32 incredibly sweet moments between Kate Middleton and young fans - from bear hugs to heart-warming hospital visits

The Princess of Wales has a natural way with children from all walks of life, and these are some of her sweetest moments.

L-R: Kate Middleton and Prince Louis, Kate Middleton holding a baby
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Unlike the likes of Princess Anne or Prince William, Kate Middleton wasn't born into the world of the Royal Family - but her natural way with people and winning over crowds has cemented her position as one of the most effortlessly popular royals.

Many turn to the Princess to copy her style secrets, and people still love discovering new things about her, including her hidden talents and sporting prowess, but the Princess of Wales never shines like she does when interacting with children. 

Here, we look at some of the sweetest moments between Kate and little ones, from her own kids to children from all walks of life.

32 times Kate Middleton shared incredibly sweet moments with children

A tale of two Princesses

Kate Middleton with a young fan dressed in a Princess costume

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Back in 2013, Kate - who was still just the Duchess of Cambridge at the time - got to enjoy a touch of fairy tale magic as she met with a Princess. 

While Kate would have to wait until 2022 to become the Princess of Wales, she surely got some regal pointers from her adorable young friend, dressed as Disney's Belle, as Kate carried out a day of engagements in Grimsby. 

Gilded Youth: An Intimate History of Growing Up in the Royal Family by Tom Quinn, £9.72 (was £20) | Amazon

Gilded Youth: An Intimate History of Growing Up in the Royal Family by Tom Quinn, £9.72 (was £20) | Amazon

Exploring what it's like to grow up in the Royal Family, Tom Quinn brings together historical sources with testimonies from palace staff. There are tales of royal mischievousness, including surprising anecdotes about Queen Elizabeth and Prince William, and it's shocking, funny and insightful all at once.

Meeting Diamond Marshall

Two photos of Kate Middleton meeting and hugging a young fan, Diamond Marshall, in Canada

(Image credit: Getty Images)

During their first-ever royal tour (which came just a few months after their 2011 royal wedding), William and Kate got to witness just how far their popularity had spread.

One huge fan in Canada was a young cancer patient, Diamond Marshall, who was lucky enough to meet the Prince and Princess of Wales. 

Kate, true to her nature, wasted no time in embracing the youngster and making her feel special. 

After their sweet moment together, Mrs Marshall said (per The Mirror), "Kate was lovely... they were gracious and spent extra time with her... For a little girl who dreams everything princess, it was a dream come true." 

A big hug from around the world

Kate Middleton hugging a young fan

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While royal protocol is full of assumptions and there's never been much confirmation of exactly what dos and don'ts are on the list, it's widely understood that people shouldn't grab or touch the royals. 

Of course, for someone who loves children like Kate, this goes out of the window, and she's always happy to wrap her arms around the little ones and give them a warm, comforting embrace. 

Kate gave one such protocol-defying squeeze when visiting New Zealand in 2014. 

Gossiping with the girls

Kate Middleton with schoolgirls

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In 2018, as part of the Heads Together campaign which Kate Middleton championed alongside Prince William and Prince Harry, the Princess visited schools to discuss all things mental health. 

While there, she showed that, despite all the titles and finery that comes with her royal status, she's still more than happy to chit chat with the girls, looking happy and at ease sitting in a little gossip circle. 

Putting a shy girl at ease

Kate Middleton with a schoolgirl

(Image credit: Getty Images)

During the unveiling of the National Windrush Monument at Waterloo Station in June 2022, Kate Middleton wasted no time greeting the younger fans who came out to see her. 

Crouching down and giving them plenty of attention, she reached out and placed a comforting arm on a young girl who was looking a touch shy in front of the Princess of Wales. 

Greeting a young fan on her first ever tour

Kate Middleton accepting flowers from a young boy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In 2011, a few months after wedding Prince William in front of, well, the entire world, Kate and her new husband departed for their first royal tour together, travelling across areas in North America. 

While she might have been forgiven for being rusty - it was her first tour AND she'd had a wedding to plan, after all - Kate proved that she was a complete natural, especially when it came to chatting with children. 

