Monday, 16 February 2015

Kate Records Video Message for Children's Mental Health Week, Royal Baby & Fashion Updates!

We begin tonight's post with a new video message from the Duchess of Cambridge.

At midnight, the Palace released the video which Kate recorded to support the UK's first Children's Mental Health Week. Kate revealed how she and William have seen children struggle to cope with bullying, bereavement and family breakdown and how the stigma around mental health issues means many children do not receive the help and support they need.

Place2Be

The online video for her patronage Place2Be can be viewed on their official website and YouTube.


Kensington Palace said:

'As royal patron of Place2Be the Duchess of Cambridge is a committed champion of issues related to children's mental health and emotional wellbeing.
'Her Royal Highness has seen that issues such as addiction, poverty, abuse, neglect, loss and illness of family members, can have a long-lasting and traumatic impact if left unsupported.
The Duchess of Cambridge is especially concerned with early-intervention mental health support for young people, to tackle these issues at the earliest possible stage, so that children have the brightest possible futures, as they deserve.'

The poignant speech was recorded during Kate's private visit to Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School last week, which she made last week in order to learn more about the causes she supports.

Palce2Be/PA

More from the Mail Online's story:

'Place2Be has also conducted a survey, which found that almost a third (30 per cent) of parents of children aged between five and eighteen admit they would feel embarrassed if their child wanted counselling in school, while more than one in five parents (22 per cent) would not encourage their child to take up counselling in school, even if they asked for it.
The charity aims to encourage parents to talk openly with their children about their feelings and help them to get any appropriate support. The poll also found that fathers were more likely to say they would feel embarrassed (38 per cent compared to 23 per cent of mothers).'

Children's Mental Health Week runs from the 16-22 February. The organisation is encouraging all parents to talk openly with their children about their feelings and getting help. In this way, we can all make sure small problems don't become more serious issues. If you wish to find out more or donate please click here.

Place2Be

The Duchess chose the £250 Silk Tile Print Aquifer Dress by Jaeger. The collared shirt dress is patterned with a tile print inspired by the architecture in Florence and Porto. It is cut from fluid silk and comes with an optional belt. It's also available at John Lewis.

Jaeger

Below we see the dress in 'Paprika'.

Jaeger

The dress was a particularly interesting choice as it is a recent addition to my mother's wardrobe. I was quite amused to hear her say, she found it "too matronly and old" (Indeed, she was quite amazed to hear Kate wore it) It seems she doesn't plan to keep it either. For those interested in purchasing, she found the sizing quite generous. Perhaps one of the more unusual sartorial coincidences I've encountered :)

Kate also wore her Kiki McDonough green amethyst earrings.

Kiki McDonough

Mental health is often a hugely overlooked and neglected area which needs all the support and awareness that can be achieved in terms of services and overcoming the stigma that is still attached to mental health issues. It's wonderful to see Kate supporting it and becoming more confident in her public speaking. It's clearly an area she's passionate about and that fact very much comes across.

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Also tonight we have a selection of news and fashion titbits to share. We know the Duchess is expecting her second child in April (are you all ready for the #GreatKateWait at the Lindo Wing again). An article published in the Mirror today suggests Kate's due date may be a little earlier than anticipated, meaning speculation she's due at the very end of April may be off the mark by a couple of weeks, suggesting the accurate date is closer to early-mid April.



'Her pregnancy was announced by Kensington Palace on September 8 in an early announcement because she was forced to pull out of an engagement with severe morning sickness.
At the time it was assumed she was only around five or six weeks pregnant, although the palace would not confirm speculation.
But artist Paul Cummins has now told The Sunday Times that Kate almost didn't come to see his iconic poppy installation at the Tower of London on August 5 because her pregnancy was already making her feel ill.
He said: "Kate was not going to come as, though it had not been announced, she was already pregnant and suffering. But she insisted. It was her last public outing for a while."'

Very interesting comments from Mr. Cummins. Of course, the Palace will not comment on the specific date and we wont know with any certainty until the big day arrives.

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Moving on to fashion updates. Spring styles have begun to arrive at one of Kate's favoured brands Beulah London with pieces worn by the Duchess available, too. The black lace Amara dress Kate wore in New York is available in sizes 12 and 14 with other sizes coming within a month. We also see the very popular Sabitri dress in red rose print.

Beulah London

Other styles include striking prints perfect for the coming Spring/Summer season, include the Lily, Silene and Juliet.

Beulah London

As many of you will recall, Kate was recently photographed wearing the brand's love heart print 'Delaney' sweater during a trip to Bucklebury. Our lovely reader Rachel has found a fabulous Repli-Kate for the garment - the L'Agence Silk Cashmere Heart Graphic Sweater.

Gilt/Bild

It is currently discounted from £242 to £88 at Gilt. From what I see, it ships to the US only.

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Kate's Lasa Poppy Print Dress proved such a hit, L.K. Bennett reissued it in pink earlier this year.


Now the updated 'Lasana' dress has sold out in that colourway, there is good news for fans of the dress, as it's also been released in yellow (and surprise, surprise it's selling quickly). I think it looks gorgeous in yellow, very fresh, summer and perfect for an array of family and social functions.

L.K. Bennett

As of writing, it's available in sizes 8-14 for £250. With thanks to Helena for the tip!

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As the Duke and Duchess approach their fourth wedding anniversary on 29 April, their wedding menu has been revealed for the first time. The royal couple treated guests at their reception to crab, marinated salmon and organic lamb.

Jon Rowley

The personal touches such as "Berkshire honey ice cream" and Windsor sauce" demonstrate how much thought and consideration went into the planning. The menu is part of an array of items for sale as part of a collection of royal memorabilia spanning two centuries going under the hammer at Reeman Dansie Auctioneers in Colchester on Tuesday. It will prove a wonderful collectors item for the wining bidder!

