The Princess of Wales showed her flirty side as she joked the chair of Iceland was looking ‘super fit’ as he prepares to climb Mount Everest for charity.

A second clip of Kate, 41, and Richard Walker, chatting in the aisle of the supermarket store in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, has been posted on Mr Walker’s Instagram account following their chat last month as part of her crusade in improving early years development.

In the clip, which is a continuation of their initial conversation about how businesses can help people onto the career ladder as part of the Shaping Us campaign, Mr Walker revealed he is undertaking the charity climb of the Nepalese mountain in memory of his late mother, Lady Walker.

When Kate, who represented the high street in her classic tweet white blazer, asked why he was undertaking the enormous physical feat, he revealed his mother had died after suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s, when she was just 63 years old.

Kate joked: ‘So that’s why you’re looking super fit!’

Mr Walker explained that, after his mother was first diagnosed 12 years ago, he and his father first tried to climb Mount Everest and managed to reach the halfway point, raising £1 million for charity.

He joked: ‘We were exactly the sort of people you hear about who have no business being on the mountain.’

Kate laughed and replied: ‘Love that!’ and added it was ‘amazing’ that they had raised so much money.

The Iceland boss added he wanted to raise another £1 million with a view to setting up a centre that would specifically support people who have dementia – particularly forms of the disease that are less common.

Mother-of-three Kate (pictured) looked relaxed yet elegant in a white tweed blazer from Zara as the pair chatted

Mother-of-three Kate (pictured) looked relaxed yet elegant in a white tweed blazer from Zara as the pair chatted

The mother-of-three said: ‘I am so sorry for your loss, but I’m sure she would be so proud; not only of what you’re doing here at Iceland but also your ambition for the future as well.

‘So, very exciting times ahead for you – if not a little bit terrifying!’

The video clip was the second part of a chat between the royal and the Iceland boss last month as part of the Shaping Us campaign from the Princess’s Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. 

In the first part of the chat, the pair discussed how businesses such as Iceland can aid early years development for children so they can build skills which will help them excel in their careers in later life.  

During the conversation she discussed with Mr Walker how businesses can support children and their carers to help set the foundations for key employability skills ‘in the earliest years of our lives’.

In the clip, Kate tells Mr Walker: ‘You hear time and time again that these soft skills, you know, the creativity, the collaboration, the critical thinking, the flexibility, the resilience.

Mr Walker already has several ties to the Royal Family and showed King Charles around a store in Deeside, Wales, in 2021

Mr Walker already has several ties to the Royal Family and showed King Charles around a store in Deeside, Wales, in 2021

‘You know, these are things that you’d hear that businesses are looking for and it’s really interesting seeing how, actually, so often, the foundations for those skills are built in the earliest years of our lives.’

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Mr Walker added: ‘Looking at the Shaping Us campaign and reading some of the science behind it, it really challenged my thinking and it made me think what more we can do, personally as a parent, but also actually as a business.’

A nodding, smiling Kate added: ‘That’s the thing, is that so many of your employees but also customers, their parents, their grandparents, we all know that it’s important to look after their wellbeing because those are the people that are raising children today.’

She later said: ‘It’s really important that all of us are supporting the most vulnerable in our communities and particularly now, yes, when they’re all struggling, community support is needed now more than ever.’

Kate has said employers have an important role in making it possible for parents to balance a successful working life with a nurturing home life for their children.

Writing in FT Weekend last month, the future Queen said investing in early childhood is ‘a down payment for our collective future’.

Kate is hoping global firms who have joined her taskforce will be the catalyst for change and encourage firms across the country to train and help staff to maintain their social and emotional welfare, aiding their work and home life.

In her article for FT, the mother-of-three said: ‘Our resilience, flexibility, ability to manage stress and remain motivated when facing challenges are all shaped by the foundations we build in early childhood.

‘However, not enough emphasis is placed on social and emotional development or on building environments which nurture these skills, during childhood and beyond.

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‘Parental wellbeing is the biggest single factor in determining a child’s wellbeing and we know that becoming a parent places additional pressure on mental health.

‘Nearly 75% of people find parenting under-fives stressful.

‘We also know that parents make up a significant part of the UK workforce – 76% of mothers and 92% of fathers with children are in work.

‘We must recognise the challenge for many of these parents, and other caregivers, in balancing a successful working life with a nurturing home life during their children’s formative years.

‘Employers have an important role in making that possible.’

Kate said she believes two things need to be done.

‘The first is to prioritise creating working environments that provide the support people need to cultivate and maintain their own social and emotional wellbeing.

‘The second is a more concentrated focus on the social and emotional development of our youngest children,’ she said.

Concluding her article, the princess said: ‘As the world becomes ever more complex, we have to invest in early childhood now, as a down payment for our collective future.

‘If business and commerce embrace this significant issue – including how better early childhoods will affect their own organisations both now and in the long term – we can and will transform lives for generations to come.’

Earlier this week, the Princess of Wales urged business leaders to prioritise wellbeing in the workplace to support family life as she launched her Business Taskforce for Early Childhood, of which supermarket giant Iceland is a member.

To read more about Mr Walker’s charity climb of Mount Everest, click here  


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