Kate Middleton’s Surprise Trip to Ireland Reveals a Hidden Talent: Snake-Charming

Did you know Kate Middleton is a snake charmer? Neither did we, but photos of the Duchess of Cambridge holding one suggests she’s perfectly comfortable with these slithery reptiles. Kate put her serpent-handling prowess on display Wednesday during a surprise trip to Northern Ireland, where she made friends with a corn snake by the name of Sophie. And, for the record, that could be one of our most favorite sentences we’ve ever written about a member of the royal family.

Kate made an unexpected visit to both Ireland and Scotland this week to promote her UK-wide “5 Big Questions on the Under-Fives” survey — an initiative aimed at kickstarting conversations about early childhood. While in Ireland, she stopped in at the Ark Open Farm in Newtownards, where she mingled with many locals… both human and animal. According to the Belfast Telegraph, she met with parents and kids for a tour around the 40-acre farm, which is home to both domestic and exotic species.

Granted, farm owner Stewart Donaldson had been forewarned that Kate wasn’t keen on meeting their serpentine resident, Sophie. But, as he told the Telegraph, she conquered her fear. Video from the encounter proves that, despite any initial hesitance, the Duchess is actually a natural with snakes! At one point, Kate can be heard telling a little girl who approached the royal, “This is the first time I ever held a snake like this, how cool is that?”

While Kate obviously had fun visiting with the families and animals at the Ark Open Farm, she also made sure she tended to the important business of her work in the early years’ sphere. She launched her “Five Big Questions” survey in January to help “spark a national conversation” that will hopefully help improve childhood for children under five.

“I want to hear the key issues affecting our families and communities so I can focus my work on where it is needed most,” Kate tweeted of the initiative when it launched. “My ambition is to provide a lasting change for generations to come.”

Click here to see Kate Middleton doing other surprisingly low-key things for a royal. 

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