Wednesday, 7 March 2018

"Incredibly Proud" Duchess Kate Opens Place2Be Headquarters!

The Duchess of Cambridge officially opened the new headquarters of her patronage Place2Be in London this morning.


The Duchess arrived accompanied by her assistant private secretary Laura Baker.


Place2Be provides emotional and therapeutic support to children in schools, working alongside school leaders, teachers and parents. The organisation is one of the Heads Together charity partners and a patronage Kate visits regularly.


The headquarters will provide state-of-the-art training facilities to enable Place2Be to train more counsellors, teachers and school leaders. The new facilities also provide a new home to the charity's research and evaluation teams.


An arrival video from Victoria Murphy.


Kensington Palace said "The Duchess will use the visit to learn more about the training provided and research conducted by Place2Be around children's mental health, which is key part of Her Royal Highness's work to support mothers, teachers and parents in order to ensure children have the best possible start in life."


Time for arts and crafts.


The Duchess chatting with pupils.


More from the Mail Online:

Speaking with children from Albion Primary School in Rotherhithe, who have worked with Place2Be for 16 years, Kate asked them: 'What do you think about it?
'What's the best thing about it?'
 She also said to the children, who were drawing and sticking into the outline of a paper hand: 'I love what you are doing here. 
'I should be putting things on that. Maybe I should take one home to do with George and Charlotte.'

Guests and supporters got hands-on experience of Place2Be and The Art Room's work throughout the morning.


You may recall, Place2Be merged with Kate's patronage The Art Room in January. The Art Room provides a group work intervention in schools using creativity and art to improve the wellbeing of pupils experiencing emotional or behavioural difficulties. William, Kate and Harry's Charities Forum aims to bring together their charities offering them the platform to update and collaborate. I imagine the Forum initiated communication which led to the bilateral partnership.


During the visit, the Duchess participated in a discussion with mental health professionals who have completed one of Place2Be’s accredited child counselling qualifications, as well as School Leaders who have participated in the charity’s Mental Health Champions programme. Kate meet staff and pupils from one of the charity’s longstanding partner schools, Albion Primary School in Rotherhithe, where Place2Be has been providing mental health support for pupils, families and staff for 16 years.


The Duchess then joined a roundtable with members of Place2Be’s Research and Evaluation team, and the independent Research Advisory Group.


They discussed how the charity uses evidence and research to inform and continuously improve practice.


During her speech, Kate praised Place2Be for being at the forefront of efforts to give every child the best start in life.


A video from Victoria Murphy.


The Mail posted Kate's full speech:

'Thank you so much for your warm welcome and for inviting me to open Place2Be’s new home.
Through my work with patronages like Place2Be, The Art Room, and other organisations which I support with huge enthusiasm, I've had the opportunity to meet with many school leaders, teachers and school-based mental health professionals. I have always been struck by their commitment to ensuring that children in their care receive the very best possible support. Their dedication to integrating emotional understanding and wellbeing into all areas of the school environment is extraordinary.
We know that schools have a vital role to play in creating an emotionally healthy culture for children. In spite of often-challenging circumstances, and the ever-present focus on academic achievement, I have witnessed the determination of many teachers and head teachers, in schools across the country, to prioritise the mental health and social development of children in their care: to help them build social skills; to help them build emotional skills; and ultimately to teach them life skills that will last a lifetime, and be the foundation for becoming mentally healthy adults.
Schools, however, cannot and should not have to manage all this alone. School leaders and teachers need expert guidance and training to develop their own approaches to supporting children’s mental wellbeing. They also need access to a pool of experienced, well-trained mental health professionals, who can step in when things are more complex or serious. As its Patron, I am incredibly proud of the contribution that Place2Be is making towards exactly this.
They are training and guiding thousands of counsellors, and many hundreds of school leaders, teachers and staff, based on the evidence and experience gathered from their frontline work. In my years of working with all of you at Place2Be, I have seen at first hand the leadership you provide: you are at the forefront of efforts to give every child the very best start in life.
That's why this new Centre of Excellence is so crucial, not only for Place2Be to continue their outstanding work, but for all the school leaders, teachers and children it helps now, and undoubtedly will help in the future years to come. I congratulate Benny, Catherine and all of you who have contributed to making it such a success. This Centre of Excellence is a new, and significant, step to helping those who will raise the next generation of mentally healthy children.'

