By Sana Noor Haq, CNN
Bedtime stories are getting the royal treatment as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is set to read one for children’s television on Sunday, putting a spotlight on young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
BBC children’s TV channel CBeebies will feature the special royal guest in its “Bedtime Stories” segment as it marks Children’s Mental Health Week across the UK, which takes place from February 7 to February 13.
Catherine has opted to read Jill Tomlinson’s “The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark,” according to a BBC press release.
It tells the tale of a baby barn owl, Plop, who grows in confidence and overcomes his fears with the help of others.
Highlighting the importance of Children’s Mental Health Week, show organizers said in the release that this year both children and adults are “being encouraged to consider how they have grown emotionally,” while understanding that encountering difficulties can “help them to mature and adapt.”
Catherine previously spearheaded the mental health campaign Heads Together alongside Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and has expressed the importance of maintaining children’s mental and physical health during the pandemic.
For the past decade, Catherine has been involved in early childhood development and the critical role it has on lifelong outcomes. Last year, she created her own Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which among its targets aims to develop campaigns to drive “real, positive change” on the early years.
“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,” Patricia Hidalgo, director of BBC Children’s and Education, said in the press release.
“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 Duchess isn’t the first famous face to front the children’s television segment.
Last year, Regé-Jean Page, the breakthrough star of the regency-era Netflix series “Bridgerton,” appeared on a “Bedtime Stories” episode which was aired on Mother’s Day in the UK.
Actor Tom Hardy, who is known for his gritty roles in “Peaky Blinders” and “The Revenant,” also took over bedtime story duty for a week in 2020.
Numerous other celebrities have taken part in the show, including Dolly Parton, Reese Witherspoon and Ed Sheeran.
Catherine’s episode is scheduled to air at 6:50 p.m. local time (1:50 p.m. ET) on Sunday.
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