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It was Valentine's Day on Saturday! I hope you all had time to celebrate and mark the day with your loved one. I'm sure William and Kate enjoyed a romantic evening too. To celebrate the day in royal style,  a hilarious parody of Kate's first love was released on YouTube, I urge you all to check it out; I promise you'll enjoy a giggle :)


We'll see you on Wednesday for Kate's engagements in Stoke and Smethwick.

170 comments:

  1. Kate only had one private visit last week. The 2nd was a private reception at Kensington Palace.

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  2. I am proud. Firstly, because she did great and you can tell she cares. Secondly, because this really hits home for me personally. It saddens me that there still is stigma and a "pull yourself together" attitude around these issues. I am really proud that she is getting into this area, and seems to have this cause close to her heart. That broken arm comment is so spot on!!

    Poor thing seems winded though... My guess: belly is taking up more and more room.

    The dress... Meh, a little too much cleaners coat but it seems really comfortable and great moving around with the kids.

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    1. The message is an important one and I thought she did great. And I agree that the comparison to a broken arm was a fantastic way to make a point.

      The first-love video was cute. :))

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    2. If there is something she really has the power to change, in her position and with her popularity, is stigmas and taboos.
      And this one is so important I can't but be super happy.

      Camilla

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  3. Hilarious about your mom! That cracked me up. I don't love the dress either - the pattern is strange, especially the weird random fabric around the middle that doesn't go all the way around. I don't get it?? And it doesn't seem flattering.

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    1. Haha! I totally laughed out loud, Royalfan. I know about the belt - I meant the pattern from the hem randomly included in the middle but not going around the whole dress. Isn't that strange?

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    2. Lol. Sorry! My mistake. I actually had to look twice to realize there was a belt so perhaps I should sit this one out. :))

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    3. I must say that rather liked it because it was weird in a conservative sort of way. Hard to touch both of those qualities at once. The blue and paprika colours are lovely. Shirt dresses are very smart and comfortable at the same time. I've always loved them and wonder why they have that matronly stigma.

      Charlotte, I had a whacky idea. If your mother isn't going to keep her (same) dress, would she consider offering it as a random-draw prize for anyone on this blog who makes a donation over X number of dollars/pounds to Place2Be? Or is that too complicated to set up? Or will your mum have second thoughts now that Catherine has worn the dress?

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    4. It does go all the way around. That's the sash hanging down in front of it. It's clearer to see in the "paprika" version.

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    5. Philly,

      That is a really lovely and thoughtful idea. I was talking to her earlier and she has a good friend who does an enormous amount of volunteer work and has decided to give it to her as she's a huge royal fan.

      That would be a splendid idea for the future, brands often get in touch and I'll be sure to mention it to them. Thank you!

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  4. Not a fan of the print but thought it worked really well for the video.
    Ali

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    1. I agree. Dress worked really well with Art Room Background/

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. SO IMPRESSED WITH HER PSA CAMPAIGN. Amazing! My sole yet consistent critique of HRH has been the silence and inability/unwillingness to speak in public, be it live or prerecorded messages. This was VERY well done. She was poised yet natural (none of that earlier mannequin feel) and I truly, truly hope these messages become a regular part of her philanthropy (and I think it's FINE if she wants to make them all prerecorded if that helps ease her anxieties–no doubt it will be a bridge to confidence in speaking live in-situ).

    Again, it makes very little sense to go visit & patronize services/places w/out offering broader public an audible message.

    She looked great, too! S

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  7. The Duchess looks like she's getting more and more comfortable in front of the camera when she delivers these messages.

    This one is especially import at to me as someone who lives with Bipolar, early intervention and understanding is important. There is such a stigma attached to mental illness, especially in the young and its wonderful to see her lend her name and support to such an important cause.

    I love most of her clothing choices but I haven't made up my mind of this latest dress.

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  8. First thought just from photos, so matronly... definitely not an eye pleaser for me. Watched the video, I am so proud of how well she did!! So much improvement from the video with the black dress and Peter pan collar. So many thoughts in my head... more practice? Watching the Queens speeches? More confidence in herself, more heartfelt emotions since she has a child of her own now? Maybe a little bit of everything. Very impressed and happy. The message is also clear and I appreciate she is speaking out for something and supporting children that feel unable to speak out and ask for help.

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  9. Good for her for putting this out. Mental health, especially in children and young adults, plays a huge role and some mental conditions tend to hit at puberty and young adulthood. There is very much a 'pull yourself together' attitude, and I think that mental health issues can get lost in general teen/puberty behavior.

    So, yes, very pleased to see Kate address this.

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    1. Great to see you back :)

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    2. Thank you. I will start moaning and complaining shortly. :)

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    3. Welcome bluhare!:)

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    4. Theresa, from Paris16 February 2015 at 19:38

      Hi, bluhare :-) !!!!

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    5. Sarah from Calif.16 February 2015 at 23:27

      bluhare, no moaning or complaining....haha
      Hope you are well!

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    6. Thank you blue27 . . . something about your name I like. :)

      Bonjour Theresa! If I trusted my French I'd speak french like Fabulousdaaan, but my grammar is atrocious. Google translate is better than my French.

      And hmmmmph to Sarah!

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    7. anon from Leominster18 February 2015 at 06:04

      Delighted to see you back Bluhare. Delighted to see Kate back too. I thought she spoke very well on an important subject. I think she's been working hard on her enunciation, and is doing marvellously. While I don't love the dress, the colours worked very well in the room and gave the message an effective image. It was well penned too.

      Also delighted to see her the other day. Thought she looked lovely in her coat - although the white made me feel chilly. I also think of white coats more for spring. But Eugenie wore hers in December - odd with so many coats in the world, rooms of them in the big shops, that they should choose the same one. A nice engagment though and look forward to tomorrow.

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    8. Nice to see you too Leo. I had actually just been wondering where you were!

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  10. I love the color of the dress, but agree it wasn't flattering in shape. Sometimes Kate chooses rather matronly, mature outfits. I think she struggles with "appropriate & respectful" and sometimes it translates as unflattering.

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  11. Thank you for your comments!

