Sunday, 5 February 2017

UPDATED: The Royals Get Their Running Shoes on for Heads Together

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry got their running shoes on as they joined a training day with the runners taking part in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon for their campaign to change the conversation on mental health, Heads Together.


Today marked Kate's first engagement of February; a promising month with several events scheduled which will include a focus on mental health and an appearance at the glittering BAFTA awards next Sunday. The Cambridges elected to forego the annual Middleton family holiday to Mustique this year, however, Emily Andrews reports Michael and Carole Middleton went and celebrated Mrs Middleton's 62nd birthday. I suspect there are a couple of reasons for this such as George's nursery schedule and perhaps the fact it had become more or less a given the paps would follow them there. I imagine they'll take a skiing holiday with the children - as they did last year in the French Alps. Meanwhile, Prince Harry has undoubtedly been the royal making headlines recently as he and girlfriend Meghan Markle were photographed following dinner at London's Soho House - a private members club where the pair are said to have first met last year. The couple are said to have been spending a lot of time together in London recently.


William, Kate and Harry wasted no time taking part in a fun relay race.


It might be apt to say there was a little friendly competition :)


And they're off!


Prince Harry took an early lead and quickly won the race. He was followed by a smiling William and Kate.


A very sweet brotherly moment after the race.


The Clacton Gazette reports:

'William joked, "Oh my hamstring" after being briefed before the race. Despite an impressive sprint, the Duchess was beaten by both William and Harry - who were wearing chinos and trainers. At one point, the Duke crossed into the Duchess's lane. William and Kate are known for their competitive nature but the couple laughed and hugged on the finish line, while Harry patted his brother on the back.'

Cheering on the runners.


Kensington Palace posted a video.


The training day was held at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London. The sporting complex was built for London 2012 and will be a familiar sight to royal fans as a number of events Kate attended over the course of the Olympics were held there. For anyone visiting it's a great place to spend an afternoon and free every day of the week. It’s home to the London Stadium, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the London Aquatics Centre, the Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre – as well as parklands, waterways, playgrounds and cafes.


The royals launched Heads Together at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park last May; with the marathon approaching and efforts intensifying it seems fitting to return there to see runners who will be participating in the action. The day also featured informative presentations and Q&A sessions in the Copper Box Arena on training and preparing for a marathon from specialists in areas such as nutrition, running and stretching. Team Heads Together received advice and encouragement on how they can lead from the front in achieving the campaign mission of starting millions of conversations on mental health in 2017.


The trio meeting runners and athletes who chatted about the marathon and their reasons for taking part.


William, Kate and Harry posed for a photo wearing their Heads Together headbands.


They were joined by the current Marathon World Record Holder and three-time London Marathon winner, Paula Radcliffe, who spoke to the assembled Heads Together runners. British 400m Record Holder and London Marathon regular, Iwan Thomas, also attended.


During a cool down at the Copper Box Arena Prince William gave words of encouragement to Team Heads Together runners "We want to normalise mental health, we want to get people talking about it, to make it more normal and to reduce the stigma. What you are doing and having so many of you here today, you’ve already seen the benefit of joining in, by being part of this marathon, we want to make it a mental health marathon. You are crucial to making this happen and we can’t do it without you. We really hope your training goes very well. Good luck with the training and we look forward to seeing you on the big day".


Kate hugged a volunteer.


Of course, the runners are fundraising for the eight Heads Together Charity Partners or the campaign itself - a commendable endeavour and it's heartening to see so many getting behind the initiative. The inspiring charities that are tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health challenges are Place2Be, The Mix, Anna Freud Centre, Mind, Contact, Best Beginnings, CALM and Young Minds.


I thoroughly enjoyed reading the 'Runner Stories' page on the campaign's website, where I read a number of inspirational stories about the reasons people signed up and got involved. John, who is running for charity partner Best Beginnings shared his heartfelt and deeply moving story on coping with the loss of his sister Michelle.


