans
The Princess was animated as she discussed how businesses can support early years development, which is her passion
She later said: ‘It’s really important that all of us are supporting the most vulnerable in our communities and particularly now, yes, when they’re all struggling, community support is needed now more than ever.’
Kate has said employers have an important role in making it possible for parents to balance a successful working life with a nurturing home life for their children.
Writing in FT Weekend, the future Queen said investing in early childhood is ‘a down payment for our collective future’.
Kate is hoping global firms who have joined her taskforce will be the catalyst for change and encourage firms across the country to train and help staff to maintain their social and emotional welfare, aiding their work and home life.
In her article for FT, the mother-of-three said: ‘Our resilience, flexibility, ability to manage stress and remain motivated when facing challenges are all shaped by the foundations we build in early childhood.
‘However, not enough emphasis is placed on social and emotional development or on building environments which nurture these skills, during childhood and beyond.
‘Parental wellbeing is the biggest single factor in determining a child’s wellbeing and we know that becoming a parent places additional pressure on mental health.
‘Nearly 75% of people find parenting under-fives stressful.
‘We also know that parents make up a significant part of the UK workforce – 76% of mothers and 92% of fathers with children are in work.
‘We must recognise the challenge for many of these parents, and other caregivers, in balancing a successful working life with a nurturing home life during their children’s formative years.
‘Employers have an important role in making that possible.’
Kate said she believes two things need to be done.
‘The first is to prioritise creating working environments that provide the support people need to cultivate and maintain their own social and emotional wellbeing.
‘The second is a more concentrated focus on the social and emotional development of our youngest children,’ she said.
Concluding her article, the princess said: ‘As the world becomes ever more complex, we have to invest in early childhood now, as a down payment for our collective future.
‘If business and commerce embrace this significant issue – including how better early childhoods will affect their own organisations both now and in the long term – we can and will transform lives for generations to come.’
Earlier this week, the Princess of Wales urged business leaders to prioritise wellbeing in the workplace to support family life as she launched her Business Taskforce for Early Childhood, of which supermarket giant Iceland is a member.