Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Kate Speaks About "Long-Lasting Resonance" of Royal Foundation's Work During Inaugural Forum!

On a snowy London morning, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle participated in the inaugural Royal Foundation forum at the Aviva Offices.


It marks the first time the 'Royal Trio' became the 'Fab Four' at an official engagement. It's the first of many we'll see them attend together, and a fitting choice, as the Forum will be an annual event. Ms Markle will become the Foundation's fourth patron in May. I believe one of the primary reasons for choosing to host a public Forum was to allow the public to get to know the Foundation, its programmes and plans. When we think of the Prince's Trust, we instantly associate it with Prince Charles and its focus on vulnerable young people. Of course, the Trust has been active for over 40 years. Yet I was surprised at the number of royal watchers who told me they know comparatively little about the Foundation and it's ongoing projects. What better way for people to find out than directly from the royals themselves? It's an excellent idea and, I imagine, will become a highlight on the royal calendar in the years to come.


Ahead of the engagement, the Royal Foundation released the following: "Creating the Foundation was a new style of how the Royal family could engage with causes that are close to their hearts. It allows them to work together across this generation as well as bring others together to focus on areas they are each passionate about. Once the Duchess of Cambridge became Patron, Their Royal Highnesses established a key focus of working together, as well as convening others to help tackle society’s biggest challenges. We are delighted to welcome Meghan to the Foundation. She has always shown great drive and compassion for making a difference in the world, and we are excited to embark on important projects together. Together we use the passion and unique influence of our Patrons to change mindsets and make a lasting difference on the issues that matter to them and to society. We never begin a project thinking we have the answer. From day one, the Foundation was built with an open door, and whatever we do, we invite the best and brightest to sit with us around the table to help find solutions."


The Royal Foundation was launched in 2011 by Prince William and Prince Harry as the primary vehicle for their philanthropic interests. The Duchess joined later that year. Since then, it has grown significantly, making a difference in communities across the UK and beyond. The royals' continued aim is to invest in, or partner with, organisations with proven impact, using its profile and leverage to create a multiplier effect in resources, outcomes and knowledge.


The Foundation's current priorities are mental health, young people, conservation and the armed forces.


Mental health has been at the heart of the royals' work for some time now. Their campaign, Heads Together, is the largest initiative the trio have jointly undertaken. Driven by their desire to destigmatise mental health and start conversations all over the world, it is undoubtedly a cause they are deeply passionate about. Following a year of engagements, videos and radio appearances the efforts for the first phase culminated at the London Marathon, where Heads Together was chosen as charity of the year.


To progress the campaign, the Royal Foundation is investing £2 million to establish a new start-up for digital mental health innovation, which is developing new digital tools to help people have conversations about mental health. It is the largest single grant from the Foundation. Last month Kate launched 'Mentally Health Schools' - a website designed to give teachers and school staff the clarity and practical resources they need in order to support pupils.


The theme of the event is 'Making a Difference Together'.


William, Kate, Harry and Meghan appeared on stage together to discuss why the Royal Foundation was set up, the projects they are currently working on, and their ambitions for the future. You can view a full video from the Forum below.



Prince William opened the event by discussing the journey to creating the Foundation.


More from People:

William opened his address by welcoming Meghan, saying they were “particularly happy” that this is the first Royal Foundation event with Meghan. It was met by warm applause from Kate the delegates from the various charities.
“Ten years ago Harry and I were still serving full-time in the military, but we were starting to look to the next stages of our lives,” William said. “As we discussed together the best way to set out on our official work, we looked to the values our family had instilled in us.
“Both our parents had provided for us an example of diligence, compassion and duty in all they did. Our grandparents, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, had made support for charity central to their decades of service to the nation and the Commonwealth.
“The task for us would not be to reinvent the wheel. Instead, our job was to follow the example of those who had come before us, hold on to the values that have always guided our family, but seek to engage in public life in a way that was updated and relevant for our generation.
“Today we want to celebrate this spirit of togetherness. We want to reflect on what we’ve achieved. And we want you to work with us as we consider what we might do next.”

The Forum was hosted by BBC presenter and Radio 1 newsreader Tina Daheley.


Ms Daheley asked Kate about coming up with the idea for Heads Together. Kate replied: "It's very generous of you to say it was my idea but actually it was going back right to the beginning when we were looking at ways we could all work with the Foundation and I suppose I learned through meeting with some of my patronages that there was sort of all these underlying causes across so many different sectors. Mental health just kept on flagging up every time, where it's with addiction or school support and with vulnerable young children. It's something I felt very passionately about. It's something I felt all three of us at the time could make a far bigger impact together rather than just one of us. Kate continued: "I've always felt really strongly about putting ideas together."


Kate was asked what she is excited about moving forward and cited her continued interest in mental health and exploring the early years. She discussed her own personal experience as a mother:

'I've learned a huge amount from the patronages I've worked with but also from the amazing experts I met along the way and you know, you can't help but then reflect on your own life. It's definitely had an impact on how I mother, how we work as a family and how we hope to bring up our children.'

Heads Together was Kate's idea, and she shared another one I think would be terrific. "I think there's lots that I'm hugely excited about with the Foundation and from the Foundation's perspective.  Imagine if we were able to do a Heads Together campaign with another generation of members of the Royal family. I think that's so exciting and with so many more of us working on the same cause or similar causes, we could make a real impact."


More from the Mail Online:

'The young Royals showed their softer side at the foundation forum today when joking about the challenges of working together as a family. After being asked by presenter Tina Daheley if the 'ever have disagreements' William immediately burst into laughter before responding with a drawn out 'Ohhhh yes'. Harry was quick to clarify they were 'healthy disagreements' and joked they 'come so thick and fast' when asked what the last thing they quarrelled on was.
William continued the banter, quipping: 'Is it resolved? We don't know!' But Harry steered the topic back towards the serious message, adding: 'I think it's really good we have got four different personalities and we all have that same passion to make a difference. 'We have different opinions and they work really well [together]. Working as family does have its challenges; of course it does. [I think] the fact that everybody is laughing shows they know 'exactly' what's it like. But we are stuck together for the rest of our lives. Meghan added: 'Togetherness at it's finest' 
Presenter Tina Daheley said the impact had been huge and 'changed the national conversation around mental health' before asking them if they expected such a result.
William quickly said 'No, as an answer' before Harry quipped: 'It was organised on the back of a fag packet. It really was. But William quickly brought the subject back to a serious nature, adding the Duchess of Cambridge was key to its development. He said: 'Catherine was the one who joined the dots up and came up with the idea and the concept. Harry and I had never thought about doing a campaign before and when it comes to mental health it was very difficult to know where to start. 'It's such a big issue and it is so entrenched in society in a negative way, sadly.

The foursome watched a video on the Heads Together journey.


Later during the Forum, Kate spoke passionately about mental health and long-term plans. She joked: "After seeing the video, I should be sporting my headband but sadly I left it at home." And added: "We are all so proud of the work we did without our partners to challenge the stigma. Since our roles are lifetime roles, our commitment to the work we do through the Foundation is genuinely long term. The work we do can and should have a long-lasting resonance. For this reason we're able to support causes we're passionate about for decades into the future. Like the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales we feel strongly we have to take a long-term view that is measured in generations."


During the keynote speech, Prince Harry said: "We feel a tremendous responsibility to play our part in effecting societal change for the better."


The audience included a selection of invited guests, supporters of the Royal Foundation, and programme partners and beneficiaries.


The Duchess looked elegant in her £99 Seraphine Royal Blue Tailored Dress.


It is described as being "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".


Kate wore the dress last month for the launch of Mentally Healthy Schools.


Kate wore a very pretty new pair of earrings. They are unidentified at the moment.


Meghan wore a Jason Wu dress and Aquazzura pumps; to read more about her participation visit Mad About Meghan.



I very much enjoyed the forum. It was incredibly interesting to see all four of them sharing their views. The Foundation has boundless potential and bringing together their individual and shared interests in the years ahead will be fascinating to see. It was great to hear Kate talking candidly about the Foundation too. We leave you with this photo from the day - these two are clearly firm friends!



This evening, the Duchess, Patron of the National Portrait Gallery, will visit the exhibition 'Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography'.

150 comments:

  1. What an unusual and interesting engagement today. I must confess to being a bit... not sceptical but cautious.. about this engagement. (Mostly because of all the unneccessary comparisons that people will do!) But it will be interesting to hear. We'll probably rarely see all four of them do engagements (which is good, it would be quite a waste of resources!).

    Honestly, I'm one of those people that think the household should split up. I do enjoy the way they collaborate, but I think that the more time goes on, the more different the couples roles will be and the more engagements they do the more work for KP. And they at times already seems to be hanging on by a thread! I do like that Harry will probably have a big supportive role to William, but I think that it will be more beneficial to both couples if they could have a PR and office strategy more tailored to their different roles rather than the office having to juggle both. I do like that them having a joint office gives more opportunity for cooperation (there is way too thick walls between the different offices in the BRF) but I think that a balance between cooperation without teaming up would be more sustainable in the future. But all this might be a bit... premature. I'm sure there will be big shakeups and shuffles in the future. (I don't even know why I'm rambling and I'm writing this part even before the engagement has started!)

