Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Kate Launches Mentally Healthy Schools: “My Own Commitment is to the Youngest, Most Vulnerable in Their Early Years"

This morning, the Duchess of Cambridge visited Roe Green Junior School to launch Mentally Healthy Schools - Heads Together's new mental health project to support the mental health of young children in junior schools. Building on the success of the campaign last year, William, Kate and Harry are each driving forward a series of programmes in 2018 to ensure people get access to the right help when and where they need it.


Kate was greeted by a sea of Heads Together flags.


The Duchess was serenaded by pupils.


As the campaign progresses, Kate's focus will be on supporting young people. The Palace said: "For the Duchess of Cambridge, supporting young people was always at the heart of Heads Together, and is a key focus of Her Royal Highness's work at the Royal Foundation. One in five children will experience a mental health difficulty at least once before the age of 11, and many adults with mental health issues can trace their symptoms back to childhood. In many cases, it is known that children can wait up to 10 years before effective diagnosis or treatment."


What is Mentally Healthy Schools and how will it aid children and teachers? It is a a website designed to give teachers and school staff the clarity and practical resources they need in order to support pupils. 'Mentally Healthy Schools' will be a free and easy to use website for schools, drawing together reliable and practical resources to improve awareness, knowledge and confidence in promoting and supporting pupils’ mental health. The content will be provided in four main areas; Teaching Resources, Risks and Protective Factors, Mental Health Needs, and 'Whole School Approach' for school leaders.


The Palace noted: "Teachers and staff play a pivotal role in a young person's life, but they currently struggle to find the right resources in order to provide the most effective support for children in their care. Up until now, the array of online resources has been difficult to navigate; it is often unclear whether items are expertly verified, and teachers are often unsure how appropriate the advice is for their particular age-group or issue. Over the course of this project's development more than 1,500 online resources have been reviewed and evaluated by a quality assurance group to ensure the calibre and suitability for a primary school audience." Every primary school in the UK will get free access to the website providing reliable and tested resources suitable for the classroom. Initially tailored to the curriculum in all primary schools in England, most resources will be universal and available later this term. Further resources specific to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be released in due course. The website will be made publicly available in the Spring.


More from the press release:

Former Head Teacher, Claire Thomson, one of the Quality Assurance Advisors to the website said: “I can see this website becoming a favourite go-to site for information about the many aspects of mental health. I think it is really important that all school staff feel that the information applies to them as well, not just to teachers. So, no matter what their role in the school, they need to have an understanding and empathy towards all the children.
“It is like a huge jigsaw but when you sit and go through all the different aspects, as I have had the privilege to do, you can see so many more connections and possible ways forward than if you were to look at each aspect in isolation. The different links to other pages should also enable everyone in the primary school to make more connections, widen their understanding and make a difference to the wellbeing of so many more children. The website is proof that there is so much help out there and now people know where to look for it.”
Sarah Hannafin, NAHT Senior Policy Advisor, said: “NAHT are very pleased to support The Royal Foundation and its partners on this project and are delighted The Duchess of Cambridge is focusing on this vital area of work. School leaders have been clear that they need access to high quality resources to help schools’ work in supporting children’s mental wellbeing. This new website will be a fantastic practical resource for schools, drawing together quality assured and useful information and resources into one place. We’d encourage all primary school leaders and their teams to bookmark it.”

The project is very much a collaboration and has been developed in partnership with Heads Together charity partners the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Place2Be and Young Minds. NAHT, the school leaders’ association, has also been engaged in developing the initiative with guidance from the Centre for Mental Health. It is coordinated and financed by the Royal Foundation.


The Duchess met pupils and teachers before participating in a lesson designed to help support a child's mental health and well-being.


The lesson was planned using resources from the Mentally Healthy Schools website.


Victoria Murphy reports Kate told one pupil: "Charlotte is only two and a half, she's still very little".

On George, Kate said "He's four, he's getting bigger. He's at school today".


A thumbs up from a little girl who met Kate.


Kate met with teachers.


During a speech to launch the programme Kate said "My own commitment is to the youngest and most vulnerable in their early years - babies, toddlers and school-children - and to support all those who care for them". The Duchess added "The ultimate goal is that no primary school teacher, anywhere in the country, should in future have to wonder where to turn when it comes to the wellbeing of children in their care."


Kate's speech in full:

'Hello everyone, and thank you to all those that I have met this morning, children and staff.
Over the last two years, William and Harry and I have been honoured to take part in a national conversation on mental health through our Heads Together campaign. We know that mental health is an issue for us all – children and parents, young and old, men and women - of all backgrounds and of all circumstances. What we have seen first-hand is that the simple act of having a conversation about mental health – that initial breaking of the silence – can make a real difference.
But, as you here today know: starting a conversation is just that – it's a start. This is particularly true of the conversations that take place in our schools, and with our children. I see time and time again that there is so much to be gained from talking of mental health and taking the mental health of our children as seriously as we do their physical health. When we intervene early in life, we help avoid problems that are much more challenging to address in adulthood.
My own commitment is to the youngest and most vulnerable in their early years - babies, toddlers and school-children – and to support all those who care for them. The role of teachers here is absolutely vital. You see our children as they grow, learn and play, as they build their social skills that will make the difference to their futures. You are uniquely placed to help children speak out about their mental and emotional challenges, and direct parents and carers to the right support.
I am all too aware, however, of how much we ask teachers to take on. Teachers want to help, but don't have the time to go hunting for the best information and advice out there. You need resources you can trust. And you need to have easy access to them at all times.
That is what this pilot is all about. Led by the Royal Foundation, with close collaboration from our Heads Together partners, this new online resource will transform schools’ access to high-quality information, and guide teachers and school leaders towards the best support out there. The ambition is to roll this website out this year so it's available to every teacher in every primary school in the UK. The ultimate goal is that all teachers in the country should know where to turn for expert resources to support the emotional well-being and mental health of children in their care.
I would ask each of you here today to work with the Foundation to develop this new essential resource. Please let us know what works, what doesn't, and what else you would like to see. This project has been collaboration from day one. It will only succeed if we continue to work together. And with that in mind, it's so exciting to see the Department for Education, represented by the Minister here today, taking such a close interest.
Finally, I'd like to say a huge thank you to you all. We would not be here today without the help of our Heads Together partners, including the Anna Freud Centre, Place2Be and Young Minds. I am grateful, too, to the Centre for Mental Health, the National Association of Head Teachers and the fifty schools taking part in this pilot. I am so excited to see where this work will take us in future. Thank you.'

Kate's public speaking has improved enormously. Today's topic is one she's clearly passionate about and I imagine quite a bit of time was spent preparing and rehearsing it. I thought it very important to recognise our teachers and their tireless work. Creating a resource to aid them in helping children in the most efficient and effective manner can only prove a positive addition to any school.


The formal launch was attended by the Minister for Schools, Nick Gibb, and included a speech from Simon Marshall, Director of Educational Services at Together for Children Sunderland. Mr Marshall said “Over half of all mental ill health starts before the age of 14 years and 75% has developed by the age of 18."


Richard Palmer took this photo before Kate left. You can see her private secretary Catherine Quinn in the background.


Kate brought back the blue Sportsmax coat she wore when she was expecting Princess Charlotte.


The coat originally came from the 2014 Collection and retailed for $2,490. Below, we see the similar Gerbera style.