Crouching down and spending some time with a young fan who brought her flowers, Kate wasted no time in setting her own way of doing tours and walkabouts, making it known that the children will always get a spot of her undivided attention. 

Kate Middleton meets a young prince charming

Kate Middleton receives flowers from a young boy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In 2022, Kate Middleton visited Wales and spent time with the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution). 

While there, she was greeted with a charming young man who bravely stepped forward to give the Princess a posy of flowers (while Prince William looked on, no less). 

Kate was clearly touched by the gesture, dropping down to have a chat and place a gentle arm on the young boy who looked shy and sweet. A core memory made, for sure. 

Super Mum mode for Pippa's wedding

Kate Middleton with children at Pippa Middleton's wedding

(Image credit: Getty Images)

She might be the future Queen, but during Pippa Middleton's wedding to James Matthews in 2017, she was simply a woman making sure her little sister's wedding went off without a hitch. 

To do this, she ended up proving her natural Mum instincts, gathering the bridesmaids and Page Boys together like an infant Pied Piper.

Sharing her knowledge

Kate Middleton teaching a young boy how to use a camera

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Photography is one of Kate's well-known hobbies. Not only has she taken photos of her own family, releasing them for Christmas cards and birthday portraits, but she was commissioned by Queen Camilla to shoot her for the cover of a special edition of Country Life. 

So it's heartening to see the passion in Kate's eyes as she gets to share her love for the art with the younger generations during a photography workshop for Action for Children in 2019.

Letting someone grab her hair

Kate Middleton laughing with young fans

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If there really are royal protocols, then touching a Princess' hair is most likely high on the list of no-nos. 

Still, Kate proved her warmth and accessibility during a visit to Scotland in 2019. 

In Scotland, where she's more likely to use her title of the Countess of Strathearn, Kate laughed off some young fans running their hands through her signature brunette locks. 

Meeting a young fan in London

Kate Middleton talking with a young girl

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Catherine, Princess of Wales met with a young girl named Noa Redgrave in 2023, during a visit to a charity for dads and their children in North London. 

The 'Dadvengers' group highlights the important role that Dads play in their children's earliest years. A cause close to Catherine's heart, she joined the group as part of her Shaping Us campaign - and she no doubt got to swap plenty of stories with her young fan. 

Crouching down to her level, the two instantly hit it off as they held hands and chatted away. 

Sharing her inner country girl roots

Kate Middleton and young children feeding a lamb

(Image credit: Getty Images)

She's the Princess of Wales and the future Queen, but Kate Middleton has always stayed true to her Berkshire, country girl roots. 

Which is why she looked in her element hanging out with a bunch of youngsters during a visit to the Ark Open Farm in Northern Ireland back in 2020. 

Kate got stuck in with the rural tasks and looked thrilled to be helping the little ones take part in activities like feeding a little lamb.

Big grins with little fans

Kate Middleton with a young girl

(Image credit: Getty Images)

We can hardly tell who was more excited to meet one another in this sweet photo taken from Kate Middleton's trip to Canada in 2016. 

Both the Princess of Wales and her little friend have matching huge grins as they chat away and hold hands.

It says a lot about Kate's natural way with children that so many seem instantly at ease and comfortable talking away, despite the presence of paparazzi and security. 

Getting crafty with some kids

Kate Middleton doing arts and crafts with a young girl

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate Middleton studied History of Art at the University of St Andrews and she's known to love taking photos. So, we know she has an artist's eye, and it could explain why she always looks so happy taking part in engagements where she can get hands-on with various crafts. 

Here, she's pictured sitting opposite another regal character decked out in her own tiara (probably not on the list of the best royal tiara moments, alas)

Playing games (with an important message)

Kate Middleton playing with children, wearing a blindfold

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In 2014, Kate Middleton visited a Beaver Scout Colony in East London where she showed no hesitation in dropping any sense of royal fanciness to just get stuck in playing with the children. 

And Kate's games would have shared an important lesson with the youngsters. 

While she had a laugh wearing a blindfold and trying to ice a cake, the games were to promote disability awareness. 

