Kate reads bedtime story to nation's children and tells them 'we all get scared'

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The Duchess of Cambridge has told children it’s okay to be scared while reading one of her favourite stories for her youth.

Kate appeared on CBeebies to read aloud as part of events marking Children’s Mental Health Week.

The royal – who introduced herself simply as ‘Catherine’ – invited young viewers into her ‘bedtime story den’ for the broadcast.

Kate described the children’s classic The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark by Jill Tomlinson as an ‘encouraging tale’.

Illustrated by Belfast artist Paul Howard, the book tells the story of baby barn owl Plop, who is helped by others to grow in confidence and overcome his fears.

At the beginning of Sunday night’s episode, the duchess said: ‘Hello, my name is Catherine and tonight we’re in my bedtime story den.

‘I’ve chosen a story which I remember reading as a little girl, it’s called The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark.’

Illustrations from the storybook accompany the reading by Kate, who appeared in laid back clothing and with a hot chocolate within reach, two soft toy owls for company and a lit fire bowl.

At the end of the reading, the duchess adds: ‘Wow, what an encouraging tale. 

‘We can all feel scared sometimes just like our little owl friend Plop, but as Mrs Barn Own said, “It’s better to find out about the things that scare us before we make up our mind”.

‘And with the help of others, we can often face things that worry us. Now it’s time for bed. Night night and sleep tight.’

Kate is following in the footsteps of Hollywood star Chris Evans, best known for playing Captain America, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and British actors Tom Hiddleston and Tom Hardy, who have all appeared on CBeebies Bedtime Stories.

The duchess has taken part in the broadcast on the BBC’s channel as part of a national push on raising the profile of mental ill-health among children. 

She picked Tomlinson’s book as the story chimes with this year’s theme of Growing Together.

The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark read by the duchess can be viewed on the CBeebies iPlayer channel.

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