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Prince William says he worries about fathers who ‘don’t know where to go for help’

The Duke of Cambridge has voiced concerns about fathers who ‘just don’t know what to do’ during a chat with men whose parenting skills have been supported by a charity during a video call from the living room of Kensington Palace.

Prince William, 38,  said he worried some fathers ‘don’t know where to go’ for help, as he and wife Kate Middleton, also 38,  spoke to the group who have attended fatherhood courses run by Future Men, a London-based charity providing guidance to men and boys.

The Duchess of Cambridge has made championing the early years development of children one of the main pillars of her public work and the results of her landmark national survey about the issue are expected in the coming days.

The Duke and Duchess  of Cambridge spoke to fathers from the living room of Apartment 1A in Kensinton Palace. William voiced concerns about fathers who 'just don't know what to do'

The Duke and Duchess  of Cambridge spoke to fathers from the living room of Apartment 1A in Kensinton Palace. William voiced concerns about fathers who ‘just don’t know what to do’

During a video call, William asked the fathers: ‘How does Future Men find some of these other guys out there who have not got the realisation, or the wherewithal if you like, to go looking for services like Future Men and be able to build on a happy future as a father?

‘Because I worry an awful lot, a lot of dads out there who just don’t know what to do, and they don’t know where to go. And they may not have such good – either grounding, foundations or support around them to be able to know what to do.’

Future Men provides a range of courses that help with different aspects of fatherhood, from enhancing father-child relationships to teaching practical and emotional approaches to enable men to take care of themselves, their partner and baby.

The men described their experiences of fatherhood from dealing with their child’s sleeping patterns to being a positive role model when Kate asked them about the challenges of family life, especially during lockdown.

Future Men provides a range of courses that help with different aspects of fatherhood, from enhancing father-child relationships to teaching practical and emotional approaches to enable men to take care of themselves, their partner and baby. Pictured: (left to right): Graeme Mackenzie and son Liam; Darren Smith; Owen Thomas (Future Men's Head of Father Programmes) and bottom (left to right): Sarit Chaturvedi; The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; Peter Sen and son Elliot

Future Men provides a range of courses that help with different aspects of fatherhood, from enhancing father-child relationships to teaching practical and emotional approaches to enable men to take care of themselves, their partner and baby. Pictured: (left to right): Graeme Mackenzie and son Liam; Darren Smith; Owen Thomas (Future Men’s Head of Father Programmes) and bottom (left to right): Sarit Chaturvedi; The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; Peter Sen and son Elliot

Sarit Chaturvedi said: ‘Parenting is probably the only sort of job if you can call it (a job) – it is a very, very difficult job – that we’re not given any hands-on approach on.

‘You know, any other job you enter, you are shown the ropes. At the time it’s completely new to you, it’s very scary actually being a parent for the first time.’

Earlier in the year, William and Kate joked about their experiences with home schooling their three young children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, with the duchess saying she had found it ‘challenging’.

Earlier in the year, William and Kate joked about their experiences with home schooling their three young children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, with the duchess saying she had found it 'challenging'. The family are pictured clapping for the NHS

Earlier in the year, William and Kate joked about their experiences with home schooling their three young children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, with the duchess saying she had found it ‘challenging’. The family are pictured clapping for the NHS

When one of the fathers said he knew lots of men who did not know about the Future Men fatherhood courses but were interested, Kate said it was a ‘shame’ similar services were not more widely available.

The duchess added: ‘Dads play such an important role it shouldn’t be a bad thing to reach out for help and advice.’

In a lighter moment, Graeme Mackenzie, who towards the end of the video chat was joined by his eight-month-old son Liam, said: ‘The best thing I like about being a dad is sniffing him and getting that new baby smell.’

Speaking on the call, Kate said 'Dads play such an important role it shouldn't be a bad thing to reach out for help and advice'. Pictured is William with children George (top), Charlotte (middle) and Louis (bottom)

Speaking on the call, Kate said ‘Dads play such an important role it shouldn’t be a bad thing to reach out for help and advice’. Pictured is William with children George (top), Charlotte (middle) and Louis (bottom)

Peter Sen, who also introduced his first child, son Elliott, to the group, said: ‘I think being at home in lockdown has been a blessing and a curse.

‘A blessing that I get to see every part of his development and that’s a real joy, and however poorly or badly he sleeps, he always wakes up with a big smile on his face.’

When the fathers brought out their sons William and Kate could not hide their parental instincts and smiled. Mr Mackenzie said: ‘His hobbies are drooling and he’s also quite a vocal little chap, aren’t you?’

Kate waved and said ‘Hi Liam,’ then asked ‘Is this his first Zoom call?’ and the duke and duchess laughed when told it was.

Mr Sen said he had missed interacting with other families and the duchess sympathised and replied: ‘It must be so hard having a newborn over lockdown.’

The appearance comes after the duke surprised the young ambassadors of The Diana Award - set up in his mother's name - by making an unannounced appearance on a video call to show his admiration for their work

The appearance comes after the duke surprised the young ambassadors of The Diana Award – set up in his mother’s name – by making an unannounced appearance on a video call to show his admiration for their work 

When William asked the men if being a father was valued by their communities and wider society, Darren Smith, who is married with a son called Messiah, said: ‘I have a strong belief that, especially for me being a younger dad, I think that I have a strong impact on you know, the community, the society around me…

‘We’re superheroes to these kids, we’re their role models. You know, they look at us as ‘OK, I want to be like, daddy’. 

‘My son tells me everyday ‘daddy, I want to be like you’.’

Tender moment: Also on display is a touching photograph of Kate with her youngest son, Louis, taken on a family visit to the Duchess of Cambridge's Back To Nature Garden at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show last summer

In the photo, Kate crouches down to cuddle her toddler son as he explores the garden

The couple were surrounded by snaps of George, Charlotte and Louis as they took the call. : Also on display is a touching photograph of Kate with her youngest son, Louis, taken on a family visit to the Duchess of Cambridge’s Back To Nature Garden at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show last summer. In the photo (right), Kate crouches down to cuddle her toddler son as he explores the garden.

The couple were surrounded by snaps of George, Charlotte and Louis as they took the call.

The appearance comes after the duke surprised the young ambassadors of The Diana Award – set up in his mother’s name  – by making an unannounced appearance on a video call to show his admiration for their work and could be seen speaking from what appears to be a living room in Apartment 1A, the four-storey property he shares with wife Kate Middleton and their children George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two at Kensington Palace.

While some rooms have been photographed, including the drawing room where William and Kate famously hosted the Obamas in 2016, it is still unusual to be given a glimpse into where the Cambridges live. 

A closer look at photos, which have previously been featured in a video call made by Kate, reveal how the Cambridges have taken a traditional approach to decorating and, like many parents, keep photos of their children in pride of place. 

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