    One thing I really like about the royal foundation and it's collaboration is the way they team up the different charities that might otherwise not connect. It's really clever and something William talked about in his speech about Charity recently. And that seems to be their pride with their foundation. The collaborations! That's a beautiful thing in a world where people rather get credit than get things done!

    (I'm watching it live now so there might be some scattered thoughts!) William has become a great speaker! You can tell the passion he has. He's grown so much in the last six months! The future is looking bright, indeed!

    I love the setup with this forum in that it's more of a conversation than a "lecture"! It gives a more... real feel to it! You can tell more of their actual passion for the causes! (It's also really cutre seeing them proud of eachother and supporting and cheering on eachother!).

    I like how William is takeing the lead. Makes sense!

    And I'm very proud of Kate! She's so good in these more one-on-one conversations!

    I'm glad to see this dress on Kate again! Very nice with a repeat today, and also because it's a really pretty dress!! I love how they all look appropriate but within their own styles!

    Now I'm gonna stop writing and just listening for a while!!! And I'm no longer sceptical! This was a clever choice!

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    1. Love your thoughts. This was EPIC & so exciting to see live from
      Australia! Wow Duchess Kate has grown soooo much in natural confidence too. She rocked her speech & love her own manner. They all in good hands. How professional & polished also was the lady who spoke after them describing the way forward & new staff!Loved Kate sharing their long decades & even nxt generation view too.
      💥💥❤️❤️👍👍
      Theresa
      Australia

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    2. Tammy from California28 February 2018 at 15:36

      Interesting thoughts Rebecca! Very interesting perspective!

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  2. Good Morning Charlotte-It will be a busy a day for you as usual. It is now 6:12am EST / USA. Have a wonderful day.

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  3. The Duchess spoke well - and it is interesting to hear her views on the long-term approach that the royals' position facilitates.

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  4. I really like how Kate talked about how their focus and work is based on a long term thinking! She has really grown in her speeches as well!

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  5. Where. Can i watch live i love the duchess speech

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    1. Here you can see the whole event: http://madaboutmeghan.blogspot.co.at/

      You simply need to scroll down a little bit.

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  6. I am so proud of our girl. She gave a great speech!

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    1. Tammy from California28 February 2018 at 15:34

      DITTO IMKE! DITTO!!

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  7. Julia from Leominster28 February 2018 at 12:49

    First of all I like Meghan's dress although it was an odd choice for the weather - Kate looked lovely as well. Without going into too much detail, I agree with Rebecca I think the couples do better separately - that together played to their weaknesses rather than strengths. But it is nice to hear them support each other.

    As for the content - I'll say bluntly, it's not quite what I'd hoped for and I need time to consider it. I've long since thought the value of the royal family came from their unique position - very different from corporate and celebrity charitable work and foundations, which have an important place but is not what the royal family is about. Blurring that brings up the question of the need for a royal family. And the corporate type slogans make me cringe. There is a difference between modernising and losing unique purpose.

    I'd hoped to see the foundation define more specific and concrete areas, not be so generalised - be less a scattered fund-raising thing and also to avoid 'buzz' phrases of the moment. More like the Prince's Trust and the Duke of Edinburgh Award's Scheme. This sounded far less focused than I'd hoped - a lot of good intentions, certainly...I'll leave it at that for now for I'm sure my views won't be popular - but I'm thinking long term too.

    On the positive side, I'm reading Harry and Meghan want to work to fight youth violence and knife crimes - that would be a very worthy endeavour - and for both these couples, their visits and meeting people seem more successful to me than this type of event.

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    1. Yes the corporate influence was cringe worthy. It was a shame because otherwise the content seemed genuine. If Lorraine mentioned the 'Principals' one more time I would have given her part of my 'mindset'.

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    2. I agree that it still seems a bit unfocused. I did appreciate though hearing their own thoughts behind the choices.

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    3. Also, you said it well about them playing to their weaknesses! Both couples are great at what they do, but they are distinctly different. And when they get put so close together it tends to both incite comparisons but also show their weaknesses rather than their strenghts. Both couples have strenths in what they do, but also weaknesses (as all of us do). It's great in a way because what is ones strength is the others weakness so they can compliment when needed. But it also means that when two people that have opposite talents gets put together it can end up highlighting the weakness rather than lifting, if that makes sense.

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    4. I'm confused that you think they do "scattered fund raising." They have several specific, goal-driven initiatives like Heads Together and Invictus Games. Those "buzz" phrases you look down on are important for marketing purposes.

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    5. Penny I think that is the problem. Nobody wants them to be marketing *anything*.
      I agree with Julia. I am not sure how I feel about the Royal Foundation yet, but there was a lot of pandering that I did not expect.
      I also hope they will work separately. I am not sure what the positives are, of them coming together like this.

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    6. I have to say I agree with Rebecca and Julia about how effective the four together as a long term strategy will play out. I think that this first event was a way to "springboard" how the four of them will work together and carry on the tradition of the royal family, but believe that there is more generalization and a dilution of purpose with all of them together. The novelty and celebrity hype of it seems to detract. Individually or together as couples seems a better definition of their specific goals and (I agree) a better use of their strengths. Separately it seems to be more about the projects, programs than about them, if that makes sense.

      On another note, I think both William and Catherine did an excellent job with their speeches. Have always thought William was a good speaker but particularly liked how he acknowledged Kate's role in the Heads Together initiative. Kate looked lovely, confident and her speech was very well done....love seeing her grow into her role. I also have to say that while I always check in to see what Kate is wearing and I always will, I find that I am equally, if not more, interested in knowing what and how Kate is doing with her causes and learning much more about them....and that I think is the effect a royal should have. I don't know if that speaks to my evolution or Kate's, but I think it is a positive shift. cc

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    7. I think that the 3 of them (or 4 in the future) working together on specific "pushes" in a project like they did with Heads Together can give more media coverage so I think it's a good tool to use. I also think it is good for royal families to sometimes do events other than with their spouse. Like when Harry or William join Charles, and more like how Kate did when she was new. I think it shows a shared focus and put up an united front. It's something the royal family here in Sweden does from time to time, when interests align. For example, I would love Kate and Princess Alexandra to team up in the future because they have many similar focuses (Scouts, Mind/Mental health, nursing etc!). Yes, it can be seen as "doubling up" and therefore wasting of time, but I think it shows a strong unity point that is one of the selling points of a royal family. That they are a family. BRF have not been super good at this, probably because they have alot of ground to cover! This younger generation is way better with it, but are almost pushing the narrative a bit too hard. I don't know what I'm rambling on about, once again! :P

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    8. Julia from Leominster28 February 2018 at 17:17

      I'm a very modern woman of my time - and a very traditional royalist. Since I'm certain my views of what makes royals timeless - not just of their hour - will be different from many here (I'm taking solace in seeing some of my concerns in comments in the Telegraph) I won't go in depth but will briefly answer this.

      There is a difference between the Prince's Trust - which has a specific goal to help young people, and Charles' other trusts -some of which have been successful - some not, - and corporate trusts which embrace a variety of causes. That's not to say corporate trusts don't do good - and whilst they are often to burnish reputations, many are sincere in helping - but there is a difference from royalty.

      With the foursome's trust, we have a variety of causes, mental health, environmental, concerns for ex-forces, sports, all lumped together with no cohesiveness - the main goal is the trust is fund-raising. It is true the princes have tried to make links, but these are very superficial - yes, some of these overlap, all sorts of things overlap - others don't, but mainly it is a jumble of interests. (And the best and the brightest may indulge the royals who are there by reason of tradition, birth and marital choice, not because they are the best and the brightest - but real work is done elsewhere.) So there are multiple goals, not a single focus - the only common ground is getting money from rich donors, not to hand out awards or give grants.

      As for marketing - I shudder - that word and royals should never mix! Royals don't 'brand'. They don't market. When royals have been linked too closely to 'selling' their position in exchange for big donations - there has been public outrage. (This has happened to Charles already.)

      Royals must survive in a world where celebrities and politicians come and go, views and national concerns change constantly. They must be relevant to all. Fund-raising, as anyone who has been monitoring the charitable world is a very slippery thing - once respected charities have run aground both by focusing too much on fund-raising and by becoming too broad and getting mixed up in things they should not. (Age Concern is a classic example.)

      Yes, that royals don't market is an illusion - but so are brides wearing diamond tiaras and having weddings with state security, royal babies being given titles, royals residing in palaces that belong to the state. When you come down to it, all royalty is an illusion and destroy the illusions and you destroy the institution and to become too corporate-like is a big step in that direction.

