Kate Middleton says Prince William will break with tradition on Valentine’s Day

The Princess of Wales is not expecting a particular gift on the romantic day

Kate Ng
Wednesday 01 February 2023 09:13 GMT
Princess of Wales campaign 'Shaping Us' highlights the importance of early childhood

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Louise Thomas

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The Princess of Wales has joked that her husband, the Prince of Wales, will not be adhering to a certain Valentine’s Day tradition this year.

Kate Middleton was on a tour of Kirkgate Market in Leeds as she launched her early years campaign, when she said she didn’t think Prince William would be buying her any flowers for Valentine’s Day.

While meeting stall holders at the market, she stopped at florist Neil Ashcroft’s business and admired his display of flowers.

With the romantic day just a fortnight away, the seller asked Kate: “William will be buying you some roses?” and offered her a discount.

After presenting her with a bouquet of hyacinths, which the florist claimed were her favourite flowers, Ashcroft said: “I suggested William will be buying her roses and she said, ‘I don’t think he will do’.”

The heir to the throne has been out supporting Kate as she embarked on her landmark project, Shaping Up, which is aimed at highlighting the importance of a child’s formative years of life.

In a video message to mark the launch this week, Kate said: “Our early childhood, the time from pregnancy to the age of five, fundamentally shapes the rest of our lives.

“But as a society, we currently spend much more of our time and energy on later life.

“Today, the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood is launching a new campaign, Shaping Us, to raise awareness of the life-changing impact we can have when we build a supportive, nurturing world around children and those who care for them.”


During her Leeds visit, the princess also received some unwanted attention in the form of a wolf whistle as she went on a walkabout in the market. She did not react and it was unclear if she heard the noise.

Kate joined a discussion with a group of people who were involved with Child Friendly Leeds, an initiative that launched in 2012 and is designed to encourage the city to make Leeds the best place for children to grow up in.

She also visited the University of Leeds to meet students on the childhood studies programme and spoke to one student about his dissertation work on the impact of the pandemic on schools and families.

Kate said Covid has led to “massive challenges” for children in relation to speech and language development and social skills, adding: “They haven’t had the opportunities that the film shows are needed.”

She told another student: “Creative play is so fundamental for the foundations for life. To be able to form relationships through play is really vital to break down some of the barriers. But, also, it’s a way of self-expression too.”

Additional reporting by PA

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