    This video was an excellent idea and I think it will help enormously towards increasing awareness and understanding. Kate spoke beautifully and very passionately. Do you all think her public speaking has improved a lot?

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    1. A tremendous amount. She's put some work into it.

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    2. Charlotte, I agree with you. Kate has come a long way from the shy girl from three years ago. She looks lovely, as always..Thanks chica!xoxo

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    3. Yes, I think it's a combination of practicing and gaining confidence as she grows into her role.

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    4. I agree, she did an amazing job. I think that what improved this video, besides her growing confidence, is the background of the video: Last time it was so dark and sombre, seriously, it was stressful to watch it. This time the background is ful of bright colors, children's books and toys, the whole ambiance is much more relaxed!!

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    5. Yes, absolutely! She did very well!

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    6. We still dont hear her very often so it is difficult to say.

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    7. Theresa, from Paris16 February 2015 at 13:47

      I agree too, Charlotte. Much better public speaking. She just needs to do more speeches and to practise a bit. It is so important to speak well when you have a public role.
      Like some others though, I'm not a fan of the dress. Much too matronly in my opinion.

      The subject is also close to my heart. I have two mentally ill older brothers (schizophrenia) and I'm still rushing in and out of psychiatric hospitals here in Paris. Very important to help children young and to treat these mental illnesses as any other ones, with care and respect and knowledge.

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    8. She has improved. But she still sounds very, very careful. She has great potential, a very nice timbre to her speaking voice, and with time she will naturally come to sound more relaxed.

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    9. She has improved indeed but you can hear by her shallow breathing she isn't 100% relaxed yet. She get's the message across though so it would only be more comfortable for herself if she starts feeling more relaxed. She does yoga doesn't she? this could help her with her breathing.

      Je suis desolee theresa pour toi, a doit etre difficile pour toi avec deux freres qui sont malades. Bon courage!

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    10. Theresa, from Paris16 February 2015 at 20:49

      Merci, Fabulousdaan :-))) !!!!!

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    11. Sarah from Calif.16 February 2015 at 23:29

      Yes, definitely!
      She will master it in the future :)

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    12. anon from Leominster18 February 2015 at 06:08

      Extending thoughts to you, Theresa. Having family members with illnesses is extremely challenging. Despite our occasional differences, we are very supportive of each other on this blog. Hope your brothers find all the balance they can with their illness and you find time for yourself too, which is very important.

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  12. i love the duchess delivers her pre recorded she is very comfortable now that last time we saw her peter pan collar i do love her and she very inspiring and very decided on her work

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  13. Deanne from Canada16 February 2015 at 03:39

    I so miss her in this active visible role!! As for her attire, 1) she's pregnant 2) she wishes to focus on her message so dials it down. Kudos to that. Wish I looked that bronzed after these frigid Canadian temperatures. Keep up these fab posts, Charlotte. Cheers.

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  14. Proud of our girl! Her message gave me chills. That's what I'm talking about, girl. Good job.

    Beth in SF

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    1. Couldn't agree more! Well done Kate! You can hear by her shallow breathing that she feels a bit nervous but overall, great heartfelt message! So happy we finally get to hear her voice and opinion and what she cares about!

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    2. I agree that she breathed shallowly, but my interpretation was that it was very heightened by her having smaller lung capacity due to the pregnancy.

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    3. I think it's her breathing technique. If you're doing public speaking (or singing or acting), you need to breathe from your diaphragm, which is different from what most people do.

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  15. I was quite impressed with Kate's "stage presence" on the video. She has a very warm and pleasant voice. I know there are different accents in the U.K., but she doesn't have a distinctive accent, and I wouldn't call it a "posh" accent either. I have heard some terribly "snooty" British accents. Speaking in front of a camera would be less intimidating than speaking in front of a group of people, but she appears to be more confident and seems sincerely passionate about Place2B.

    Her dress is O.K. and does look matronly, almost like something Camilla might wear. Perhaps this was intentional not wanting to not detract from her message.

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    1. Her accent is I would say middle class. A bit like Emily Watson. They could be great friends I reckon.

      I also think our Kate has had elecution lessonso to round off those r's and t's etc. She has a slight lisp but that's ok. It just means she's normal

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    2. Thank you, Sam! I've always wondered about her accent but as a non-native speaker couldn't quite place it. But I can say that she is VERY easy for a non-native speaker to understand (and not just when she's speaking as slowly as she did here lol)

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    3. I apologise....

      I meant to say Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame.

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    4. I doubt that Catherine needed anyone to polish her accent, She was privately educated throughout her school years, so I doubt her accent has changed much since then.

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    5. Emma Watson, yes… if there was another literary character I would compare with Catherine, it would be Hermione Granger!

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    6. Good point, Jean. I think all the stories (and I mean stories) about her trying to sound more posh was/is just another way of finding fault with her. It's one of the chapters in the social climbing textbook fabricated about the Middleton's.

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    7. Paola Magi : Have you ever read Harry Potter?

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    8. Jean money cannot hide class. Her family are originally working class who through the generations moved into the middle class professions. A middle class profession in Britain is something like an accountant or solicitor which father Michael's family come from. Caroles family are working class. The women in the Middleton family have married up.

      Kate is the first of her class to marry into royalty in over 300 yes.


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    9. Does Kate speak differently from her brother and sister ? That will settle the question of whether she takes elocution lessons or not.

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    10. Sam,

      Not money: posh schools, is what Jean was talking about.

      Camilla

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  16. She's rocking a retro 1970's vibe with that look and not in a good way. I want to cut off at least 6 inches of that hair - it just drags. Her eye makeup is less harsh. Her speech is much improved and so are the production values of the video - it isn't just a one shot video of her looking at the camera. It was a nice appeal.

    Too funny about Charlotte's mother and that dress. Hopefully she can make a profit on ebay!

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  17. Very strange in a way to hear hear speaking as we have heard it so few times before. Wonderful message, hope she's able to do more like this.

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  18. I actually like the dress.. Maybe it's just the color that catches my eye. I am so glad that we all are able to hear Kate give a speech... I think it was much needed and I'm glad she's putting a voice on the cause.