      That doesn't mean there isn't a purpose to royalty in my opinion - Kate, in my eyes, demonstrated that yesterday - it's to shine light on good deeds, support those in need and bring praise and attention to those who have helped others. And there is a limited diplomatic role - if William and Kate are sent to Poland - they go, whether they like the Polish government or not. (I choose this example because they were criticised for this in the Guardian - but the point is, it was not their choice - if a cause becomes their choice - so does the accompanying criticism.)

      Someday, in theory, William will open Parliament. He will be handed a speech by the government to read. He will read that speech aloud whether he agrees with a single thing it says or not. That is why I'm concerned about royals becoming too 'political', too involved in fundraising, too linked to causes they can't back away from if things go wrong as they recently have for several big name charities. It's a cautious view - but one that has served the queen in good stead - her ability to rule over sixty-five years stands testimony for that.

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    9. I see where you're coming from, Julia, but I disagree in that having the four of them gains more coverage, thus creating a bigger impact for their causes. Corporate marketing tactics are cringe-worthy, sure, but sometimes unavoidable...or, perhaps, they just work, again, to achieve the wide-reaching impact all four royals are striving for. I also think it does show unity, which is important for the future and relevancy of the BRF.

      I don't think they should do engagements together all the time, but I certainly think it's nice every once in awhile to see them together and to hear their different thoughts and ideas and how those all come together for the greater good. They don't have to go full-celebrity (and I don't think they should), but that *is* the culture we're living in. I don't condone it, I'm simply saying I don't think it hurts to have William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan come together every once in awhile to highlight how they each are championing these causes and to create more exposure for what they're working on. The more exposure, the greater impact, in my opinion.

      Hopefully that makes sense and wasn't just rambling haha!

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    10. Wow. With respect, I think you missed the point of Julia's comment entirely Becca H.

      Julia, again I agree with most of what you have said. I will point out that it seemed to me that Meghan was taking the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements and putting them firmly into the social movement category. And I know that you along with some others feel that they are political movements - I disagree. I was glad that she said what she did - and implicitly acknowledged that they are *social* movements. Empowering women to speak, preventing harassment and abuse of women are not political issues. Never have been. They are as "political" as HIV was in Diana's day.

      As an aside I will say that I loved that Meghan was so articulate, concise and original in the content of what she said and the verbiage that she used in saying it. By contrast Kate used so many "sort of" in one sentence that I visibly cringed. I counted and at one point she had 3-5 "sort of" in one sentence. I guess she was nervous, but I hope that she will become more articulate and confident as time goes on.

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    11. Julia from Leominster28 February 2018 at 20:20

      I'm sure Theresa May will be delighted to know that despite her name being called upon by Me Too supporters outside the Bafta's that Me Too and and Times Up aren't political movements so she needn't pay any attention to them - nor need parliament. If this doesn't sound quite right, that means there is a strong political aspect to these movements (as I think there should be since that's where remedies lie.)

      Just because royals shouldn't be involved doesn't mean the movement is bad and social and political merge all the time - there are obviously huge social aspects to Brexit for instance - families potentially being divided - yet few would say it's not a political movement. However, royals shouldn't comment on it either - William got in trouble just hinting in a speech. Diana shook hands with an HIV patient - she didn't make any remarks about the government's actions as to AIDS or become involved with grass roots movements (of which there were plenty.) She understood the limitations. Following the divorce she did become more close to political/diplomatic issues - but that was when she was no longer a part of the royal family. It's the difference between visiting Grenfell victims and talking about the circumstances of the tragedy and the government's action or inaction - another social/political issue. But I've said all this before, so won't belabour it further.

      I will simply say I thought both ladies didn't show to good advantage at all - highlighting the worst problems of both of them. For this reason, I think joint chat sessions like this are unwise - but frankly I think all the young royals are talking far too much, especially at a time when some of the views they are espousing are most supported by the republican movement - who would be happy to see them thrown out of their employment and may just succeed if this continues.

      As it is, the headlines were snatched away from the royal foundation. As someone who has never thought the Royal Foundation a good idea as it's presently structured - maybe that's a good thing. I don't mind the idea of the foursome doing engagements together - I just don't think this engagement proved to be wise.

      I've lived through a number of movements - the swinging sixties, the hippie time, war protests, and a host of others, many of which had merit. But just because is of our time doesn't mean its going to age particularly well. The celebritising of our society (I invented that word to the best of my knowledge and rather like it!) is one I think is going to be faced with a strong backlash. There is becoming an arrogance to celebrities putting forth their views (whether I agree or not - this is a general statement) that is at odds with their over-the-top lifestyles. Royals discussing controversial issues run the same risk - who are they to talk!

      So the two strongest points for me - and I suspect many royalists - for continuation of supporting the monarchy comes down to two main tenets.
      The family remains completely unpolitical so that no government or political cause can claim them.
      The family avoids all aspects of celebrity life as celebrities (luvvies as they are often termed) are viewed with cheerful contempt for the most part, not respect, and that their fame is ephemeral whilst the royal family must be timeless and lasting.

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    12. Julia - Theresa May has been talking about mental health. Increasing resources for NIH etc. Does that make it political too now that it has been tarnished by the May brush ? Trump's wife talks about mental health like nobody's business. Then I suppose WKH should run away from Heads Together ? Trump's wife also took up bullying - I suppose Kate shouldn't utter the word bully anymore ? Or William should give up his anti-bullying initiatives?

      Sexual abuse is a universal problem faced by women ALL OVER THE WORLD. This has nothing to do with politics.

      Policy may make things better for women. Like policy made HIV a non-stigma. Like policy can help people get access to mental health support. Like policy can help reduce cyber-bullying. But policy is not political inherently just because legislation makes it happen. Policy and legislation are required to correct all the wrongs in the world but human rights abuse and women's empowerment are universal ills in society. They have not been brought about by politics or by the actions of any political party, and therefore are not political.

      Agree with the rest of what you are saying - especially the celebratizing of society.

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    13. In a few years William will be the Prince of Wales and I expect the royal foundation will be something Harry and Meghan will take over. Not only that, but Charles is 70 years old. William could easily be king in 20 years and will have a much fuller plate than now. And someone will have to take over the Prince’s Trust and running the Duchy of Cornwall and all other business ventures Charles has started.
      As much as I pains me to think about it, the current situation will last for a decade or so. After that everything is going to change.

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    14. Julia from Leominster28 February 2018 at 22:39

      The royal trio has been very careful not to talk about resources or the lack thereof when discussing mental health within the scope of their own charitable endeavours. They've been criticised for not doing so - for making it seem as if help is always available - but If they did, the issue would become political, just as it's not for Kate to discuss the shortage of nurses directly or pay for nurses - but she did mention how many would be needed in the future.

      Once names were mentioned today, the subject became political and royals were immediately accused of being insensitive because those named organisations haven't addressed horrific abuses that have been going on in the North because it supposedly doesn't fit their political agenda. It's not the cause of sexual harassment - it's the political movement of Me Too and Times Up and what their specific goals are - whether they are seeking government intervention and what they address or don't address. A superficial remark - which is what that was - carries all sorts of unintended consequences for royals.

      Royals, particularly Camilla, have certainly taken on work in the area of abused women - and I fully support that - but at this time, I don't think these particular grass roots movement are the right ones for royals - just as I deeply care about animal welfare (and dog rescue in South Korea by an athlete just became a political issue with cultural insensitively hurled at him) but I wouldn't expect royals to embrace PETA or Charles, despite his environmental concerns to discuss Greenpeace. This doesn't mean the goals of these organisations are bad - just that they aren't the right ones for royals do get involved with.

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    15. I think that having The Foundation will be a positive thing & guidepost or Umbrella. I completely believe that both couples will have their own offices (which I think is only practical). The Foundation will be a place where they can come back together, share what they have learned & connect the dots, as William mentioned Kate originally did re: Mental Health! Harry we know (along with Meghan) will be moving forward with a focus on The Commonwealth. Within that context, Harry & Meghan will also have their own individual initiatives & charitable causes, similar to how things work with Will & Kate. Without The Foundation, there would be no organic established way to facilitate common or connected causes, that all 4 will ultimately have. I think it's ideal that there will be this over arching umbrella, under which all 4 will be able to meet, along with experts in their fields, to find ways to give a turbo boost to certain causes or purposes! I also love how Kate really kept bringing home the concept that they are in this for life, & causes will also be passed to future generations! That's something that can be found no where in a commercial or corporate setting! They really are in this for life & are approaching it all as a family! I have the utmost faith that as they continue to learn & grow, this Foundation will be a wonderful Umbrella or Anchor (based on the need) that will withstand the ages! They will work as a Family Team, while still pursuing their own Individual Causes! To me it's a Win, Win, Win, Win! :)

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    16. Charlotte - France28 February 2018 at 22:57

      Absolutely agree, Julia. Sure, being against sexual abuse is OF COURSE not political, but supporting causes by their name – particularly when Kate, and even William in his speech by not naming them, have decided not to – is unwise. I think this forum highlighted how messy the Royal Foundation is and how, clearly, they don't have a set goal besides their own independent causes. It felt as if 'well we have all these causes under an umbrella because well, we are family'; they should simply split up the couples.