Sportsmax

There was a touch of confusion regarding the designer of Kate's gorgeous blue dress today. Kensington Palace told reporters it was by maternity brand Seraphine, then corrected the information crediting Sportsmax as the brand. It turns out Kate's dress is in fact by Seraphine. Reporter Danielle Stacey received confirmation it is a sold out style. The £99 Royal Blue Tailored Dress is described as "Cut for an elegant A-line shape and draping beautifully to the knee, this dress will take you from the office to a stylish cocktail party. Made in premium stretch woven fabric, it will adapt to your growing curves throughout your pregnancy." When Kate was expecting George, she ordered a selection of Seraphine dresses. Perhaps this gem has been in her closest since then?

Seraphine

The Duchess wore the Beulah London Elena Scarf in 'navy henri print'.


The Duchess wore her navy Rupert Sanderson Malory pumps.

Rupert Sanderson

Kate accessorised with her beautiful G Collins & Sons Tanzanite Pendant and earrings.


And her Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.



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Speaking of speeches, I couldn't conclude today's post without including the terrific keynote speech William delivered at the Charity Commission's AGM discussing collaboration, compassion and trust within the charity sector.


In his speech, William shared how becoming a father prompted him to begin "a process of thinking" about the way he was brought up and the values his parents and grandparents instilled in him. He touched on the challenging time the charitable sector is going through at the moment; public trust is at an all time low in recent years and scandal after scandal has hit sectors across the board painfully - both financially and in terms of public perception. William talked about his belief in charities working together, joining forces and pooling resources. He mentioned the need to grow and nurture existing charities instead of creating new ones in an already overcrowded space. In the years to come we're going to see a streamlined monarchy with far less charities having a Royal Patron. I suspect bringing charities together will be an integral part of the monarchy's future.

'Addressing all of you is, I admit, somewhat daunting. There is an awful lot of goodness in this room! And to speak standing behind Michael Faraday’s desk is pretty intimidating. I could make a pun here about being sparky but I'll resist. More to the point, where do you begin when you have a few minutes in which to speak but so much to say about charity - its central importance to a healthy society, what it means to me, the future of philanthropy, and so on.
As some of you who know me may attest, I am not short of an opinion or two, and there is no topic more guaranteed to see me wax lyrical than this - charity, what is it and why it matters. So, I thought I’d start with something personal - a tribute to my parents. I have two children as you probably know (I gather it has been widely reported); and when I first became a father about four and half years ago, I began a process of thinking about the way I had been brought up, and the values that my parents had instilled in me. As any parent will know, this process is not necessarily one that you undertake consciously - you find that certain values and habits, ones that you didn’t know you had, start bubbling up to the surface.
Some of my earliest memories relate to times that my parents spoke to me or - even better -showed me what it meant to have both privilege and responsibilities. I remember being taken by my mother to a homelessness shelter at a young age, her explaining to me why the people I met there matter; why no society can be healthy unless we take other people seriously.
From my father, I learned how central charity was to his life his sense of purpose. The Prince’s Trust is not an arms-length organisation for my father. He cares deeply about The Prince's Trust because it is a living projection of his values.
As a young child, I recall evening after evening my father's diligence and compassion as he applied himself to answering thousands of letters and reading endless reports in order to stay on top of his ambition to do all he could to help the underprivileged.
Without my realising it, what my parents were doing was instilling in me and Harry a lifelong habit to put charity at the heart of our lives. My father, of course, had inherited this very same habit from his parents. My grandfather Prince Philip has been one of the most tireless public servants of this country, deeply committed to helping young people fulfil their potential.
My grandmother The Queen has never given a Christmas broadcast without paying tribute to charitable organisations, volunteers and people who care for others. My family have not done this because it looks good - they do it because charity is not an optional extra in society. We believe that, above anything else, charities nurture, repair, build and sustain our society. Without the work that charities do, society would be an empty shell.
It goes without saying that my family are not unique in this belief, and nor are these beliefs new. Charities have been actively supported by the Royal Family since at least the reign of George III. The generosity of the British people today - almost unsurpassed in the world - reveals a society that has embedded a commitment to charity at the heart of what binds us together. The giving of both time and money is instilled in children in this country as a habit at a young age. Some symbols of this attitude are very visible - the red poppy for remembrance, the AIDS ribbon, and so on. But these are the tip of the iceberg. Cake sales, fun runs, washing a neighbour's car for a donation, even simply having a monthly standing order – all largely unseen, but all priceless acts of charity.
But with this spirit of charity comes a responsibility on the part of those of you who channel the generosity into action. The charitable sector has to maintain the trust of those who support it, and it has to both balance continuity and embrace change.
In some respects, the challenges you face are not dissimilar to those faced by other age-old institutions such as the Monarchy, always seeking to ensure relevance and public service. The concept of trusteeship is not just a legal necessity - it invokes the idea of sound stewardship of values and institutions passing from one generation to the next. As a society, we imbue that stewardship with a great deal of importance. The health of our charities are the surest gauge of the health of our society. When charities are succeeding and adapting, we can afford to be optimistic about the future of our society.
When charities fail, for whatever reason - lack of money or a failure of governance – that also tells us something about the health of our nation, which we do well to note. Why is it that this bond of trust we place in charities really matters? Why are charities such a bell-weather of societal well-being? I have a theory about this: we all know that society is becoming in lots of ways more atomised and polarised. There is no doubt that public debate seems coarser and more personal than ever, fuelled partly by anonymity online and the commercialisation of our news. We are running the risk of a silo society in which we allow differences of opinion to separate us.
In that context, it is more important than ever to nurture those institutions which transcend differences between us, which motivate us to put self-interest aside and which, explicitly, are beyond politics. Charities do this - in fact, they are the only on-the-ground infrastructure that we have in this country that does this.
From the micro level - village halls, youth clubs, churches - through to the macro level – national parks, institutions of learning and research – charities of all shapes and sizes have to be inclusive.
So, given your central importance, it’s vital that you succeed. And to succeed, you need to hold yourself open to account and to have critical friends. Some of the challenges you face are already well rehearsed. Finding more money in a shrinking pot is an existential threat to charities’ survival. Yet survive you must.
One of the ways that my brother and I approached this challenge many years ago was to encourage collaboration between charities. We want to support the charitable sector just as much as generations of our family before, but the model of how we do this will continue to evolve as much in the future as it has in the past.
To give you an example of that evolution, there are a number of sectors in which I have become closely involved and in which I am not Patron of one of the charities. United for Wildlife, the Taskforce the Prevention of Cyberbullying, Heads Together – all areas to which I am deeply committed, but not through particular attachment to one charity over and above others. My brother has followed a similar path in his work with charities supporting veterans. Where we do have an official affiliation, as Patron or President, what all three of us have sought to do is to encourage greater collaboration and coordination between the charities with which we have official affiliations.
To be honest, in most cases, we have not had to encourage much. Creative and entrepreneurial charitable leaders have banded together in some of the unlikeliest ways to assist one another. Mountain rescue volunteers have accompanied young people from Centrepoint, Child Bereavement UK and WellChild for adventure days which both hone the Mountain Rescue volunteers’ skills and allow vulnerable but ambitious young people to broaden their horizons.
Bafta have provided everything from spaces for charities to fundraise to facilitating a day out with Paddington Bear for children from 17 other charities. There are countless other examples which our Charities Forum has engendered. Taking the logic of collaboration a step further, six years ago my brother, Catherine and I set up the Royal Foundation. This is not the time for me to explain the detailed rationale behind this organisation, suffice to say that we are very proud of the way that its programmes have all to date been built on the principle of working together.
Collaboration, convening, working in partnership - all are different ways of saying the same thing: we don’t have the answers but you do, and even more so when you work together.
The Royal Foundation’s Coach Core programme unites numerous different organisations working with sport and young people in cities across the UK to deliver life-changing training; Full Effect in Nottingham works with very small neighbourhood charities to reduce knife crime by taking the young people of St Ann’s Nottingham seriously; and Heads Together is a coalition of eight charities with numerous other partners to get this country talking about mental health.
I have been encouraged of late by examples of real willingness to work together elsewhere in the sector. The seven charities of varying size and clientele who, with the help of the Charity Commission, came together to support the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. Their collaboration has undoubtedly done much to ease the unimaginable pain of that community.cIn a completely different way, the forthcoming merger of Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer - two charities working to similar ends, and which are merging from a position of strength - is hugely worthy of praise. Together, I have no doubt that they will achieve more to fight bowel cancer together than they could have done on their own.
This leaves me to think that this approach could go further. Instead of setting up more individual charities working in the same fields, I wonder if we could do more to explore ways of combining forces, working and innovating together? I do wonder at times if the compassion which leads people to set up or maintain charities could not be equally well directed at first finding opportunities to work with existing charities. Competition for funds between an ever-growing number of charities, and the confusion it can cause among donors, can lead to the silo-ing of expertise and, at worst, territorial behaviour.
I know that this message is not always easy to hear: charities exist because those who work and volunteer for them each believe passionately in its importance. And they are right to do so. But as the challenges of the future begin to bear down on us, I believe that this big shift must begin to happen – the sector must be open to collaborate, to share expertise and resources; to focus less on individual interests and more on the benefits that working together will bring. That, I believe, is where the future lies.
In all of this, it’s worth saying, of course, that the sector is not standing still in relation to its challenges, not least on account of the dedication of the Charity Commission. The Commission upholds the highest standards for the sector. Under William’s leadership, and with its highly professional and committed staff, the Charity Commission is not only a strong and trustworthy regulator but also a positive source of guidance. William, your successor has big shoes to fill.
To the whole charity sector I say this, thank you for what you do and for the excellence with which you do it. If I may, I would like to conclude on a high note. One of the most fun and enjoyable aspects of my work as I travel around the country is seeing your work – a great antidote to cynicism. If you lived your life on Twitter, or on news pages, you could be forgiven for assuming that society is falling apart: natural and manmade disasters, terrorism, economic uncertainty; our national institutions perhaps not appearing to be the bulwark they once were.
These challenges are all real, but they are not the whole story - in fact, they are not even half the story: kindness, compassion, neighbourliness, big and small acts of generosity form the glue of our society, and our links to other parts of the world. Charity facilitates and channels that generosity. The very word 'charity', which means care and has its roots in the doctrine of Christian love, points to the central humanity and importance of what you do. I cannot thank all of you in this room enough for it. We all in this country owe you a great deal for your service.
It is my firm belief that this country's charitable sector can collectively face the challenges of the future with great confidence because of the spirit of care which guides you.
 I hope, for my part, that I can continue to be of service to you all in the years to come.'

