Friday evening I was delighted to see tweets from Kensington Palace about the Duchess doing her first podcast.
Above you see Kate with author, television presenter, and podcast host Giovanna Fletcher, as the two taped a special episode of Happy Mum, Happy Baby, Ms. Fletcher’s podcast.
The podcast was taped when Kate was at Stockwell Gardens Nursery and Preschool in late January.
Ms. Fletcher is the mother of three boys; Happy Mum, Happy Baby is described as “… a series of frank and warm conversations with other high-profile mums and dads, Gi discusses all aspects of parenthood – the highs, the lows, the challenges and rewards. There is no such thing as the perfect parent, and we’re all simply doing our best, something Giovanna fully encourages.”
In the episode, Kate speaks about giving birth, parenting, “mom guilt,” and other topics, while also covering her Early Years work and the 5 Big Questions survey examining attitudes about early childhood.
In a Town and Country story, Victoria Murphy notes that Kate “… has opened up for more than 30 minutes in an astonishingly frank conversation about motherhood, her own childhood, and her passion for the early years.”
Kensington Palace released an audio clip from the episode.
? Listen to The Duchess of Cambridge talking with @MrsGiFletcher about her #5BigQuestions survey, the importance of the early years, and their shared experiences of parenthood.
Have your say in the biggest ever national conversation on the early years ?https://t.co/MaMnlxy2sJ pic.twitter.com/qO400ijJm1
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) February 15, 2020
The Duchess speaks about being ill during all three pregnancies and her experience with hypnobirthing, something she did with all three deliveries.
“I saw the power of it really, the meditation and the deep breathing and things like that, that they teach you in hypnobirthing, when I was really sick, and actually I realised that this was something I could take control of, I suppose, during labour. It was hugely powerful.”
She spoke about holding Prince George for the first time:
Amazing, amazing. It is extraordinary as I’ve said. How can the human body do that? It is utterly extraordinary. And he was very sweet. And I was also relieved that he was a happy, healthy boy. Also seeing your husband and seeing pure joy on his face – it’s really special.
Ms. Fletcher asks Kate about the experience of introducing Prince George to the world on the steps of the Lindo Wing. The Duchess said that it was “slightly terrifying, slightly terrifying, I’m not going to lie.”
More from the podcast:
Everyone had been so supportive and both William and I were really conscious that this was something that everyone was excited about and you know we’re hugely grateful for the support that the public had shown us, and actually for us to be able to share that joy and appreciation with the public, I felt was really important. But equally it was coupled with a new-born baby, and inexperienced parents, and the uncertainty of what that held, so there were all sorts of mixed emotions.
Kate also spoke about some of the common anxieties of new parents when asked about getting Prince George into the car to head home:
We were like ‘What do we do?… in a swaddle?’. ‘How’s this supposed to work?!’. We’d even tried to practice with a little baby, like a little doll, at home but you know it just never works out the way you planned it so it was quite hard to do that on the world’s stage, but no, he did a very good job.
Kate talked about adapting to being a parent: “…it took us a bit of time to get ourselves settled and going again but that’s the beauty, I suppose of having a new-born baby. You are pulled to your toughest and most unknown places that you hadn’t necessarily even thought about before.”
Kate spoke about her own upbringing, saying, “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. I really appreciate now as a parent how much they sacrificed for us. They came to every sports match, they’d be the ones on the sideline shouting, and we’d always have our family holidays together.”
When Ms. Fletcher asked her about what parts of Kate’s own childhood she would like to give George, Charlotte, and Louis, she talked about a picture of Charlotte that she took.
I’ve got this one photo of Charlotte smelling a bluebell, and really for me it’s moments like that mean so much to me as a parent, and I try everyday to put moments like that in even if they’re small or even if I don’t have time… but that in an ideal world is what I would like to do.
The photo was released last night by Kensington Palace.
It appears to have been taken the same day the Duchess took several other photos of the Princess that were released to mark her fourth birthday.
Kate addressed the topic of ‘mom guilt’:
‘Anyone who doesn’t as a mother is actually lying. Even this morning, coming to the nursery visit here – George and Charlotte were like ‘Mummy how could you possibly not be dropping us off as school this morning?’ It’s a constant challenge.’
Below, the Duchess arriving at her engagement the day the podcast was taped.
I have not yet been able to listen to the full episode and am going to do that as soon as I hit ‘publish’. If you would like to listen to the podcast, click here. If you would like to read a transcript of the podcast episode, click here or on the graphic below.
Kate wore a sweater by Sézane, the brand’s ‘Tulio’ jumper ($125, now sold out), a coat that remains a UFO, and Fab-Dry boots from Aquatalia (originally £295, on sale for £145, about $190).
