The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, has penned a candid letter stating that parenthood can at times be "debilitating." According to Business Insider, the mother of three opened up about the trials and tribulations of raising children in a communication sent to a group of child experts. Kate set up the specialist panel last year, dedicated to researching early child development. The note coincided with the opening of her special "Back to Nature" garden, which was unveiled at RHS Chelsea Flower Show this past Monday.
View this post on Instagram
👀 We invite you to take a sneak peek at The Duchess of Cambridge’s #RHSChelsea ‘Back to Nature’ Garden! The woodland wilderness garden aims to get people back to nature, and highlight the benefits of the natural world on our mental and physical wellbeing. Speaking ahead of @The_RHS garden unveiling, The Duchess of Cambridge said: “In recent years I have focussed much of my work on the early years, and how instrumental they are for outcomes later in life. I believe that spending time outdoors when we are young can play a role in laying the foundations for children to become happy, healthy adults.” Some features of the #ChelseaFlowerShow garden include: 1. A swing seat hanging below the garden’s centrepiece, a high platform tree house, encouraging creative play and discovery for all generations. 2. The high platform tree house is inspired by a bird or animal nest and provides a wonderful place to retreat and look out through the trees. The treehouse is made from chestnut, with hazel, stag horn oak and larch nest cladding. 3/4. The garden is aiming to inspire interaction with the natural environment through its multi-sensory, green and blue plant scheme. The garden will be filled with incredible edibles, plants for craft activities, forest scents and a diverse range of plants, shrubs and trees of different heights and textures. The garden forms part of Her Royal Highness’s ongoing work on early childhood development and her mission to support efforts that give every child the best possible start in life. The Duchess has committed to making early childhood development the focus of her work in the years to come, and believes that providing children with the opportunity to spend time outdoors can play an important role.
The beautifully chic slice of greenery was put together by the Duchess, who poured her energy into creating a space that encourages creative play and interaction. In the letter, Kate says that all parents have a common goal: "the wish for their children to grow up happy, healthy, and equipped to be able to take every opportunity that comes their way." She goes on to say that when parents find it a long and difficult road, it can be "heartbreaking".
While she doesn't go into detail about her own personal experiences raising Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, it's clear that Middleton can empathize with parents in difficult situations. She specifically highlights the link between a child's development and the wellbeing of their parents and guardians, saying, "I can understand that people are nervous about asking for help for fear of judgment, and how that sense of isolation can quickly become overriding and debilitating for any new parent."
Kate's note comes in the wake of Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, and the announcement of Heads Together. The new health initiative is spearheaded by both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, aka the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Aimed at getting rid of shame around mental health issues and fundraising for new services, Heads Together was welcomed with open arms. With the Royals bringing the subject to the forefront, it's helping to end the stigma once and for all.
Both Prince Harry and Prince William have spoken out about their own struggles in the past, especially when reflecting back on losing their mother, Princess Diana, at such a young age. In 2017, Harry admitted that he sought professional help after bottling up his emotions for two decades. Just a few days ago, Prince William said losing Diana was a "pain like no other."