You can view the full speech here.

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Also today, a very warm congratulations to Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on their engagement. The happy couple announced the wonderful news yesterday. Like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, they have chosen St George's Chapel Windsor as the venue for their nuptials which will take place in autumn. Mr Brooksbank proposed in Nicaragua earlier this month. Of the proposal Eugenie said "the lake was so beautiful. The light was just a special light I had never seen. I actually said, ‘This is an incredible moment,’ and then he popped the question, which was really surprising even though we have been together seven years. I was over the moon. It was a complete surprise. But it was the perfect moment, we couldn't be happier". Added Jack, who got down on one knee for the proposal: "It was amazing. I love Eugenie so much, and we're very happy." The dazzling ring is a blush-coloured padparadscha sapphire ring surrounded by diamonds.


The engagement interview is available on YouTube.


What an amazing year 2018 is going to be for the Royal family; two weddings and two babies! :)

Tomorrow, The Duchess will visit The Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, at King’s College London, and the Perinatal Service at Bethlem Royal Hospital

122 comments:

  1. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2018 at 10:55

    What an absolutely wonderful initiative. I'm very happy to see Heads Together expanding with some more concrete tools since while getting people to talk about it is great, it leads nowhere if resources to handle people acknowledging their mental health is not available. Ofc Heads Together is not alone in the world and therefore can not be expected to fill all those needs, but it's great that they are adding some more layers to their initiative!
    I am very happy that Kate is the one launching it, since it so clearly is her focus area! She is really growing and I look forward to hearing her speech.

    I like this coat way more this time. The scarf really works and both look great outdoors! (And also great that she's taking it off! This kind of non-structured coat works best outdoors)
    I really like the maternity dress. Very sleek and rofessional with good fit because it's an actual maternity piece. And her very go-to colour! She looks great in it!
    And she's wearing my favourite earrings! Hurrah! (Necklace is pretty too but the earrings are wonderful!!)

    She looks wonderful, she's doing wonderful and I'm super psyched! Looking forward to the rest of the coverage!!

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    1. Well said, Rebecca! I like the coat better this time, too :) I love it styled like this with the scarf & jewellery & her hair looks fab! The Seraphine dress is also nice,I can’t wait to have a better look at it.

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    2. This is Kate's forte so it's no surprise that she's launching it. She's focusing a lot on early education and schools now, mirroring her own experience as a mother. I think that is wonderful!

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  2. Who is the second baby ? Have I missed something ?

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2018 at 13:21

      Zara, Williams cousin, is expecting as well :)

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    2. Zara & Mike Tindall are expecting their 2nd child.

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    3. Zara Tindall is pregnant

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    4. For royal watchers who look abroad too - there could be four babies coming soon - Kate's, Zara's, Madeleine of Sweden's, and possibly Tatiana of Monaco - no confirmation there but she looks pregnant. The new generation of royals continues to expand.

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    5. Thanks! I love babies. How many children does Tatiana have? It only seems like yesterday that these ladies got married.

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    6. I wouldn't be surprised if Meghan and Harry are expecting this time next year!

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    7. Tatiana and Andrea presently have two children - a son and a daughter. Alexandre and India.

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    8. Ok thank you all 😊

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  3. Don't you think it rather is a bespoke version of this dress https://www.seraphine.com/eu/scarlet-peplum-maternity-dress.html?

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  4. Oh i love the coat its recycle the i love the she mixed the the new scraff hmm is the dress is new hmm i love the whole speech and congratulations princess eugeine and jack brooksbank hmm i love the whole outfit princess eugeine i think its recycle too i love the interview

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  5. From the snippets of her speech so far, she nailed it. This was an "official" speech so consulting her notes was very appropriate. Last week, her off-the-cuff speech was good too but, because it was off the cuff, she had several "ummms" in there. Not today--at least not from what I could see. She stuck to her notes and, because this was a launch where it was important to convey as much information about the website as possible, I think she did a smashing job. She conveys such warmth and caring. I had a very difficult assignment with sixth graders yesterday and boy can I relate to trying to figure out what is going on in a child's head!!

    Love, love, LOVE the scarf but by the time it gets over here to the US from the Beulah London website, it would cost me $133 and I can't justify it sadly. I did order a Beaulah London scarf two years ago after HRH wore a similar one. When I received it, the color wasn't the color on the website. It's still a nice scarf but as I have a Winter coloring, a deeper hue would have looked better. Turned out the scarf is more of a pastel. Ah well it's still a nice scarf and oh how I love scarves!