If looking for more detailed information on the outfit, click here for our original post on the engagement.
Because this is more of a ‘what Kate did’ than a ‘what Kate wore’ post, I think it’s okay to relax the comment policy, recognizing you may want to reference the podcast as opposed to the wardrobe.
Wednesday 19th of February 2020
I thought this broadcast was terrific and so insightful, not least for the rare experience of hearing a royal talk for half an hour and having a chance get used to the voice. Huge congratulations are in order to Giovanna Fletcher for scooping the whole of Fleet Street in quietly pulling this off.
Kate is clearly on top of her early years subject and spoke so fluently about it. I think some folk thought it sounded quite run-of-the-mill, but I felt there was a wealth of research had gone into her present focus and her delivery was truly polished, something that can sound deceptively simple.
One of the things that struck me was how much of an insight she gave into what it’s like for a mere mortal to wake up one day and find themselves royal. The variety of work she mentioned ranged from meeting trauma survivors from Auschwitz, which must be harrowing, to facing an enthusiastic public, which could be exhausting, and still finding the emotional capacity both to deal with small children and be able to produce pictures of tender moments with them. And still come up smiling.
She is one remarkable young woman, and I’m so grateful for this insight into her thought processes. It all feeds into the fashion critique for me!
Wednesday 19th of February 2020
I love how wistful she looks in the first photograph as she speaks about being a mother. That's such a mum thing. Even with my mom, and she certainly was thrown a curve given she married a military man then had me who has multiple disabilities, she becomes quite wistful when she thinks back on when she became a mum and the troubles she ran in to DESPITE being a nanny for many, many years. She has her favorite photos and favorite memories and things she wished she could have done very differently. I think that's why I've always related to the Duchess - she's many of the traits of my own mom. Down-to-earth, funny and very dedicated.
Tuesday 18th of February 2020
I listen to a lot of podcasts (mostly true crime so if anyone wants recommendations in that genre I have a lot haha) so I'm looking forward to listening to Kate's podcast talking about motherhood and raising children. We don't often get to hear her speak much and I have never found her particularly eloquent and I get the sense she is very shy, including in her interactions with adults and children during her outings. While she doesn't say anything particularly ground breaking in the clips I've heard, she sounds more natural speaking to the podcast host, probably because it's a private intimate setting and it's much easier to do that without a million cameras and recorders around.
I think Kate's work in early childhood development is admirable and I appreciate her taking an interest to a child's well-being and happiness. I do want to point out one thing I think that is a bit overlooked in her work though is that a stable upbringing does not necessarily translate to the perfect development of a child's mental well-being. I know this is entirely anecdotal but I was raised in a very loving, supportive environment and had two wonderful parents who gave me a very solid foundation to build on. And despite all this, I still deal with anxiety and depression and deal with OCD and trichotillomania on a daily basis. I can't really pinpoint why I'm like this as there is no childhood trauma in my background. It's interesting on all the nature vs. nurture debate out there and I realize my own issues are not as severe as other individuals who come from less stable backgrounds. It's something I thought about when I was reading the 5 Big Questions survey.
Anyways I appreciate all the coverage on Kate's work and I believe the work she does is important. Mental health is such an important topic, in both children and adults.
Tuesday 18th of February 2020
We already discussed the outfit the day of the engagement, so I feel like there's nothing more to say about it. My takeaway from the podcast is that there wasn't really any new or earth-shattering information, but it was great to hear Kate's voice and really hear/see her opinions and personality and sense of humor come through. She has always been very careful when speaking in public, and it is clear that she is very nervous when giving speeches. This is the most she has spoken since the engagement interview, when she was just a very young and nervous and inexperienced royal. Because she is so quiet, people often wrongly think that she has no opinions or isn't intelligent. I have always felt (and this podcast confirmed) that she is simply less "flashy, noisy, showy" and prefers to let the work product do the talking. Kate has clearly found causes she feels very strongly about and has educated herself well as she tries to solve the issues. I suspect that she would not have chosen this public sort of life, but had no choice when she and William fell in love, so she is determined to use her profile for good. I admire that. The new picture of Charlotte is just darling.
Tuesday 18th of February 2020
I admire Katherine more and more every day. I cannot imagine being as ill as she was during her pregnancies and still carrying out public duties at all, let alone doing them with grace.
She seems incredibly grounded despite all of the fame, and I thought the podcast showed that she is ever-conscious of her role as a public servant. I loved listening to her insight. She is a lovely person with all the right values.
I love that sweater and her hair and makeup here.