Sunday, 23 April 2017

A Royal Send-Off for the 'Mental Health Marathon'

It was a royal send-off for runners this morning as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry officially started the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon by pressing the big red button.

Efforts supporting William, Kate and Harry's Heads Together initiative have all been leading up to today. More than 700 Heads Together runners took part in this year's London Marathon, raising money and awareness to change the national conversation around mental health. All 39,000+ runners in the event were given a Heads Together blue headband to help make 2017 the 'mental health marathon'. It is believed the event will raise millions for mental health charities.

It was originally thought efforts would culminate with the marathon, however due to the fantastic response to the campaign the royals are eager to continue. Camilla Tominey reports "A Kensington Palace spokesman said: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have been absolutely blown away by the response this week. “Conversations have not only been started around the UK but around the world. They have made great strides in helping to end the stigma surrounding mental health but they have been so encouraged by the response that they now want to take it much further".

Her Majesty is said to be very proud of the campaign. A royal aide told The Sunday Times "The Queen has always gone out of her way to be even-handed and recognise the work of all members of the royal family. But even so, there is a quiet pride in what her grandsons and the Duchess have achieved. Everyone can see the campaign has struck a chord and that by speaking about their personal experiences they will hopefully encourage others to discuss their mental health".

Mental health charities have reported a surge in calls since the royals spoke out. More from Sky News:

'Figures seen by Sky News show that many of the eight charity partners for Heads Together, have already seen a huge increase in demand for their services.
Sarah Brennan, chief executive of Young Minds, said it has also boosted their lobbying power as charities push for more government funding. She said: "When there is public awareness and public demand for improving the services, that's when politicians stand up and listen and that's when funders stand up and listen and realise they're being closely watched and that's how we can make things continue to improve and funding to carry on being there because it's always under threat."

Kate shared a hug with a runner who is supporting Heads Together today and wishes her good luck.

 A special hug from Prince Harry.

William wishing runners luck.

Kensington Palace posted this video from the beginning of the race.

The royals cheered on the runners at various points along the 26.2 mile route.

Applause for the runners.

The Palace said William, Kate and Harry were "thrilled" to see thousands wearing the headbands.

Support for the headbands was very much evident :)

Prince William teased Kate with his fog horn.

Inspired by William's antics, Kate followed suit and blew her horn at Harry :)

The Heads Together runners greeted the royals along the route.


Kate gets her Heads Together glove on.

Kate cheering on runners nearing the finish line.

William, Kate and Harry handed out bottles of water.

The Mail Online's Rebecca English posted this video. The video captures part of a chat with Kate and Harry, it's always lovely to see them interacting.

This runner did a double take when he realised it was Kate.

Handing out medals at the finish line.

Prince William congratulates runners at the finish line.

Can you spot the royals?

Prince Harry put a smile on this supporters face as he posed for a selfie.

The Duchess congratulates the Heads Together team.

The Duchess sported a Heads together jacket, black jeans and one of her nautical striped tops for the day.

The distinctive Heads Together logo on the jacket.

The jacket is by British brand Regatta. The fabulous ladies at What Kate Wore received confirmation it is the Regatta Professional Perfect Softshell Jacket. It's described as wind resistant, polyester and quick drying. It's available at Amazon for $27.


Kate wore her Superga Cotu Trainers once again today. They remain available at Nordstrom and ShopBop for $65.


For a portion of the race, Kate wore her Ray-Ban Wayfarers (with thanks to Middleton Maven).

And completed the look with her Kiki McDonough Lauren earrings.

Kiki McDonough

It was a fantastic day and a fitting way to mark a year of Heads Together. I very much look forward to seeing what's next for the campaign and how the royals plan to continue to tackle the stigma as well as raising awareness and funds.

We leave you with two of my favourite photos from the day. Harry and Kate above, and this very sweet one of William and Kate :)

Friday, 21 April 2017

It's Royal Radio as William and Kate Take Over the Airwaves & A Special #Oktosay Video from the Royal Trio!

We do love a surprise royal appearance! Throughout this week, we've chatted about how efforts are seriously amping up in the lead up to Sunday's marathon. Today the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid an unexpected visit to Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts who is participating in the London Marathon in support of Heads Together.

With just two days to go, the royals are eager to spread the word and spread the Heads Together message to as many people as possible.

As you can see Adele was both delighted and shocked to see William and Kate. :)

The Duke and Duchess also met DJ Nick Bright who is running the marathon and Mim Shaikh who is supporting Heads Together.

Speaking about Heads Together, Prince William described how "eye-opening" the experience had been. "This issue of mental health is really brimming under the surface of public consciousness," he said. Kate said simply talking could be "like medicine".

William and Kate discuss the power of a simple conversation.

It was fun to hear William and Kate chat about topics such as television shows and ordering takeaways. More from the BBC:

'The Duke and Duchess also revealed they watch "a lot" of children's programmes with their children. "George has gone past Peppa Pig," he said, adding that Fireman Sam was a big hit in their house at the moment.When it comes to adult programmes, the prince said Game of Thrones "was worth watching". And they "absolutely" are allowed to order takeaway when it comes to movie night, with Kate favouring a curry.'

