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From homeschooling to Sir David Attenborough: George, Charlotte and Louis’ year

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis played their part in boosting spirits during the coronavirus outbreak when, like youngsters across the nation, they spent much of the year in lockdown.

Joining the weekly clap for carers, making rainbow paintings and volunteering by delivering food to the vulnerable were just some of things the Cambridge children got up to in 2020.

A painted handprint by Prince Louis

A painted handprint by Prince Louis

In February, Kensington Palace released an image of Charlotte smelling a bluebell after the Duchess of Cambridge mentioned the picture in an interview for the Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast hosted by Giovanna Fletcher.

Kate said: “I’ve got this one photo of Charlotte smelling a bluebell, and really for me, it’s moments like that mean so much to me as a parent.

“And I try every day to put moments like that in, even if they’re small or even if I don’t have time – but that in an ideal world is what I would like to do.”

Charlotte with bluebells

Princess Charlotte smelling a bluebell at their home in Norfolk

Just over a month later, the coronavirus pandemic had taken hold.

George, Charlotte and Louis spent the first lockdown in the sanctuary of their countryside home Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

Kate told of the trials of home schooling and how George was more interested in Charlotte’s enjoyable tasks than his own.

“He gets very upset because he just wants to do all of Charlotte’s projects. Spider sandwiches are far cooler than literacy work,” she said during an interview with ITV’s This Morning show.

The trio of youngsters enthusiastically joined in with a Clap for Carers in March, paying tribute to the NHS staff working tirelessly to help those with the Covid-19 illness.

The children clapping for carers

The children clapping for carers

The Duke of Cambridge caught coronavirus himself in April, but did not make this public to avoid alarming the nation at a time when Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in intensive care with the disease.

William was treated by royal doctors at home but was hit “pretty hard” by the virus and at one stage struggled to breathe, but went on to recover.

Louis turned two at the end of April and new photos were released, showing how much he had grown.

Prince Louis’ second birthday

Prince Louis’ second birthday

He delightedly waved his paint-covered hands as he made a rainbow hand-print for his window.

The prince, whose brown hair was brushed into a side parting, was dressed in a blue and white gingham shirt.

He was also pictured with his cheeks covered in paint, when Kensington Palace tweeted an Instagram Vs Reality post to thank people for their birthday messages.

Kate later revealed how Louis was too young to understand social distancing and wanted to “cuddle everything”.

“He goes out wanting to cuddle everything, particularly any babies younger than him,” she said.

She also remarked on his ability to run at speed, saying: “You put Louis down and he’s off.”

Charlotte celebrated her fifth birthday in early May.

She was photographed by Kate helping to load a van with food and delivering meals to those in need as she volunteered with her family.

The Cambridges took bags of provisions including fresh pasta to pensioners shielding and other vulnerable people in lockdown in Norfolk.

Princess Charlotte’s fifth birthday

Charlotte, ahead of her fifth birthday, as the family helped to pack up and deliver food packages for isolated pensioners in the local area

William and Kate also released a close-up portrait of the fourth in line to throne.

Charlotte – who is known for her confident, feisty attitude – was captured smiling as she looked straight towards the camera.

The duchess, a keen amateur photographer, frequently releases her own photographs of her children to mark their milestones.

Princess Charlotte ahead of her fifth birthday

Princess Charlotte ahead of her fifth birthday

The duchess told how they were having a sunflower-growing competition in the warmer months.

” Louis’s is winning so George is a little grumpy about that,” she said.

In June, George, Charlotte and Louis were pictured on a swing with William and also clambering on his back as he lay on the grass in photos taken by Kate and released to mark Father’s Day, which also fell on the duke’s 38th birthday.

The Cambridges on a swing

On a swing in their Norfolk garden

The youngsters stayed away from their relatives to keep them safe during the pandemic.

Kate said during a visit to a garden centre: “I’ve yet to see my family as they’re about three hours away in Berkshire, so I haven’t seen them and I miss them.”

She had spoken of how she and the children were regularly chatting with loved ones online.

Kate at a garden centre

Kate visiting Fakenham Garden Centre in Norfolk

“Obviously we’re doing that a lot more now and actually it’s been really great,” she said.

“We try and check in daily with family members and speak to them about news and things like that.”

The duchess’s mother Carole Middleton said she would be inviting her grandchildren to help her decorate her Christmas tree by video call this year.

George celebrated his seventh birthday in July, with Kate’s close up photos showing the future king with his blond locks and gap-toothed smile.

Prince George in images marking his seventh birthday

Prince George in images marking his seventh birthday

The Queen, 94, and the 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh remained mostly in Windsor Castle, before heading to Balmoral in Aberdeenshire during the summer.

The Cambridges are thought to have travelled to Scotland for a socially distanced reunion with the monarch, Philip and other royals when more movement was allowed.

Naturalist Sir David Attenborough gave George a fossilised giant shark’s tooth when they met at Kensington Palace in September.

George

George, photographed by Kate, for his seventh birthday photos

A culture minister in Malta indicated they would be asking for the return of the gift, which was originally found in the country, but later made a swift u-turn, letting the prince keep it.

Sir David had joined William for a private viewing of his new environmental documentary A Life On Our Planet in the palace’s grounds and met the Cambridge children afterwards.

Charlotte was seen bringing her hands to her face in delight during the encounter.

Sir David Attenborough meets Prince William and family

The Cambridges with Sir David Attenborough

George, Charlotte and Louis later quizzed the broadcaster about animals in a sweet video – in what were their first officially released public words.

Charlotte revealed she likes spiders, saying: “Hello, David Attenborough, I like spiders. Do you like spiders too?”

Little Louis, clutching leaves on the branch of a nearby bush, took a deep breath before asking: “What animal do you like?”

Sir David replied that his favourite animal was a monkey.

George, dressed in a sports kit and stood with his hands behind his back, said: “‘Hello, David Attenborough, what animal do you think will become extinct next?”

Sir David expressed his hope no more animals would die out.

The Queen and Philip look at an anniversary card made by the Cambridge children

The Queen and Philip look at an anniversary card made by the Cambridge children

The princes and princess sent a colourful handmade anniversary card to the Queen and Philip for their 73rd wedding anniversary in November.

The children also enjoyed a traditional Christmas panto at The Palladium in central London in December – their first public red carpet outing as a family.

Royal visit to The Palladium

The family trip to see a Christmas pantomime

William and Kate took them to see a special performance of the National Lottery’s Pantoland staged to thank key workers and their families.

The children appeared apprehensive when they arrived.

Royal visit to The Palladium

The Duchess of Cambridge with Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte

But they relaxed and looked on with glee as they took their seats in the royal box and saw their father making a speech before the show.

They also appeared on the Cambridges’ Christmas card, sat together in front of a wood store at their Norfolk home.

The Cambridge family's Christmas card

The Cambridge family’s Christmas card

A happy Louis was captured in the midst of a wide-opened laugh as he posed with his parents and siblings.

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