Finally, Kate officially opened the new headquarters by unveiling a plaque.


The video below offers a nice overview of the engagement and a good portion of Kate's speech.


The Duchess wore the elegant Seraphine Marlene dress she debuted in Oslo last month.


From the product description:

'Worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, Seraphine’s Marlene Maternity Cocktail Dress is a true statement piece, perfect for special occasions. The soft woven skirt sweeps elegantly to the knee, creating a flattering A-line silhouette that’s perfect before, during and after pregnancy. The stunning lace bodice is lined in comfortable stretch jersey, while the elegant long sleeves are made in stylish peek-a-boo lace, with subtle bell detailing at the cuffs. Velvet ribbon detailing at the empire waist, cuffs and collar complete the look.'

Kate wore her Stuart Weitzman Power pumps.


And carried her Mulberry Bayswater clutch.


Kate accessorised with her sapphire and diamond earrings.


We'll see Kate on Monday for the Commonwealth Day service.

137 comments:

  1. Oh i love the dress in oslo. Hmm im glad she being the ourfit looks stunning

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  2. Rebecca - Sweden7 March 2018 at 11:18

    I love Kate's work with Place2be! And so does she, I think! Nice to see the charity expanding and continue to grow! They have such a great and admirable goal!

    Very nice to see another repeat. But she's really filling out now at the end! I doubt any of her non-stretch pieces would fit by now! She's probably so ready to get it over with by now! Although I cannot belive we're already getting to the end of this pregnancy!! Lucky us we'll still see her soon again!

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    1. Agree. It did seem a bit cocktail hour as opposed to daytime visit but it does stretch and looks easy and comfortable to wear. One can see why she chose it:). This is the first visit were it looked like she was truly into that last month. (Not only very full but a bit more fatigue in her face and in her body language.) Gorgeous of course.

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    2. Agree. I can not get use to lace during the day. I have always considered the fabric to be a cocktail/evening type attire. This probably is cotton lace which gives her some stretch which is much needed at this time. Kate does look tired but happy to be at Place2be! I do believe we will see her for the last time when she presents Shamrocks on the 17th. It has always been such a fun tradition for her and William.

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  3. I know that the clothes are kind of secondary to the purpose of the visit, but I'm a little disappointed in the choice of this dress for today's engagement if I'm honest. I think it looks a bit too 'cocktail dressy' for the nature of today's visit and also there's been a glut of cobalt blue from Kate lately and I was really hoping we might get something else on both days this week. It was great to see the JoJo Maman Bebe coat again yesterday and I would have loved to see the dalmation print coat or the lovely yellow and white Emilia Wickstead coat from the garden party in her first pregnancy again today. I'm sure this choice will mean there's another batch of media articles predicting that she's having a boy though! I just hope she throws a curveball by wearing the pale pink McQueen coat again for the Commonwealth Service!

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    1. I`m hoping maybe Kate will wear her Beulah London navy coat from the Afghanistan memorial service or the outfit she wore to the Queen`s 60th coronation anniversary. Those are probably two of my most favourite outfits that she wore while expecting.

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    2. I'm one of the few who also loves that dalmation print coat. I think she looked so stunning when she wore it with a ponytail when pregnant with George!

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    3. Caroline in Montana7 March 2018 at 16:14

      Helen, I also loved the yellow and white Emilia Wickstead coat from the garden party! So many good repeats she could choose from. I hope eventually most of them could be re done for non maternity wear.

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    4. I loved the yellow and white coat too!

