'It is vital to nurture every childhood': Princess of Wales opens Children in Need 2023 appeal

Kate emphasised the importance of nurturing children during her opening address at the BBC's annual Children in Need appeal show

The Princess of Wales has said it is "vital to nurture every childhood" in her opening address for the BBC's annual Children in Need appeal show on Friday night.

Kate used her speech to highlight the importance of encouraging all children "to be the very best they can be, which is crucial for their future health and happiness."

"Our relationships, surroundings and experiences during the earliest years lay the foundations that shape the rest of our lives," she added.

Kate concluded her speech by wishing luck to all those participating in the night's events and other challenges to raise money for children's charities.

Early childhood is one of Kate's priorities in her charity work and she is royal patron to a number of non-profit organisations, including Action for Children, East Anglia's Children's Hospices and Evelina London Children's Hospital.

The Princess of Wales speaking at the Shaping Us National Symposium at the Design Museum in London. Richard Pohle/The Times

The princess also launched her "Shaping Us" campaign earlier this year as part of her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.

Friday's show is the 43rd annual Children In Need programme, and it will aim to beat last year's fundraising total of £44 million raised for child-related causes.

The programme will feature BAFTA-winning actor Lenny Rush, who, aged 14, is the first child to co-present the show.

Other show highlights include a one-off Doctor Who special starring former doctor David Tennant, and an episode of Masterchef with puppet contestants.

This is the Royal Rota - our weekly podcast about the royal family, with ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship and Producer Lizzie Robinson.