John's story:

'I lost my sister, Michelle, in May. May 3rd. My birthday. She took her own life somewhat out of the blue.
She had been struggling with some depression for about 6 months (maybe longer but the signs had really started to show). She had just recently had her second child pretty quickly after her first. She was having a full house renovation and about to get married in May. We just assumed she would get better. That there were just too many things going on. After the wedding it would be fine. 
We never made the wedding. We didn’t understand it. We didn’t really talk about it. We just thought it would get better. She went to see a couple of doctors and they didn’t really understand either. Just referred her or gave some drugs. I try not to waste too much of my life looking back. We should have all talked to people and found support for her and for us.
I have some great friends.  I’m lucky.  A number of them called me afterwards, or sent me messages telling me to call them when I could.  My best friends (and even some friends I didn’t know so well, wanted to talk and help) helped a lot.  Different people take different angles, so it’s hard to pin point a single discussion that made the biggest difference,  but some friends are just great at making you laugh and helping you to remember all the good times, some are good at really focusing on how you are feeling and how you are coping.   All methods work.  Talking is the most important.   I spent hours going through pictures with friends and family, bringing back all the fun times.
We can’t change the past. We can influence the future. If I can help one other person, one new mother who is struggling to come to terms with things, I won’t get my sister back, but maybe I let one other person keep their sister.
Running is where I go to be alone, and reflect on the good times, to tell her what I’m up to, what her children are doing, what her niece and nephew are developing into. Now I can combine running with helping others. The longer I run, the more fun memories I have time to enjoy and hopefully the more money I can raise. As a running group in the Best Beginnings Heads Together family, we are all in this together.  The Heads Together movement is creating a great platform where we can spread the message further.  Within our running team we all have our stories and reasons, and it’s been important for us to share them, and accept them. Many of us haven’t met each other, but we are friends already.  We share our training runs, we encourage, we support.  No one judges, we are all in it together and we are there for each other.'

Broadcaster Mark Austin wrote an incredibly powerful piece for The Sunday Times revealing the heartbreaking journey he went through when he discovered his daughter Maddy was anorexic. "She was there, but she was gone, is the only way I can describe it. The daughter we loved so much had left us to be replaced by an emaciated, ghostlike figure. It all happened so quickly. One moment she was a vibrant, strong, energetic and beautiful young girl; the next, she had begun a rapid, dangerous descent towards what seemed, at times, certain death." Five years later, Maddy is much improved and running the marathon for Place2Be. I would highly recommend reading the full piece here.

The Sunday Times

Meet more of the runners and hear their stories by viewing this video by Heads Together. I have to say, learning more about the participants and their motivation for getting behind the campaign has been truly moving, educational and inspiring.


Heads Together wants as many people as possible to get involved today: "You can cheer on Team Heads Together by tweeting using the hashtag #TeamHeadsTogether. You can also join the movement by helping us get millions talking about mental health by sharing Heads Together messages and content." For those interested in keeping up to date with the progress of the campaign you can subscribe to the newsletter (scroll down to the bottom of the page to sign up) and follow on social media channels including Facebook and Twitter.


The Duchess looked sporty in new pieces today.


The talented Kate's Closet quickly identified Kate's new jacket as the Mini Duvet Quilted Down Ski Jacket by Perfect Moment.


The $450 jacket is cut from mid-weight durable Airtastic EX shell, it's padded with insulating down, has a protective high neck and is finished with soft ribbed cuffs to lock in warmth. It features distinctive navy elbow patches. It's described as "Perfect Moment's vivid red quilted ski jacket is inspired by the energy of Greenland's Northern Lights - it will also make you easy to spot in whiteout conditions." As of writing, the jacket is available at Net-A-Porter, ShopBop and Lane Crawford.

Net-A-Porter

The jacket also comes in other colourways including the striking black/pink combination and star print. It's available in various shades at ShopBop, Net-A-Porter, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges and Matches Fashion.

Perfect Moment

More on the background of the brand:

'Perfect Moment rigorously tests its activewear to ensure optimal athletic performance and an exceptional fit. Extreme sports documentary-maker Thierry Donard launched the Chamonix-based brand with skiwear at the forefront, but the line has since evolved to include surf, swim and workout staples that will outlast the seasons.'

UPDATE: With many thanks to Meredith and Middleton Maven, Kate's new trainers are a collaboration between British activewear retailer Sweaty Betty and New Balance.


The £90 New Balance x SB Sneakers are a limited edition trainer in exclusive Sweaty Betty print. They are described as "This exclusive trainer mixes fashion-forward prints with New Balance’s technical trainers. Lightweight, well-cushioned and technical the Vazee is built for fast, lateral movements. With a sock-like fit for easy on and off, plus a foam cushioned mid-sole to absorb impact, wear in and out of the studio." They are currently available in sizes 4 - 8.5.