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    5. Rebecca - Sweden7 March 2018 at 16:57

      Oh! I would love for her to wear the Beulah coat again! Maybe with some coloured accessories so as not to liken the appearances that have very different feels. The Beulah coat for the commonwealth service would look great!

      I also loooooove the dalmatian coat. The ponytail look was actually with Charlotte. With George she had a hat :)

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    6. Yes, I was totally thinking the Beulah coat for Monday!

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    7. Maple Leaf, I love the blush Jenny Packham outfit from the 60th anniversary of the coronation service too, and it's only been worn that once, so that's another great possibility for the Commonwealth Service.

      I was thinking about the yellow and white coat for today, but isn't Emilia Wickstead originally from New Zealand? With a new hat (I thought the one from the garden party was a bit too fussy), that would be perfect for the Commonwealth Service too if the weather's not too chilly (and it would make a nice change from Erdem!).

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  4. So good to see Kate's continued support to these wonderful charities which support mental health. It's an issue which is becoming an increasing topic of conversation and I'm really happy to see Kate shine a light on the inspiring work these lovely people do.

    Kate looks beautiful today, as always. I love this dress because it's so soft and feminine yet still looks so comfortable for a heavily pregnant woman with it's flowing fabric - cue the "It's a boy because she's wearing blue" headlines. Oh how I can't wait for the baby predictions to begin :)

    Love Avee in SA

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  5. Wow, looks like the bump really grew since Norway.

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    1. I agree. That's why I'm glad she repeated a dress from this same pregnancy. I thought it would be fun to see how much she's grown.

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  6. A very nice engagement - it looks like a wonderful centre for children with so many fun activities. Kate is going to become more and more knowledgeable as she talks to the staff and experts at these engagements - it may be my imagination but there seems a greater depth to these visits then there were a few years ago.

    As someone mentioned yesterday though, I hope Kate does spread out her interests a bit more in the autumn - it's important for royals to have a variety of engagements - to be generalists - so they represent the greatest part of their nation. The nursing engagement was an ideal example of that.

    Kate looks very pretty - I liked that dress before - blue truly is her colour. It's still quite cold but she must be able to do without a coat when there is no outside part of the engagement.

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    1. I'm quite excited thinking about what some of these patronages will be, as she inevitably branches out. I think (correct me if I'm wrong gang) that at The Chelsea Flower Show, there was some mention that Kate might one day take over that for The Queen? Also, she has taken over that military patronage from PP (darn can't remember the name) & now she has started off towards The Hospital & Nursing sectors with her 2 visits the other day. She has her Sailing related patronages, which may expand to others, with her natural interest in sport. Then there is her NPG Patronage, so more patronages in the arts would be really nice. I seem to recall mention of her attending The Royal Ballet with Charles. That was one of Diana's patronages & I wonder who has that now? If anyone? That would be a delightful fit & one she could share the fun of it with little Charlotte, as when she took George to the airfield to see the planes & helicopters at a function for that military patronage, of which I can't recall the name. Lots out there & it will be fun to see which ones she picks up! :)

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    2. Becca, I cannot even begin to contain my excitement at just the thought of Kate taking little Charlotte to the ballet! What an adorable set of photos that would make. If only we could will it to happen! Some of my all-time favourite photos of Prince George were the ones taken at the airshow wearing his ear defenders - he looked so bubbly and carefree that day. Mindful of the fact that they have to preserve privacy most of the time, it would still be joyous to see a small number of similar pictures of Charlotte doing something that she loves. I think the blog would melt!

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    3. 🌸 Helen. I would love to see photos of Charlotte on her pony also. I am assuming she definitely has one. We have videos of the Queen with her grandchildren on ponies so maybe we’ll see a birthday photo or two of Charlotte at the ballet and one also on her pony. Wouldn’t those be sweet and fun photos for posterity.