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    1. Allegedly, by the time the bloggers found the item that it was Beulah, not only it was not on sale any more but they sold it for more than before. Business is business. And what a trick!

      https://twitter.com/Giulia_lelepug/status/955756189517828096

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2018 at 15:01

      I saw that, Anett. Sure, business is business. But that's some icky business to me...

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    3. I agree there of course Rebecca. But I suppose it was not their first and last.

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  6. Oh and P.S., very sweet news about Eugenie and Jack. They both looked thrilled in the interview and how he looked at her melted this senior heart a bit. Love is in the Royal air this year, babies on their way with Kate and Zara, I hope that someone comes along for Beatrice now!!

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    1. I LOVE Eugenie and Jack as a couple. That interview was so sweet, genuine, natural, with a touch of coyness. They came off really well. You can tell they really are best of friends after seven years together. Jack seems like an endearing, humble and gentle guy. Theirs is truly an idyllic union. No wonder Fergie, Andrew and the Queen are overjoyed with their engagement. I hope too that the right person will come along for Beatrice. She has endured much heartache in the past years.

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  7. Like Rebecca, I'm delighted that Heads Together is moving out - hopefully this website will be of help to teachers - I haven't had time to listen to the speech yet or do more than skim it - but one thing I liked is that it asks to teacher to tell what works and what doesn't - there is a sense now that I didn't see earlier of the complexity of the issue of mental health assistance as well as a respect for the burdens placed on teachers.

    Kate looks lovely, always loved that colour on her and the coat - and that dress is so professional and elegant and a good length - different from those sack dresses. Always happy to see the pendant too in my favourite tanzanite. The scarf is a perfect touch.

    Congratulations to Eugenie and Jack - I thought their photos were wonderful - and her ring is beautiful - Padparadscha sapphires are unusual - and yet the ring is similar to Mum's too.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2018 at 13:22

      I agree that it's great that they are looking for actual feedback. It shows that they actually are looking for stuff that will have an actual impact and not just look good as a PR stunt.

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    2. Given Eugenie's love of art, Padparadscha even sounds "artsy", lol. Her ring looks beautiful on her and I am so relieved that she wore a properly designed form-fitting dress and not some strange attempt-at-art type concoction. She has a beautiful figure. Her skin looked dewy and beautiful and her hair was glossy and so perfectly styled for her face shape and body height.
      Perfect. Congratulations Eugenie and Jack on your engagement. ❤️

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    3. Had not heard of this type of sapphire...it is unique. Had to look it up and found this: "The term “padparadscha” is derived from the Sinhalese word for aquatic lotus blossom, which has an unusual salmon color. Many agree that padparadschas straddle the color boundary between pink and orange. Padparadscha sapphires may be little known to the general public, but they are treasured by gemstone connoisseurs." Interesting to read about and that Jack took the time to look for such a special gemstone for Eugenie. cc

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    4. That was very sweet of him. :)

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  8. The duchess looks amazing!!! Love the scarf and the coat, love the jewelry and the dress, love all the color! She’s definitely on the right path to being a future queen!

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  9. Lovely speech. I agree that Kate has improved a lot in delivering speeches since she first started. Her speeches now come off really natural, calm and composed. Practice does make perfect and I'm sure she'll improve even more as time goes by. Bravo to her!

    This is a great initiative for schools! It's invaluable for teachers! I wonder how they'll maintain the website in terms of funding and updating it as more research is published regarding mental health. Will the Royal Foundation / Heads Together be doing it? It's fab.

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    1. I've wondered about this too - it will be important to update it constantly.

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  10. Zora from Prague23 January 2018 at 13:45

    Wonderful look and a great speech. I only have a moment now but will go back to the videos later. Thank you so much, Charlotte!

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  11. Kate looks wonderful, blue is definitely her color. Her dress is professional, yet very pretty. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it repeated during the tour next week.

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    1. Since she wears pinks and blues so beautifully, I think she enjoys these colors in maternity fashion as well. Hard not to feel like an Easter egg in pastel colors during the third trimester. She always carries her babies with grace and a bit of glamour—a tour this late in her pregnancy will certainly make for interesting sartorial choices, esp with winter temps in Sweden and Norway. Can hardly wait!

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    2. Anon 20:00, I am excited to see what her choices will be in Sweden and Norway, especially because of the weather and her pregnancy. I don't know much about Scandinavian designers, but from what I googled there is a myriad of unique aesthetics. Really looking forward to this tour. cc

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  12. A wonderful initiative, and a very important cause for her to put her voice behind. I agree that her public speaking is improving greatly. I wonder is Catherine Quinn suggested speaking classes or something like that? It seems that Kate seems more confident speaking in public since Catherine came into the picture. I’m just speculating though.
    Love the dress and scarf. Very beautiful. Still not crazy about the coat, glad she took it off inside so we could see the dress.
    Wonderful event!

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  13. I am absolutely delighted.They make a great job supporting mental health.I love how Duchess interects with children. Also her speech is excellent.
    Another wonderful engagement and another beautiful look.This coat receives a second life with scarf and perfect dress.

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  14. Just a quick glance and I love all of it. The coat, good basic coat, the dress is pretty and fits well, she took the coat off(!) and she accessorized with a scarf!

    I am at work and can't listen to the speech but I am glad to hear that others think it went well. I am so glad they are continuing forward with Heads Together and it's goal is to provide actual support and tools and resources and isn't just some fun lip service. This type of royal work will resonatate well with future generations-royals aren't just celebs'ish but are trying working for the good of the Commonwealth and meeting needs that are an issue throughout the community.

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  15. Thank you for including William's speech on charity. A very thoughtful and important message.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2018 at 15:03

      I agree! Thank you Charlotte for sharing some of Williams bigger moments since his stuff often needs to be more "actively looked for".

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    2. William's speech is very substantial, and really brings to the forefront why the royals do charity work. Thank you for sharing.

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  16. Same thought...what a great year for the royal family 💕 the queen must be very happy!

    Love Kate's outfit today from head to toe 💕 t his color is perfect on her, like that she is wearing a scarf today.

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  17. Nice speech, lovely colour on her, and very pretty jewellery!

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  18. My fellow commenters here surely are familiar with that feeling when you open this blog, see just the top of Kate's head, and it's that moment when you're about to scroll down and find out what she is wearing. Excitement... and today didn't disappoint. Lovely colors on her, and as someone who adores scarves, I'm sorely tempted by this one.

    Congratulations also to Princess Eugenia and Jack Brooksbank. An exciting year for the royal family indeed!

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    1. Lol, Heather. I think I know what you mean, but I honestly don't do that anymore. I found myself really interested in the work before the fashion. So I'm glad Charlotte talks about the event and charity first and leave the fashion in the end :)

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    2. Heather, funny. That is exactly my behavior - "what's below?????" Yea - love it!

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  19. She really is improving on her public speaking skills. I too am very shy and I absolutely hate giving speeches, especially in front of people I just met. But I am getting better with practice and watching public speaking videos on YouTube. Watching Kate really inspired me to never give up and showing that even a shy person can give great inspiring speeches.

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    1. Well done to you! I think the fear of speaking in public is something shared by many, that it isn't a failure if you stutter or tremble. The sooner you accept that it's okay not to be perfect, the sooner you can relax and shake it off. Best of luck to you!

