Kate Ferdinan’s tears as she reads Mother’s Day card for Rebecca Ellison’s grave

Kate Ferdinand weeps as she reads her own Mother's Day message to her husband's late first wife, in emotional scenes set to air tonight.

The BBC documentary Kate And Rio: Becoming A Stepfamily sees Kate, 27, struggle to control her emotions as she updates Rebecca Ellison on what her three children have been getting up to under her care.

Rebecca, who died aged 34 in May 2015 of breast cancer, remains at the centre of the Ferdinand family's life, and Kate admits she finds it difficult to be the kids' stepmum knowing how much they miss their beloved mum.

"It's Mother’s Day this weekend. The children write cards to their mum and their nan," she tells the camera from the family's kitchen.


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"We laminate them so that when they're at the cemetery they can last longer rather than getting wet and damaged.

"I always write a message from me because after all, I'm looking after and bringing up her children with Rio."

Kate then reads aloud her short update, which will be laminated with the others and left on Rebecca's grave.

"To Rebecca, Happy Mother's Day. We are all thinking of you today, especially the children. I wish you were here to see how far they've come," she reads out.


  • Kate Ferdinand walked out on Rio and moved back to Essex after crying 'every day for a year'

Getting choked up, she continues: "I'm sorry… I feel like I'm grieving for someone I didn't know, it's really weird because I've taken on the children and Rio's emotion.

"I know you are and would be so proud of them, we are celebrating you today. I hope I am doing a good job of looking after them for you.

"It's a bloody hard job but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm always thinking of you. Lots of love, Kate."

Later in the documentary, Kate joins Tate, Lorenz and Tia as they visit their mum's last resting place.


  • Kate Ferdinand admits feeling 'crushed' when she was compared to Rio's late wife Rebecca

Kate doles out hugs and affection as the children weep, before returning home.

At a loss as to how to handle the children's grief, Kate and Rio head to a counselling session with other stepparents in a bid to learn how to heal as a family.

They're advised to take down photos of Rebecca throughout the house and to create a special area in one room where they children can go to remember their mum.

"We decided to take the pictures down and create a room for the kids where they can come and be comfortable, they can do their homework, play computer and stuff," Rio explains to the camera.


  • Rio Ferdinand feared he would never be happy again following death of wife Rebecca

"This will be a space where they can see pictures of their mum."

Last April, Kate was praised by fans when she shared a special handmade Mother's Day card.

It featured a picture of various family members – including a smiling Kate beside Rebecca.

"Here's to the mums, the stepmums, the not mums yet and the mums who can't be with us that we will never forget," read the message.

Kate captioned it: "Lovely Mother's Day dinner with family, we celebrated all 6 of us today.

"How lucky we all are to have hearts that can love after so much pain. Happy Mother's Day to everyone."


  • Kate Ferdinand sobs on camera as husband Rio admits her stepmum role is tough

She's previously opened up about struggling to relate to the late Rebecca, who she never met but was constantly being compared to when she and Rio first got together in late 2017.

Stepping in with no experience of children and an army of anxious relatives – who weren't sure if she was the real deal – proved a tough ask for Kate.

"I just felt like I wasn't accepted. I just felt like I couldn't live up to the memory of Rebecca and I was constantly compared," she says.

"And I wanted to be able to be me. You know, I made a lot of mistakes at the beginning, because I wasn't a mum.

"And I felt like every mistake I was making was being judged and I found that really difficult. I just felt like I couldn't be me. And without being me, I couldn't look after the children properly. I felt like I didn't get any help.”

"I felt like a failure."

*Kate And Rio: Becoming A Stepfamily airs tonight at 9pm on BBC1

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