Well, this was a surprise! On Feb. 15, a new interview aired after the Duchess of Cambridge sat down with Giovanna Fletcher of the Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast. Their conversation covered Kate’s national survey and her “Early Years” work, but it also marked a rather significant milestone in the Duchess’s career since it was her first in-depth solo interview. Hitherto, Kate has always been joined by William, and she’s tended to let her husband take the lead in answering questions. This particular endeavor was focused on Kate’s own work, and she was the only spokesperson for it.
A lot of hay was made out of the personal reveals Kate sprinkled through the discussion, but in actuality, most of the conversation was centered around what Kate has learned about the importance of the first months and years in childhood development, as well as maternal mental health. She noted that she’s been interested in these subjects since before she became a mother, acknowledging that most people assume she zeroed in on them after Prince George’s birth. Instead, she stated that having children of her own only added a personal element to her work.
The “reveal” that’s garnered the most attention is that Kate said she practiced hypnobirthing while in labor with her children. Specifically, she stated that she began to truly appreciate the power of mind over body during her first pregnancy when she was sick with HG, and channeled some of those techniques during labor. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around meditation, and I don’t have children, but it makes sense to me…in theory 😉
She also shared how terrifying it was to step out in front of cameras and global media just a day after giving birth. I thought this was a particularly notable reveal – no, it’s not particularly groundbreaking, but it was significant in my opinion given how this practice was debated in the months leading up to Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s birth when it came out that the Duchess of Sussex was forgoing it. More than a few opined that while we as a public like seeing the mother and baby and really “participating” in the day, it is in fact just a tad barbaric, and more than a little unfair.
Another moment was that Kate acknowledged that she – like many (all?) mothers – suffers from “mum/mom guilt,” noting that even that morning George and Princess Charlotte were outraged she wasn’t driving them to school. It complemented a point she made at the outset of the conversation that motherhood was a great equalizer – that she’s noticed in her many engagements with women from all walks of life that they all worry about and want the same things for their children. In that regard, it really is the perfect issue for a royal woman to wrap their arms around and really own – not piecemeal as can happen through various patronages, but comprehensively through specific initiatives.
Needless to say, I thought this was very well down. You can listen to the whole episode here.
To help promote the interview, Kensington Palace shared a photo of Charlotte playing in the garden at Anmer Hall in Norfolk. The image was taken last spring.
And with that, I’m turning to the Sussexes…