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  20. Charlotte What An Amazing Post! This to me, this will come to be The Most Iconic Post of DKB! It is the perfect example of how well you curate & present us with the most important information. It includes the history & context of each of the three main stories you are sharing with us, while also including transcripts & video, as well as in-depth information about Kate's fashion choices for the day. Much of this information would be so difficult & time consuming for any of us to find individually! You find it, curate it & present it in the most user friendly of ways! Somehow, saying you have the Bentley of Blogs, seems to fall short today. I think we need a new superlative! :) Thank you for providing us with such an amazing "One Stop Shop" for the Best, Most Accurate & Relevant Coverage That's Available in One Easy to Access & Respectful Place! You have truly created something of which to be proud! :) xoxo

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2018 at 16:25

      How nicely written Becca! And so true! You always do such an amazing job Charlotte and even though I follow twitter and tumblr for the "fast stuff" you always manage to include stuff in your posts that I've somehow missed and your research on the charity/place/people involved is always so thorough while not being too much either!

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    2. I so agree with you, Becca! This is a fascinating post, with many parts. I have not had time to read and listen to everything, but I will eventually. Charlotte's intensive, very professional work covers a lot of ground, and demonstrates the increasing social activism of both Cambridges. Sweet Princess Eugenie looks so happy, and I do hope she and her future husband will be.

      Catherine Quinn is again carrying a large bag, Kate's coat, and a notebook. (And why is she standing in a corner? Maybe trying to be unnoticed, with her head down?) The young blond lady following Meghan Markle in Wales also carried a large bag. Does anyone know what is in those bags?

      Kate's whole outfit is very well put together and beautifully styled. I sense that she may be receiving professional assistance, or she has become more active in designing her own look for important occasions. Her dress is very interestingly cut, with an empire look in front and a separates appearance in back. I love the scarf with the coat, and the tanzanites with the dress.

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    3. Agreed! You spoil us, Charlotte 😊

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    4. Theresa - Austin, Texas23 January 2018 at 17:23

      Amen,Becca. Amen!

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    5. Zora from Prague23 January 2018 at 18:24

      I couldn't agree more, Becca!

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    6. Well said, Becca. Absolutely agree!

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    7. Becca, such kind words for our dear Charlotte!! I couldn't agree more!!

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    8. You are all too kind, thank you very much!

      I thought today's engagement was very important and I really enjoyed reading your comments and take on both William and Kate's work today.

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  21. Wow, first Kate looks great, The color is beautiful on her, the scarf a beautiful addition, and the dress, very professional and functional. Secondly, Kate has definitely improved in her speech making and its wonderful to see her evolve her role. This speech seems somewhat more specific in goals and objectives. Third, thank you for providing William's speech. It is an excellent speech; I think William deserves more credit than he gets for his speeches....this one resonates on so many levels. I think both Kate and William are laying the foundation for their initiatives and the charities they are passionate about. This collaborative effort is encouraging and definitely a smart move to consolidate resources to get the best benefit for those involved. Aside from being a busy personal year, it seems it will be a busy professional year for them as well. I am encouraged by both Kate and William's speeches and the direction they are taking in 2018. cc

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    1. I love Williams new trim haircut. He looks very polished in his acceptance of his families tendency to balding.
      As he is getting older I find him to be charming in his role within the royal family.

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    2. I love Williams new hair cut too Anon 19:37!! It is a confident, bold move and speaks to his strengths. I completely agree, William's charm has its own endearing quality! But then I have always believed that it was a matter of time before Kate and William found their own stride. Job well done today by both of them. cc

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  22. 🎉WOW. For anyone who was concerned, William and Kate obviously had plans to "start the conversations" AND provide the next steps, streamline them and build them in better and more fruitful ways. ❤️
    Anyone want to know what William (and Kate) are all about? Just listen to their speeches and let them tell you. William's speech brought tears to my eyes and both speeches made my day/week/month/years.🌷
    I have always contended that that couple has always had a timetable and plan, building their family, lives, Royal work in stages. To me, today's visits and speeches just confirmed that inextricably.
    Add, Harry and Meghan's stated desires and recent visits/actions and I think we are going to see the Monarchy like no one has ever seen it before. And, like William said, coupled with the foundations already laid by his parents and grandparents, it will be amazing. An enormous joy to behold. :)

    Thank you Charlotte so much. Thanks for including William's speech. That speech, to me, is a benchmark in Royal history. It was like Christmas for me today. :)

    Kate's speeches are improving by leaps and bounds.
    Kudos Kate. :)

    As for what Kate wore, I love the style of the dress.
    Maternity clothes are such a better choice when pregnant, in my opinion. The color is a little too muted for me. But, she looked beautiful.

    Kate chose a Beulah brand scarf. That is a socially conscious company co-founded by a woman I greatly admire. And, Kate wore a scarf in a warm way. yay.
    I have in the past gotten cold just watching Kate wear no scarf in that way in the past.

    I love classic gemstones surrounded by diamonds but I am not a fan of this set as expensive as it may have been. It is the shape of the pieces that I don't like.

    I am certain that the Queen and Prince Phillip know without a doubt that they and Charles (and Diana) have prepared the boys in a way that will secure and enhance the Monarchy beyond even their highest expectations. ❤️

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    1. Surfer Girl, I so agree about The Long Game with regards to William, Kate,Harry & now Meghan. I believe it has obviously always been there & good for them for having stuck to it despite all the negativity! I love everything about the direction they are going, the values shown behind them & the pragmatic approach that they have laid out. The UK & The Future of The Monarchy are in Good Hands! Bravo!

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    2. I agree that this particular gemstone for me seems a little off. Perhaps its the cut and the actual diamond settings. The setting doesn't seem to allow each diamond to have its own setting with prongs. The ring doesn't make a statement for me. Then again, if it makes her happy that is enough.

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  23. Charlotte.😊 Thanks also for including the photo and all the info about Eugenie and Jack. Lovely that they shared with everyone about the proposal. Very sweet. The Queen and Prince Phillip must be dancing gentle jigs because of all the good news within the family. You know, Andrew might even smile. :)

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  24. Yay to Kate and Willam for a meaningful day. I'm quite impressed with Heads Together. I do think it'll make a lasting impression as far as royal work goes. This new platform really is beneficial to teachers. We see numerous similar resources for the health sector, but very little in mental health. While I agree that Kate's speaking skills are improving, I totally love William's speech today! His heartfelt tribute to both his parents and grandparents is very endearing.

    On the fashion note, yay for blue! Kate keeps flip flopping between boy and girl colors. Makes me smile!

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  25. Thank you for including information about Princess Eugenie's engagement. How very exciting! I'm just as excited for her wedding as Prince Harry's.

    Lorrr from US

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  26. Becca.😊
    How about "The Crown Jewel of Royal Reporting"? 💎

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    1. I Love It!!!!!! Charlotte is Truly Our "Crown Jewel" & Definitely with regard to her "Royal Reporting Coverage"! :) xoxo
      (also, to me, Charlotte has ascended to such a place, that her coverage at DKB seems to transcend the concept of a "Blog"!) It's The Best Royal Reporting Coverage Around For Sure! :)

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  27. ❤️ I just watched Jack and Eugenie's interview. wow.
    How sweet and open and honest and awesome. :)
    I had trouble understanding them because of the accents, lol. But I watched it a second time and understood better AND I learned how to pronounce Eugenie's name correctly. (I was way off on that one.)