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    17. Could not agree more. You said all that needed said.

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    18. My response was to julia’s original comment. It just posted after her second. I haven’t had a chance to read through the new comments, yet.

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    19. Dear Julia, you have put eloquently into words what I felt but couldn’t describe. Your analysis is spot on.

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    20. I finally had a chance to read through the rest of your comments, Julia, and I can totally see where you’re coming from. It is a conundrum for sure, at least in my opinion, shifting the monarchy forward into the future. I do have to wonder about whether they can remain relevant going forward. Especially since the lines are so blurred between politics, celebrity, etc.

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    21. My feeling - and I'm not young so I could be wrong - is that when everything is 'new' and celebrity buzz and social media is dominating our world - there is a craving, certainly amongst traditionalists but also amongst the young, for something solid - something to hold on to - something where inevitably change comes but it does so very gradually, almost imperceptibly. That's why in my opinion nursery food is so popular right now in stylish restaurants. People want the Sunday roast (in London, there's a whole restaurant dedicated to it) - it makes people feel secure - it's solid and hearty, not the fad of the hour.

      The royal family has done very well being that solid post that everyone can lean on. I honestly think young people love to see the pageantry of traditional royalty and are happy with the traditional format - those that aren't are the republican ones and frankly they aren't likely to change their minds because their issues (equality) go beyond what can be changed.

      I think the fall-off of interest came from the slowness of William, Kate and Harry to embrace their royal role earlier - leaving the active royal life in the hands of those over fifty, and their failure act on the enthusiasm generated by the royal wedding. That's in the past now, and hopefully is being fixed. Young European royals are staying for the most part with tradition - interest is in them as people, in their young families, in their clothes, not with an urge to reinvent everything into a dubious and ever shifting 'relevance'. If this weren't the case, why do so many in the States follow royals when they have Hollywood at their fingertips.

      But I think remaking the monarchy to become too close to celebrity life, to 'buzz' language and movements of the moment which have a place but are of their time, to being too corporate-like (corporations being always detested) to changing too suddenly, will result in it losing purpose in trying to become 'relevant'. I've seen well-established shop brands fail swiftly trying to do this - 'we need to appeal to the young' they've said, and ended up appealing to no one.

      Diana's attraction -and I was there - is not that she was 'new' but that she embodied tradition but in a youthful and fresh way. Her activism came gradually and when people were assured of her sincerity because they'd seen her in her traditional role over the years - and had time to take her measure.

      My feeling is from reading their interviews and listening to them, is that neither Harry nor William really understand this completely - and are trying to change too much when they should go with the flow - and that probably means they aren't getting the best advice.

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    22. This is an interesting thread. Julia, four of your thoughts through different posts on this blog, stands out for me.
      1. Monarchy is an illusion.
      The way you’re a traditional monarchist who believes in a gradual increment of change, I am surprised, you find it an “illusion” (your description). That kind of experience is felt by citizens whose monarchy is abolished, and they experience a taste of different systems and life without it. Then they questioned, was it an illusion even while history is a witness that not necessarily so.

      2. Monarchy should be timeless.
      Most likely you also agree, it will have to go with the times making wise choices, or the repercussion is even worse up to not having the very system altogether.

      3. The Example that people finds comfort in a Sunday Roast Restaurants in London…
      In the case of monarchy, you mentioned the solid stability and continuation of system and tradition it provides citizens. This goes back to #1, is it an illusion?

      4. Why do Americans then like Monarchy?
      Americans do not live in it. A part of its culture is Hollywood “royalty” because the performing arts are woven into the conscious of its society. Hollywood is also a glamorous culture, good entertainment, the arts well archived, and good for the economy. For some people who view British Monarchy’s life style as entertainment, it is not less than some Hollywood entertainment as long as they are not bound by the system and enjoy it from a distance.

      From this blog’s comments, it seems royalists (not just those for fun) from America, and royalists from Europe have some differences in the way they are royalists.

      I happen to know someone very closely who had experienced #1-4. What I realized is accepting change while living in monarchy does not come easy for many people since it has a solidly settled and secured feeling about it. Of the four you mentioned, change in increments done wisely is good.

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    23. Rosman- You are convincing in the way explained it that it needs to be understood. The "me too" movement can use some revision, more debate and a realistic legislation. There is some grey area with the very way the movement started. Personally, I am more drawn into human right. That means consider facts, consider statute of limitation, report to authorities first etc. There needs to be some legislative standard, or it can become a cross between a witch hunt, revenge and what not. It can also be expressed with a pin. Why have women wear black if they don't choose too.

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    24. What is it that William and Harry don’t understand? I found the forum as a glimpse into the foundation of the union of the four, what each of them is like and stand for. PW was like the traditionalist pillar while he stayed true to his generation, PH has an inner passion which was best expressed in “finding the cause instead of band aiding the symptom”, Kate’s outlook for a “long term” process complemented Harry’s search for causes. In a way it becomes like a research process, a new mile stone will be dependent on a preceding result. Meghan’s entire living years are equal to Diana’s. They lived two worlds apart, but similar in their humanistic interests. There will be some things she may never change about herself and should not so necessarily. She will also have a learning curve to adapt to the boundary that is set up being a part of one of the oldest monarchies, and a European one. She is modern and had lived not only an independent life, she is a self-made person who defied the odds and made her successes. Going forward, it will also be a matter of the depth; respect and love between the couple which would help them reach a compromise in what ways she adapts without leaving her authentic self. There was also this comment about it played on their weaknesses. In fact the authenticity of each being them-selves made the four look like there is something for every audience. Kate’s area of discussion about mothering, families and what her passion is, and while expecting a third child, was a presence of the matriarch leader of the four. Her speeches and conversation was done in her own way and with interest. There should never be a comparison with Meghan whose studies and professional life included media, speeches, and advocacy and so on. It is the differences blended as one for a cause which made it appealing and promising going with the times in increments. ( I viewed the video just once yesterday morning/ 28th. May be I will watch again in time to find what people are commenting about).

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  8. Great speech from Kate! I'm really happy to see her making more and more speeches at events because her confidence seems to have grown exponentially.


    I was reminded today that the Heads Together campaign was originally Kate's brain child and that William started the wildlife/conservation project and Harry birthed the Invictus Games initiative. I have a hunch that Meghan's area of interest will have something to do with the equality and empowerment of girls / women and a number of her future patronages will reflect this.

    I look forward to seeing her contribute to the Royal Foundation because the 4 of them together really does seem to be a winning formula :)

    Love Avee in SA

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  9. Indeed “Ambitious” in the words of Prince William, and “Long Term”, in the message of Duchess Kate. They are in the process of a modern definition of royalty in action. William looks cool and Kate is seriously on task.
    Will there be Video II? It ended after an interviewer started introduction to the five panelists.

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  10. Annette New Zealand28 February 2018 at 13:42

    I get the impression that they will collaborate but then each will have their own area to specialize in. That should ensure that they can make their own individual effort and they won't always be doing everything together eg Harry and the Invictus games.

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    1. I hope this is the case. I think it will be most effective and give the greatest impact. I love collaborative efforts and I think the BRF in general is not good enough at putting on that united front. But I think the younger royals have been laying that part on thick enough and I think a balance can be found :)

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    2. I think it will be a both/and. The Royal Foundation isn't going away and I think annual meetings updating the public with what they are doing and where they stand in a general sense is a great thing. But, I think the day to day engagements do not need to be connected to it and do not need to be a result of the involvement. It's exactly like a company vrs a job. One is an overarching organization, which is different from the day to day functions.

      Besides, I feel like if they just walk away from everything connected with mental health/Heads Together, then I think it would call into question their sincerity for the campaign.

      And I really do think that those 4-W/K in particular are waiting to inherit patronages from the Queen and PP. I think once they do, their engagements and patronages will take a wider scope and their focus won't seem quite so singular.

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    3. I agree, Annette, that they each have areas they specialize in. They then come together to discuss how those areas make up the whole. I think it's a great idea and is also necessary for seeing campaigns and causes through. I don't think it detracts from their other engagements. As I said in an earlier response to Julia, in my opinion, more exposure means more impact.

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    4. Rebecca & Katie, I'm sorry I meant to type your names too! :) You both expressed your thoughts so well & I completely agree! :)

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  11. I liked Kate's dress and her discussion about her interest in mental health.

    As for the event, I haven't watched much, but bluntly, hope this is the only royal forum ever put on for the foundation. I think they just need to dig in and do their work without self-promotion.

    And, even more bluntly, I hope they do few engagements as a foursome.