Playing with masks

Kate Middleton playing with some children

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales visited a nursery in Luton in 2023 as part of her ongoing work promoting the importance of early years development. 

While sitting with the kids and taking part in arts and crafts, she kept the little ones entertained by playing with face masks and pulling silly faces. 

In another life, like the late Princess Diana who worked at a nursery before meeting Prince Charles, we could totally see Kate working with children full-time,

Holding a newborn

Kate Middleton holding a small baby

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Princess paid a visit to the Royal Surrey County Hospital's maternity unit in Guildford in 2022 where she had the delight of holding a newborn baby. 

Despite wearing a face mask to protect the health of the babies and mothers, you can see the joy written all over Kate's face as she gets to snuggle with a baby again. 

The baby's mother, Szilvia Novak, asked Kate if she'd like to hold her baby, Bianca. And naturally she couldn't pass it up - possibly stressing out William when he saw the photos. 

While speaking to reporters in 2022, Kate confessed that being around newborns gives her baby fever. “It makes me very broody,” she shared (per Daily Mail reporter, Rebecca England).

“William always worries about me meeting under one-year-olds,” she said. “I come home saying, ‘Let’s have another one.'”

Big hugs with a well-dressed fan

Two photos of Kate Middleton greeting a young fan

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In September 2022, Kate Middleton paid her first visit to Wales since taking on the title of Princess of Wales. 

There, she was greeted by a most adorable young fan named Charlotte, who wore some traditional looking clothes. The little girl was delighted to meet Kate, and presented her with some flowers and showed off one of her toys as the two had a chat and a hug. 

Sharing a love of nature

Kate Middleton talking with some schoolboys

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate got to combine some of her favourite things during a visit to the Hampton Court Flower Festival in 2019. 

Rambling through nature - a setting close to the country girl's heart - and imparting some knowledge with some eager schoolboys, Kate got to showcase the Nature Garden at Hampton Court Palace which she co-designed with Andree Davies and Adam White. 

Getting the next generation engaged with tennis

Kate Middleton with a young child at a tennis court

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The future Queen is already a queen on the tennis court - a regular at Wimbledon, where she gives hilarious facial reactions plus the fact she's played matches alongside the likes of Roger Federer and Emma Raducanu. 

So, for Kate, getting to combine her love for the game with her natural affinity with children was no doubt a perfect serve. 

Looking in her element dressed casually and sporty, she encouraged the youngsters at the National Tennis Centre in 2017.

Enjoying a big hug

Kate Middleton hugging a schoolgirl

(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are the sort of hugs you give at work functions out of politeness, and then there are the sorts of hugs Kate Middleton gives to children. 

Rather than looking stilted or forced, Kate completely leans in for a big embrace as she visited London schoolchildren in 2018. 

Kate's hugs when on duty are always enveloping, and her smile says it all.

Girl time with Charlotte

Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate Middleton is always happy around children, but it's utterly heartening to see her bond with her own cute royal kids.

Getting to share her love for Wimbledon with her only daughter, Princess Charlotte, the stylish pair twinned in sunglasses during the 2023 championship.

Kate hasn't just got a daughter in Charlotte, but a friend and the two laughed away in sweet scenes. 

Getting adventurous with the Scouts

Kate Middleton playing with Cub Scouts

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sure, we've seen her in glittering tiaras and opulent ballgowns, but has Kate ever looked so at ease (or so happy!) just mucking about in the mud with some Scouts? 

The country girl visited the Scouts' headquarters in Epping back in 2019, and she did not stand on airs and graces. 

The future Queen was more than happy delighting the kids by tunnelling through forts and kicking about in the foliage.

Tea time with some special children

Prince William and Kate Middleton have a tea party with a hospital patient

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In 2019, Prince William and Kate Middleton went on a royal tour of Pakistan. At the time, Kate wasn't the Princess of Wales (that title would come in 2022), but she managed to get some practice in thanks to a sweet moment with a special girl. 

William and Kate visited the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, in Lahore, where Kate partook in a Princess-themed tea party, complete with tiaras. 