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    1. I just watched it too. They seem delightful together! ❤️

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    2. I agree SG! I've never given her name much thought, but to hear it pronounced properly? It's absolutely lovely & so elegant! :)

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  28. Zora from Prague23 January 2018 at 17:03

    William's speech is the best one I've ever heard or read from him. Bravo! Spot-on, personal, well structured. That's the speech of a future king. For me the most moving part was towards the end when he said the challenges of our time are just a half of the whole story, the other half being kindness, sympathy and big and small acts of generosity. It resonated deeply with what I believe and what I have to remember when everything around me seems grim. I think the speech was a real encouragement for a lot of people. Thanks, Prince William!

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  29. Glad to see that Catherine Quinn is still onboard. :)

    And, what an awesome way for school children to greet visiting Royals when they arrive. With song. ❤️

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  30. Ditto to all the kudos above to Kate and well wishes for Eugenie and Jack. When I read William's absolutely brilliant speech, I was thinking about how much he has matured in recent years. When he took the job with East Anglia Rescue, some complained that he was shirking his royal duties. I think that job as well as of course the life altering becoming a parent have given him va!uable experience in "real life" which has paid off thousandsfold. He has very gracefully managed to spend the family time he felt so important and now to step up as needed for his royal duties. Bravo, William,and thank you Charlotte for the report without which I would have missed this.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2018 at 18:14

      I agree Beanie! I think that time that some saw as "avoiding" will have long lasting good effect on him in his role! I've been very impressed by William lately!

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    2. Beanie you nailed it! Even in previous times, when we have heard him speak of the air ambulance, one could sense that it was really having an impact on him, even more so than I think with his RAF air & rescue time in Wales. That, along with becoming a father, seems to have really brought him home to his roots. That is to say, the positive influences that both his parents instilled in him regarding
      "Service To Others"! I also feel he did an Amazing job of effortlessly Honoring Both of His Parents! Absolutely Brilliant & Heartfelt Speech!

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  31. Kate was sparkling today. Blue has always been my favourite colour on her. With her sapphire ring, they just bring out her glittering eyes. It is funny how KP does not really know what label Kate is wearing, and it's up to the fashion gurus to ID them. What a fascinating world! I love Kate's speech. I hope to find the complete version of it, but I've seen bits and pieces from various reporters and it looked good.

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    1. On facebook, the British Monarchy official page has a video of Kate's full speech. It is 4.5 minutes. They have William's speech too!

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  32. This was one of my favorite coats two years ago - and so I'm excited to see it today. Kate's dress is darling IMHO. The scarf, coat, dress and jewelry is a total win today. Also at work, so haven't listen to the speech or read through Williams but will later today.

    The year is starting out very well. What a year we have to look forward to! So much excitement.

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  33. LOVE everything about today. Love the blue, love the dress, love the speech, love it all! She looks SO much better in actual maternity clothing. All around great look

    Love how this Heads Together campaign is unfolding. She looks passionate and royal yet relatable and warm and open. This is the Kate I've been waiting to see!!

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  34. As a teacher I would love to see Australian charities, organisations and the Departments of Education come together and produce a resource such as this. At university I learnt how to teach reading and writing, I learnt how children learn mathematics and the correct way to teach concepts. What I didn't learn about was how to identify and support children with emotional needs. More and more children are presenting with anxiety and other neurological or psychological needs which I feel inadequate to deal with.

    Over the years, I have learnt a lot, especially about sensory processing disorders and anxiety. I use many strategies for students to learn to self regulate feelings and emotions. We talk a lot about feelings and, in my classroom, the culture is one of support and talking.

    While all this is secondary to the main job of teaching the syllabus, a teacher cannot teach, and a child cannot learn if the child is in a state of distress. To have this toolkit that Catherine is promoting today would be fantastic. I cannot stress the importance of what she is doing; the support to students, families and (in my biased opinion, teachers!) is invaluable.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2018 at 20:54

      You really hit the nail on the head. When my mum came home today after work and I told her about this tool and Kate's speech she got quite emotional. She's a special ed:s teacher and work with many different kids with different levels of learning/focus/memory/temperament issues. She was really happy to hear about this project because just today she had encountered issue connected to this and it's not unusual. And she works with kids ages 7-12 or so. And as you say, teachers have soooo many jobs, many actually more important than teaching the subjects. But they have so many fewer resources for those parts of the job than they have books to teach maths!

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  35. Not sure who is responsible for the huge improvement in this generation of Royals and their activities but WOW they seem to have stepped up their game.
    Was so over the repetitive photo op visits and now we see action and effort. Congrats and looking forward to seeing more and more!

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2018 at 21:59

      I'm not sure if there is any one person who had made any change. I think the change is generally because of the shift towards more full time work and therefore more long term and broad project focus. Also, the visits that seem like "photo ops" to us, mean very much to the people they meet. Them meeting people around the countries and commonwealth is a big part of their job.

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  36. so...Kate stole my idea :-P
    I have been talking for some time about a website or social media page that discussed wellbeing programs and resources. Admittedly, my idea was for schools to come together and network and discuss the issues they're facing and how they tackle such issues. But it's ok. Kate will get more publicity for a brilliant cause than I would have #notbitter hahahaha.

    On another note, I am listening to a podcast as I read the blog post and they said that in the 13th century pink was for boys as it was similar to red which was a colour of battle, and blue was for girls because it was associated with the virgin Mary.
    Im not trying to start a debate, just pointing out a lovely coincidence between what i was listening to and someone mentioning boy/girl colours

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2018 at 22:02

      I have also heard those colour things. That it's only recently those colours have gotten their designations. Because blue was seen as a more "timid" colour than red, and pink was a version of red and therefore a more "manly colour". And as you say, that's why Jesus is often portrayed with a red sash and Virgin Mary with a blue sash/scarf. Very fascinating. Also, until rather recently, little toddler and baby boys and girls wore dresses. I seem to remember that at one of the recent royal christenings, one of the siblings/cousins wore a dress that had previously been worn by a male royal some 100 years or so before.

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  37. Thought Catherine delivered a passionate and insightful speech today. It lovely to see how confident she is becoming in public speaking. I wonder if when she does deliver a speech, if she had her hair in an updo, it would prevent it falling onto her face. Otherwise, she looked lovely. Surprised at the price of the dress, lovely colour and cut, was expecting to read it was more high end, than high street. Looking forward to seeing what she'll have in wardrobe for the up and coming tour :-)

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  38. Congrats to Princess Eugenia. The Duchess of Cambridge looked pretty today and I enjoyed her speech. I also enjoyed Prince William’s speech. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry really seem to care deeply about vulnerable children, mental health and those affected by societal issues (homelessness, violence, diseases). I think the Duke of Cambridge highlighted their life’s work very well when he said, at an early age, he was told he was privileged, but with privilege comes responsibilities. The three young ROYALS are stepping up and fulfilling their responsibilities. I applaud them for what they have accomplished so far. Thanks, Charlotte.

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  39. Sarah Maryland USA23 January 2018 at 21:22

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the dress, the earrings and necklace! Blue is my favorite color and sapphires are my favorite gem! That dress is fabulous! It hits her in all the right ways and the style of it is just perfect. Still wish she wouldn't curl her hair so much when it is still this short. Just grow it out girl.
    But so far I can say this is my favorite look of this pregnancy so far, by far and away!

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden23 January 2018 at 22:03

      The stones are actually a stone called Tanzanite. Very pretty. Such a strong colour!

