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Duchess of Cambridge taking questions from the public before big speech

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read

Watch: Duchess of Cambridge to announce results of study on early childhood

The Duchess of Cambridge is preparing to take questions from the public as she announces the results from what has become the biggest ever study on early childhood.

Kate, 38, launched her survey, ‘Five big questions on the under-fives’, in January, and travelled around the country visiting different projects to gather insight into the impact of the first five years on the rest of people’s lives.

Early childhood is a key part of the royal’s work through the Royal Foundation, which she and her husband Prince William run.

The mother-of-three asked people for their questions about the work on Instagram on Tuesday, and will answer them after a keynote speech on the findings on Friday.

Kate’s online poll, which was answered by more than 500,000 people, was designed to work out what people think about early years development.

Read more: Why Princess Eugenie and husband Jack will want to live in Harry and Meghan's home

In a video released on Monday, Kate said: “Earlier this year, we asked you five big questions about raising our under-fives.

“We wanted to hear what you think about the importance of the earliest years of our children’s lives.

“More than half a million of you answered that call.

“So we’ve taken your input, and combined it with even more public research to produce the UK’s biggest-ever study on the early years.

“This year has been a hugely challenging time for us all and there hasn’t been a more important moment to talk about families.”

She added: “Later on this week, we’ll share 5 Big Insights that we’ve discovered, and I’ll take your questions.

“This is just the beginning. And I want to thank you for starting a conversation because we’re all on this journey together.”

To promote the survey earlier this year, Kate appeared on Giovanna Fletcher’s podcast, Happy Mum, Happy Baby, where she opened up about her own “mum guilt’ and talked about wanting to be a hands-on mother.

The poll was run in conjunction with Ipsos MORI, and Kelly Beaver, managing director of public affairs, said the response had been unprecedented.

She added: “Ipsos MORI has been conducting research with the public in the UK for over 50 years and we have never seen a response like we did when the 5 Big Questions was launched.”

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) reacts as she strokes an alpaca during her visit to Ark Open Farm near Belfast on February 12, 2020, as part of her tour of the UK to promote her landmark survey on the early years, '5 Big Questions on the Under-Fives'. (Photo by Liam McBurney / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LIAM MCBURNEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Kate during her visit to Ark Open Farm near Belfast in February as part of her tour of the UK to promote her landmark survey on the early years, '5 Big Questions on the Under-Fives'. (Liam McBurney/AFP)

Read more: William and Kate's social media switch up: Cambridges using their social media presence more like Meghan and Harry, says expert

Kate also hoped the survey would spark a nationwide conversation about Early Years development.

The survey results were originally planned to be released around Spring - the coronavirus pandemic is likely the reason for the delay.

During the months since the survey, the duchess has included further qualitative and ethnographic research and a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on families.

William and Kate both spoke to fathers in a video call last week who recounted their experiences with fatherhood courses run by a charity.

William, 38, said: “Because I worry an awful lot, a lot of dads out there who just don’t know what to do, and they don’t know where to go. And they may not have such good – either grounding, foundations or support around them to be able to know what to do.”

The duchess added: “Dads play such an important role it shouldn’t be a bad thing to reach out for help and advice.”

Kate’s keynote speech will be on Friday, during an online forum hosted by the Royal Foundation.

Watch: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge discuss experiences of parenthood