    Charlotte, do you think you would be able to do a post on the next royal baby? Like polls that think it's a girl or boy... And even the name you think they will choose? I think that will be interesting and I would like to know what people think! Thank you again for the great post

    Liz, USA

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  19. Sounds like Mr. New PR is turning the right screws, doesn't it?

    Camilla

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  20. By the 5th August she surely was pregnant, even if her due date is at the end of April. Or was she?

    Camilla

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  21. Well, now we know something about her backstage work: rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals… well done!

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  22. This is such an important issue. I commented earlier that I thought her dress worked well on the video and after watching it again I think it was a great choice. She looked welcoming to a wide range of ages, she sounded open and welcoming to a wide range of ages. If she can do anything to help the public view mental illness as a physical illness that needs to teated a s a "broken arm" that would be wonderful. Mental health has a ridiculous stigma. Ali

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  23. Thanks Charlotte, I had a really good laugh about what your Mom said;) I prefered the other Paprika version better, although this blue blended in the environment so well.

    Her speech improved a lot, she really put effort in it. I am so happy, I hope she gets enough confidence to speak in public more. This is an important issue to follow.

    Their wedding menu omg loooked great! Truly royal:)

    Thank you for the interesting tidbits.

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  24. I am reading all the comments and I guess I am alone, but I don't see any of the 'passion' or 'stage presence' anyone else mentioned. I think Kate did better than she normally does, however, that is not saying much. She has a long way to go. She still feels very robotic and stoic. I didn't see any passion or naturalism, sorry. She is still quite stiff. There is no expression, emotion and even vocal fluctuations. It is very monotone, with really unnatural pauses.

    I will say she looked very nice though. It looks like she was wearing lighter makeup which was very pretty. Much better than the normal dark eye-liner. She seemed really winded. I am assuming this is common with pregnancy since you have a baby sitting right on your organs :). Sorry to disagree with everyone else. I was really hopeful. I thought that maybe she had improved. Sadly she has not. I wish she would hire a speech coach. I know people will attack me for saying it, however, it always feels so bland. My husband was not watching while I played the video, he only heard it, and said it sounded like she was just reading word for word. Which does matter, because I honestly didn't hear much of what she said because it was so dry. People tune out messages when a speaker is not engaging. That is sadly the truth, especially regarding important causes.

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    1. I agree with you, she is not natural or passionate but I think it is due to the fact that she is not a natural speaker. She learns or reads the text out aloud. It will be better if she does this without paper. But she did improve, she used to be worse much worse. Maybe one day she will have enough experience and courage to come up with a speech without being this static. All in all I apploud her here a bit.

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    2. blue27,i agree with you. Hopefully down the road she will be more natural. I wonder how many speeches she had to give in school and University? I applaud her for making the video. I am happy she did it and for such an overlooked cause. I was only calling lack of passion because so many people were saying she showed so much :).

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    3. I thought Kate did just fine. This is who she is and she came across as caring and sincere. Had she put more "passion" into the delivery, it could have come across as forced or even condescending.

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    4. I don't know. Is this who she is or is it who she thinks she's expected to be? I'm really not quite sure.
      I don't mean that she's not caring or sincere, by the way. I'm just wondering if she thinks that she should sit so very still and speak that way in order to appear professional? It just doesn't seem natural to me but I could of course be wrong.

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    5. I think she IS getting speech coaching, and that's half the problem. She's very very careful to pronounce her words Just So in an accent that's not natural to her. I wish they wouldn't worry about it, I don't think it helps her in any way and only risks making her sound artificial.

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    6. I think the point is less about Kate's personal feelings and more about how she presents. It's pretty obvious that she's put some work into presenting herself, but she's not a natural and it shows. That's no criticism either. Some people are very comfortable doing that, some learn to be comfortable and some never are.

      For example, Kate is more comfortable with cue cards or a prompter. I hated having notes to look at or cards to read because if I stumbled then I'd get confused and it made it worse, so I got to where I preferred to be totally off the cuff when I had to do presentations. That being said, Kate's PSA wasn't the time and place for that. The ukelele would have been a nice touch though. :)

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    7. So, I don't know if this matters or not. But I just read an article where the Palace said Kate has not been working with a Speech coach. Someone else below said she is getting voice lessons, which I think is sad. However, the Palace did confirm that Kate is not getting speech lessons. I really think lessons would actually help with her flow.

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    8. My gosh, poor Kate! Her every move is being dissected. I think she did well on this video and is incredibly photogenic. She looks so "British" (I am American) and reminds me of Emma Peel on the Avengers. (I mean she looks like the actress who played her.) She has the British good looks.

      As to her speaking style, it does take awhile to become a comfortable speaker -- and she is just getting started and probably well aware that everyone is analyzing her every move. Would that make you nervous? It would me.

      Public speaking is listed as the #1 fear and the more you do it, the better you get at it. Tony Robbins wrote this in one of his books that in order to get over his fear of public speaking he did it a massive amount of times in one year. So she hasn't had a lot of opportunity to do this yet. I wanted to do public speaking and I ran a women's marketing and sales network for 1 year to gain experience. I always used my little 3x5 cards to keep me on track and at first I wasn't real comfortable with it but over time became more so. Once you are comfortable, than more of "you" comes out in the speech, as I'm sure it will with Kate as she seems to want to well in whatever she does and is competitive :) I don't think you can her to be Babe Ruth yet if she hasn't had that many swings at it. It's just not in line with what to expect from a beginning speaker.

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  25. The dress is absolutely gorgeous and suits someone young and vibrant like Kate. I think on an older person, like someone's mother, it would not look so great. Kate can really pull these things off. It would also be a bit too expensive for the every day housewife, so I could see why somebody would buy it, then see that it looked frumpy on them and return it as maybe they could not afford it. Variety stores have good choices for regular folks.
    Anna, NZ

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  26. I think Kate did a great job on this message. She sounded very professional and a lot more relaxed with doing a message compared to her last. Mental health at all ages needs to be brought into light with the significant impact it has on life, especially for those still developing.

