Prince Louis goes bananas for toy gorilla as royal children help out at baby bank

Prince Louis yelled: 'This is a big guy' as he picked up the large plastic gorilla
Prince Louis yelled 'This is a big guy!' as he picked up the large plastic gorilla

An enthusiastic Prince Louis joined his siblings to help pack Christmas gift bags at a baby bank and appeared particularly delighted with a large plastic gorilla.

“This is a big guy!” he yelled with glee as he held the toy aloft.

The Princess of Wales took five-year-old Prince Louis, Prince George, 10, and Princess Charlotte, eight, to The Baby Bank in Maidenhead, near their Windsor home, for a stint of volunteering.

It comes after she promised, during her first visit in April, to return with her children, “perhaps my helpful ones and not my unhelpful ones!”

The Princess of Wales wants to abolish the stigma surrounding such “vital” services, launching an initiative last month to encourage members of the public to donate funds, products and pre-loved items, or to volunteer their time to support their local baby banks throughout December.

The four were filmed arriving before the Princess opened the boot of their car and they all carried in large cardboard boxes of their own private donations.

Prince Louis’s box appeared to be full of cuddly toys.

The Princess of Wales explained to her children: “There are lots of people who give up their time and there are lots of volunteers who come and help out and so you are the volunteers for this evening.”

One of the volunteers asked them to choose some presents for children of a similar age. “Think about what you would like to play with,” she said.

All three then bustled around looking at clothes and toys they wanted to pack into their gift bags.

While Prince Louis, dressed in a shirt and festive jumper was particularly taken with the gorilla, Princess Charlotte cooed over the tiny baby clothes.

As she unpacked a box of clothes, she held up a small navy coat, she appeared to exclaim: “Ooh la la,” before adding: “So sweet!”

She showed her mother the finished gift bag and explained that a Lego car she had packed was for a boy, before writing a label with a blue marker pen.

She also appeared delighted to find a tiny babygrow covered in little red dragons as she sifted through a bag of clothes marked 0-3 months.

The young Princess laughed as her mother handed it to her, turning to the camera as she held it up saying: “This is Welsh.”

Princess Charlotte and Prince George carefully folded some clothes as their younger brother opted instead to hurl his pile on to the table.

Prince George was shown quietly getting on with the task at hand, sticking his tongue out in concentration. At one point, he held up a brightly patterned dress for perusal.

One of the volunteers said: “George wants to come back, so that’s good.”

The Princess proudly draped her arm around her elder son’s shoulders. “You can see how rewarding this sort of work is, knowing that you are helping out others,” she said.

The future King, perhaps mindful of his future trajectory, dutifully agreed. “Yes,” he replied.

All three children, led by a confidant Prince Louis, who by then had ditched his patterned jumper, carried their gift bags downstairs ready for distribution.

The Princess of Wales took Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte to The Baby Bank in Maidenhead
The children carry the gifts they had packed downstairs to be distributed

The short video montage was made by Will Warr, who made several films for the family throughout the Coronation celebrations, each of which was released on social media.

It said on the screen: “With a third of children under five years of age living in poverty in the UK, baby banks provide a vital lifeline for families in all sorts of challenging circumstances.

“Supporting parents and carers, who are doing their best to provide for their families, is essential and can have a life-changing effect.

“Whether you would like to offer support, or are in need of support yourself, find out more about your local baby bank on the Centre for Early Childhood website.

“Thank you to everyone who so generously supports baby banks across the country.”

A hidden resource

Last month, the Princess visited Sebby’s Corner baby bank in Barnet, north London, donating 50 copies of one of her favourite children’s, The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson.

She warned of the “desperate” times families faced in the run-up to Christmas and expressed concern that the country’s 250 baby banks were a “hidden” resource and should be “more visible”.

“Every child should have the basic essentials,” the Princess told volunteers.

“The baby banks need to be in the community. They are a real lifeline for people facing poverty.

“We need to normalise it and make it more visible, put them where families and children are.”

The Maidenhead baby bank was set up by two local mothers in 2015 and has since supported more than 24,000 families in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, which despite being close to Windsor Castle has large areas of deprivation.

Unlike other baby banks, it provides clothes, including school uniforms, for children up until the age of 16.

They receive no public funding and rely on voluntary help and donations, grants and help from retailers and local suppliers.

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