The royal mom of three is opening up about parenthood like never before

By Simon Perry
February 14, 2020 05:30 PM
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Kate Middleton and Giovanna Fletcher

Kate Middleton is opening up about her childhood, parenthood and what inspires her as a mom in her most revealing interview to date.

The royal mom of three, 38, says she credits one of her grandmothers with giving her some of the best inspiration for raising her own children, Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, who turns 2 in April.

“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,” Kate says on the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, hosted by bestselling author Giovanna Fletcher.

In the podcast, which premieres Saturday at 11 a.m. ET, Kate was asked what elements of parenthood stand out for her. Crediting what she has learned from being a mom, her own childhood experiences at home in the English countryside with siblings Pippa and James and what she’s picked up from experts in her royal work supporting early childhood development, she adds, “There are also the environments you spend time in as well: a happy home, a safe environment.”

Credit: Kensington Palace

“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.”

The revelations come in a wide-ranging podcast, which promotes her groundbreaking survey “5 Big Questions on the Under Fives”, which more than 200,000 people have taken.

The pair met in Birmingham as Kate’s survey kicked off last month. And about a week later, Fletcher joined the Duchess of Cambridge at one of her outings to a nursery in Stockwell, in London. Kate’s online survey “is asking people – what is it that matters for them in raising their children today,” the royal mom explains in the podcast.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte
| Credit: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

“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.”

Fletcher, whose podcasts have been heard around seven million times over the last four years, says she was surprised at how open Princess Kate was.

“It’s just lovely. I love listening to it back. I love hearing her very honest answers, how articulate and intelligent she is about early years and stuff that she’s been passionate about. And how playful she is when she’s talking about her own kids. I loved hearing the laughter and the giggle in her voice when she’s talking,” she says.

Fletcher adds, “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.”

Kate Middleton, Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte
| Credit: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

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“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.”

“It was the right time for us to have this chat. It’s a place where there’s no judgment and everyone just talks freely and honestly about being a mum and I think that conversation is so important and it fitted so nicely with what the duchess is doing with the early years.”