    I hate this dress. It looks way too old for someone of her age group. The pattern is awful and so last century 70's especially in the other colour way on offer. It does fit nicely though - have to give it that.

    KiwiNic

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  27. Even the National Alliance on Mental Illness (www.nami.org) only deals with adults - although it does have support groups and educational classes for both the individuals with mental illness and their supporting friends and family members.

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  28. Wow! What an evolution in regards to the duchess! Very impressive. Bravo

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  29. By the way...has anyone noticed that the prince of wales official site is now before this site on goigle search....it wasnt that way until about a week ago...interesting. Even if you search duchess of cambridge, his site will be above this site. Does anyone get what im putting out the?

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    1. My search does not post that way. Ali

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    2. Jennifer from Wisconsin16 February 2015 at 21:07

      Mine does. I also noticed that- funny because it did not used to do so.

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    3. I'm often switching the google language settings from English to German and back again. If you search in English, their site is the first one to come up, if you search in German (or any other language I would assume), this blog is still the first one.

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    4. Yes i really am replying to my own post lol...from what i was told yesterday, you can pay to have your site be tops on google...im probably behind the times in learning this, so i was told. I think its awesome that this site is getting competition...it is the sincerest form of flattery...not imitation but competition in my opinion, maybe both. Why would i ever click on prince Charles site? I wouldnt...unless he starts wearing a curly wig and jimmy choos...sorry HRH prince of wales, you do a lot of things that matter but your site is a sleeping aid...i will be snoring in no time.

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  30. If Catherine is uncomfortable doing speeches in public or even impromptu speeches then at least she can do more videos for her charities such as this one to give her more practice in public speaking. The problem I had with this video, though nicely done, was that it was "all about Catherine". The video is out for a reason and therefore, it must be reviewed fairly, right? As an example, when I turn off the volume and just watch "her" and see a photo of "her" with the children in an awards show, I don't see any subtle message regarding "mental health". In my humble opinion, a more "engaged" video of the Duchess of Cambridge with the work of Place2Be would have sent the message home (a touchy-feely kind of message), but it would mean she would need to do more "work" in this area to be seen as genuinely interested and very supportive. Unfortunately, all I see is a pretty Duchess in a schoolroom; I see her mouth move -- and all I can think about is how heavy her hair is on her face.

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    1. Perceval, such a video would cost much more money than this one, I don't know if it would be really worth.

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    2. turn the volume back on and "listen" to the message. geez. "reviewed fairly" LOL

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    3. Why are you even looking at her hair? Let her and her hair be.

      Camilla

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  31. I think it's fantastic that she's supporting this - what she's said is so incredibly true and if it inspires even one family to seek help for their children it is an absolute success.

    I do think that her public speaking has improved significantly, but she still seemed quite nervous - did you see how she was fiddling with her hands? I wonder if that's part of the reason for her light engagement schedule. As she still seems quite nervous, I''m sure that the family doesn't wish to push her too fast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think she's fiddling with her hands. I saw that too. I think she is trying to hinder her natural impulse to talk with her hands. She, as me, is very active with her hands when talking.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, she's gesticulating, and trying not to overdo it, not fiddling.

      Camilla

      Delete
  32. Charlotte writes: The personal touches such as "Berkshire honey ice cream" and Windsor sauce" demonstrate how much thought and consideration went into the [wedding menu] planning.

    That's also sweetly cheeky on several levels.Desserts indeed. Iced honey. Those saucy and (often sauced) Windsors. Just the sort of word-play Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde might have indulged or approved.

    On another note entirely, her make-up was quite lovely for this video clip. I suspect a professional hand in it though it stayed true to her preference for lined eyes and nude lips (which I like very much). I wouldn't be surprised if the choice of dress was meant to focus attention on the important message. Parents too embarrassed to get help for their children? How disheartening. Catherine's contribution to rectify that can only do good.

    Though you could see the shallow breathing (public speaking requires some training and practise in order to breathe and speak) Catherine looks more poised now than earlier. That said, she has always been charming when speaking. Nervousness is expected of anyone who is not a seasoned veteran of the stage. Diana, too, had extensive coaching and repeated experience before she could deliver a speech without fear. Most of us would fare the same (if not a whole lot worse and look about half as attractive while doing so).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Feeling embarrassed is one thing but putting your own desire to avoid embarrassment above your child's welfare is just terrible.

      Delete
    2. Ladies remember she is 7 months pregnant and the baby could be pushing against her. That hurts plus makes it hard to speak. It has happen to me.

      Delete
  33. Erika from Massachusetts16 February 2015 at 16:35

    Really great message. She looks like a professional now. I think becoming a mom has matured her quite a bit. I don't hate the dress and certainly think its nicer than the Hobbs animal print or the Packham sailboat dress. The color and pattern are pretty. The fit is wrong because it isn't maternity. I think she thinks buying larger non maternity clothing is a way of not emphasizing her bump but she is wrong sorry to say.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Just how much Kate brings to promoting charities has been well demonstrated today with the considerable coverage her excellent video for the charity Place2be on tackling Mental Health problems of children. The video has been shown on U.K. news channels and in the British Press I am sure many of the other Royals must wish that their charities received so much publicity . She is already managing to raise awareness of very important issues especially the well being of children and young people in areas that in the past have received very little publicity.
    I thought she clearly thoroughly enjoyed her day at Portsmouth and it was good to see her so happy and relaxed no doubt it made a more relaxed visit compared to her more sober and serious one when she undertook the private visit to the school and hospital looking after children with mental problems. I think making it a private visit was essential as the children could well have been very upset if hordes of cameras and reporters had been around.
    I look forward to seeing Kate at her next engagement though a little disappointed that no further engagements have so far been announced. I hope we will see her at several more before she goes on Maternity leave

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love this dress. I think the colors are beautiful on her and love the lighter eye makeup.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Sarah from Calif.16 February 2015 at 17:12

    Well done Catherine!
    Brilliant!!! It's as simple as this, all that Kate has said. I'm so thankful Kate and William are addressing Mental Health. We need that more in the USA too. So pathetic the lack of empathy for those with emotional problems ....
    Oh and I think Kate looks lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Sarah from Calif.16 February 2015 at 17:16

    P.S., Charlotte, I have rescued and adopted another Bichon Frise :))))

    ReplyDelete
  38. Kate looked well and spoke well. "This has to change," was very well said! I like the print--it looked fresh and crisp, and not unlike an Orla Kiely or Cath Kidston print, which we know Kate appreciates. I expect that Kate chose the dress to coordinate with the room, which has a lot of the same bright blue--she thinks of these things, I guarantee you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If anyone, her staff thinks of these things - Kate was never in that room before she did the videotape.

