Kate Middleton is known for her stunning shoe collection, from her comfortable sneakers to statement heels to her decade-old boots. But she went without shoes in a surprising but “respectful” gesture while visit with U.K. radio host Roman Kemp’s family.
Kemp detailed how he teamed up with the Princess of Wales earlier this year to talk about mental health. He told The Times that Princess Kate, 41, reached out after the airing of his BBC documentary Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency about the mental health crisis affecting young men in the U.K. Kemp released his film in 2021 after his friend and producer Joe Lyons died by suicide.
Kemp, 30, said the call from the royal was “an honor but one of the weirdest things.”
“We had a Zoom call, just her and me,” he recalled. “And she was like, ‘Oh, you know, I can come over to your place and do it there.’ And I just said, ‘No, let’s go to my parents.’ It’s a bigger house. I don’t want to bring royalty to a flat in Vauxhall.”
The son of pop stars Martin Kemp and Shirlie Holliman said Kate sat with the family (including their dogs!) at the kitchen counter.
“The funniest thing was she didn’t have any shoes on because she was respectful enough to take her shoes off at the door,” Kemp said. “That really stuck in my head because you never see royalty with no shoes.”
While it’s certainly rare, it’s not the first time Kate has been spotted barefoot. She has even removed her shoes during royal engagements — for example, at a visit to a museum in India back in 2016 to pay respect to Mohandas Gandhi.
In a video released in January, the Princess of Wales and Kemp discussed how mental wellness, relationships and early childhood as part of her Shaping Us campaign. The new campaign came from The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which the royal launched in June 2021.
“All you have to do is look around, especially, you know, at the country, and see people are not just struggling with raising kids, they’re struggling with just putting a roof above their heads, to be able to heat their house,” the radio host and mental health advocate said. “So, all of those things can come into play.”
“Yes, absolutely,” Princess Kate agreed. “And this is the thing, is that every family is different. The pressures we face are all different, whilst raising the importance of early childhood. This isn’t about putting extra pressure on families. It’s actually saying they need the support and help reprioritizing family life, home life and all that it takes in raising children today because it is tough.”
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“The relationships in a family or that’s surrounding a child is so important. The environment in which you bring up a child is as important, as whereas the experiences you engage them with,” Kate continued. “It’s not about the number of toys they’ve got or the number of sort of trips that you go on with them. it’s just making sure that they’ve got the right emotional support around them and that comes from the adults in their lives.”