Kate Middleton's divisive hobby she loves doing in the 'dark and rain' that Prince William thinks is 'crazy'

The Princess of Wales opened up about this surprising hobby in a special podcast appearance and revealed the weather doesn't stop her

Catherine, Princess of Wales attends day two of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships
(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

The Princess of Wales once revealed her divisive hobby she does in the "dark" that Prince William thinks is "crazy".

If there’s one thing the Princess of Wales is known for it’s her love of sports and over the years she’s showcased her prowess at everything from tennis to hockey and rugby. In 2023 she took to the court with Roger Federer and during the Rugby World Cup she, Prince William and Princess Anne made a special appearance on Mike Tindall’s The Good, The Bad & The Rugby podcast. It was during this light-hearted discussion that the future Queen revealed that she has another rather more divisive activity that she enjoys - cold water swimming. 

Kate’s divisive hobby definitely won’t be for everyone but has gained huge popularity in recent years. Experts have revealed the benefits of cold water swimming and the senior royal does it even in the "dark", much to Prince William’s dismay.

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Kate: The Future Queen by Katie Nicholl | £11.46 at Amazon

Published in 2013, this in-depth biography written by Vanity Fair's Royal Correspondent Katie Nicholl paints a fascinating picture of the Princess of Wales. It includes insightful commentary and facts about Kate's life, including her early years and romance with Prince William.

"I really, genuinely love all sports. Personally, I love swimming wherever I can. Cold swimming - the colder, the better," she declared. "I absolutely love it. Slightly to the point where William's [saying] 'You're crazy' and it's dark and it's raining. I will go and seek out cold water. I love it."

Her surprising revelation that she does cold water swimming when it’s "dark" seems to suggest that Kate is committed to keeping up her hobby even late in the evenings after a busy day, or very early in the morning. Of course, in the winter it is darker and rainier in the UK, so the Princess of Wales likely has become used to braving the elements in pursuit of a lovely cold water swim.

Prince William might not be so keen to take the plunge with her but he’s understood to be a great swimmer himself, as the future King once played on the polo team at Eton College and at university when he was a student. 

Catherine, Princess of Wales plays hockey with the GB hockey teams

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool /Getty Images)

During her own school days, Kate was a member of her hockey team and she spoke on the podcast about how her parents Michael and Carole Middleton used to always encourage her and her siblings James and Pippa to try sporty hobbies.

"I suppose as a family we were just very active. And I can always remember being physical, using our bodies, whether it's walking, climbing the lake district in Scotland [or] swimming from a young age," she said. "[My parents] always encouraged us to be physically active and sporty and they always encouraged us into doing team sports and trying things."

It seems that she and Prince William are eager to continue the family tradition and encourage their own children to embrace trying lots of sports.

Catherine, Princess of Wales speaks to Prince George prior to a Six Nations Rugby match

(Image credit: Photo by Dan Mullan - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

In recent years they’ve revealed that Prince Louis loves cricket, Princess Charlotte is a fan of gymnastics and rugby, whilst Prince George is also a rugby enthusiast. He’s been to watch matches several times with Prince William and Kate and, as per The Mirror, they discussed what he’d been learning ahead of a Six Nations match in 2022. 

The Princess said her son had "all the kit" and Prince George shared that he’d been learning to tackle, before adding to his mum, "But I haven’t tackled you yet!"

"Yes, you have!" she replied, laughing, suggesting that she had fitted in some time to help Prince George with his rugby practice. Whether or not Prince George and his siblings will go on to also share Kate’s passion for cold water swimming one day remains to be seen.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!