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    1. I agree on both points. I think they need to separate and do their own thing. I am not really sure how the 'foursome' is helping any of them.

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    2. I doubt this will be the last forum they do and I do think they will do events together. But, I do think once the older generations(Queen/PP/Kents, etc) start handing out patronages, each will have a much more varied and busy schedule so it won't seem like everything they do is connected to mental health and the Royal Foundation.

      I also suspect there may be some heavy 'foursome' visits/discussions for a bit to offset the discord in the older generation. A reassurance to the public that internal fighting isn't really an issue for this generation.

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    3. I couldn't disagree more. I think that the Royal Foundation was not self-promotion, but showcasing the patronages/causes/charities that they are involved it. I think this is a brilliant way to bring more awareness. I also feel that they should do this annually as a way to connect the dots.

      Allyson

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    4. I expect the four of them appearing together today was to show the family's backing for Meghan as she joins the patronage. Remember it was a little while before Kate did solo engagements. Meghan is older and has much more public experience than did Kate when she joined the Firm, but still she needs that quiet support from the three people who will be her closest colleagues in this new career. Today was her introduction.

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    5. I actually think an annual forum will be quite helpful to facilitate updating the UK etc. on their work individually & as a whole. The Foundation, I feel, will grow to be a well known positive entity within The UK & The Commonwealth!

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    6. Charlotte - France28 February 2018 at 23:06

      Agree, Purple Fields, this event showed their weaknesses over their strengths (and the reporter asking if they fight, really?! Is that all you've got to ask?)

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    7. On this particular occasion, I believe it would have been quite odd for W&K to attend without Harry (and it was natural for them to bring Meghan into the fold at this point). Likewise, I cannot imagine Harry (and Meghan) attending without W&K. Going forward, I think we will see a combination of separate and joint engagements.

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  12. Thank you so much for posting the video Charlotte! The UK is so lucky to have the Royal Foundation and three (soon to be four) powerful personalities with access to the media and money that can make changes in some of the most critically vulnerable areas—subjects—in society. I wish, I wish we could come together like this in the US. I know we have a lot of organizations working here, we are a huge country, we don’t have central figures like the RF who can bring the country together like this. Here, as a teacher in my small military town in Arizona I could use some of those resources that were highlighted in the video. I could BE part of the conversation—if such a conversation existed. Sadly it doesn’t. But this gives me hope to look for like minded individuals and to keep on volunteering.

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    1. Tammy from California28 February 2018 at 15:33

      Jo, I SO agree with you! I think about it all the time! I am a teacher too, and I see such usefulness for this campaign here in the U.S. This comes to mind in particular with the recent school shootings. Many of these individuals had issues having to do with death of parents, divorce and other things. Who knows what could have been prevented if these kids had access to some of this here in the U.S. Maybe not all of them, but if we could have prevented even one. We NEED this here.

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    2. Good to be able to [[hug]] you Tammy! On Friday a sixth grader came back to my school after surviving a suicide attempt. Another was not so lucky a month ago. As a substitute teacher (I could be working every day if I could bear it) I have no support system for the helplessness I feel about the effect the lack of mental health support is having here, witnessed through our children but usually beginning through adults. It is odd/sad that we have to meet on a UK blog to share our pain about it.

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    3. Tammy from California28 February 2018 at 18:09

      Oh my goodness. Well, maybe it is our calling. Start it here. “Start the conversation” as Kate says.

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    4. Jo I share your wish that we had such a thing in The US. I hope the UK & Commonwealth know how lucky they are to have a Family that is dedicated to Important Causes & has Generations of Continuity! That's Priceless! :)

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  13. I'm impressed with Kate today, we know she has issues with public speaking but she sounded more confident and comfortable in that setting.

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  14. What a great day. I loved seeing the four of them together! I have a lovely bond with my SILs... there's something about being married to brothers that bonds you instantly, and I think I see some of that between Kate and Meghan.

    I'll say it again. Kate looks best in pregnancy when in maternity pieces. Tried and true blue, fits her nicely.

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    1. Senorita Dee, I agree that it looks like Kate & Meghan already are sharing that bond! :)

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  15. I think it was a good thing to show them united now because Kate will be very busy with the baby soon and MM will be busy with the wedding. Kate looked really comfortable, and perhaps MM helped in that. I think MM chose a blue dress because Kate wore blue. It was good for them to just reiterate that they are together as they head off to their separate engagements and interests.

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    1. That is a good point! I don't have much of a problem with todays engagement because we got to hear more of their thoughts behind things and it is an important visual to show unity in this generation. So as a stand alone thing I think it was alright (although a little too "pat on the back" heavy for my taste).

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    2. Rebecca, one thing that hit me, was that we know lots about what they are all doing, because we follow along. I think what may have seemed as "pats on the back" could have been the first time others watching were finding out about what they are doing, how it came about & what goals they have for the future. Just a thought. :)

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  16. They develop Royal Foundation very much and I 'm glad that Meghan join their.I 'm convinced that they made and they will make a big difference.
    It is unusal and very interesting kind of engagement.It is wonderful to heard their opinions and see their on the stage,especially Catherine who is shy and not keen on performance (Meghan is actress and she accoustemed with stage ).
    I am thinking about cobalt blue dress from Seraphine and what I see today ? I love this colour and line. I think that it 's great choice after some new coats.

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  17. Some have commented that the two couples should separate and do their own thing. But, I’m absolutely certain that when this happens, the headlines will be that they are not getting along with each other; that there’s friction between them because of Meghan Markle, etc. I think that at some events they will all be together. At other times, each couple will be on their own. At times, Kate and MM will appear together. I think it is unfortunate that there is (and always will be) so much analysis and evaluation of their interaction with each other.

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    1. Good points, Melissa.

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    2. Oh, I'm sure it would! Just like how right now the reporters are writing about how good friends Kate and Meghan are (they might be, they might just be normally kind people, we have no clue) side by side with articles pitting them against each other ("Which one do you like more?"). It's kind of.. is what it is.. when it comes to things like that. And most such things are just reading into something based on what you already think!

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    3. Yes, Melissa!!!

      In the day and age of media that we live in, why not take advantage of it in order to kill two birds with one stone: 1)Showing a united front in the BRF (which is notoriously known for its bickering), and 2) To highlight causes and gain exposure.

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    4. I imagine the opportunity and the common-sense time will come for them to split households when William becomes PoW. I couldn't see them doing it before then.

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  18. I appreciate the hard work you do on this blog but I wish you wouldn't use the Daily Mail as a source. I find that newspaper has a very divisive agenda and the online part is worse. Many of the commenters on royal stories make horrid, insulting and in some part openly racist comments particularly towards Meghan.
    It's your blog and you can do as you please but reading excerpts from mail online stories here when I've seen what the comments on that story have said is disconcerting. I don't feel mail online does enough regarding dealing with sexist, misogynistic racist comments. I report them regularly but the anti meghan comments are getting worse and worse.

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    1. The Daily Mail commentariat is one of the foulest groups around. I highly recommend avoiding it at all costs.

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  19. Tammy from California28 February 2018 at 15:29

    What a wonderful event. I just love everything about Kate: her personality, genuineness and even that she gets a touch nervous still (as seen with the hand movements). She is so beautiful on the inside, that nothing she wears will ever compare.

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    1. Oh Tammy how beautifully said.:) I completely agree! :)

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    2. I second that, Becca! Tammy, you have expressed beautifully what makes Kate such a joy to read about—I couldn’t agree more. A wonderful asset to her family and nation.

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  20. This was a great idea for a Forum; getting the info out to highlight the beginning and to look to the future. Certainly, the young Royals will do separate charity works from time to time, but under the umbrella of the Royal Foundation, so much more can be done, especially with the smaller grassroots organizations which are necessary, and are just as important as your larger charity organuzations. Thanks, Charlotte. I enjoyed it.

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    1. I agree that the Royal Foundation is a good umbrella. I think my thinking is more the connected to the general day to day offices. Their PR and staff and such. I think they would have more success in having separate teams since they have different approaches.

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    2. Marcia you summed it up so efficiently & positively. I completely agree! :)

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    3. Rebecca, I think that there will ultimately be 3 offices. One for W&K, One for H&M, One for The Foundation. I believe also that they will have a dictate to work efficiently & interactively together. I believe this will work well, as it will be desired by all 4. None of the foursome strike me as being tolerant of inefficiency & ineffectiveness. Now that they are all Full Time Royals, any mistakes & gaffs from the past will not be tolerated or serve their purposes moving forward. Just my hunch! :)

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  21. I think this is a great event. I have not been able to watch but I am glad to see that the three have been intentional about follow through and continuing their work with the mental health focus. I am glad to see Meghan has jumped right it and will be excited to see how she and Kate and tag team and compliment each other moving forward. As they said, this is a lifetime commitment.

    Kate looked good, standard pregnancy dress. Glad to see it's getting a second wearing.