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    2. Sarah Maryland USA24 January 2018 at 00:33

      Whatever they were they were amazing! They should be for that amount of money lol

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  40. A question. In the photo of Kate at the podium, she appears to have some blonde highlights in the front of her hair which appear no where else. I guess it's the lighting?but I've never noticed it elsewhere. Any ideas?

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  41. Catherine looks beautiful, but you know what, that amber set gifted to her in Poland would have looked fantastic with her blue ensemble.

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  42. From Canada:
    Kate has gotten much better at speaking publicly! I must admit that I was worried when she first started: her voice was weak, she was so nervous, and she spoke at a higher pitch. Now she confident and natural!

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  43. Thank you for highlighting some of Prince William's remarkable work as well on here. I am often interested to see his work in conjunction with what the Duchess is doing. Both gave wonderful speeches today I thought. Thank you for your efforts to highlight their work.

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  44. That has got to be the best speech Kate has done to date. Whilst she is still relying on her notes, her voice is steady, she takes pauses to look up and it seems as if she really means what she is talking about. I can only see how he public speaking will go from strength to strength. I love how Kate now draws on what the royals have learnt from all their involvement with mental health charities, and they are now starting to highlight the importance of more links between the different charities and schools. It is highly interesting and their work is commendable.
    The maternity dress is also the best I have ever seen. It is absolutely gorgeous. The matching scarf with the coat in the colours of Place to Be is just right and freshens the whole ensemble. We are seeing the future Queen at work here, Kate is coming into her own. Well done. I love William's speech also, he has great sense of humour that he draws into his public speaking, it will serve him well in the future. Well done to both of them!
    Royal 👑Watcher

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  45. I finally had a moment to sit down and read through every bit of this post. Yet another perfect engagement for Kate and such a big step for the Heads Together campaign. I know a lot of us were wondering whether there would be any true depth to the campaign work after the marathon, and it seems William, Kate and Harry have done their planning. I’m surprised we never heard a peep about future plans until now. But I imagine a project like this — a website full of resources to be made available to an entire nation — would take careful and meticulous planning. It’s nice to see where this campaign is going. I actually look forward to more from them!

    Thank you, Charlotte, for including William’s speech. I found it very informative and interesting, especially since I don’t usually follow his solo work. I think he has a point about streamlining charity resources, and I think Charlotte’s right that it mirrors a future streamlining of the monarchy.

    I find myself thinking about the lesser royals often, especially as a streamlined monarchy is discussed more and more. What must it be like for them, to have titles and privilege, yet no royal work to fall back on (so to speak)? Perhaps it’s easier for them to be able to choose a career instead of being forced into one. It’s just interesting to think about.

    Kate’s dress today is so pretty and appropriate for the work. I was so glad to not see another sack dress. When she’s pregnant, I really like seeing tailored pieces. She wears blue well. Maybe the scarf was her small way of playing with print?

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  46. Kate has so improved with her public speaking. I am so glad for her. It is not easy when one is naturally shy and has the attributes of an introvert. Blue is my favorite color too so I would be biased as to my choices on Kate. I prefer her hair longer in length but it looked good today as not as curly as usual. I loved the maternity dress by Seraphina.

    Thank you Charlotte for including other royals. I would not have paid attention to William so I appreciated having opportunity to read his very thoughtful speech. Thank you William for including both your parents and Grandmother.

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  47. I like the scarf with the coat; it's a nice fresh look. I would liker Kate to further diversify her interests/engagements.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden24 January 2018 at 12:08

      If you could have a say in what she would choose next, what would you choose? :)

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  48. What a wonderful day for Kate of course, but thank you so much for highlighting William’s speech. As someone who works in the charitable sector (for a cause that is actually close to Kate’s heart), it was lovely hearing those affirming words from him.

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  49. Just to put things in perspective - Kate (and William) gave speeches about work others are doing. Others are doing great work and Kate and William gave speeches. That were probably written by speechwriters from that Communications Office paid for by the taxpayers which includes a former chief operating officer from Oxford University. They gave their speeches well.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden24 January 2018 at 12:09

      I think we all (at least most of us) know that. And neither William nor Kate claim anything else. They are both very clear in the speeches with thanking others. This is their job! They gave speeches well and they also have a say in what they say even if they don't write the speeches fully. It's a collaborative effort that they are the face of. It's their role in it all.

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    2. Right. I would assume W/K say 'I want to say something along these lines' and then the actual speech writers do the nitty gritty work and reworking and tweaking until it's all set.

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    3. Exactly, Rebecca.😊

      Moxie.😊 The Queen has been doing her Royal duties, working with charities, giving speeches, etc. for 60+ years, plus doing many other official duties. People seem to think that she has been doing an excellent job overall. And the younger Royals are doing their job likewise, with some added, caring, contemporary innovations.

      Your comment could be construed as an insinuation, Moxie, that they are shallow, lazy, insincere people who are fleecing the public.
      I, personally don't think anything like that could be further from the truth. I think both William and Kate's speeches were thoughtful and sincere.
      AND, as far as having help with their speeches.
      It is my understanding that all speeches, given by them in Royal capacity, have to be approved by the government or Palace.

      Also, how many world leaders have professional assistance in helping them put their thoughts and feelings into presentable formats? Most, if not all of them, is my guess. :)

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    4. From their prior college experiences I doubt either of them are gifted writers. I am sure they give some ideas to insert. Gifted people are hired purposefully to have that kind of responsibility. I agree Rebecca we are all aware.

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  50. KP apparently did not realize that it first identified the dress brand, and then that of the coat. They were right, they just didn't know where the labels belonged. Surely someone in the KP office knows something about women's clothing! With Kate and Meghan to inform us about, they need to. :-)

    I'm glad to read that William's remarkable speech is on the royal website. He deserves to have it read and heard. So does Kate; she also made an excellent speech.

    I have enjoyed reading the comments of the teachers among us. They are so expressive of their appreciation of the effort to provide teachers with assistance in helping children maintain their mental health. As a teacher long ago, I could only depend on help from the guidance counselors if there was a problem. They were good, but we were dealing with teenagers. I agree with Kate that attention needs to be given to very young children.

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  51. Julia from Leominster24 January 2018 at 11:08

    I thought Kate spoke very well.

    As for William, unlike many here, I'm not completely comfortable with his speech. There's a lot to ponder in it, so for now and in this forum I will reserve judgement and just say there are elements that concern me both from a charitable and a royal point of view.

    I would like to read more commentaries and possibly rebuttals to it. One of my areas of interest are charities relating to aging - and I have some large concerns with one of those biggest of those charities - both in fund-raising and their policies - so I would hate to see smaller yet important charities swept up by them. Cooperation and interfacing is always valuable - mergers not always - but a few bigger charities do make life easier on royals and I detect a certain amount of self-interest in William's speech as well as some possibly misplaced idealism.


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    1. Rebecca - Sweden24 January 2018 at 12:16

      I also thought about this. I do agree with William and this is a format most of the other royal houses follow since they can get much more done and more impact. And there IS a huuuuge problem within the charity sector of too much competition which would be solved with merging and cooperation. But as you say, a bigger charity can become more "corrupt" in a way which is an issue I thought about during his speech. I DO believe that 2 charities that have a common focus and goal can do more together than if they have to compete for funding. But I also don't believe that bigger is always better. And he acknowledged that in the speech. I found the speech very good, and I do not see it as self serving (just a bit with all the talk of monarchy and such but it makes sense).

