Kate Middleton Had Heart-to-Heart with the Queen Over Struggles as a New Mom

Even the Duchess of Cambridge experiences “mum guilt.”

Queen Elizabeth Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, are two of the most famous women in the world. But, as the Mirror reports, early on in Kate's motherhood journey—shortly after the birth of her first child, Prince George, in 2013—they were just two mothers, bonded by the challenges of being a new parent.

Kate and Prince William decided early on they wanted to be hands-on parents, and originally opted to not have any help with George, who was born in July 2013. But caring for a young baby combined with carrying out royal duties wasn’t easy for the first-time parents, according to royal expert Katie Nicholl (via the Mirror). This led to Kate having a heart-to-heart with Her Majesty, where Kate opened up about her struggles as a new mom.

“Kate was having a conversation with the Queen in which she confided that she had found being with George on her own, and not having a full-time nanny or a maternity nurse, very hard,” Nicholl says in the True Royalty documentary Kate Middleton: Heir We Go Again. “William and Kate wanted to be hands-on parents, and they did it until September and then they recruited a nanny.”

Now, the Cambridges’ nanny Maria Borrallo is an important part of the three Cambridge kids’ lives, and William and Kate still remain active, hands-on parents attempting to give their kids as normal a life as possible. Helping out in that aim is Kate’s mom, Carole Middleton, who regularly helps with George and his younger siblings Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

“One of the things that allows William and Kate to be so ordinary is the presence of the Middletons in their lives,” Nicholl says. “Carole is a regular through those golden gates at Kensington Palace. She whizzes through in her Land Rover. There is no security because everybody knows her. She turns up to help with bedtime and bathtime. She is absolutely indispensable.”

Kate’s royal calendar is more jam-packed than ever, and, like so many of us, even the Duchess of Cambridge feels the ever-pervasive mom guilt many moms experience. Asked on the podcast "Happy Mum, Happy Baby" if she ever felt mom guilt, Kate said “Yes, absolutely–and anyone who doesn’t as a mother is actually lying.”

Kate admitted that even that particular morning, on the way to record the podcast, George and Charlotte asked her why she wasn’t dropping them off at school.

“It’s a constant challenge,” Kate said. “You hear it time after time from mums, even mums who aren’t necessarily working and aren’t pulled in the directions of having to juggle work life and family life.”

We relate, Kate.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.