Kate Beckinsale is "scared" to let her daughter leave home.

Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale

The 44-year-old actress is gearing up to say goodbye to her 18-year-old Lily - whom she has with her ex-partner Michael Sheen - as she is set to head off to University within the coming weeks, and although Kate knows the experience will be "exciting", she's also expecting it to be "really hard".

She told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "It's incredibly exciting and scary. But then, I quite like being scared. I've lived under a structure of school terms for a long time. Now I have this open landscape which I haven't had since I was 22. Separating is really hard, but it's really important. It's the time when you are really called on to be an adult, and the most adult thing you can do is let your children go."

The 'Underworld' star has never shied away from showing her love for her daughter, and recently posted a glowing tribute on Instagram in honour of her 18th birthday.

She wrote: "18 and now you're in the big girl shoes for real . I love you so much @lily_beckinsale . Nothing has been better in my life than being your mama . Happy happy happy birthday to my favourite, funniest best person in the world . Ps we will obviously get you better shoes those are hideous I don't know what I was thinking (sic)"

Lily is set to follow her mother and her father Michael Sheen into the acting business, and Kate has insisted she will not discourage her daughter from pursuing her own ambitions.

She previously said: "That would be like sitting there with a glass of wine saying, 'You can't have a drink'. I can see why she wants to do it.

"I don't love the downside of it for my baby. But it's not like she hasn't seen both of her parents having a real experience of what it's like. She has seen us ecstatic and miserable - she's seen that, squared."

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