Kate Middleton surprises new parents with sweet video call

The Duchess of Cambridge gave two parents quite the surprise when she video called them to congratulate them on the birth of their new son.

The former Kate Middleton spoke with Rebecca and John, who are the proud parents of a newborn son named Max, who was born at Kingston Hospital just south of London. The hospital holds a special place in the duchess' heart, since she did some work shadowing there for two days last year.

A video of the sweet call was shared on YouTube. "Very nice to meet you," she said. "This is definitely a first. Well, firstly, huge congratulations. Is it a little boy or a little girl?"

When she learned the couple had a boy, she added, "He's so sweet. Congratulations!"

"Having a baby is an extraordinary experience at any time, but having one during lockdown and then having a surprise conversation with the Duchess of Cambridge after two hours sleep was particularly surreal," the new mom told People. "The Duchess asked us about having a baby at such an unusual time, and our experience on the maternity ward was that all the midwives made it as normal as possible - apart from the masks, it was exactly the same as when we had our first son, Rafe, in 2015. The midwives were amazing on both occasions."

Catherine, who has been spending quarantine at her home at Amner Hall in Norfolk, also spoke with midwives and maternity experts ahead of the United Kingdom's Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, which starts May 4.

The Duchess of Cambridge also asked staff how they were doing amid the coronavirus pandemic. "Are you very aware of a difference, or a shift in a mother's emotional and mental wellbeing in comparison to before the pandemic?" she asked.

One staffer told her there was "a lot more anxiety." The duchess also asked whether parents know where to get support for emotional and mental wellbeing during such a difficult time.

The call also took a lighthearted turn. The Duchess of Cambridge joked that she could see one midwife who was wearing a mask smiling... "with your eyes."

Before she hung up, the duchess made sure the staff knew she appreciated their hard work and dedication more than ever during the pandemic.

"Babies come all the time so the fact that you're having to work in these difficult times, so well done," she said.

Last month, Prince William and Catherine surprised teachers and children of first responders with a video call at school thanking them for all they are doing.