      Delete
    2. Maybe we can give Kate a little credit, Moxie. When she chose to wear her mother's dress for her first public speaking engagement, I don't think her staff picked it out of Carole's closet and buttoned it for her. :)

      Delete
    3. I'm not sure whether that is something that she paid attention to on this occasion but I will say that a lot of her clothing seems very carefully picked and given her degree in Art History it's easy to believe that she's got an eye for such things.

      Delete
    4. Royal fan, that's a truly funny image!

      Delete
    5. Don't her staff do recons at these places before the actual engagement? I'd think they'd tell her where she'd be sitting, colors and all that. Maybe even a screen shot.

      Delete
    6. Lol, Royalfan I wouldn't be so sure... Charles has someone put toothpaste on his toothbrush. So it wouldn't be too off course if someone did button Kate's dress ;)

      Delete
    7. Haha, yes royalfan :)

      Camilla

      Delete
    8. Exactly, Bluhare. Kate seems like a thorough person, wanting all the facts. So I wouldn't be surprised that when her staff do recon, they take pictures for her to familiarize herself with the locations. That makes it easier to be "in the moment" and talk to people if the surroundings feel familiar. It can also be a way to "have control" over as much of the situation as possible from the beginning. So I think it very possible that she chooses clothes based on the surroundings.

      CuriousKat, yeah... because Kate and Charles probably live exactly the same...........

      Delete
    9. Rebecca, that is what you call a joke. Hence the wink at the end....

      Delete
    10. Sorry, I'm a little sensitive. Posters come in and throw around comments like that, so you get a little fast on the trigger sometimes :P

      Delete
    11. anon from Leominster18 February 2015 at 06:20

      I'm certain there were all kinds of looks at the setting and probably several outfits were reviewed before one was chosen. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this - it's how such videos are made to look effective.

      Kate doesn't have much passion in her speaking but she is so much improved. As she does more and gains confidence, I hope more passion will come. Experience is the only thing that can do that.

      Delete
  39. Maggie - Minneapolis16 February 2015 at 19:23

    I'm so glad Kate did this video. Mental health is an incredibly important issue, and one that, as she says, deserves just as much attention and care as physical injuries.
    I think Kate's delivery has improved quite a bit since her last video. Her speaking isn't quite as stilted and is more flowing. I also think she still has quite a bit to improve on. Someone really needs to talk to her about her posture. She tends to always have rounded shoulders, including while standing, but to sit hunched over like that is probably part of the reason you can hear her struggling to breathe. She's not letting her diaphragm expand to its fullest extent when she sits like that, which restricts her breathing. And she still has weird pauses, and is rather monotone. But, it's improvement! I hope she starts speaking more and more, because she's not going to get better unless she practices. And when I say practice, I mean actually doing it. Practicing in front of a mirror or whatever else is just not the same. She's just gotta get out there and keep giving speeches, and eventually, she will be good. Last thing - I wish she would stop saying "William and I." This is maybe nitpicky, but it stood out to me, because he isn't even a patron of Place2Be. This is HER issue. It just rubs the feminist me in the wrong way to hear her bring William into this, but I'm sure it's just because he's the future King and thus probably a fairly important person ;) As for the dress - it's eh but not that important. I do wonder - it looks pretty tight around her bump, and I wonder if it was restricting her breathing as well?
    Long story short - Kate has made improvements in her video public speaking. And it's great that she's bringing attention to this cause. I hope she keeps working at both of these things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I did a public speaking class, one of the things we learned was how to 'structure' a text while speaking it. Those pauses she makes are at the exact places that you 'divide' a text (which makes me think that she's getting speaking lessons). The next step would be to get rid of the stilted way of speaking that paying such close attention to structuring automatically causes, again. There has to be a kind of flow and in order to achieve this, you make most of the pauses so short they're barely noticeable and substitute many of them by rising or lowering your voice slightly.
      I'm studying foreign languages and it's the same there: at first you pay very close attention to individual sounds in order to get them right and when you've achieved that, you stop paying such close attention in order to sound natural.
      I'm confident she'll learn, though. As I said I'm quite certain she's taking lessons and the only way of mastering public speaking (unless you're a true natural, I suppose) is practice ;)

      Delete
    2. I agree with your assessment. She is also shaping her words very carefully. I read somewhere that the Palace were working to "improve" her accent so she sounds more appropriately royal. I think it's actually a bad call; it's going to come off as artificial and I think the one thing nearly everyone really wants from Kate is for her to be (or seem) genuine.

      I'd say she'll drop the "William and I" routine in a few years. It may be the Palace dictating that, and one hopes that as time goes on she'll gain more confidence in her own voice -- at this point they're probably giving her a script, and she's probably following it exactly.

      Overall I think she's doing quite well. She's not a natural public speaker (she would be the first to say so) but the circumstances of her life require it anyway. That's hard, and the only way it gets easier is with time and experience.

      Delete
    3. I honestly don't have a problem with the "William and I" wording. William makes references to Kate in his speeches; they present themselves as a team. And whether it's politically correct to say this or not, in reality, her role *is* a supportive one. She's not running the show, she's very much a junior partner - at this point in time.