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    4. Julia from Leominster7 March 2018 at 19:28

      I do hope to see Kate expand her interests - the Chelsea Flower Show would be a great patronage although I suspect the queen will still wish to attend. So would the ballet - I'm thinking Charles is the patron of the Royal Ballet (I just enjoyed one of their performances - Leo tolerated it) - it may have been Princess Margaret before him - not Diana although Diana went to their performances.

      Gert's Royals says Diana was patron of English National Ballet and Andrew is now - that would seem like a great one for Kate to take over. (Andrew Ballet?? I've never heard of him taking the slightest interest.) There are important regional companies as well. Birmingham Royal Ballet comes to mind - I looked it up - The queen is patron - Charles is president and Sarah Chatto vice-president, so there would seem room for Kate in one of those posts.

      I would like to see the children become more involved in engagements too. I notice that the Swedish, the Danish, and the Monegasque royal families bring their children out more and release more photos. I think many in Britain feel more connection to these children if they follow royals at all then they do with the rarely seen George and Charlotte who have mostly been brought out abroad. (Diplomacy begins at home - Great Britain may be the only nation left where George is head of state one day.) None of the European children seem to be suffering from these small invasions of privacy - in fact it seems to make them more comfortable with the attention and gives the parents' a better relationship with the press to ask for privacy when they most want it.

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    5. Julia I so love reading your comments, you give us great insight on British life and culture! Leo sounds very tolerant.

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    6. I don't think the media attention is as intense regarding the other royals in other countries. No one can say that the media exposure is not affecting their children. You can not make that assumption. William would certainly know what it's like to be in the publiic eye at a young age and would be the best person to judge what is best for his own children. That is just common sense.

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    7. Given that Princess Beatrice is Patron of the English National Ballet School, I don't think we will see Prince Andrew giving up his patronage of the English National Ballet. http://gertsroyals.blogspot.com/2017/04/princess-beatrice-patronages.html

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  7. Beautiful shade of blue - looking lovely as usual. Place2Be has grown - that is a good thing!
    XOXOXOXOXOXO

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  8. What a lovely day for her. I'm not sure about the dress in this setting, it's a bit formal especially compared to everyone else, but perhaps her wardrobe is more limited now that she's getting much bigger!

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    1. The dress she wore today looks like it is a comfortable one with her bump being larger and certain other 'ahem' physical endowments.

      Plus, I think you need to take what some others in the photographs are wearing with a grain of salt ... here at work, there have been people who showed up to an office Christmas dinner wearing blue jeans and a turtleneck sweater while others attending the same event wore sequins.

      Border Terrier Lover :-)
      Terriers at Crufts tomorrow ... go Borders!

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  9. Wow. Well we love you speech and what a nice enagement

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  10. I agree with the others, not sure the dress was the right choice, but she looked nice. For once I actually like how her hair looked.

    Lorrr from US

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  11. Place2be is very important for Kate and she shows that.It 's second visit for this organisation in this year (we have the beginning of March ).Probably she wants to support foundation how it is possible before her maternity leave.
    I love that Duchess uses "old " clothes both from earlier years but also with earlier month. I enjoy to see pretty Seraphine dress with sophisticated elements (I love fabric and colour ). She looks great and healthy.What a shame that it 's one of the latest engagements . She shines.

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  12. That is a beautiful building. I am wondering how Place to Be is funded. Is its work supported solely by charitable contributions and foundation grants, or does it also draw government funding? Does the Royal Foundation have funds to contribute to major projects? Bringing charities together is certainly a worthy cause, but projects like this building require substantial support.

    Kate also looks lovely. I like this dress better than the first time, for some reason. And her hair is lush!

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  13. Another classic Kate engagement and look. I really like this dress and am glad to see it repeated so soon. I know we've seen a lot of blue on her, but I kind of get the feeling Kate's just so over pregnancy at this point and is trying to make it to the end.

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    1. If not now then probably never since it is probably her last pregnancy. ;-)

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    2. I was thinking the exact same thing: she's probably SO done with being pregnant. I remember that feeling, and I don't miss it.

