The Duchess of Cambridge has revealed stories of families struggling during lockdown have moved her to tears.
Catherine was seen wearing a mask for the first time as she visited a Sheffield baby bank, which offers essential supplies to mothers in need.
She said she wept at the “bravery” shown by parents after an earlier visit to a similar project.
Previously during the pandemic, the duchess has usually attended engagements outdoors or via video call.
Her appearance in a floral fabric face mask comes after the Duchess of Cornwall wore a face covering during a visit to the National Gallery in London.
The Prince of Wales has also joked about being given tartan masks, while the Duke of Cambridge wore a medical mask to visit the Oxford Vaccine Group’s facility.
Catherine was visiting Baby Basics UK in South Yorkshire on Tuesday to lead a drive for donations, which has seen major retailers such as John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco give more than 10,000 items to baby banks across the country.
The duchess said her previous visits to baby banks had sometimes been “very emotional”.
“I remember a couple of the families I met from King’s Lynn and I went home and literally burst into tears, their stories were so moving,” she said.
“The struggles they have gone through, the bravery they have shown … in extraordinary circumstances. Helping their families through extraordinary times.”
Baby banks have been increasingly in demand during the coronavirus crisis, but for safety reasons they cannot accept second-hand donations of many essential items.
To help meet demand, Catherine has encouraged donations from 19 brands and retailers to organisations operating baby banks across the UK.
On her visit in Sheffield, she helped to unpack donated clothes and toys before talking to parents about the support they had received.
She also discussed the future impact of the pandemic, particularly on children. The duke and duchess’s charity recently donated £1.8m to mental health charities, and the duke revealed he has been anonymously volunteering for a crisis helpline.