      Delete
    4. Jenny in Jersey, I really hope that is not true. I had heard when Kate became engaged to William, they were working on making her sound more posh. Who knows if that is true, since no one really heard Kate speak before the engagement interview. I wish they would just let her be herself if that is true. Sometimes when she is giving speeches, like in Australia, her voice raises an octave. That is opposed to when you hear her just doing a walk about and talking naturally with people. The octave change may be nerves, but I wonder if it is an attempt to sound more 'royal'. I wouldn't put it past the Palace trying to make her sound more 'royal'. I hope it is not true, but I kind of having a feeling you are right :(. Which is just a shame.

      Delete
  40. Maggie - Minneapolis16 February 2015 at 19:27

    Also their new PR guy is doing impressive work - Kate is now getting credit for one 90-minute visit twice! I seriously don't mean this in a bad way; it's brilliant PR-wise. She goes to this charity, spends 90 minutes there "with children" (although now we find out part of that 90 minutes was dedicated to taping this video). The first round of articles is all about her playing the ukulele with children in a private visit. Now she gets a second round of articles about this visit. It's quite good, PR-wise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Nice PR. Impressive..

      (Although, It's still possible she spent 1½ with the children + this. No-one noted when she came and left. We only got the reports :P Not saying it's true, just possible)

      Delete
    2. There are reports that she spent three hours there.

      Delete
    3. Maggie - Minneapolis16 February 2015 at 21:35

      Rebecca and Anon at 20:38 - that's totally fair. I didn't think about it that way and Anon - I hadn't seen the 3-hour reports. Either way, impressive PR! :)

      Delete
    4. Maggie - Minneapolis16 February 2015 at 21:42

      Anyone know what is up with William? Weren't his exams supposed to be done by Christmas? Yet he hasn't been seen in 2015 except in pictures on a two-week holiday.

      Delete
    5. He said he had 14 exams 'til Christmas, and reports are that now he's 2/3s done with all his exams. They said that he is expected to start working in March/April when he started the studying, but considering baby + tour my guess is that he will finish exams as planned but not start working until may...

      Delete
    6. I don't know, I thought he was supposed to be done by Christmas, and then after Christmas that he was still working on them. And now I just saw something saying he's off to China in the beginning of March. I don't know where I saw it, so I can't say if it's accurate. I wonder if he's having trouble with the exams.

      Delete
    7. Sarah from Calif.16 February 2015 at 23:22

      Maggie,
      My husband and I are a team. William and Kate are a team, lovers, pair, whatever you want to say for people who care about each other.
      Nothing wrong with the Feminist in you, I think that is Fantastic! but, some of us like to go things together with our chosen one. Yes, this is Kate's Patronage but, William is totally behind it. I think it's brilliant she includes him .

      Delete
    8. Well said, neighbor! Make it a great day.

      Delete
    9. Maggie, i dont think its about credit so much as it is about logistics. She could have done this speech at Kensington palace and recieved much more credit i think....doing the speech at the same time as her engagement actually could be construed as two birds with one stone...which in this case is not that great.

      Delete
    10. If it were done at KP, we would have the 'She didn't even bother to leave home!' Comments.

      Camilla

      Delete
  41. Sweet....

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2955448/A-five-year-old-girl-played-Duchess-Cambridge-school-play-delighted-receive-letter-Kate.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Other than Kate didn't write or sign it . . . .

      Nice her office responded to the child's very cute letter, though.

      Thank you for letting me moan and complain! I feel so much better now; was having withdrawals. :)

      Delete
    2. I agree I was disappointed to see the office replied the dm headline is misleading that Kate replied.. but thanks for sharing!!

      Delete
    3. Jennifer from Wisconsin17 February 2015 at 03:31

      So were we. You were missed Bluhare! Hope you are well.

      Delete
    4. bluhare, I realize that but seeing the little girl's face as she held the letter and Kate's photo made me smile too. She was on top of the world! :)

      Delete
    5. Go, bluhare, go!

      Delete
    6. Yankee from California17 February 2015 at 19:48

      When I was little, I wrote to Princess Diana and received a reply signed by her lady-in-waiting. I was floating on a cloud for the longest time....it was the same as of Diana had signed it herself. I still have it and smile whenever I run across it. ;-)

      Delete
    7. Thank you Jennifer. I'm doing fine; much better now I got my complaint in . . . the twitching's finally stopped!

      Moxie, feel like engaging in Game of Moans? I've got extra library time for good behavior. :)

      Delete
    8. Bluhare forever and ever :) The Game of Moans…. LOL!

      Delete
    9. Bluhare, what does PSA mean? In my dictionary I found just Prostate Specific Antigen but I am not sure it's what you intended...

      Delete
    10. Exactly my point, Yankee. Thank you. I wanted to share the delight this little girl felt over receiving the letter. Oh, well. I tried.

      Delete
    11. Hi Paola, thank you for that. And I'm sorry; I forget we have a large population of non native English speakers here. PSA stands for Public Service Announcement.

      royalfan, I think you took my post a bit too seriously; certainly more so than I meant it. Fact is she didn't sign it, and other fact is I said It was nice her office wrote to the little girl. And I got to moan and complain. For which I thanked you.

      Personally, I like to have fun here, even with the moaning and complaining. This is supposed to be fun, right? I was hoping I struck the right tone; apparently not.

      Delete
  42. I do not like her posture but I like the way she speaks.
    Good job, Kate !!!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Sarah from Calif.16 February 2015 at 23:34

    Off topic,
    Watched the movie 'Belle' with all of the British actors, this weekend. Wow!!!!!!!
    Yep, off topic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shantel (@FashionandFaith)17 February 2015 at 18:14

      I have been meaning to see it!! I've heard wonderful things....
      Shantel
      Minnesota, USA

      Delete
  44. Tammy from California17 February 2015 at 03:54

    I like this dress very much and I can see that little bun moving in and out as she speaks :) I really love the earrings with it and her light eye make-up! Good job Duchess!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I agree with everything you said because I live Bipolar as well. I was diagnosed at 15 after coming out at 14 with being sexually abused and raped at 11 and 12. But this is what Duchess Kate is all about. If it was not for my mom and professional help and hospitalizations I might not live today. I did try to commit suicide at 14 by overdosing. Taunya

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Taunya,

      I hope you don't mind but I edited your comment to omit your email address.