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    2. Really interesting point, Julia. I hadn't even considered that. I'll admit I was surprised at the tone of William's speech, but I found it very enlightening as to his thoughts and his idea for the future of society/the monarchy. I can absolutely see how merging charities could bring about more corruption and I really hope that isn't what happens. I wonder if anyone else was put off by his speech? As you say, I'd be interested in hearing rebuttals.

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    3. Julia, very interesting point of view. And I thought, reading the speech that you would like it! There is a lot in what you say. But I don't think William is being idealist at all! Quite the opposite. He tactfully pointed out that there is a problem in the sector. And I don't think he is advocating for merges, but for cooperation. And for responsibility and good governance, he said that clearly. I think he must have seen a lot of waste of money and resources. He recognised the passion and goodness that are the drive of it, and was very positive, but I don't think he is naïve. As for self interested, I don't think either. It would be much easier for him to go with the flood, to keep the RF tradition and be patron of 200 charities and not be involved in them nor question them. I like that he asks himself questions.

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    4. Julia.😊 I don't think that their stated purposes and goals are in the lofty, out-of-reach realm of idealism at all. I am confident they have boots-on-the-ground schematics on how to implement their intentions. So their speeches are not just some glib pie-in-the-sky, vague wishes. :)
      If I would think of sitting down with a legal team, administrative team, and others very familiar with the world of human services and charities to thoroughly go over all aspects of a plan, including accountability and transition. If I can visualize the process, then I have every confidence that surely William and Kate have most likely done the same thing, lol. From everything I have seen from them so far they work and build according to a plan. A thoughtful, detailed plan. :)
      (Hi Pippin, ❤️🐶🍖)

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    5. Brilliant comment, Natacha! I agree with every point. As they say, dream with your eyes open. Be optimistic, but not foolish.

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  52. Jo currently in Arizona24 January 2018 at 13:27

    Julia, as a member of one of the biggest “charities” in the world, I understand what you are saying about the cons of large organizations (and not just charities) sweeping smaller, worthy, ones aside. And I myself worry about agendas being pushed and needs being ignored because they don’t “fit.” But I agree with what William said: “I know that this message is not always easy to hear: charities exist because those who work and volunteer for them each believe passionately in its importance. And they are right to do so. But as the challenges of the future begin to bear down on us, I believe that this big shift must begin to happen – the sector must be open to collaborate, to share expertise and resources; to focus less on individual interests and more on the benefits that working together will bring. That, I believe, is where the future lies.” Individual passion and commitment is crucial and this can always exist whether part of a big charity or not. Yes it is sometimes harder to work within a large organization. But at the same time think of doors that are opened and access granted, resources tapped, when there is the might of voices and shared commitment behind it.
    And there is another aspect. My own concern for many years was with cancer research and support having lost family members to it. I gave money but soon was overwhelmed, because I didn’t have much, trying to choose between the research charity and the support services charity, which were separate. How I wished they could be under one umbrella with people working for both aims, coordinating. This may now exist in the UK and Canada (where I was living.) I don’t know. But I still prefer a more holistic, shared response to the Big C. And other issues as well. One area to go to where all advocates are welcome. I think you and I are on the same wavelength Julia, I just feel William’s speech isn’t saying bigger is better. He is saying that collaboration is better. Recognizing that sharing resources and expertise is better. I do agree though that it is vital that crucial voices are not lost in the echoing halls.

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    1. In your experience, do you see good checks and balances set in place to stop corruption in a larger charity? I agree with William, but Julia's comment did make me think more about it, so I'm curious to hear from your perspective, since you have first-hand experience.

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    2. I think he mentioned accountability, didn't he? :)

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    3. William's speech was very interesting and really makes you think. It has substance. Personally, I think he means there's power in collaboration, in a sense than 1+1 is not only 2, but can sometimes be 100 because they complement each other.

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    4. Becca.😊 I think William and his team have no doubt taken all those considerations to task in the plans moving forward.

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    5. Becca, in the case of the charity I was referring to, there are definite checks and balances that prevent corruption. Corruption has never (to my knowledge) been a problem and the organization has operated for over a hundred years although it really only grew in phenomenal ways after World War 2 and the issue of feeding and clothing a devastated Europe was tackled. That is not to say that there aren’t problems with how the charitable organization is perceived because it is part of a wider religious organization that is often controversial ;)

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    6. Julia from Leominster25 January 2018 at 02:08

      It's not just corruption - charities can go astray in other ways - there has been much controversy about one of the largest aging charities - itself a relatively merger of two charities, that has gotten involved with commercial schemes that many feel aren't in the elderly's best interests - whether this is true or not, it shows the danger of too many eggs in a few baskets.

      Whilst I certainly believe that charities can and should work together on projects, I think from a financial viewpoint, for fundraising, to imagine they will do so equably is naive - the large will always have the advantage.

      I also don't think William has the hands-on experience to making these statements - royals are told what they want to hear - he was a helicopter pilot - he hasn't been involved in managing a charity and his visits to charities have been relatively few. Perhaps he should spend more time visiting and learning before speaking so boldly. And I'm wary of royals limiting themselves to a few causes - they will leave out many important concerns of the nation by doing so.

      Personally, for me, what has separated the royal family from celebrities, a separation I feel is vital for the royal family's survival - has been the their support of those who work unrecognised, of the small, of the obscure, of less flashy big charities - the latter of whom don't really need the royal family to shine a light on their causes. And I feel he gives the public too little credit for being able to judge - I might prefer to support a charity that helps home animals that the elderly can no longer keep rather than a big umbrella aging charity - it is a targeted interest.

      It certainly is helpful to have sites that bring attention to multiple charities - regional, country-wide, particular causes, so people can find what they need and support what most speaks to them. So there are aspects in William's speech I agree with and parts that concern me.

      One area I've long thought problematic are corporate foundations. Many of these do tremendous good but they are also there to enhance the reputation of the firms or wealthy individuals behind them. So I probably find William, Harry's and Kate's foundation ironically one of the least likely charities I would support - I honestly have little insight outside of Head's Together of the charities it claims to support - and wonder why it is necessary and if it is pulling funding away from more worthy causes by dint of the prestige of the royal name.

      I do think all of us here are in agreement that cooperation amongst is an important matter- but it is a hugely complex issue.

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  53. Fantastic outfit on Kate, she looks fabulous. Love her hair. And, how she has improved her public speaking skills, and presentation. Just wonderful all around.
    Loved hearing William, he is terrific.
    Congratulations to Princess Eugenie and her fiancé, Jack. What a year for the Royal Family, 2 babies and 2 weddings!

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    1. She did very well, I agree, Tedi. And I'm happy to see William's work covered here as well.

      Congratulations to Eugenie and Jack. Lovely photos and interview. This is how it's done.

      On a less important note, I really want Kate's scarf! This blue lover is drooling. :-) And I think it "balances" the larger lapels.

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  54. This coat demonstrates how good Kate looks in smoky colors. The dress is a bit too bright, the coat the next day is too light. The Sportsmax coat is just right. The scarf with this coat is also the perfect accessory, but I don't care for the print dress worn under the pale blue coat. Kate has to pick her blues carefully.

    She also looked fabulous in the dusty pink chosen for Pippa's wedding. Whether we like the style of that dress of not, the color was perfect for Kate's complexion.


    Someone did a fabulous job of styling Princess Eugenie's engagement photos. Her dress, his tie, the elegant muted red background, her curly hair style, all no doubt inspired by the beautiful ring, were a perfect setting. I also noticed that Eugenie has inherited the Queen's beautiful skin. She will also be lovely if she lives into her nineties.

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