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  22. Today's concept was a good idea. It keeps a spotlight on the foundation, plus a further insight into it's conception and purpose. It brought together not just the royals but the partnerships they work with. I for one, was unaware of the scope of the foundation, so to listen to the conversation today, was quite insightful. Let's hope this is an annual event, with updates on how each of the charities are progressing, and to hear what plans they have for the foundation in the years to come. What it did show, was that each of the charities can function individually, and therefore each of the royals can patron their chosen charities, without it being a constant collective.
    Kate did an amazing job today, not just in delivering her speech, but also in the Q&A session. She is not the most confident out of the four, but there's something quite endearing about that.
    Pleased Kate went with Seraphine dress, the colour and style is flattering. I would have preferred her hair up and out of her face, so she didn't have to keep tucking it behind her ear, otherwise, it was a fantastic day, and Kate really did shine :-)
    Thanks to Charlotte for both posts.

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    1. Annabel, I feel & felt the same way about Kate! :)

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  23. Im so proud of our Kate, in the way one is proud of her younger sister! I’ve been a fan since 2010, and I have to say Im so amazed at how far she’s come on her journey. She is an awesome supporter of not just her husband and the causes they champion, but also of the Royal family, her family. You can see she is proud to be there, and the admiration she has for HM, PP & PC is evident. Its nice to know their work will continue for Royal generations to come. This American girl is feeling quite gushy over “her” monarchy!
    Claudia

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  24. Keep the conversation going. That it the way to change things.
    XOXOXOXOXOX

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    1. I agree!! This is exactly what their focus is in coming together is keeping the conversation going in order to bring about actual change!

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  25. It was fun to see all of them together again. I think it's the first time since Christmas. I love Kate's dress. I'm glad she wore that one again.

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  26. Kate looks beautiful. She is really an asset to the royals, I think. Not sure if Megan wore the required sheer nylons or not. I do think the sheer hose really polish up and complete the outfit. I remember they used to be required wear for work.

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  27. As I said over on Meghan's blog, I think she looks gorgeous and glowing. Kate, too, looks well. I'm happy to see her repeating clothes regularly. This particular dress fits her pregnancy nicely and is a great color.

    I echo what some have already said about the Royal Foundation being a great umbrella, under which the royals both work together and work on their separate causes to bring greater impact to the work they do. They have stated they really want to see things through and to bring positive change...what better way than to highlight that altogether? It brings the spotlight onto their causes. I think the BRF needs the younger generation to show more unity, especially going forward into a media and digitally-driven future. I'm actually not sure why many seem to be upset about William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan coming together every once in awhile. I do believe they'll still have their separate causes and engagements, but why not join forces for greater impact from time to time?

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    1. Exactly.What is negative with working together ?It 's only first and one time when two couple appear together oficially and say that they can do more together. I think that it 's something to praise not criticise.

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    2. I Completely Agree with you both, Becca H & Karolina Joanna! :) No downside to me, only positive potential! To me it came across as a given that all 4 & each couple will continue to support their own patronages.

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  28. I don't know, it feels unnecessary to have Meghan over. If this event was held in May or June, I'd wholeheartedly support it, but it feels too over-the-top when she's not even married in yet, almost as if she's rushing (or being rushed) to fit in. She's just moving to the country, let her have some time before involving her in everything.

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    1. I agree Lotte. I feel like her being there was rushing her into it. They are pushing hard for people to get used to Meghan. I think for this engagement it should have just been the 3 since the conversation was about the royal foundation which Meghan is not part of yet. She isn't even a royal yet. For me personally, and this is nothing against Meghan, I just feel like they are rushing too much. There really was no reason for her being there other than the fact the royal family wants Meghan seen so the country can get used to her.

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    2. I too agree that Meghan being front and centre is the horse before the cart. As stated above, this is life-long and there is plenty of time for Meghan to be settled into a new country and then be included after her wedding. At the end of the day, it does say "Royal" and shes not one yet.

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    3. It does feel unnecessary to have Meghan over,,but I'm assuming this was an experience for her to wet her feet, so to speak. She will be a part of the project in the future and this was a good initiative for her to get a feel, reactions and feedback, to offer her own opinions and perspectives,,IMO.

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  29. Thank you Charlotte forthe interesting post. What I liked and thought important first. I saw this in the same vein as Harry and Meghan's trips around the UK just her introduction to the world in her future position in the Foundation. I have always liked the umbrella concept for the oportunities it gives the various charities to meet like minded and different people and all that comes from that. When there has been someone at the helm for as long as the Queen has it is very tricky for those who come after to both respect what has been done before and be relevant to the present. The speeches today were good for outlining that. It was important to demonstrate a unity in this generation of the royal family and also for the indication of cross generational cooperation. Perhaps more engagements like Sophie and Kate's in the future. What I did not like. Four is too many. The event was clunky and awkard because of that. The stage format a bit sterile. Perhaps an annual conference type format would be better. The format highlighted how much Meghan is still in the Angelina Jolie mode which I thought was unfortunate. On a fashion note I found the Princes fashion choices more interesting very indicative of how their future roles will evolve.Kate looks very close to term. Meghan looked dressed still more celebrity than royal. It will be interesting to watch her transition. It must have been difficult for the phographers. There are not many good pictures from today and for that the format is to blame as there were no oportunites for interesting moments.

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    1. After all the complaints over the years about Kate dressing in a boring style, it is interesting that her future sister-in-law, who dresses in a style I would describe as American West Coast Modern is belittled for it. Everyone must be allowed their opinion, but I see nothing in the least unroyal in that style. It looks much more like other European Royal women. It's natural, I suppose, that the women of the Royal family will always have their detractors. Kate dressed conservatively before her marriage (other than the infamous lemon and green skating number), so no great surprise that she has carried on in that same classic/dull/tasteful (pick your adjective) way through marriage and motherhood.

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    2. I have to disagree Greybird. Yes, it is true that some royal ladies wear suits to certain engagements (Letizia more than others) but they all show a rather eccentric and colourful vibe very often. Maxima, Victoria (who I love but the hit and miss game is strong with her), Sofia, even Mette who often wears darker colours. Mathilde style is very similar to Kate’s in some regard and Madeleine balances very nicely between modern celebrity and traditional royal. They never look like a celebrity. Royals often pop out (due to colour or style) or are drowning completely (dark suits).
      It is not that I don’t like Meghan’s style, it is just not the right dress code for her new job in my eyes. Kate can look rather frumpy from time to time (especially with those high necklines and midi length skirts that are on trend right now) and yes her style is repetitive (who’s isn’t?) but overall she fits into league. I am sure Meghan can make her style work with just small adjustments, and wear whatever she is happy with in private. But American West Coast Modern is not going to work I believe.

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    3. Is there a royal rulebook that describes the dress code for attending these types of engagements? Also what makes the royal cut vs Hollywood celebrity or American? Meghan is not wearing a camisole, its a very nice dress that modern,professional and modest. The dress was also below the knees, no flyaways either. I feel that people are used to seeing Kate dress in a certain way and expect the same from Meghan which is never going to be the case. Let's not pit the women against each other or put down one to elevate the other. I think we can be fair and appreciate both for who they are.

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  30. Response to comments about how cumbersome it seems to have an event with all four of them: I thought it was nice to see all of them together, since it was a forum about the foundation itself, and they appear to be establishing it as an annual event. Each of the royals have individual areas of interest, so we've seen them separately attending events. For example, we see Kate at women's and children's mental heath events, Harry at Endeavour and Invitus events, William at conservation, men's mental health, and homelessness events. They all appeared together to launch the Heads Together campaign which is an umbrella under the issues supported by the foundation. I don't think we will see a lot of events with all four of them together, except at ones like today.

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  31. I thought Kate looked lovely today. Ive liked this dress for a long time and thought it looks good at all stages of pregnancy that its been worn. She glowed.

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  32. Was there a picture of Meghan standing up? I would have liked to see her dress better.

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    1. You could see the whole dress in motion when they entered and when they took their seats in the audience.

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    2. Okay, thanks!

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  33. I loved Everything about today! I loved hearing from Will, Harry & Kate directly about the history of The Foundation! I loved how William introduced & welcomed Meghan to The Team! I loved the brothers cracking everybody up! The organic humor between these sibs & wives (1 to be) is such fun! It's fun watching the boys ribbing each other & the girls cracking up, appreciating them & their humor! It was such fun seeing how Kate & Meghan interacted & seeing their kind body language, with each other. I love the focus on them being Family & their focus on laying groundwork for generations to come (meaning their children & grandchildren etc). It's charming & so practical. I love the emphasis that they are committed to this Foundation for life! Just hearing their perspectives about viewing their positions & commitments to their family, as a whole, for life was so great! It really hit home for me that Wow, they really know they have made vows not just to their marriages for life, but also to their Royal Family & To Serving The UK & The Commonwealth People! I loved hearing from Meghan. I also enjoyed seeing them all sitting there together. Even from a superficial aesthetic, they just all sort of "go" together visually. I was struck how Meghan & Kate look more alike than they do not! It was just such a positive, hopeful & delightful Forum! How wonderful to know this will be an Annual Event! Color me Happy! :)

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  34. I really love the work these four young people are doing, for their country and for the Royal family. They are calling attention to important issues, and they will do good works. Kate is really growing into her role as future queen. I rarely like anything she wears, so I'll just leave that for others to remark about. She looked very confident and beautiful today. I love everything Megan wears, and will head over to the other blog to see what people have to say about that. Thanks for another excellent post! Very informative.

