Kate Middleton: Duchess of Cambridge to present CBeebies Bedtime Stories - what will she read and how to watch

The Duchess of Cambridge will tell the tale of barn owl Plop in the children’s story The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark

The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is set to read a children’s story on the CBeebies Bedtime Story series to mark Children’s Mental Health Week.

This is everything you need to know.

What is CBeebies Bedtime Stories?

CBeebies Bedtime Stories is a series from the BBC which see’s a different children’s story read each night by a different guest.

Celebrities who have appeared on the show include:

  • Tom Hardy, who read There’s a Bear on my Chair
  • George Ezra, who read Under the Same Sky
  • Dolly Parton, who read Dog Loves Books 
  • Pearl Mackie, who read Pink Lion 
  • Will Young, who read Two Dads
  • Jodie Whittaker, who read Inspector Hector 
  • Oti Mabuse, who read Girls Can Do Anything 

The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, will be making her appearance on the show to mark Children’s Mental Health Week, which is from Monday 7 to Sunday 13 February.

The theme for Children’s Mental Health Week is “Growing Together”. The week is a national event which has taken place annually since 2015, when it was launched by the charity Place2Be.

The Duchess of Cambridge attending Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards (Photo: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

Place2Be says: “This year children and adults are being encouraged to consider how they have grown emotionally, recognising that trying new things can help people move beyond their comfort zones, and that challenges and setbacks can help them to mature and adapt.”

The Duchess of Cambridge became a royal patron of the children’s mental health charity back in 2013. The organisation provides counselling and mental health support and training in schools across the UK.

Last year, Children’s Mental Health Week raised over £87,000. You can support the charity by donating through its website.

You can opt for a single donation of either £7, £27 or £52, or you can sign up for a monthly donation of your choice.

Alternatively you can donate by text, by texting PLACE to 70085 to make a one off donation of £5. Text TALK to the same number to donate £5 a month.

What story will she be reading?

The Duchess of Cambridge will be reading The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, written by Jill Tomlinson and illustrated by Joanne Cole, and was originally published in 1968.

In 2001, an abridged edition of the story was illustrated by Paul Howard.

The story follows that of a young barn owl by the name of Plop who, as the title suggests, is afraid of the dark.

Split up over the course of seven chapters, with each chapter covering a different night, Plop learns something new about the dark. Slowly, Plop comes to realise that the dark isn’t so scary after all.

The Duchess of Cambridge will read a CBeebies Bedtime Story to mark Children’s Mental Health Week (Photo: Kensington Palace/PA)

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.”

When will she read the story?

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, read by the Duchess, will air at 6:50pm on Sunday 13 February on CBeebies.

If you miss the episode, you can always catch up on it on the BBC iPlayer.

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