In her nine years as a member of the Royal family, she has become known as a steady pair of hands, quietly getting on with the job, and happiest out of the limelight.

But the Duchess of Cambridge will this weekend give an unprecedented insight into her personal life, as she speaks intimately for the first time about her childhood, pregnancies and life as a mother.

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The Duchess, a mother of three, has given a landmark interview to "Happy Mum, Happy Baby", a popular podcast hosted by Giovanna Fletcher. In it, she will speak as never before about her personal experience as a first-time mother, and the challenges she has in common with women across Britain.

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The interview is intended to underline her nationwide survey about early years development, and will see her discuss how she has tried to recreate her own happy childhood for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

"If I take the experience from my own childhood, coupled with what I know now and what I've learnt from the experts in the early years sector, I think there's a few things that really stand out for me," she said.

"One is [the] quality of relationships. So, those moments that you spend with people that are around you. I remember that from my own childhood.

"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, 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.

"There are also the environments you spend time in as well: a happy home, a safe environment. As children, we spent a lot of time outside and it's something I'm really passionate about.

Kate has always been passionate about early childhood care being the best it can be. Photo / Getty Images
Kate has always been passionate about early childhood care being the best it can be. Photo / Getty Images

"I think it's so great for physical and mental wellbeing and laying [developmental] foundations. It's such a great environment to spend time in, building those quality relationships without the distractions of 'I've got to cook' and 'I've got to do this'. And actually, it's so simple."

The full interview will see her speak candidly about her pregnancies - in which she is known to have suffered severe morning sickness - births and early parenthood.

The Duchess has previously made reference to feeling out of her depth as a new mother with Prince George when they lived in Anglesey, saying: "It is lonely at times and you do feel quite isolated, but actually so many other mothers are going through exactly what you are going through."

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The podcast will see her expand on the short speeches and off-the-cuff comments she has made about child development. In 2017, she admitted: "Some of this fear is about the pressure to be a perfect parent - pretending we're all coping perfectly and loving every minute of it. It is right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains."

Her own experiences, as well as her work with her patronages and from founding Heads Together, led her to launch the early years survey, which is intended to find the key to creating a happy, healthy next generation.

Asked about the study, the Duchess said: "I think ultimately if you look at who's caring and looking after and nurturing children in the most vital period from pregnancy all the way to the age of five, you know parents and carers are right at the heart of that, and families are right at the heart of that, and although I've spoken to the scientists and the service providers, it's so important to listen to families.

"What is it that they aspire to? What are their challenges? What we're doing with the survey is asking people: what is it that matters for them in raising their children today.

"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."

Mrs Fletcher, who has three young sons, said she was astonished at the Duchess's candour, and that she had agreed to be interviewed after five years of her emailing requests to the Kensington Palace office.

"I've never heard her speak so openly in this way before," she said. "I kept thinking: I can't believe this is happening."

Mrs Fletcher added: "It doesn't matter who you are, what you have, or where you come from, we're all trying to do our best with our children while continuously doubting our decisions and wondering if we're getting it completely wrong. Talking helps unite us all."

The podcast, which is around 40 minutes long, was recorded during a visit to LEYF (London Early Years Foundation) Stockwell Gardens Nursery in South London, after the Duchess and Mrs Fletcher met in Birmingham earlier this year.