The Duchess of Cambridge created a survey so vague that the data compiled from it is utterly useless. Which leads me to wonder… what the hell was Kate’s staff doing this entire time? Kate allegedly spent YEARS working on the “Five Big Questions” survey, then she launched it in January… and then ignored everything about the survey for most of the year. Now that it’s time to pump up her work numbers for 2020 and end the year on an embiggening high note, suddenly she’s got pie charts and videos of herself posting “insights” from the survey. What makes it even worse (and yet more hilarious) is that Kensington Palace staffers are falling all over themselves to declare this Early Years project to be the greatest thing ever, and crediting Kate with developing “unrivaled insight.” It reminds me of Prince William declaring that his Earthshot Prize is suddenly “the most prestigious” award out there. The exact same energy.
After launching what Kensington Palace called a “milestone” moment in her charitable work, Duchess Kate is ready to reveal the results of her “5 Big Questions” survey after almost one million people responded to her call for action. The findings reveal what the palace is calling “unrivaled insight” which will help shape key areas of focus in the Duchess of Cambridge’s focus on early childhood development and how it shapes the rest of our lives.
On Tuesday, November 24, Kate received details of the results during a virtual briefing at Kensington Palace with Kelly Beaver, an executive at research company Ipsos MORI, which she partnered with for the surveys. In photos shared by her team, a keen duchess can be seen in an ivory blazer studiously taking notes alongside detailed printouts she is keeping in a binder.
The announcement of these insights follow nine years of work by Kate which has included dozens of engagements across the U.K., convening a group of experts, as well as privately studying the effects of difficult childhood experiences in early childhood years and how they are often the root cause for issues such as poor mental health, family breakdown, addiction, and homelessness.
With the results now collected, a Kensington Palace spokesperson tells BAZAAR.com that “next year, The Duchess will announce ambitious plans to help elevate the importance of early childhood.” Her goal being to bring positive change to the lives of children under five across the country and to also reduce the need for late intervention, which in England and Wales alone amounts to around $22.7 billion in government funding.
Kate is expected to give a speech today where she says, in part: “I have seen that experiences such as homelessness, addiction, and poor mental health are often grounded in a difficult childhood. But I have also seen, how positive protective factors in the early years can play a crucial role in shaping our futures.” Again, I find it incredibly problematic and simplistic to say that someone is homeless or mentally ill because they had a bad childhood. Kate will also say this: “The early years are not simply about how we raise our children. They are in fact about how we raise the next generation of adults.” Keen Kate with the absolutely bold position that children grow up to become adults. As for Kate’s plans, next year, to “announce ambitious plans to help elevate the importance of early childhood.” She’s going to keep moving goalposts until she’s in her 70s. In the year 2050, she’ll announce that she’s still very keen about early childhood development and in the coming year, she’ll announce plans to be even more keen.
Bazaar also summarized some of the findings or “insights” from Kate’s Keen Early Years work:
Exactly 98% of survey participants believe that a child’s future is not pre-determined at birth and that nurture is essential to lifelong outcomes. However, only one in four recognized the importance of the first five years of a child’s life.
The reality of life makes it difficult for parents to prioritize their wellbeing (90% of people see parental mental health and wellbeing as critical to a child’s development but only 10% of parents mentioned taking the time to look after their own mental wellbeing when asked how they had prepared for the arrival of a baby). “Worryingly,” the survey results shared by Kensington Palace reveal, “Over a third of all parents (37%) expect the COVID-19 pandemic to have a negative impact on their long-term mental wellbeing.”
Seventy percent of parents feel judged by others and half of those admit that it negatively impacts their mental health.
Parental loneliness has increased during the pandemic from 38% to 63% due to being cut off from friends and family. The increase in loneliness for parents is more apparent in deprived areas.
Across the U.K., 40% of parents feel that community support has grown substantially during the pandemic (although this is 7% lower in the most deprived areas).
You might say “whoa, the survey happened before the pandemic!” This is true, so why is all of this covid data in there? Apparently, Kate’s staff drew from “a ‘nationally representative’ face-to-face survey of over 3,700 people, a survey on the impact of COVID-19, in-depth research on the importance of the early years, and ethnographic research with 12 families.” So Kate couldn’t even get data from her own stupid survey, she had to copy data from another survey and take credit for the findings. As for the findings… what struck me was that “Seventy percent of parents feel judged by others”, but it sounds like Kate is judging and blaming parents for not being rich and healthy and for not having access to her resources.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid, Kensington Palace.