      I am so pleased you received help and support during such an unimaginably painful time. I do hope awareness can be raised as much as possible. Your mom sounds like a wonderful lady, thank you for sharing your very personal story.

      Delete
    2. What a story you have! It is difficult to say anything than sorry. Welcome on this blog by the way!

      Delete
    3. Sarah from Calif.19 February 2015 at 02:20

      Taunya, I'm so thankful you have a caring mom and are getting help. Best wishes to you!!!!

      Delete
  46. About the William and I issue.

    Someone on another blog suggested that mentioning William as a witness of family breakdowns was appropriate as William EXPERIENCED it. So he wasn't mentioned just as her teammate, but also as one of those children who suffered from family issues.
    William himself has mentioned his sufferings publicly, so this doesn't sound unlikely.

    Camilla

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I heard that too, and it's not to far fetched. He has a broken home life and no doubt scars from that. He has other things going for him, yes. But I think he has really suffered from his screwed up family.

      Delete
    2. I also don't think it's that big a deal either. William refers to himself and Catherine all the time, and no one says anything about that.

      Delete
    3. True, bluhare.

      Camilla

      Delete
    4. Camilla, I believe William's experience had *a lot* to do with this charity being selected in the first place. IMO, the "William and I" reference is more about team work.....like William's reference to "Catherine and I".

      Delete
    5. Yes, that makes perfect sense, royalfan.

      Camilla

      Delete
  47. Wow, this has really done well. In 36 hours it has gotten 200 000 watches. It's been talked about on BBC, someone said they talked about it on their morning news show in Toronto, I've seen it on celebrity gossip sites etc. Really nice that it's getting around there spreading the word. I really think this helped a lot to get people talking about mental health and to make people notice that this is UK:s first Children's Mental Health Week. Really powerful stuff :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Great job of PR by the new Palace spinmaster. Frankly, I don't think it's enough to overcome the "what do they DO?" issue for William and Kate but it's a clever scheme.
    Even before the wedding, when Kate was going through her so-called "princess training," former schoolmates and friends commented publicly that even her voice had changed, that she was now speaking in "plummy" tones very different from the way she used to talk.
    The video is an improvement but she still appears stilted and uncomfortable and her posture is, as has been pointed out, not really great. But it's an important topic and good for her for talking about it.
    I can take or leave the dress. It does seem a bit matronly but probably worked because it photographs well in the live shot.
    More interesting is the comment by Paul Cummins and in the Mirror. I personally think she looks much further along than she did in the last pregnancy at this same time. She has gained more weight with this pregnancy, which is a relief but she just looks like she's further along. Cummins has no reason to lie and he would, almost certainly, have been told the status of the royal visit and, as it seems, warned of why it might not have gone on as planned.
    If you look at the photos of Kate in January 2013 vs. the photos of her in October 2014, she's markedly more pregnant in the October '14 pics - which are about the same stage of pregnancy as the January 2013 pics, if the late April/early May due date is to be believed.
    I think the real question is how the Palace will spin another yearlong "maternity leave" for Kate when the new baby arrives.
    Sorry Charlotte but I don't expect we'll see any of those lovely fashions you've posted on Kate this year. I'll be shocked if she undertakes any public engagements after about mid-March until they leave for China next fall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not so sure we won't see her - are there any sport events happening in the UK in 2015? In addition to Trooping and Garter there is Wimbledon where she is often spotted. Things might pick back up in Sept.

      Delete
    2. Well then Elizabeth, I hope you are shocked. And I think you do a disservice to this wonderful charity by calling Kate's message a "PR scheme".

      Delete
    3. Disservice indeed.

      Reading some of the comments, I find it sad that we're even discussing whether the visit and video counted as one engagement or two, or where the video should have been done.

      Kate did an amazing job and the message was an important one. If people choose to focus on other issues, it isn't a reflection on Kate.

      Delete
  49. What I am curious to know is : why hasn't William joined his new job ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I said above. From the beginning they said that he would do exams up to march/april. So he is exactly following plan.

      Delete
  50. I love the dress..in both colors. I thought she did great. And if she takes time off with her second child that is to be expected and I don't blame her one bit. I was in London when Fergie was being blasted for going away with Andrew for 6 weeks after her daughter was born and the press was relentless calling her a bad mother. I think the foundation of her family is a priority and that is not a bad thing, and she is improving with her work. Good job Kate and the cause is a very important one.

    ReplyDelete
  51. oh i love her style she looks good

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2958324/The-Duchess-design-Kate-glamorous-dusky-blue-coat-visits-pottery-factory-inspect-charity-mug-helped-create.html

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi all:)
    I just went back & listened to her video message again, as I was in a rush the first time. I loved everything about it. I loved that she speaks with a calm pace, showing she's growing in comfort in her role, no longer sounding like the new kid on the block:) I loved her use of William & I, as it reminded me of how much he suffered at the foot of his own Mum's unhappiness & struggles. How much he needed a hug & someone to help him make sense of things, & finally, I loooved the way her eyes were made up & I loved how the colors of her dress just enhanced the color of the setting, enhancing while not detracting. I've not been one to be critical of her smokey heavy eye make up, as she always looks so beautiful. However, it appeared that whomever did her eyes for this video used that new technique of using a paler highlighting shadow in the center of the lids, brought it up to her brow bone & finished by highlighter at the inside & outer edges of her eyes. All that added to eyeliner put on with a lighter hand lead to a stunning & softer effect! I do hope she goes with this technique again, as it was softer & just brightened her already beautiful face:)
    Becca

    ReplyDelete
  53. Tammy from California22 February 2015 at 16:58

    Today I watched a documentary on Royal weddings and it just melted my heart all over again for Kate and Wills. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..........................

    ReplyDelete

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