William and Kate pre-recorded the BBC Radio 1 official chart with Greg James. This is just brilliant (look at Kate's face as William starts off by showcasing his best radio voice). Kate said: "Last week Harry Styles went straight to number one with his single 'Sign of The Times'. Can he do it again?" William added: "Or will Ed Sheeran reclaim that top spot. He had thirteen weeks at number one with 'Shape of You' before Harry came along and spoiled his Easter. Sounds Familiar!"

Scott Mills asked William if he has texted the show privately and got a shout out on a couple of occasions. :)

More from the Mail Online:

"William and Kate were asked what they were planning to give the Queen for her birthday. Admitting that it's difficult to buy for the woman who has everything, Kate told William: 'You're good at making things'. He continued: 'The great granchildren can make things. It doesn't matter what it looks like, it always goes down well. 'George does arts and crafts. He's very good.' As Kate accused him of trying to take credit for his son's artwork to pass off as his own gift, William joked: 'This is putting the marriage on the line."

Kate was also asked about being called Kate and Catherine. "with Scott pointing out that she's known as Kate in the media, while William refers to her as Catherine. He added 'I heard a podcast with Prince Harry where he said "William and Kath" and that really confused me. Is that just a thing in the family.'I'm not sure. I'm not that familiar with it,' she said. 'I'll answer to most things though.".

BBC Newsbeat shared a photo of royals on the big screen.

It was such an enjoyable and unexpected appearance. William and Kate seemed very much at ease and having fun all in the name of Heads Together.

The Palace tweeted to remind those using Snapchat to try on their digital headbands. Below, William and Kate wearing theirs.

And as you can see this blog's header is donning Heads Together gear too! :)

You can watch the full interview on YouTube.

The Duchess looked very stylish in a pretty new top and black pants. I know many of you have been hoping to see Kate select such a look for years now. Kate's Closet identified Kate's top as the Temperley London Cypre Pointelle Frill Top. The slim-fit garment features a ruffled mock neck and flared cuffs. It was available at Moda Operandi but is now unavailable.

Moda Operandi

The piece is from the Autumn 2017 Collection.

Moda Operandi

A very special day for Heads Together!


Also today, Kensington Palace has released a new video of William, Kate and Harry discussing why Heads Together matters to them, why they chose to tackle the stigma of mental health, and the personal reasons driving them. Why Heads Together and why mental health? William and Harry said the concept was actually Kate's idea. The Duchess said: "Because it's a common thread, mental health seemed to run between all the different areas we were working in, so whether it's homelessness, military [looking at Harry], and addiction with me, and bereavement [looking to William]."

Kate opened up about the difficulties she faced when George was a baby particularly when they returned to Anglesey. "Having a child, particularly your first child is such a life-changing moment, nothing can really prepare you for that. Remember the first few days with little George, you have no idea what really you are doing, no matter how many books you read, nothing can prepare you for it." Kate then turned to William and said: "Do you remember up in Anglesey? So we'd had our couple of weeks of family support and you were keen to get back to work and I was like: 'yeah, I'll come with you', so we scooted off back to Anglesey with George. Those first few weeks were a steep learning curve, massively."

William and Harry discussed "never talking enough" about the loss of their mother. Kate paid tribute to how strong they are.

"Considering what you boys sadly went through, the trauma that you experienced... I think it's incredible how strong you are and how you've been able to cope really. I put that down to your really early years, your childhood experience."

More from the Mail Online:

"Harry said: 'I always thought, what's the point of bringing up something that's only going to make you sad. It ain't going to change it. It ain't going to bring her back.' 
Kate paid tribute to the princes' 'amazingly close' relationship, saying it had obviously been a big help. 'Most of the time,' joked William, adding: 'We've probably been brought closer because of the circumstances.'"

It's an excellent video and not only do we know why it means so much to them, I think, because of Heads Together, we have got to know all three royals better. The video is the most open we've seen Kate. She has mentioned the first months with George were extremely challenging, but I don't think we realised just how difficult she found it and perhaps thanks to Kate opening up about that it will help other mothers share their stories. There seems to be a huge amount of guilt in relation to those emotions and it's great to hear Kate opening up. Heads Together has also offered a platform for William and Harry to speak about the pain and grief they experience over Diana and what a difficult journey it's been. All three have a wonderful rapport; it's evidently clear how close they are. It also marks a new day for the monarchy - hearing our royals talk about their mental health and emotional struggles is something very, very new (with the exception of Diana). The monarchy needs to modernise in order to survive and grow stronger, and I think we're seeing a glimpse into its future with this campaign.

We mentioned Kate was wearing a microphone when she arrived to greet runners at Kensington Palace Wednesday evening. She had obviously just finished filming the video. Kate wore a striped Luisa Spagnoli top, jeans and Superga Cotu trainers.


With that, we wish Her Majesty a very Happy 91st Birthday!

Unless the royals have more surprises in store, we'll see you on Sunday morning for the marathon. William, Kate and Harry are due to start the race at 10 am.