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  35. I've seen a bit of the video and saw Kate answering some of the interviewer's questions and thought she did very well; much improved from years ago when she was asked some questions during a UNICEF visit with Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary in Denmark. It must be very daunting to be interviewed in public like this, and in front of an audience and I think this was quite impressive.

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  36. California Cowgirl28 February 2018 at 23:50

    I enjoyed seeing all of them together today. Does anyone else thing Kate is due long before April? Like perhaps any day now? I thought both ladies looked lovely, and I'm dying to have those earrings of Kate's ID'd. Meghan looked beautiful and spoke very well, however I thought her dress was a little strange for the season and wondered if she was cold.

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    1. No, she looks right about 8 months along to me.

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  37. Loved seeing them all happy together especially after the racist threats about Meghan. Kate looks beautiful and about ready to pop! I am so happy that Kate did not suffer lots of sickness in this pregnancy like she has done previously. Thank you Charlotte

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  38. Oh i love seeing those ladies side by side. I feel like meghan is soing great ans fantastic view in the royal family the duchess growing role as a member of royal family

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  39. 🌸 California Cowgirl. My guess is the beginning of the third week in March, if not sooner.

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  40. California Cowgirl, Yes to me she looks like she's very close to full term!

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    1. surfer girl and Becca, have you ever had children? She doesn’t look more than 7-8 months to me. The Palace said April; I’d assume early April given the wedding date, so she’d be at or approaching eight months now.

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    2. Yes, Juniper. 5! :) My daughter is currently pregnant with her 5th. We all have different reference points & as you know, even every pregnancy can be different for any given woman!:) I know mine were & I've seen that with my daughter too, from the perspective of how soon & how much the Baby Pops the Mom out! :) We'll find out eventually! :)

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    3. 🌸 Yes. I have a child, Juniper. :)

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  41. I think the “Royal Foundation” is a mind changer of its own. Everyone is accustomed to all the Royals doing their individual charities. The individual charity contacts will still happen. Just this week, The Duchess of Cambridge was at a GYN Hospital and nursing event, ALONE. Tonight, she will attend a function at the National Portrait Gallery. The Royal Foundation is simply an umbrella that will hopefully continue to bring an efficient and global impact, and still serve the primary charity passions of the young Royals.

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  42. Becca at 22:42, I agree. The young Royals made it clear that they are not re-inventing the wheel; they are simply trying to find a more efficient way to to get the job done. That’s all.

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  43. Here's my takeaway from this: They are establishing themselves not as experts but as people who can get experts together to foster change. They are positioning themselves as connectors. For the UK, this is actually important in a Brexit climate. They are increasingly talking about the Commonwealth and tourism as economy. Their slogan "Making a Difference Together" is so generic it includes everyone.

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    1. Florida Moxie I agree! I also thought it was interesting when Harry mentioned "Sustainable Tourism" as a new interest for him? It will be interesting to see the direction each chooses to explore after The Wedding & The Baby!

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  44. Wow, I cannot believe all the negativity surrounding this event! From complaining about this forum somehow showcasing the foursome's "weaknesses," to complaining about the four of them appearing all together, to complaining about royals having a foundation at all; these complaints are so disheartening! I, for one, love seeing the four of them together. And I was very happy to hear more from them personally and thought this conversation gave us another chance to get to know them, both as a group and as individuals. I thought they were all gracious about highlighting each other's involvement and interests, and spoke confidently and passionately each in their own way.

    I really look up to the work they are doing to raise awareness about each of their fields of interest; and seeing folks I admire so committed to charity work makes me more proud of the small ways I am involved in charities in my own life.

    If this is an annual event, I will look forward to it every year! Thanks for the coverage, Charlotte.

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    1. I Completely Agree Heather! I was surprised but am trying to not be disheartened. I thought it was amazing & highlighted the ways that They being A Royal Family, allows them to make long term commitments unlike any other! I see them as making The Monarchy Relevant in traditional yet unique ways! The message I heard was that they are building on the history of their family & taking it into the future in ever evolving ways.

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  45. Catherine's earring id found here: http://orderofsplendor.blogspot.de/2018/03/royal-outfits-of-day-kates-and-meghans.html

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    1. Another suggestion:

      http://members2.boardhost.com/royal-jewels/msg/1519840057.html

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  46. @Florida. Yes, I agree.

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  47. I am surprised by the criticism, coming as it does from the same people who refuse to believe that the duke and duchess do any real work behind the scenes, and make only quick visits in public. This event certainly evinces considerable effort to make the Foundation as useful as it can be. Also, there is no indication that the four participants will do a lot of joint public work, and so that criticism also seems strange. I think this was a worthy and enjoyable expression of what they hope to accomplish.

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  48. I also believe that we're all overly critical regarding the Duchess' choice of fashion during this pregnancy, whether in this engagement, or in any previous engagement, especially as her pregnancy has advanced. I think she's a nice person and a beautiful woman no matter what she wears, and my husband feels the same way, even though he doesn't follow her as much as I do. I'm also glad that she's coming along well and able to schedule and fulfill engagements, regardless of the weather.

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  49. Julia from Leominster1 March 2018 at 22:55

    I've noticed here and on the other blog that there were comments about pushiness in the context of women. I'll just make a general remark that it's worth remembering this applies as much or even more to national differences. American men, as much as women, in business are often seen as more inclined to be outspoken and self-promoting where British men and women are often more self-deprecating and less effusive.

    These are obviously generalities but there is truth in them - and books have been written to guide international employees through differences in how people in other countries act and think. From a royal point of view, this is vitally important because one's essentially representing another nation - whether it's Prince Albert coming from Germany or Maxima, an Argentinian becoming a Dutch queen. It takes time and appreciation to pick up the nuances of another culture - it can't be done in a few months - but it is vital before representing a new nation abroad.

    I just mention this because it is very easy to forget when discussing how behaviour is perceived - it doesn't mean any nation is wrong - in fact, differences are to be celebrated, but at the same time, different standards need to be understood and respected - and in Britain, no one embodies those standards more than the royal family - especially the queen.

    Not long ago, I remember people mentioning that they thought Prince Charles' comments - about George starting school sounded odd, too restrained and perhaps not affectionate enough - but he merely sounded like a British prince who isn't going to gush over a grandchild. It's something that works both ways.

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    1. Very well said, Julia. I appreciate your perspective and the circumspect way you state it. New roles are always an adjustment—even more so when different cultures are involved! Excellent examples, too, of people who have had to go through similar situations. Thank you!

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  50. Come on critics, give MM a chance. She is not going to have the respite Kate had in Whales, she is older and is already a public figure. Let's not let her suffer the bashing inside the Palace Diana did and let's allow Harry along with William and Kate give her the leg up she will need with the public. It's not "too soon" to see her get her promotion.

    The four used "mental health" as the umbrella for their various areas of focus leaving the way for MM to perhaps incorporate the support of women into the mix. What a powerful platform to promote mental health as it intersects with other important segments of charity work, not "disjointed" at all. We could use messaging like this here in the US so there are fewer mass shootings.

    Accept her, be kind - she is bright and motivated to serve. Her relaxed California style is what we are going to get and it is exciting, appropriate and important to what she brings to the table. She is something new and different and will garner attention to her causes and serve the public. That is just what Harry loves. Isn't that the most important piece of this?



