Mary Berry and William hail ‘profound impact’ of Diana’s legacy

The Duke of Cambridge has said he tries to educate his children about issues, such as homelessness, that his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, cared about.

Speaking in scenes that will be aired as part of Mary Berry’s festive show, William said he and the Duchess of Cambridge made an effort to teach Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, four, and Prince Louis, one, about homelessness.

During a visit to The Passage, a homelessness charity based in London, which the duke supports as royal patron, William made cups of tea with former Great British Bake Off judge Berry.

A Berry Royal Christmas
A Berry Royal Christmas

William told her about visiting the project for the first time as a boy.

He said: “It was one of the first places I came to actually. I must have been between eight and 10, something like that. It had a profound impact on me.

“My mother knew what she was doing with it. She realised that it was very important when you grow up – especially in the life that we grew up – that you realise that life happens beyond palace walls, and that you see real people struggling with real issues.”

Berry replied: “Your mother chose the non-popular, the things we didn’t really talk about.

“I remember seeing her early on shaking hands with someone that had Aids, and it changed all our views.”

A Berry Royal Christmas
A Berry Royal Christmas

William said: “She liked to challenge the social norms about charities and about disadvantages and vulnerable people.”

Asked whether he educated his children about such issues, he said: “Absolutely, and on the school run – I know it sounds a little bit contrite – but on the school run already, bear in mind six and four, whenever we see someone who is sleeping rough on the street I talk about it and I point it out and I explain.

“And they are all very interested. They are like: ‘Why can’t they go home?’”

A Berry Royal Christmas also sees TV star Berry show Kate how to decorate cakes and mix a non-alcoholic cranberry juice cocktail.

Kate served the drink at The Brink, a dry bar set up by the charity Action on Addiction in Liverpool, of which she is patron.

A Berry Royal Christmas
A Berry Royal Christmas

“It reminded me of my university days when I did a bit of waitressing,” she said.

Asked by Berry whether she was any good, the duchess replied: “No – I was terrible.”

Berry and the duke know each other through their support of Child Bereavement UK, and the show came about as the celebrity cook wanted to learn more about the duke and duchess’s charities, particularly Kate’s work supporting the early years development of children.

In the hour-long programme, she prepares some of her favourite Christmas recipes to inspire the television audience, and at the end of the show is joined by special guests, including Nadiya Hussain, as she makes festive food for charity workers.

A Berry Royal Christmas airs on December 16 at 8.30pm on BBC One.