The Duchess of Cambridge has opened up about her experience of motherhood in her first ever podcast interview. Kate, 38, who is mum to Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, four, and one-year-old Prince Louis, sat down with Giovanna Fletcher to record a special episode of her Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, after her engagement at LEYF Stockwell Gardens Nursery in London last month (main photo courtesy of Kensington Palace). Kate and Giovanna's podcast episode will be released on Saturday 15 February at 4pm.
WATCH: Kate launches her early childhood survey in Birmingham
In her most revealing chat to date, the Duchess will talk about her passion for the early years, her aims for her online survey '5 Big Questions on the Under Fives' and bringing up her three children. When asked what parts of her childhood she would want to give her own children, the Duchess recalled happy memories with her grandmother, who did arts and crafts and cooking with Kate and her siblings Pippa and James Middleton.
The Duchess said: "If I take the experience from my own childhood, coupled with what I know now and what I’ve learnt from the experts in the Early Years sector, I think there's a few things that really stand out for me.
"One is quality of relationships. So, those moments that you spend with people that are around you. I remember that from my own childhood. I had an amazing Granny who devoted a lot of time to us, playing with us, doing arts and crafts and going to the greenhouse to do gardening, and cooking with us, and I try and incorporate a lot of the experiences that she gave us at the time into the experiences that I give my children now.
William and Kate with George, Charlotte and Louis
"There are also the environments you spend time in as well: a happy home, a safe environment. As children, we spent a lot of time outside and it's something I'm really passionate about. I think it's so great for physical and mental wellbeing and laying [developmental] foundations. It's such a great environment to spend time in, building those quality relationships without the distractions of 'I've got to cook' and 'I've got to do this.' And actually, it's so simple."
Speaking about the survey, visits and the podcast, Giovanna said: "It doesn't matter who you are, what you have, or where you come from - we’re all trying to do our best with our children while continuously doubting our decisions and wondering if we’re getting it completely wrong. Talking helps unite us all.
"Having been with the Duchess of Cambridge on a couple of engagements to celebrate the launch of the 5 Big Questions survey, it was clear how passionate she is about the Early Years. It was then beyond wonderful to sit and talk further about the survey, her work – for which she has so much knowledge, and her own experiences of being a mother. This is a very special episode of the podcast and I’m very excited for people to hear it."
Kate visited a farm in Northern Ireland this week to support the survey
Kate and author Giovanna first met in Birmingham in January, as the Duchess launched her online survey to spark a nation-wide conversation on raising the next generation. The royal mum has also taken trips to Cardiff, Woking, London, Northern Ireland and Scotland to support the survey and to speak with parents, grandparents and local organisations about their experiences of bringing up children.
The Duchess has been focusing on the importance of the early years since marrying into the royal family in 2011 and convened a steering group of experts in 2018 to focus on how to bring about positive, lasting change in this area.
As Kate made her final stop of her mini-tour of the UK in Aberdeen to visit Social Bite, a café which provides jobs to people who have been homeless, it was revealed that the number of responses to her survey had reached 200,000, making it the biggest survey of its kind conducted in the UK. The online survey will run until 21 February.
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