Kate Middleton Acknowledges How 'Tough' It Is to Raise Children Today: 'Love Goes a Long Way'

The Princess of Wales said raising children is not about "the number of toys they've got or the number of sort of trips that you go on with them"

Prince Louis of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour
Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Kate Middleton is raising her voice about the joys and challenges of parenting.

The Princess of Wales, 41, spoke with U.K. radio host Roman Kemp about how mental wellness, relationships and early childhood as part of her new Shaping Us campaign. In a new video released Friday, Princess Kate and the Capital Breakfast presenter walked and talked in the countryside of Hertfordshire, England, where Kemp said that the current cost of living crisis adds another level of stress.

"All you have to do is look around, especially, you know, at the country, and see people are not just struggling with raising kids, they're struggling with just putting a roof above their heads, to be able to heat their house," the 30-year-old radio host and mental health advocate said. "So, all of those things can come into play."

"Yes, absolutely," Princess Kate agreed. "And this is the thing, is that every family is different. The pressures we face are all different, whilst raising the importance of early childhood. This isn't about putting extra pressure on families. It's actually saying they need the support and help reprioritizing family life, home life and all that it takes in raising children today because it is tough."

"The relationships in a family or that's surrounding a child is so important. The environment in which you bring up a child is as important, as whereas the experiences you engage them with," Kate continued. "It's not about the number of toys they've got or the number of sort of trips that you go on with them. it's just making sure that they've got the right emotional support around them and that comes from the adults in their lives."

Kemp said he was lucky to be "very loved throughout my life," but "to make it a normality would be nice."

"Yeah. And love goes a long way," she added, as they shared a laugh. "It's very true."

The Princess of Wales in conversation with Roman Kemp
Kensington Palace

A mom of three, Princess Kates shares Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, with her husband, Prince William. Kate and Kemp's heartfelt conversation, filmed in January, is the latest update from Shaping Us. The new campaign comes from The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which she launched in June 2021.

The long-term initiative debuted this week and is defined on the Royal Foundation's website as "a major new awareness-raising campaign to increase public understanding of the crucial importance of the first five years of a child's life." Shaping Us hopes to transform "the issue from one of scientific interest to one of the most strategically important topics of our time," a statement says.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis (C), accompanied by their parents the Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive for a settling in afternoon at Lambrook School
Jonathan Brady - Pool/Getty Images

Raising the conversation, Princess Kate gave a landmark speech in London on Monday, followed by the release of a claymation film that highlighted how babies and young children develop in response to their earliest experiences.

The royal took her mission on the road Tuesday, bringing Shaping Us to Leeds Kirkgate Market. There, she chatted with vendors about the early years and connected with members of the public who were out shopping. Children's and young people's interests are at the heart of life in Leeds, a city with the ambition to be the best place in the U.K. for children and young people to grow up.

The Princess of Wales in conversation with Roman Kemp
Kensington Palace

To further spread the message, Princess Kate also created a new Instagram page for the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, posting a video and photos with the Shaping Us campaign Champions. Kemp is among the cohort, writing on his Instagram Story Thursday that he was "very privileged" to share a one-on-one chat with the royal about mental health.

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In 2021, Kemp released the BBC Three documentary Our Silent Emergency about the mental health crisis affecting young men in the U.K. — a key cause in Prince William's public work. Kemp made the film after his best friend and show producer Joe Lyons died by suicide the year prior.

Catherine, Princess of Wales during a visit to Kirkgate Market
Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales. Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

"I made it just to tell my own story about how I've been dealing with it, and the stories of other people," Kemp told Men's Fitness of Our Silent Emergency. "I really hope that it has helped, and certainly within my own friend group it has."

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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