Sweaty Betty

Kate debuted a new pair of round diamond stud earrings. As several have suggested, they are the matching pair to her Asprey 167 Button Pendant Necklace.


Asprey London shared a photo of the beautiful 167 Button earrings. It's interesting we haven't seen the pair before today as Kate has worn the pendant on several notable occasions including the 2011 Canada tour.


A very enjoyable engagement - lovely to see efforts for Heads Together continuing! Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon is running the marathon and wrote a most interesting article with background on the day. Click here to read it.


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Also today, news of additions to Kate's Calendar.

14 February - On Valentine's Day, The Duchess will visit a RAF base in Cambridgeshire to meet with local air cadets. Kate became Royal Patron and Honorary Air Commandant of the Air Cadet Organisation in December 2015. The Duchess will be introduced to air cadets from Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing Air Training Corps, who are taking part in a half-term skills development camp. The week acts as an initial "camp experience" for cadets who are in their first six months of membership. During the visit, HRH will join the cadets as they view a tutor aircraft, participate in a personal development training session and will have the chance to fly a flight simulator.

9 March - The Cambridges and other royals will join the Queen to unveil the Iraq Afghanistan Memorial. More from the Express: "The Defence Secretary said the memorial would mark the 'huge contribution' made by the armed forces, aid workers and civilians in the Gulf region from 1990 to 2015. The memorial in Victoria Embankment Gardens in London will be unveiled at a service on Thursday, 9 March. Around 2,500 invited guests will attend a service of dedication from a specially conducted drumhead on Horse Guards at 11am, to include prayers, music and readings."

We'll see you tomorrow when the Cambridges have two engagements. First, they will will attend Place2Be's ‘The Big Assembly’ hosted at Mitchell Brook Primary School as part of the Heads Together campaign. The Duke and Duchess will also attend a Guild of Health Writers conference.

52 comments:

  1. I'm wondering if Kate's earrings are new? They look bigger than the Kiki Grace studs.

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    1. Orange County a Grandma5 February 2017 at 21:14

      I w order if William got the m for her for either Christmas or her birthday.

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    2. William or Mike and Carole would be my guess...

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  2. Rebecca - Sweden5 February 2017 at 14:25

    So great to see them get stuck into the event. They really look in their element when mingling in this casual setting.

    Such a fun event but with a very important base. While getting lost in all the fun we really have to remember what this event symbolizes and what is really being accomplished by this! So great!

    I love the look. Perfectly sporty and she always look great in red.

    I look forward to the upcoming engagements :)

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  3. Oh i lovs. The outfut she wearing. But i think. She should. Get put her hair up so she can moved. Freely

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  4. Great post! I loved the clip of the 3 of them running,I also I loved hearing Kate laughing at the end.
    I was thinking about why they didn't go on their annual trip, maybe bc William is almost done with his contract he just wants to work and get his hours in and maybe he doesn't want to take more time off then he has to.
    It's funny that Kate's is in New Balance shoes, those are inexpensive and I feel a lot of middle age ladies where them. It's not something I expected to see her in.

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    1. I was surprised to see the New Balance trainers too. She's got a great pair of high-end red Adidas trainers that she wore a lot to the London Olympic games, I was rather surprised she didn't wear them.
      New Balance are good for people with bad feet and foot problems and I have to think Kate's feet might be showing the effects of years spent walking around and standing in towering heels.
      Victoria Beckham famously donned sneakers vs. her signature high heels about a year ago this time at her fashion show in New York.
      But it looked like a fun event and it looked like all three of them were having fun with it and really getting involved with the runners.
      I'm guessing that they passed on the Mustique trip as a matter of avoiding the negative PR that would have gone along with it, since they've not done a great deal of engagements so far this year.
      Pippa's fiance's family owns the Eden Roc resort on St. Bart's so it could be they're planning a getaway after the wedding.

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    2. Or, as a break from wedding planning, babysitting
      Carole and Michael decided on a romantic vacation just for the two of them.

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    3. Thank you SG. It never occurred to me that a positive explanation was possible. 😉

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    4. Lovely thought, surfer girl.

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    5. Hmmm, I didn't realized mine was negative.

