Valentine’s Day is a chance for couple to express their love for one another, which often takes the form of gift giving. The royals usually take part in sharing sweet romantic gestures for the day of love, but this year, Prince William celebrated a little differently. While visiting Leeds Kirkgate Market in Leeds, England, to promote her new campaign, Shaping Us, on February 1, 2023, Kate shared her Valentine’s Day plans with florist Neil Ashcroft, according to People. “No doubt William will be buying you some red roses,” the florist remarked after presenting her with hyacinths. Kate replied, “I don’t think he will do.”
For the holiday last year, the Prince of Wales went overboard with flowers, which is why he might have taken a break this year. “William surprised Kate with a huge boxes of 50 roses on Valentine’s Day,” a source told Us Weekly in February of 2022. “He hand-wrote the most romantic message in his card, praising her for being such a wonderful wife and mother.” In addition to her husband’s gift, Kate also received handmade cards from her children, the source shared. Even when the couple spent their first Valentine’s Day as a married couple apart in 2012 while Will was deployed as a Royal Air Force helicopter pilot, he still sent flowers and a card, according to People.
Since the two have been married for over a decade, the insider revealed to Us Weekly that they prefer enjoying more laidback dates instead of extravagant professions of love. “William and Kate are homebodies, so their date nights tend to be chill,” the source explained. “They’ll watch Netflix and documentaries when the children are in bed, order takeout, play Scrabble, and enjoy a few glasses of wine. For them, it’s the simple things in life that count.”
Kate visited Leeds to raise awareness for the importance of a child’s first five years of life as part of the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which she launched in June of 2021. While speaking with Kate, Ashcroft said he tried persuading the princess to buy something, possibly for a Valentine's Day gift for her husband. “I offered her a discount,” he noted. “I said I would give her a card and knock off the VAT [tax].” Even though he didn’t end up making a sale, the florist told People that he appreciated their interaction and Kate's authenticity.
During her visit, Kate also chatted with other vendors and connected with some of the shoppers. One mother, Louise Keith, who had an 8-month-old baby with her, expressed to Kate how the program is very helpful for those without a strong support system. “We told her how Leeds is such a great place to bring up kids,” she recounted to People. “Her campaign is a great initiative. It’s good for people who need it. We are fortunate that we have a good community network around us, but it’s good for those who don’t.”
For the campaign, Kate launched a new Instagram account, @earlychildood, to extend the program’s reach. On February 14, 2023, the princess posted a video about the Shaping Us initiative. “You might not realize it, but our early childhood shapes everything, from the way we form relationships to the way we cope with stress,” she wrote in her caption. “Huge thanks to our Champions for spreading the message!” The “champions” refer to podcaster Giovanna Fletcher, broadcaster Fearne Cotton, Arsenal Women's soccer player Leah Williamson, DJ Jax Jones, broadcaster Ugo Monye, and former Love Island contestant Zara McDermott.