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    3. Right. And since it's most likely her last, no point in getting a ton of new clothes. Just work with the ones you already have.

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    4. 🌸 I got that feeling too, Becca H. I loved being pregnant but during the weeks of the ninth month I wasn’t getting much sleep just because I was so huge and couldn’t get comfortable to sleep and my son was moving and kicking a lot. He was definitely wanting more room. :)
      So we don’t know how much sleep Kate is getting. My guess is not much.

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  14. I love seeing how much Place2Be has grown & love seeing how the merger with The ArtRoom is obviously thriving! :) Kate is simply Radiant! I am so happy to see this repeat! She is just such a Joyous Royal. Her work seems to give her such joy! This in itself is so heartwarming to me. Now that she's got both feet into her role & job, I don't ever recall seeing her seem to just be going through the motions! She was definitely tentative in the beginning of her Royal Life, but I feel honored that we have been able to follow her on her journey. Look at her now & imagine where she will be when she is Queen Consort! That journey has been made possible, in such an intricate & detailed way because of Charlotte & her Wonderful DKB Blog! Thank you Thank you Charlotte! You have educated us & nurtured our interest in & our caring for Kate. :) xo

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    1. I agree, Becca, about the Place2Be and The ArtRoom merger--it sounds as though Kate and the Heads Together Initiative were instrumental in making that happen, and also that the merger may be enriching for both organizations. I feel like Kate is developing real depth and breadth to her work--because as you say above, she already does have quite a wide range of patronages from mental health ones to sailing to the NPG to Wimbledon to the new Royal College of Obstetrics one. And I agree it is always uplifting to see her energy, joy, and attentiveness in listening to others in conversations. She seems such a good listener, making the person she's talking with feel heard and recognized, and that is such a rare and important thing. And not appreciated enough sometimes, I feel, because it's about blending in at times, not standing out. Well done, Kate. I hope she gets some rest this week now, as this late pregnancy stage.

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  15. Hey gang, some hopeful news! :) I just saw a report on the news, that Brian Love, a baseball player, has come forward & is talking about his first ever Panic Attack. He tweeted & put out there, that he "thought mental health issues ware something that happened to other people." It's getting lots of press & evidently LeBron James (Basketball player that you may remember from when he met Will & Kate in NYC) has shared his struggles with mental health & tweeted to Brian Love that he (BL) is now stronger than ever! It reminded me that during the recent Winter Olympics, that Mikaela Shriffin & several other US Olympians spoke openly in interviews, & on twitter etc, about their own struggles with mental health issues surrounding the stress of competing. They spoke of crippling anxiety & depression! Even the broadcasters like past Downhill Skiing Medalist Bode Miller chimed in during the commentary about Mikaela getting sick before an event, that he struggled with anxiety so bad that he had stretches were he was throwing up at the top of the mountain before each event! He said he finally got help from a Sports Psychologist. There was also a documentary made about Mikaela Shiffin, chronicling her year long journey up to the Olympics. In it she dives into her mental health issues & says that working with a Sports Psychologist helped her make breakthroughs that enabled her to not only continue to compete, but to be her best self & remember to 'ski for herself' & to tune out the external pressures & her perceived expectations from others. She even has the words "I am" written on her gloves & she says the last thing she does before she goes down the hill is look at those words at the gate! In fact, the discussion spread across The Olympic Teams so greatly & were a part of so many interviews, with so many athletes, that the Olympians started the hashtag #ItsOkToNotBeOk So for those of us across the pond, who are craving a movement in mental health, like Heads Together.... perhaps it will begin with these athletes that kids look up to & who are still functioning & clearly productive! Maybe they can help to change the conversation & help break the stigma? Feeling Hopeful! :)

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    1. 🌸 Becca. Thanks for sharing. Refreshing and encouraging news. Hopefully the Fab Four will hear of all those breakthroughs and be encouraged.
      Also encouraging to me was that Kobe Bryant won an Oscar for a short animated film he did. He said some might think of him as a film maker as being odd because as a basketball player he is usually told to “just shut up and dribble”. He has sought and found eloquent self expression aside from the beautiful art of sports. Good for him. (And he has three little girls now. Who knew?) lol

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    2. Kevin Love...not Brian

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    3. Kevin is also a basketball player, not baseball. Go Cavs!