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    6. Emily, your comment was NOT negative. ☺

      I think that most of us responded to Elizabeth's second to last paragraph. Apologies if this was not clear...no offense intended. ☺☺

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    7. I was enjoying surfer girl's remark. They really did need some time away together if they have not had any. Big birthday bashes may get tiring and hectic after awhile. Quiet time becomes precious.

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  5. Thank you for this fantastic post, Charlotte! Very inspirational...what a positive movement Heads Together is becoming & it's great to see that it's really gaining momentum. Hope people get behind this cause & that they raise a lot of money for their charities.

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  6. That video of the three royals racing is priceless. I don't think anyone can fault their enthusiasm today.

    I do feel badly for Harry, and all of them really, that he can't go on a simple date without all that attention and speculation. How awkward, when you're in the beginning stages of a relationship, to have to then also fight through a crowd of paps if you go out. It makes me glad for my life. But I do wish them the best.

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  7. Is Catherine wearing new earrings? I can't remember, that I've seen them before...

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  8. Thanks for such a quick and comprehensive post. Kate certainly looks the part today. Do we know which earrings she is wearing yet?

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  9. Kate looks lovely! What a wonderful engagement to kick off the month. I'm very excited to see so much of the Cambridges over the next several weeks!

    Slightly off-topic (Charlotte, please feel free to delete/not approve), but is anyone else wondering if Harry and Meghan are engaged? Probably a leap, but a romantic dinner at the place they first met....? (Wishful thinking on my part, I'm sure!)

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  10. Thanks for the quick post! She looks great. As we all say, she's much more natural doing sporty things. Would love an ID on the earrings. Maybe they're match her Asprey button necklace?

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  11. Kate looked smashing, and the 3 seemed to be having a lot of fun. All for such an important cause, and while I enjoyed watching them race, reading the Runner's Stories really brought home the power of communication. They were heartbreaking and inspirational.

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    Replies
    1. Tedi, I couldn't have summed it up any better. :)

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  12. Fyi on talking to a loved one battling depression, I can totally understand the impulse to say you want your "real" daughter back, but please let's be clearer (and thus kinder and perhaps helpful) in identifying what exactly you want to get rid of. Not your starving daughter, surely, but the malady that is making her starve. Tell the person who is suffering that you want her well again, that you'll stick with her no matter how hard it gets. Then go and get yourself some help so that you can keep that promise. I think that's part of the message of Heads Together--that everybody in the room of a person battling mental health may need help. Kudos to this trio for highlighting this vital issue.

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  13. I love this post of the event. Looks like everyone had fun, and I think Kate let the guys win! Haha

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    1. Agree, Annette. She wasn't even trying, to judge by their faces. No strain on her face. ha!

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  14. Visiting London - would the primary school event be something where the arrival can be watched? If so do you know the time. Thanks so much.

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  15. Tammy from California5 February 2017 at 17:18

    Earrings "Grace" by Kiki McDonough?

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    1. No, confirmed by Asprey.

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  16. Enjoyed the video of Kate, William, and Harry racing. Looks like Harry may have had a bit of a head start, lol ;)

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    1. I thouget that also...he slightly cheated. I say rematch!

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  17. I love these events when the three of them are together...I prefer them actually, because it is touching to see how the trio interacts with each other and with others. I want to say something about William. It is often assumed that he is predominantly stiff and reserved, but today demonstrates that he can be just as fun-loving and relaxed as his brother. I love it when that side of him comes out, and Harry brings the playful side out of William more than anyone else can. Sometimes it reminds me of when they were little boys. It is fun to watch. They have a very close relationship. I look forward to the day when Harry has a spouse and then the 4 of them can do these events together. I want him to be happy and have the family he longs for. In the meantime though, I hope we will see these 3 together a lot over the coming months.

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    1. Zora from Prague5 February 2017 at 21:07

      Very nice comment, Sarah. It's really great to see W+K+H interacting and I believe you're right about William and the brothers' relationship. I'm also very happy that Kate and Harry get on so well, it's not always the case between in-laws. I love how relaxed and natural they were and the initiative is so important!

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    2. Different people, different personalities. However, perfect for their roles within the Firm. Harry can be the "fun one"; William would never get away with it.

