Princess Charlotte delivering food packages - Duchess of Cambridge
Princess Charlotte delivering food packages – Duchess of Cambridge

Princess Charlotte has been delivering homemade food packages to isolated pensioners around her Norfolk home, as she celebrates her fifth birthday today.

The Princess, who is being homeschooled by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Anmer Hall along with her siblings, helped make fresh pasta and carry care parcels to the vulnerable this week as the family try to do their bit for the coronavirus effort.

She is celebrating her fifth birthday on Saturday at home with her family, as Kensington Palace release photographs to mark the milestone.

Taken by the Duchess earlier this week on the Sandringham Estate, they show the small princess carefully picking up handfuls of bags to deliver to doorsteps.

In one, she is clutching a clear bag full of fresh pasta, homemade by the Cambridge family over several hours the day before and tied with a rustic straw ribbon.

Appearing confident, she is seen knocking on a door in a neat houndstooth dress and polished shoes ready to hand over food from a safe distance.

The Duke, Duchess, Prince George and Princess Charlotte are all understood to have gone out on food deliveries this week, with a van from the Sandringham Estate.

Despite the pouring rain, the family provided a meals-on-wheels service to surprised locals over around two-and-a-half hours, making sure to practice social distancing while surprising isolated pensioners by saying hello.

Staff at Sandringham have been cooking and delivering meals to vulnerable locals for the last five weeks, at a rate of around 1,000 a week.

The Duchess of Cambridge, a keen home cook, is known to enjoy baking with her three children, with the family trying to bring a personal touch to their visits with handmade pasta.

Princess Charlotte delivering food from the Sandringham Estate - Duchess of Cambridge
Princess Charlotte delivering food from the Sandringham Estate – Duchess of Cambridge

In a recent interview about their homeschooling activities, the Duchess highlighted cooking and baking, saying of her children’s stamina: “It is amazing how much you can cram into one day.”

The Cambridges have been keen to teach their children about the reality of Covid-19 and its impact on Britain in an “age-appropriate” way, with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis joining in the weekly “Clap for Our Carers” movement.

Prince Louis was photographed making rainbow handprints on his second birthday, with children around the country using the symbol to celebrate the work of the NHS.

As they released four new pictures of Princess Charlotte, Kensington Palace said: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share four new photographs of Princess Charlotte ahead of her fifth birthday tomorrow.”

Princess Charlotte holding homemade pasta - Duchess of Cambridge
Princess Charlotte holding homemade pasta – Duchess of Cambridge

Other royal households are also understood to be doing their bit for the national coronavirus effort. 

The housekeeping team at Balmoral have been making facemasks and laundry bags for Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

At Windsor Castle, residents have been making scrubs, washbags, headbands and scrub hats for NHS staff at various hospitals, including nearby Frimley Park.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spoken recently about the importance of communities rallying to help others during the corona pandemic, and are understood to be keen to contribute in person where they can. 

On explaining the situation to children, the Duchess has said: “Although you don’t want to scare them and make it too overwhelming. I think it is appropriate to acknowledge it in the simple ways and age appropriate ways.”

They are understood to have been keen to find practical ways for the children to join in the community effort.

Prince Louis on his second birthday - Duchess of Cambridge
Prince Louis on his second birthday – Duchess of Cambridge

While they are both known to be hands-on parents, it may be safe to assume that it is the Duchess leading the way in the kitchen

She has previously spoken of making “cheesy pasta” at home with the children, saying they “love” cooking and describing how “one stirs the flour, one puts the milk and butter in.”

Prince George and Princess Charlotte also like to “get their hands messy” making pizza dough, she has said. 

Last year, she told television cook Mary Berry that “one of Louis’s first words was ‘Mary’, because right at his height are all my cooking books in the kitchen bookshelf”. 

In 2013, after the Cambridges hired housekeeper Antonella Fresolone, it was reported that the Italian had been sharing her best pasta recipes with the Duchess. 

The Duke, on the other hand, has often spoken of his limitations in the kitchen, once admitting to a “disastrous lasagne” during a charity visit. 

In a video call with the National Emergencies Trust last month, the Duke heard from those who were delivering food parcels to the vulnerable, praising their efforts and telling them: “I think Britain is at its best, weirdly, when we’re all in a crisis. That community spirit and community feel comes rushing back quicker than anything else.”