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Kate Middleton Said She Didn't Expect Red Roses from Prince William This Valentine's Day

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his pregnant wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave the King Edward VII hospital
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his pregnant wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave the King Edward VII hospital

Indigo/Getty Images

Kate Middleton is giving a glimpse into her Valentine's Day with her husband, Prince William.

The Princess of Wales, 41, chatted about the upcoming holiday during a visit to Leeds Kirkgate Market in Leeds, England on Feb. 1. She stepped out in the city to promote the kickoff of her new Shaping Us campaign, raising awareness of the importance of a child's first five years of life. The initiative is part of the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which Princess Kate launched in June 2021.

The royal stopped at a flower stall at Kirkgate Market, where florist Neil Ashcroft spoke with her about his business and presented her with hyacinths.

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Looking ahead to Valentine's Day, Ashcroft said, "No doubt William will be buying you some red roses." According to the florist, Princess Kate replied, "I don't think he will do."

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Princess of Wales in Kirkgate Market in Leeds, West Yorkshire, where she is meeting vendors and members of the public for the launch of the Shaping Us campaign
Princess of Wales in Kirkgate Market in Leeds, West Yorkshire, where she is meeting vendors and members of the public for the launch of the Shaping Us campaign

Alamy Live News

Ashcroft, who has sold flowers at the bustling market for 32 years, said he wished he'd been able to make a sale.

"I offered her a discount. I said I would give her a card and knock off the VAT [tax]," the M&D Flowers owner said, adding that he appreciated his chat with Princess Kate, who "acted very genuine."

Prince William and Princess Kate got married in April 2011, and she previously revealed that her husband sent flowers and a card when they were apart due to his deployment as a Royal Air Force helicopter pilot for their first Valentine's Day as newlyweds.

Kate continued to move through the market during her visit, chatting with vendors about the early years and connecting with members of the public who were out shopping. Children's and young people's interests are at the heart of life in Leeds, which is about 200 miles north of London. The city has the ambition to be the best place in the U.K. for children and young people to grow up.

Princess Kate also has a personal connection to the city — it's where her father, Michael Middleton, was born, and she has family ancestors in the county of Yorkshire.

Catherine, Princess of Wales during a visit to Kirkgate Market
Catherine, Princess of Wales during a visit to Kirkgate Market

Anthony Devlin/Getty Images Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales

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A mother carrying a baby got the chance to speak with Kate, and she told PEOPLE about the warm exchange they shared. Louise Keith, who had 8-month-old baby Sadie in tow, says, "We told her how Leeds is such a great place to bring up kids. Her campaign is a great initiative. It's good for people who need it. We are fortunate that we have a good community network around us, but it's good for those who don't."

It's been a busy week for the Princess of Wales, who launched the Shaping Us campaign with a landmark speech on Monday and visited Leeds on Tuesday, while also expanding her social media reach. Princess Kate debuted a new Instagram account with the handle @earlychildhood for the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, taking the Shaping Us campaign to social media. The feed so far features the initiative's signature Claymation movie and Kate on the road in Leeds, with a new video uploaded Tuesday.

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"We often don't realize it, but many aspects of our lives today have their roots in early childhood," Kate said in the clip, as the campaign's newly appointed "champions" — podcaster Giovanna Fletcher, broadcaster Fearne Cotton, Arsenal Women's soccer player Leah Williamson, DJ Jax Jones, broadcaster and retired rugby player Ugo Monye, former Love Island contestant Zara McDermott — made cameos to touch on relationships, mental health and identity.

Finishing where they left off, Kate concluded, "Which is why our early childhood shapes the adults we become."

"You may not realise it, but our early childhood shapes everything from the way we form relationships to the way we cope with stress. Huge thanks to our Champions for spreading the message! #ShapingUs," the caption read.