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Kate Middleton surprises fans with exciting royal first

The Duchess of Cambridge launched the project in January

Emily Nash

The Duchess of Cambridge has revealed that more than half a million people took part in her Five Big Questions on the Under Fives survey, as she prepares to unveil the findings this Friday.

More than 500,000 people responded to the questionnaire at the start of 2020, making it the largest ever response to a public survey of its kind.

Kate promoted the survey between 22 January and 21 February, making visits to Cardiff, Birmingham, Woking, London, Belfast and Aberdeen.

READ: Duchess Kate and Prince William coo over adorable newborn babies

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WATCH: The Duchess of Cambridge reveals exciting update about early childhood survey

Kelly Beaver, Managing Director of Public Affairs at Ipsos MORI, who conducted the study, said: "Ipsos MORI has been conducting research with the public in the UK for over 50 years, and we have never seen a response like we did when the 5 Big Questions was launched."

Today the Duchess thanked people for responding in a clip shared on Kensington Palace's social media channels.

She said: "Earlier this year we asked you 5 Big Questions about raising our under-fives. We wanted to hear what you think about the importance of the earliest years of our children's lives.

"More than half a million of you answered that call, so we’ve taken your input and combined it with even more public research to produce the UK's biggest ever study on the early years."

Referring to the coronavirus pandemic, she continued: "This year has been a hugely challenging time for us all and there hasn’t been a more important time to talk about families.

"Later on this week we'll share 5 Big Insights that we've discovered and I will take your questions. This is just the beginning and I want to thank you for starting a conversation, because we’re all on this journey together."

MORE: The Duchess of Cambridge praises frontline workers in poignant video call with nurse

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The Duchess during her visit to Cardiff in January

Kate has made early years development a cornerstone of her work after seeing how problems such addiction, homelessness and family breakdown can be traced back to the earliest years of life.

The 5 Big Questions survey is just part of a major body of research commissioned by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and conducted by Ipsos MORI.

The research also includes surveys conducted before and during the pandemic, to assess the impact of the health crisis on families.

This Friday, Kate will give the keynote speech at an online forum hosted by The Royal Foundation and Ipsos MORI to discuss the full findings.

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