The Duchess of Cambridge Launches Childhood Survey to Help Under-Fives

5 Big Questions
Credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire/PA Images

The Duchess of Cambridge is asking ‘5 Big Questions’ to help improve children’s happiness and wellbeing

How important is early childhood? That’s essentially the question being asked by the Duchess of Cambridge in her 5 Big Questions survey, which launched at the end of last month.

The UK-wide online poll simply asks participants for their opinion on what influences early development, and which period of childhood is most important for children’s happiness.

The idea, Kensington Palace revealed, is that it will “spark a national conversation” to help create “lasting change for generations to come”, with the NSPCC adding that it would become a “vital source of information” once data is collected.

The Duchess kicked off the 5 Big Questions launch with a 24-hour across Birmingham, London, Cardiff and Surrey, and so far the survey has drawn in more than 200,000 responses.

Of course, this figure is set to rise dramatically as Catherine made her first ever podcast appearance over the weekend to promote the campaign.

Speaking on Giovanna Fletcher’s podcast Happy Mum, Happy Baby, the Duchess revealed that she wants to find out from people “what [it is] that matters for them in raising their children today.”

She added: “It’s going to take a long time, I’m talking about a generational change, but hopefully this is the first small step: to start a conversation around the importance of early childhood development.”

“It’s not just about happy, healthy children. This is for lifelong consequences and outcomes.”

5 Big Questions
Credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire/PA Images

The 5 Big Questions survey is thought to be the biggest of its kind, and the results will be used to guide the duchess’s future work with children.

Catherine also spoke fairly openly about her own childhood, noting the great sacrifices her parents had made for her, and the time she spent with her granny growing up.

“I had an amazing granny who devoted a lot of time to us, playing with us, doing arts and crafts and going to the greenhouse to do gardening, and cooking with us,” she said.

“And I try and incorporate a lot of the experiences that she gave us at the time into the experiences that I give my children now,” she added.

The Duchess of Cambridge and hypnobirthing

Catherine also revealed on Giovanna Fletcher‘s Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast that hypnobirthing was a great help during all three of her pregnancies.

“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.”


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She joked that while William definitely wasn’t standing there “chanting sweet nothings” at her during labour, he was supportive throughout the whole experience. “I didn’t even ask him about [hypnobirthing], but it was just something I wanted to do for myself.”

To have your say in 5 Big Questions, conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of Catherine’s Royal Foundation, visit

What are the 5 Big Questions?

What do you believe is most important for children growing up in the UK today to live a happy adult life?

A) Good physical and mental health

B) Good friendships and relationships

C) Access to opportunities

D) Access to a good education

Which of these statements is closest to your opinion?

A) It is primarily the responsibility of parents to give children aged 0-5 the best chance of health and happiness

B) It is primarily the responsibility of others in society to give children aged 0-5 the best chance of health and happiness

C) It is the shared responsibility of parents and others in society to give children aged 0-5 the best chance of health and happiness

D) Don’t know

How much do you agree or disagree with this statement?

The mental health and wellbeing of parents and carers has a great impact on the development of their child(ren).

A) Strongly agree

B) Tend to agree

C) Neither agree nor disagree

D) Tend to disagree

E) Strongly disagree

Which of the following is closest to your opinion of what influences how children develop from the start of pregnancy to age 5?

A) Mostly the traits a child is born with (i.e. nature)

B) Mostly the experiences of a child in the early years (i.e. nurture)

C) Both nature and nurture equally

D) Don’t know

Which period of a child and young person’s life do you think is the most important for health and happiness in adulthood?

  • Start of pregnancy to 5 years
  • 5-11 years (primary school)
  • 11-16 years (secondary school)
  • 16-18 years (further education)
  • 18-24 years (young adulthood)
  • All equally important
  • Don’t know

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