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    3. Elizabeth and Margaret, anyone? It goes beyond the older/younger sibling roles. I agree, royalfan. But then, take a look at Harry's baby and toddler pictures. He was an imp from the start. William was a bit of an imp himself, although somewhat more subtle. It is possible Diana played and spoke with them differently, knowing their different destinies. There is a recent identical twin study of Chineese baby girls sometimes raised thousands of miles apart.The similarities in mannerisms, preferences, taste, expressions was amazing for the parents and researchers to see.These were cross cultural adoptions. My point: maybe Harry is just Harry. I feel they both have changed with Harry becoming progressively more serious and William more relaxed, at least in public. There was quite a twinkle in little William's eye that I think he reserved for those closest to him. I think he's just spreading it around more. I actually think it is Kate that has encouraged this, at least as much as Harry. Sarah, I agree- William's fun side has always been there with family and friends.

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    4. Absolutely correct, Annie. W&H would have been raised with their different personalities and destinies in mind. And I, too, believe that William has a different side reserved for those "near and dear", as does his grandmother. To be expected under the circumstances for goodness sake.

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    5. royalfan, I understand Granny can be a bit of a cut-up. ;+)

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  18. I love Kate's 167 pendant and I'm sure these earrings match. I'm not sure they have ever been made for general sale but Asprey does take commissions so they may have been ordered to match what is obviously a favourite necklace. On another note, the Daily Mail is reporting that Kate and William high fived before the race. I think they were jostling and jokingly holding each other back.

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  19. Although it seems as if this blog usually has the first photos from events and the first completed entry, the thing that I really appreciate the background provided. I was touched by the stories of John and his sister, Michelle, and Mark Austin and his daughter, Maddy.

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  20. This is such a fun post,, I love seeing them in their sporty element ;)

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  21. Very well thought-out post, Charlotte. :+) Thank you for that last photo. Heart-warming to see their obvious affection and companionship.

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  22. I love sporty Duchess! Awesome engagement for these 3.

    On a side note, things seem to be very, very serious for Harry and Meghan! When I first heard the bets they'd get engaged this year, I rolled my eyes. But so much of Harry's actions and body language with her seem to show this girl is the one. I was so skeptical of this at first-- someone who seemed to have baggage and lives the life of an actress didn't sit well with me, but I've had a change of heart. Meghan earned her career and money outright, unlike when Harry has dated "aspiring" actresses. She's old enough to have experienced life and really know what's important to her. We all have past relationships, and nobody can control the actions of our relatives. I am really rooting for them as a couple!

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    1. Very kind, compassionate thoughts, N from USA
      and I agree. :)
      When the Queen knew Phillip was "the one", she knew. I think perhaps Harry has had the same realization about Meghan.

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  23. Thanks Charlotte. Such an inspiring post. The stories are very touching and I hope a lot of conversations get started and a lot of money is raised.

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  24. Thanks for the great post Charlotte. I wish I looked half as good as Kate when I go running. I love her perfect outfit.

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  25. LOVE every picture! 💖💖

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  26. Excellent post as usual, Charlotte! I'm so glad you mentioned Bryony Gordon as well. She has been one of my favorite journalists for years and has such an inspiring story - she has written a book about her mental health struggles and has also started an organization called Mental Health Mates. It's been so fun to see one of my favorite journalists join forces with my favorite royals through Heads Together. My worlds have collided in the best of ways!

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  27. Is it possible to include what William and Harry are wearing in future too please?? My husband needs a wardrobe overhaul!! THANKS!

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    1. Yes, please!

      I bought my husband the blue suede, blue soled Cole Haan's that Harry wore at a Heads Together event. I figure I'll do it a piece at a time and eventually I'll have my own Prince walking around my house! :)

      And, another bonus to copying their look is that it's MUCH less expensive than Kate's!

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    2. I bought them for my husband too, florida girl and he looks almost as cute as Harry when he wears them :)

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  28. Aah, Prince Harry, ❤, (here I go again, lol). In The Telegraph, by Byrony Gordon, there's a video of Harry giving a sweet and fun hug of encouragement to two sweet ladies who are in the relay. One of the ladies, battling depression couldn't even leave her house a year ago and through Heads Together is out running a relay and chatting with Prince Harry, who came over and gave she and her friend a big hug of apprection and support. 💕

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  29. I really want to know what brand the DOC is wearing on her bottom half! That activewear looks like it's tailored for her exact shape.

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