Duchess Kate was forced to pull out of a glitzy awards ceremony on Thursday night due to "childcare problems". Picture: Reuters

London - Every mother knows the desperate struggle to find a babysitter at short notice – and it turns out being a duchess is no advantage.

Duchess Kate was forced to pull out of a glitzy awards ceremony on Thursday night due to "childcare problems".

While Prince William attended the Tusk Conservation Awards solo, the Duchess of Cambridge had to make her apologies at the last minute and stay at home to look after their three children, Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, four, and one-year-old Prince Louis.

It is understood one of the children was not feeling well and Kate felt she needed to stay with them as no one else could step in.

But instead of joining her husband at the event in London’s Leicester Square, Kate met the award finalists earlier in the day for tea at Kensington Palace.

William was met at the event by Sir Kenneth Olisa, the Lord Lieutenant of London, before walking the green carpet.

Welcoming the prince during the ceremony, Tusk chief executive Charlie Mayhew told him: "From the outset you have taken such a close personal interest in the individuals that we look to recognise each year. I know how much the finalists appreciated meeting you and the duchess in private today.

"It means a great deal to them that you both care so much about preserving the natural world."

William looked dapper as he arrived to cheers and loud drumming from the UK-based Ghanaian band One Drum.

As patron of the charity, he presented three awards at the ceremony to mark conservation efforts in Africa.

Daily Mail