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    4. Thank you Anon for that catch! :) As I was typing I was wavering about if I had his name right? I thought it was 50/50 that I had it right & I was rushing out the door. So I just thought to myself, "Just wrap it up & if you're wrong, one of the group will let you know!" So Thanks So Much :) & for the twofer, didn't know I had the sport wrong too! lol The pic I saw on tv looked like he was in a dugout. So again, Thanks for The Save!! :)

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    5. It would be interesting to see how Kobe Bryant would have fared if the Me Too movement had been around at the time of his scandal.

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    6. 🌸 It seems he has repented and moved forward.
      As a current father of three little girls I hope his attitude toward the female gender has improved by leaps and bounds with more respect and honor. I would imagine it has.

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    7. With Kobe Bryant winning The Oscar, I couldn't help thinking of Will & Harry & Heads Together. Here's a guy who has a creative soul & was never encouraged or rather allowed to pursue it. As a tall, black, athletic male, he was basically told to "shut up & dribble". He was only now able to have explored his creativity & create a work of art! How hard it is for children & young people to have their dreams crushed by adults telling them "who" they "need to be"..... He looked so shy up there on stage. I am so happy for him & I think this will greatly impact young athletes & the arts. It says Don't let people put you in a Box!

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    8. He has had more opportunities than most people.
      Harvey Weinstein has daughters too and his behavior did not change.

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  16. what fantastic work. truly, i wish we had more programs like this in the States. mental health is obviously not a priority. It's all test scores and "achievement" which very obviously takes it's toll on our children. well done to the Duchess.
    she looks beautiful and i love her one on one time with people. she's so natural and lovely with the kids, focusing on them and giving them great attention. i'm sure it makes them feel so special, which is an amazing gift to give them. but i do wish she'd work on giving speeches a bit more. she's got a lot of them in her future. i'd love to see her a bit more comfortable in that regard. it's a little hard to watch. it's like ending the day with a question mark instead of an exclamation point.

    Annie
    NY, USA

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  17. Susan in Florida7 March 2018 at 17:20

    I have so much respect for Duchess Kate as she has taken this patronage and has seen it grow. I like that she takes her patronage’s seriously , and has not taken on too many too soon. She is able to be active and involved in something she truly cares about. Mental health is one of the last taboo subjects that people feel awkward about addressing. She’s doing a fantastic job. Thank you Charlotte for covering the purpose of the events and charities as well as the fashion. I love her in blue. I did not things the dress was too formal, because Place2B was one of her first and just might be her favorite patronage. I wish we had something similar in the USA for our little ones. Our services are scattered.

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  18. Do you think Catherine will do St Patrick's Day or do you think the Commonwealth Day you will be her last engagement?

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    1. Taunya, I'm really hoping that she does St Patrick's Day again this time - she did when she was pregnant with Charlotte and the dates seem very similar this time around. It does seem to involve a heck of a lot of standing around though for a very heavily pregnant woman, and I'm a little worried that nothing has been announced yet, given that it's not very long after the Commonwealth Service. However, if she doesn't attend, maybe that would mean the baby is due a bit earlier - which would also be incredibly exciting!

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    2. KP announced today (March 9) that she will be appearing with William to hand out the shamrocks.

