Duchess Of Cambridge picks a classic tale to read on CBeebies for Children's Mental Health Week

Duchess Of Cambridge reads a story on Cbeebies.
Duchess Of Cambridge reads a story on Cbeebies. (Image credit: Kensington Palace)

Children can listen to Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge, as she reads a CBeebies Bedtime Story to mark Children’s Mental Health Week which runs from February 7 to 13 2022. 

It's also a special occasion to mark the 20th anniversary of CBeebies. The Duchess of Cambridge's CBeebies Bedtime Story will air at 6.50pm, Sunday 13 February 2022 on CBeebies before becoming available on streaming service BBCiPlayer.

The royal's chosen book, The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson, follows the story of Plop, a baby barn owl, who is helped by others to grow in confidence and overcome his fears. This story aligns with this year's theme for Children’s Mental Health Week of 'Growing Together'.

Children’s Mental Health Week is a key national moment for spotlighting and recognizing children’s mental health. This year children and adults are being encouraged to consider how they have grown emotionally, recognizing that trying new things can help people move beyond their comfort zones, and that challenges and setbacks can help them to mature and adapt.

Patricia Hidalgo, Director of BBC Children’s and Education said: “I couldn’t be more proud to have The Duchess read a CBeebies Bedtime Story as we mark the 20th anniversary of our CBeebies and CBBC channels. It’s such a special and relevant tale and perfectly represents this years’ Children’s Mental Health Week theme. I can’t wait to see her deliver her own take on such a classic story and I’m sure our audience can’t either.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, aka Prince William and the former Kate Middleton, have three children of their own — George, eight, Charlotte, six, and Louis, three. They are well-known for their hands-on parenting style, so reading to children will be second nature for the Duchess, and engaging with children through reading at bedtime is likely to be an issue dear to her heart. 

We're not sure about the TV viewing habits of the royal children George, Charlotte, and Louis but the BBC's free-to-air channel CBeebies has played a major role in the entertainment and education of preschool children in the UK for 20 years, and the bespoke BBC kids' channel is celebrating its 20th anniversary, along with CBBC, which is for school-age children. Both CBeebies and CBBC launched on February 11 2002 and the first four shows to air on the channel were Teletubbies, Pingu, Binka and Step Inside. 

* The Duchess of Cambridge is the Royal Patron of Place2Be, a children’s mental health charity, and first launched Children’s Mental Health Week with them in 2015.

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.