Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, is to tell of her happy childhood gardening with her granny as she joins Giovanna Fletcher for a rare royal podcast.
The duchess will follow in her brother-in-law’s footsteps as she sits down with the wife of McFly’s Tom to talk about her own experiences and why she has set up a nationwide survey to talk about childhood.
It comes as Kate thanked the 200,000 people who have responded to her 5 Big Questions, a survey which seeks to understand attitudes to Early Years care.
It is rare for members of the royal family to do interviews via podcasts. Prince Harry once appeared on one with columnist Bryony Gordon, giving an incredibly honest account of his mental health.
And Prince William and Kate have appeared on Radio One before, but have not stepped into the world on podcasts.
Speaking about her own childhood to Giovanna and what she wants to give to her children, Kate 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.
“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.”
Kate will also tell Giovanna about her Ipsos MORI survey, which is said to be the biggest of its kind, and follows eight years of
It’s the “biggest UK-wide open survey on perceptions of the importance of the early years” according to Ipsos MORI.
Speaking about the survey, Kate said: “I think ultimately if you look at who’s caring and looking after and nurturing children in the most vital period from pregnancy all the way to the age of five, you know parents and carers are right at the heart of that, and families are right at the heart of that, and although I’ve spoken to the scientists and the service providers, it’s so important to listen to families. What is it that they aspire to? What are their challenges?
“What we’re doing with the survey is asking people – what is it that matters for them in raising their children today.
“It’s going to take a long time – I’m talking about a generational change – but hopefully this is the first small step: to start a conversation around the importance of Early Childhood development. It’s not just about happy, healthy children. This is for lifelong consequences and outcomes.”
Giovanna met Kate while she was launching her survey across the UK. Kate spent time in all four nations meeting parents and caregivers as well as children, to encourage as many people as possible to respond to her survey.
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.”
Kate has said she hopes the survey will spark a nationwide conversation about how the first five years of a child’s life affects their development.
The survey closes on 21st February at 10.30pm GMT.
The podcast will be out on 15 February at 4pm GMT.