Mum duties come first - even when the President visits!

President Obama visits William, Kate and George at Kensington Palace

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A heart-warming mum moment came in 2016 as Kate Middleton proved that nothing comes before her kids. 

Prince George had a rather special visitor - President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle - but he was far more concerned with something that needed immediate attention from Kate. 

A cute memory, and one of Prince George's most scene-stealing moments - who else can say they met Obama in their dressing gown?

Snuggles with Prince Louis

Kate Middleton and Prince Louis

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The world was watching London in 2022 when Queen Elizabeth hosted a summer of celebrations to mark her history-making Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne. 

Despite all the pressure of being thrust into the centre of a press storm, Kate Middleton still found plenty of time to just enjoy sweet moments with her children. 

Prince Louis didn't care who was watching or what events were taking place, as long as he had his Mum to cling to for a comforting hug. 

Reuniting with a young friend named Mila

Kate Middleton and Mila Sneddon, a young cancer patient she had previously met

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sceptics out there might think the royals - or anyone in the public eye - use children for a photo op and forget all about them. Not the Princess of Wales. 

She had several encounters with a young fan, Mila Sneddon, who was diagnosed with cancer. She first took part in Kate's Hold Still photography project, which captured the nation during the pandemic. Afterwards, she invited Mila for tea at the Palace and again to her Together at Christmas carol concert. 

In a very touching moment, Mila's family reciprocated the gesture after Kate Middleton shared her cancer news with the world in March 2024. 

Posting on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, Mila's mother, Lynda, wrote, "We are deeply saddened upon hearing the news about Catherine. A kind, caring soul who has always championed Mila both during and after her treatment. Mila is equally sad to hear this news and will reach out privately in her own way." Mila is now cancer-free.

Taking selfies - not even Princesses can avoid them

Kate Middleton taking a selfie with a teenager in the Caribbean

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In 2022, Prince William and Kate Middleton went on a royal tour of the Caribbean. 

There were plenty of memorable moments on the tour - from iconic fashion looks to sweet moments of affection between the couple - and Kate got to meet even more young fans. 

Proving that she's happy to keep up with the times, Kate embraced a young fan for the autograph of this age - a selfie. 

I bet this photo got the young teen plenty of likes on social media! 

Giving a young boy her poppy

Kate Middleton with a young boy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It was a moment captured on video that went viral - and it truly personifies the Princess of Wales' selfless nature with children. 

In 2022, Kate Middleton met with a young boy and his family. The little one, who was instantly at ease with the Princess, didn't hesitate chatting away to her, including asking questions about why she was wearing a poppy on the lapel of her forest green coat. 

"Do you know what this is for?" Kate asked as she took the pin off her coat. "It's for remembering all the soldiers who died in the war. There you go - that's for you."

Receiving flowers from a young fan

Kate Middleton with a young fan

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In 2013, the Princess visited a children's hospice where she excitedly met with numerous youngsters and their families. 

Wearing a coral Tara Jarmon coat and peach dress, Kate beamed as she was greeted by a little girl named Sally Evans during her visit to the Naomi House Children's Hospice. 

Per the Mirror, Kate and young Sally shared a sweet moment when Kate told her the flowers reminded her of her own wedding bouquet. 

Bonding with Archie (and new mum Meghan)

Two photos of Kate Middleton and Prince George with Meghan Markle and a baby Prince Archie

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Royal fans were delighted when sisters-in-law Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle enjoyed a rare outing together in 2019 with their children in tow. 

It was Meghan's first outing since giving birth to Archie, and the sweet photos of the family bonding show a besotted Kate stealing loving glances with her newborn nephew. 

The family came together to cheer on Princes William and Harry in a polo match.

Happiest with her family

The Wales family

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Numerous photos capture Kate's infectious joy when she's simply hanging out with her family, and seeing her take part in relatable, everyday activities like taking her children to school act as a reminder that, beyond the tiaras and titles, she's like any other mum. 

The happiness can be felt in this iconic photo of the Wales family walking to school together in 2022, with Kate holding hands with her two boys.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.