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    1. Julia from Leominster4 March 2018 at 17:04

      If I were to marry a prime minister in Japan or a prince in Saudi Arabia - I wouldn't expect to be something 'new and different'; that my way of doing things was appropriate for my adopted country and should be instantly welcome. I would study the manners, the norms, and customs of my new nation and proceed slowly, trying to keep what was best in myself whilst recognising that countries have different standards and the position I was assuming might be incompatible to what I had done in the past.
      If I were to represent a country because of my marriage, I would need to adapt to those standards. Perhaps it wouldn't be what I would wish to do, and presumably, my husband liked me the way I was or he wouldn't be marrying me, but the role I would be taking on extends beyond him. It takes respect, a humbleness, and a willingness to learn, to make a success of this and I believe that is what many are missing here. And if there was unhappiness with my conduct, I wouldn't assume it was because I was right, and everyone else was hateful and wrong - personally, I find criticism a constructive thing - although it can be very hard to take - there have been times I've done so on this blog.
      We are dealing with two things - a partner and a public role. Not every marriage leads to someone who makes a success in the public role. Princess Michael is a good example because she has been far too outspoken - she is rather fun, but not in a good way, but she has repeatedly put herself forward, earned her title of Princess Pushy, saying tactless things - she has never adjusted to her adopted nation - and doesn't act as if she feels she needs to. Michael obviously loves her - they've been married forty years, I've met people who say she's privately delightful, she is very intelligent but sense and intelligence don't always walk hand in hand. As a member of the royal family - few would call her a success - that tasteless brooch was an example of 'being herself.'
      I have said I wouldn't speak about Meghan and won't beyond this, but I took note of one comment in the Telegraph that said 'she never mentions Britain.' And she doesn't - she seems to live in an agenda-driven ambitious world of her own. I have no problem with the Commonwealth Ceremonies but I do feel it is much too soon for her to speak her mind and that she has been brought on too quickly without sufficient cautious advice.
      So call me a hater if you will - inaccurate as that is - but it is a wish to see the royal family succeed then that she fail. I've said always that my opinion of any one member of the family - any of them from the queen to Kate comes from how they fit into the royal family as piece of the whole puzzle - not as an individual fan. If you have to tear the puzzle to make a fit - there's a large risk the whole thing can be shredded.
      Thirty-two years ago a young woman came roaring into the royal family. She was said to be a breath of fresh air, a sirocco was more like it, but she was eager and charitably minded. She was marrying a handsome war-hero prince that was one of the most popular members of the royal family - he was clearly madly in love with her - and they were going to modernise the royal family. It was not popular to criticise them. We know how sadly that story ended. Let's not see this one end the same way because of a feeling all critics must be wrong.

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    2. Julia, while I don't agree with all your points & positions. I find wisdom in what you say. I too want them to succeed! I want them to be a success as a private couple as well as a Royal Couple. I also want Meghan to find the right balance to be happy in the private part of her life & in The Job & Role she is taking on.

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    3. Dear Julia, For years you have tried to speed Kate up. Now you want to slow Meghan down. But their beginning situations have been quite different, given their previous experience and age at marriage. Also, the fact that Meghan can join an established Foundation with a maturing structure. Meghan obviously wants passionately to continue her work for women, and she sees a way to make it international. More power to her, it is such a great need. Comparing Meghan to Princess Michael or the Duchess of York is very odd, because she has such a different character from either of them. One can only hope that those who disparage her in the roughshod comments Charlotte deletes will pay attention to who Mgan is and drop their racist rancor. Your criticism is quite different, of course. But I think Prince Harry’s face reflects the strain all the bashing is causing. Let’s give him and Meghan time and our sincere best wishes.

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    4. Julia from Leominster5 March 2018 at 18:51

      You're right - I have wanted to speed Kate up - she has difficulty with public speaking, little work experience and tends to be reserved - and I would like to see Meghan slow down - before giving her an opportunity to pursue an agenda. I would have put her into engagements where she is out of her semi-political areas - instead I would pick care home or cancer centres - I believe she has a very good heart and would receive a warm and eager welcome (and these are areas that affect so many, touch on mental as well as physical health and are areas where the young royals have paid no attention.) Someone like Meghan could bring wonderful cheer with her warmth and enthusiasm - at the same time it would pull her away from her borderline political agendas which are making many - men and women, and not just traditional royalists - uncomfortable and also casting doubts on her real interest in her new nation rather than self-promotion - it would be 'princess' lessons.

      These are two ends of a line where I would like to see both ladies meet in the middle - Kate is starting to approach centre - this is almost seven years on. But I tend from my work days to be proactive - when I see an alarming fall off of interest, a rise of republicanism and an alienation from a new royal - such as is troubling Charlotte - I tend to look for solutions - and the royal family doesn't function that way. It tends to be decentralised and lets people rise - and fall, and some have fallen very hard - on their own - and often doesn't act until it is very late. The racism is horrible but is also a distraction - it ignores what I see the most of - people who are uncomfortable with not with what Meghan is but HOW she is presenting herself so early - (and it is very early - she's only been in Britain a couple of months but acts like she knows everything.) Since most people aren't racist and don't want to be accused as such, they simply write her off, where a change in tactics might make a difference.

      I'm not hugely familiar with acting thank goodness, but I believe that self-promotion is necessary. But the royal family is mirror opposite - representing a traditional manner of self-depredation. When Charles asked Diana to marry him he said something like 'if it's not too awful.." No one truly believed Diana was going to think it too awful (although she probably should have) - and she said 'yes, please." Contrast with Meghan who interrupted Harry (considered traditionally very rude) and exclaimed 'Can I say yes now!" Harry probably loved it but it sounded wrong and she's continued to put herself forward.
      Instead of constantly hammering on people for being so awful as to not fall instantly in love with a new royal - and I find enthusiasm for this wedding very muted overall - why not look at why this is happening and fix it. Is that so hard?

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    5. Oh Patricia, So Well Said! :) I agree about seeing the strain on Harry's face & it breaks my heart. This should be such a joyful time for them both & I imagine his need to protect & spare her all of this is really weighing on him! :( Not to mention the danger factor...... :( Well I'm sending them loads of love & support from the US! :) xoxo

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    6. Julia from Leominster5 March 2018 at 22:11

      spell check error deprecation is the correct word.

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    7. Julia, this American agrees with you on many levels. Trust me! I am a firm believer in "when in Rome..." And, if you recall, on many occasions I did suggest (or argue :-) that Kate was not free to do as she pleased. The role of a royal spouse comes with expectations; the perks come at a price.

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    8. Julia, I agree with you on Kate. I was surprised how long it took for her to be included in institutional events, like the diplomatic reception or State visits. Unlike you, I don't lie it at her door, IMO she would have done what she was asked to do. I think she was trying to please the RF first and foremost. And I don't view in a negative way her wish to focus on her family. Regarding Meghan, as this is not the place to comment on her, I'd just say, there is a huge cultural gap. I hope that she and Harry can be counselled and be aware how it can be perceived, and as you say, fix it. But I agree with you the RF doesn't really have an history of giving or receiving good advice.

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    9. Julia from Leominster6 March 2018 at 16:59

      I decided only to comment on Meghan if there is a joint engagement that was covered on this blog, and to only comment on subjects other than her clothes if someone raised a topic.

      I hesitated to do so at all but I've been dismayed at the polarising here and elsewhere - on one side branding everyone who isn't impressed by Meghan's start as a hater, or jealous, or racist or unhappy, whilst on the other side, troubling Charlotte with all sort of nonsense, and offensive and ridiculous claims. This has tended to stifle any sort of chance to look analytically at what is going on.

      I believe no improvement in the situation will be made unless a middle ground is found - but the middle, like in Dance of Death, is an unpopular place to land. Meghan's introduction and the response to it, a very complex subject where I could write a tome, but there is no place for that here and I have real work approaching,

      So I tried to target one fundamental subject directly mentioned in the comment I was responding to - the need to adapt to standards if you marry someone in public life in a new nation and how I don't feel that has been well handled.

      Kate is in so many ways the mirror opposite of this situation - like you, I think she was trying terribly hard to please, especially William and the Royal Family, and was also terribly afraid of making mistakes - and so erred too much on the side of caution. Yet, a heavy dose of caution and thought in my opinion would have done much to prevent the present problem. We seem not able to win.

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  51. Could the earrings be Kendra Scott? The Atticus Stud Earrings look similar.

    https://www.kendrascott.com/products/atticus.html?dwvar_atticus_stoneColor=327&cgid=#q=Atticus%2BStud%2BEarrings&lang=en_US&start=2

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  52. To be honest I have hesitated to make a comment after reading so much negativity here. I was thoroughly impressed with the 54 minute video. I believe that the four of them, together and separately are, and will continue to make a huge positive impact. Contrary to some opinions, together they showcase their positive traits, and going forward through many decades they will be a forceful voice for their country and the monarchy.

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    1. To criticize someone's style of speaking, is in my opinion missing the point. The four of them spoke in a professional, yet casual and relatable manner, thus insuring their message got through. Kate, who has not had years in the public eye, nor is apparently comfortable when it comes to speech making, has improved beyond measure. She is a charming, intelligent woman, and a great partner to William.

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  53. Thanks for the post! I wonder if Kate’s earrings a jcrew crew cluster earrings? Just a thought!

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  54. Zora from Prague4 March 2018 at 15:00

    I second that, Tedi. I watched the video on Friday (was too busy before that) and I share your opinion.

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  55. Hello Charlotte! Did anyone find out about the beautiful earrings the Duchess wore that day?

    I watched the video and it was incredibly moving! As a mental health professional in the US, I think the topic is fundamentally important, all over the world! It is so special to see people opening up and sharing their experiences. What an amazing idea our Duchess had! I couldn’t love her more!!
    Claudia

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