Kettering dad meets the Duke of Cambridge to talk about fatherhood

A Kettering dad of triplets spent a morning with the Duke of Cambridge during a Father’s Day activity which formed part of a campaign called Heads together the Duke is spearheading with the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The Duke attended the Father’s Day Breakfast at Café Nero in Gloucester Road, London to discuss with fellow dads the value of fathers and father figures developing the confidence to talk to their children and each other about their feelings.

Mark Conneelly said, “I was very lucky. My dad was brilliant to me and I just want to be the same to them. And make sure that they are happy, well rounded, smiling kids and eventually well rounded adults.”

Mark, a school teacher, had a special opportunity to connect with his triplets when his wife Catrina gave birth at 25 weeks gestation.

The charity Best Beginnings, filmed and tracked the family of five’s journey as part of the creation of their Small Wonders Programme designed to help build confidence in parents of premature and sick babies.

Given that the triplets were so tiny, Mark was encouraged to have skin to skin contact, known as Kangaroo Care, which allowed him to benefit from the close physical bonding that is more often the prerogative of mothers in the early weeks after birth.

At the breakfast in London, Mark attempted to take the Duke’s Father’s Day Challenge. Michael, Tadgh and Ciara had other ideas but they did seem to agree that the best thing about their Dad (in answer to the Duke’s first challenge question) was Mark’s “Tickelersaurus”.