Royal mamas — just like us? In Kate Middleton’s first podcast interview, the Duchess of Cambridge got candid about the realities of raising three young kids in a refreshingly honest chat with Happy Mum, Happy Baby host Giovanna Fletcher. In a conversation that lasted more than 30 minutes, Kate opened up about everything from mom guilt (she has it “all the time”) to getting “filthy, dirty” outside with her family (that’s when she feels happiest), and everything in between.
Kate has upped her public appearances and speaking engagements over the last few weeks following the release of her survey “5 Big Questions on the Under Fives.” The campaign, which launched in January, is aimed at improving childhood for little ones in the early years by sparking a “national conversation.” The hope? That listening to families and communities discuss the issues affecting their kids will lead to solutions that offer lasting change.
So, it’s certainly a worthy cause and one that Kate is very passionate about. To that end, she proved to be an open book with Fletcher when it came to her own experiences with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Here are a few of the interesting facts she shared during the podcast convo.
View this post on Instagram
🎧 SOUND ON — listen to a clip of The Duchess of Cambridge talking with @MrsGiFletcher about her own childhood experiences and the importance of the early years. Their full conversation will be released as a special episode of Giovanna’s ‘Happy Mum, Happy Baby’ podcast – a series of frank and warm conversations with mums and dads covering all aspects of parenthood, from tackling loneliness, to being a single parent. On this Early Years episode, The Duchess discusses her '5 Big Questions on the Under Fives' – a quick, online survey which aims to spark a national conversation on the early years that will ultimately help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come. Visit the link in our bio 🗣️ to have your say on the biggest ever national conversation on the early years #5BigQuestions
1. She’s a Hypnobirthing Believer
George, Charlotte and Louis all came into the world with a little assistance from hypnobirthing — a natural childbirth method that incorporates special breathing, relaxation, visualization and meditative practice to relax the body.
“It was hugely powerful, and because it had been so bad during pregnancy, I actually really quite liked labor!” Kate said, alluding to the severe morning sickness she suffered while pregnant. “Because actually it was an event that I knew there was going to be an ending to! But I know some people do have really, really difficult times, and it’s not for everybody.”
2. Her Childbirths Weren’t Necessarily Hallmark Moments
Although hypnobirthing helped Kate cope with the pain of childbirth, she suggested it was, you know, still childbirth. “I’m not going to say that William was standing there sort of, chanting sweet nothings at me. He definitely wasn’t! I didn’t even ask him about it, but it was just something I wanted to do for myself,” she said.
3. They Chose Not to Have George’s Sex Revealed
It goes without saying that the royals don’t exactly do gender reveal videos and post them on social media like the masses. Still, there’s a reasonable assumption that they know their baby’s sex and just don’t share it. However, Kate said that wasn’t the case with their firstborn. “I didn’t know, no. It was a surprise,” she shared.
4. They Felt “Mixed Emotions” During George’s Public Debut
Becoming a new parent is overwhelming in itself, much less without the added pressure of presenting yourself (and your new baby) to the public immediately after. As such, Kate says she and William felt very appreciative for the public outpouring of love over the birth of Prince George.
“This was something everyone was excited about and were hugely grateful for the support that the public has shown us,” she said, continuing, “and actually for us to be able to share that joy and appreciation with the public, I felt, was really important and equally, it was coupled with a newborn baby and sort of inexperience of parents and the uncertainty of what that held. So there was all sorts of mixed emotions.”
5. Royals Have Mom Guilt, Too
When asked by Fletcher if she feels “mommy guilt,” Kate didn’t pull any punches. “Yes, absolutely, and anyone who doesn’t as a mother is actually lying. Yes, all the time,” she said, continuing, “There’s such a pull, but I am such a hands-on mom, and whatever you’re doing you want to make sure you’re doing the uttermost best job you can for your children.”
Kate admitted that just leaving her kids to do the podcast left her feeling conflicted. “And you know, even this morning, coming to the nursery visit here, George and Charlotte were like, ‘Mommy, how could you possibly not be dropping us off at school this morning?'” She went on to add that questioning your decisions as a mother “starts from the moment you have a baby.”
6. She Has Learned to Prioritize Quality Time
If Kate could go back and give advice to herself during her first few years of motherhood, it would be not to stress over being there for every single thing — but, rather, the importance of being there when it matters: “Spending quality time with your children [is] not really whether you’ve done every single drop-off and every single pick-up, but actually it’s those quality moments that you spend with your child, where you’re actually properly listening to them, properly understanding what they feel.”
7. She Prefers Being in the Great Outdoors
During the interview, Kate spoke about how she tries to spend as much time as possible with her family outside. “I think it’s so great for physical wellbeing and also mental wellbeing and actually really laying those foundations,” she said. “But it’s such a great environment to actually spend time 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.”
In fact, when asked when she’s happiest, Kate said it is when “I’m with my family outside in the countryside and we’re all filthy, dirty!”
8. ‘Simple Things’ Resonate With Her
She may have the monarchy at her fingertips, but Kate insists it’s far more low-key things that she embraces the most — especially on the parenting front. “I think as parents, we have to try and remember through the complications of our children growing up, that ultimately it’s the really simple things that really do matter and if nothing else, that’s what I really try and remind myself on daily basis.”
What does this look like? “[Having] bonfires, sitting around trying to cook sausages… going to the beach.” Those sorts of things!
9. She Has Great Parenting Role Models
Kate’s emphasis on the simple things in life and prioritizing quality time with her kids can essentially be traced back to her own formative years. “I had a very happy childhood. It was great fun. I’m very lucky I come from a very strong family. My parents were hugely dedicated to us, my siblings. I really appreciate now, as a parent, how much they sacrificed for us. They would come to every sports match,” she revealed. “They would be on the sidelines, shouting, and we’d always have our family holidays together.”
View this post on Instagram
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have joined forces with cookery legend Mary Berry to prepare festive food 🎄 to thank all those working and volunteering over the Christmas period. Swipe 👉 for a taster of what to expect from 📺 A Berry Royal Christmas… 1. The Duke, Duchess and Mary, along with some very special guests including @nadiyajhussain host a Christmas Party to thank and acknowledge staff and volunteers from charities and organisations who will be working tirelessly over the Christmas period. 2. At @rhswisley Mary joins The Duchess behind the scenes to learn more about The Duchess’s commitment to the early years in raising the next generation of happy, healthy children. 3. The Duke and Mary visit @passagecharity, the UK’s largest resource centre for homeless and insecurely housed people, which has helped over 130,000 people in crisis through its resource centre, homelessness prevention projects and two innovative accommodation services. 4. At The Brink, the UK’s first dry bar set up by @actiononaddiction to provide a safe space for people who are suffering from addiction, The Duchess and Mary meet the inspiring people whose lives have been changed by the help and support of the charity. Watcg #ABerryRoyalChristmas on the @bbciplayer. Photos 📷 by @mattporteous / Kensington Palace
10. Many of Her Favorite Hobbies Came From Her “Granny”
While Kate clearly counts her parents as guiding forces, she also opened up about a family member who passed many of the activities the Duchess enjoys most down to her. “I had an amazing granny who devoted a lot of time to us — playing with us, doing arts and crafts and going into her greenhouse and doing gardening stuff and cooking with us,” said Kate. “I try and incorporate a lot of the experience that she gave us at the time into the experiences that I give my children now.”