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Prince George opening Christmas presents early, says William

The Duke of Cambridge has revealed Prince George is so caught up with the Christmas spirit he has been unwrapping presents before the big day.

William joked about his three-year-old son's involvement with the festive fun when he joined wife Kate and brother Prince Harry at a Christmas party for Heads Together, their mental health umbrella charity organisation.

The event was the royal trio's last official engagement of the year and came after Harry had reportedly said goodbye to girlfriend Meghan Markle on Sunday after they had spent a romantic week together.

William, Kate, who wore a Vanessa Seward outfit, and Harry founded Heads Together to try to combat the stigma around mental health issues and met volunteers, counsellors and supporters of its member charities at a youth club in north Kensington, London.

The Mix, a Heads Together member and national organisation which provides confidential support to the under-25s, hosted the event and also held its end-of-year prize-giving ceremony.

Providing the musical entertainment was Prince's Trust Ambassador, presenter and Kiss FM DJ AJ King, who chatted to William.

The Duke is a big fan of dance tunes but the pair talked about the young Prince, the broadcaster said.

King said: "He just said George definitely knows it's Christmas this year because the presents are about and he's more into opening them than anything else.

"I said Christmas would be a bit different for his children this year and he said they would be having a family Christmas together."

Conversation turned to the love of rugby the two men share and King added: "He was showing me the scar he's got on his finger, which was caused by a rugby accident.

"He had to stop because of his rugby injury - he's got a metal rod in his finger apparently."

William revealed that the accident, believed to be to his left hand, meant he would later also have to give up the boxing lessons he had during his time in the Army.

"He said he would have carried on with the boxing but that injury took him out. He did boxing in the Army, as did his brother," the DJ added.

William, Kate and Harry joined in the Christmas celebrations by helping Heads Together members make festive decorations.

The royal trio took it in turn to sit at tables and decorate baubles or make paper chains decorated with positive messages.

William wrote "give time to one another" while Kate left two supportive sentences, "laugh out loud" and "go for a long walk", an activity the Cambridges are known to enjoy.

The Duke got into a passionate discussion with some charity workers when he sat down to make his paper chain.

Jo Hardy, a parent services manager with mental health charity and Heads Together member Young Minds, said: "He was saying the family is so important, it's really important to preserve these family values."

She added that, when it came to talking about himself, William confessed he was a "bit shy".

Ms Hardy added: "He said he doesn't like to talk about himself, he talks in more general terms, he said he was a bit shy when talking about himself."

The royal trio also dropped in on discussions or training sessions involving volunteers and charity workers.

The Duke attended a session with Centrepoint counsellors, where he asked about what more could be done to raise awareness of the services available to young people.

Harry joined a role-playing session on how best to help young people who might feel suicidal while Kate learnt about hosting online live chats.

Amy Freear, a 23-year-old York University psychology student who volunteers with The Mix, offering online peer to peer support, chatted to Kate about her work.

She said: "The Duchess said the support online was so important to help young people feel heard and knowing there is somewhere they can turn to."

Miss Freear said the big issues facing the under-25s the charity helps were starting school or university or problems with relatives.

She said: "People talk about their family life and how that's affecting them and school and university are important topics - it's more stressful than ever."

Chris Martin, chief executive of The Mix, said: "Their Royal Highnesses have been absolutely fantastic for the profile of mental health of young people.

"They are obviously very well known among the under 25s that we serve and their involvement in talking about mental health so openly and encouraging people to engage in services has given permission to a lot of young people who may have been nervous to come forward to do so for the first time.

"They've done a lot to raise the profile of the Mix. They are just very, very good with people.

"They are particularly interested in seeing how they can drive up engagement with people over the next year or so.

"They want to see a rise in people being involved and people accessing support services if they need them. There's a strong belief that the first part of that journey is talking to somebody, engagement with other people."


From Belfast Telegraph