As a mother myself, I often wonder what Kate would do as a mum. Would she scold Prince George when he refused to eat his brussel sprouts? Would Princess Charlotte be allowed to pull Lupo’s tail? Would either Cambridge baby be allowed to watch TV or play on an iPad?
Turns out I am not alone in wondering what Kate would do as a mother – there is in fact an extremely talented writer named Polly Sharpe who writes a blog called Right Royal Mother containing fictional accounts of what she thinks life might be like for Kate as a mother as well as including stories and anecdotes of her own family; NW – not William (husband and father), NG – not George (daughter, sister and two and three quarter year old), NC – not Charlotte (son, brother and eight month old) and NL – not Lupo (a Labrador). We loved the blog so much that we did a virtual sit-down with Polly and asked her a few questions.
You blog about your own children and raising them like Kate – fictionally recounting stories about Kate and the kids – tell us how you came to write your blog.
I write rightroyalmother.com – a blog with humorous stories about what I imagine life might be like for Kate as a mother, as well as stories about my own parenting and family. The blog is split into two main sections: The Cambridges and Not the Cambridges and I started writing it in January this year (I am on my second maternity leave with ‘not Charlotte’) as an escape, really, from the intensity and sometimes overwhelming emotions you feel when you’re looking after two small children all day. I have been writing fiction for nearly 15 years, so I am not new to that but I was new to parenting. Putting the two together seemed to be a good way to stay sane … some of the stories are pretty random but all are sparked by something the media has reported on relating to Kate … however obscure that might be. Some of my favourites imagine conversations between Kate, William and George – the things toddlers say can be pretty hilarious.
When did you start to develop an interest in Kate? Have you always liked the royal family?
I started to wonder about life within the walls of Anmer Hall and Kensington Apartment 1A when I was pregnant with my first child (who is a girl and called NG – or ‘not George’ in my stories). I was incredibly sick, like Kate, but unlike her I didn’t tell anyone until I reached 12 weeks. The world was going mad about ‘Kate’s (due) date,’ which I knew it must be almost identical to mine. It was a peculiar feeling of excitement that we would be having babies at the same time and sympathy for her because she was going through all the craziness you feel when you’re pregnant for the first time but in the public eye, whereas I was able to do it privately. Also, I had a certain fascination with how she would cope with pregnancy in public when it is such a private, personal experience.
Do you think will and Kate are succeeding at their attempts to be different Royal parents than other royals have been in the past- keeping their kids out of the spotlight, raising them in the country, etc. Do you think it will make an impact on the future of the monarchy?
I think they are doing a fantastic job. Their life in Norfolk seems to be very private which is great and I hope it remains that way as the children get older. The fascination with the British royals across the world seems now to be similar to that of traditional celebrities and I think Kate and William are in a tricky position of needing to seem current, accessible and at the same time dignified and private. I think they’re doing a really excellent job; both are patrons of charities that have benefitted enormously from a raised profile in the last few years that the young couple have championed them. Harry, too, is succeeding in bringing energy and humour to the royal family’s table. The future of the monarchy looks bright, I’d say. With William a soon-to-be Attitude magazine cover star, together with his assertion that social media needs to play a greater role for the Royals, I do think he has got his finger on the button and is setting an excellent precedent for G&C.
Tell us something you would love to witness as a fly on the wall with William and Kate and their kids (Birthday party? Family dinner?) What do you think it would be like?
It would be amazing to be a fly on the wall at breakfast time in Anmer Hall, I think. Breakfast time is such a crazy time in any household with small children (however many staff you have) and I love imagining very domestic details such as who likes their egg boiled for how long; how much of Charlotte’s dropped Weetabix Lupo vacuums up; whether William is any good at stacking the dishwasher … things like that. Of course, birthdays and Christmas would also be fascinating to witness. Bath time is not one of my favourite activities though, as I do it five times a week with my two alone … I might be ok missing that one, even if ‘Shouty’ (as I like to imagine Charlotte is known) and George have a gold plated version!
Do you have a favorite Kate parenting moment? (i.e. Seeing George meet the Obamas, pictures of Kate with George)
I do like the picture with Obama – my post, Which President’s Coming to Supper? Oh, Bummer – is based on the evening. But mainly, I like anything where the family look really happy. Perhaps my favourites are the pictures of Kate with George a couple of years ago when he was just starting to walk. He is wearing stripy dungarees and you can sort of tell Kate is incredibly proud but a bit tired of having to pull him back constantly as he toddled around. Also there was a picture taken of Kate on a slide in Norfolk holding George when she was heavily pregnant with Charlotte. I used to do exactly that, wearing the same sorts of clothes, and knew how uncomfortable and knackered she must have felt but at the same time how happy it would have made her because slides were THE thing for NG at the time. Walking in Kensington Gardens with George & Charlotte. Wiping George’s mouth. Normal, unstaged moments are the ones I love and I hope Kate doesn’t mind that the public do get to see the odd private moment when they are out and about.
What is the hardest part of being a mother for you, and what do you think it could be for Kate?
Definitely juggling everything: making time to keep everyone happy but also make time to do the things you love. Once you’re a mother, it is really hard to put yourself first. One thing I have had to drop completely since having children is my morning run. I used to run to work when I lived in London and did three marathons. With NW (not William) leaving the house at 6am, which coincides with the children waking up, that just isn’t possible any more. I doubt Kate has the same problem – if she enjoys exercise first thing I’m pretty sure there are people to look after the children – but I imagine she finds fitting everything in a challenge. As we all do!
What is planned in the future for you and your blog?
In less than six months I’ve been on BBC Radio, written for the Mail Online and am thrilled to be a finalist in the ‘Best New Blog’ category in the UK’s biggest parenting blog awards (the MADs), out of 8,000 contenders. Also, as of a few weeks ago, I am represented by a fantastic literary agency and there is a book in the pipeline! So it’s been quite a whirlwind. Some readers have been kind enough to call for a film, so we’ll have to see! As any parent of small children will know, time to yourself is like gold dust so currently I am just writing as much as I can, when I can. But I absolutely love it and, even when my maternity leave ends and I go back to work in September, I don’t plan on stopping the blog.
If you could give our readers some tips about “What would Kate do when parenting?” What would they be?
Oh wow, that’s a tricky one. As my blog implies, I think Kate probably parents much like the rest of us: with humour, patience and an awful lot of love. She has to juggle a job, being a wife, friend, sister and daughter like so many of us at the same time as looking after the children but she has the added pressure of worldwide scrutiny. If I were her, encouraging kindness in George and Charlotte, as well as having fun with them would feature heavily in my day to day parenting. Outdoor activities, exercise and encouraging good table manners would also come pretty high up.
Be sure to check out Right Royal Mother the blog, and watch for the book to be coming soon!