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  19. Julia from Leominster7 March 2018 at 17:40

    Since we're reaching the end of Kate's individual engagements soon if not now, I'm going to comment on what Maggie and C and others said yesterday from my perspective. It is the difference between being a generalist and a specialist and why royals need to be the former - and also the old expression 'paying your dues.'
    A number of things have concerned me lately about the foursome - the similarity of a number of Kate's engagements - small children, mental health, even mental health brought into other engagements, Meghan's seeming desire to be an international humanitarian like Athene born from the head of Zeus without doing slogging ground work first in Britain (I'm talking at least a year, not a handful of high profile engagements) William's comments on wanting to consolidate diverse charities into areas like the Paddington scheme - and both Harry's and William's stated wish to be in depth on a few area - rather than take on hundreds - a goal that seems to have as much to do with not having to deal with a lot of 'boring' short engagements - instead being able to do what speaks to them. And finally, the few privileged charities covered the royal foundation.
    All these put together concern me that in reinventing royal work in this restrictive 'modern' image - is cutting huge amounts of the nation out. It is basically saying we have a few focused interests - Nation, you and your other concerns, your conferences, your awards, your care homes, your cancer centres, your disease charities, your animal charities, your many issues great and small - it's not that these don't matter (or maybe they don't quite) - it's just more meaningful for us to take on a few things that interest us in depth.
    That cuts out a huge amount of people. I'm going to say it's wrong-headed and even dangerous for the family's future. There's a reason why people admire those hundreds of engagements that the queen, Charles and in the past Philip did. Because it gave the hope your little charity, event or awards might be next.
    Diana often gets mentioned in connection with this limiting - the boys allude to her - and many think Meghan with her hugs is trying to channel her image (she seems more like Angelina Jolie.) But Diana paid her dues - and that's why she was so loved - only at the end did she focus on a few concerns - because of the divorce. For every shaking hands of AIDS patients, there were visits to care homes, sign language for the death, visits to the blind, visits to a host of charities - not all of which she was patron of, visits to small towns, visits...well, I could go on - but the devotion of the nation came from this as much as her big projects - she did a lot of different things. I doubt Harry and William are old enough to really remember this - but she was loved for her small works as much as her big - the things that were lucky if they got a single picture in the papers, half a page in Hello.
    I've been scrolling through Newmyroyals of late (in the absence of the lamented Royal Digest). It's mainly a fashion site but it covers a lot of engagements that European royals do and their young royals are doing a lot of this sort of work - going to meetings - visiting local museums - their interests are wide.
    It's not that the areas the foursome are dealing with aren't important. They are - but they aren't all there is. And I would say each tiny engagement is as vital as each big one. Because thinking - however wrongly - a royal might come to your charity shop, or your town, or your awards next - is why so many people feel a connection with the royal family. Celebrities like big splashy causes but royals speak for us!

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    1. I agree with what you are saying. But I do believe there is one big underlying cause. To put it bluntly, the Queen won't die. That sounds really crass and unfeeling, but I do think for W/K and Harry, they are waiting on patronages from her. I think she is still the official patron of between 500-600 patronages. PP retired, but I don't think I ever heard about his patronages being passed out, other than a few random ones. So that's 1000-1200 patronages that are due to passed out. I would assume not all of them are going to be passed on, some will just be dropped, but that is still a ton to be passed. And I do expect that W/K will pick up the lion's share. I am wondering if the younger generation has refrained from visiting some of these to avoid organizations and the press and the public from making assumptions about who will get what and when. I don't think anyone expected the Queen to be actively working as long as she has and each year that passes it just gets more awkward in terms of the younger generation not getting new or handed down patronages.

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    2. I think that is well said, Julia. To me, speaking as an observer from the U.S., it seems very important for the Royal Family to be non-partisan in the causes they support. It does not make sense, on a philosophical level, for BRF members to narrow support to causes that speak to them personally. Because their work is not about them personally, it is about serving Britain (and the Commonwealth), and making as many people as possible feel connected to the Royal Family, as you say, Julia. The balance of breadth and depth is always a very challenging task to manage. At the risk of exposing my lack of knowledge, it does seem a bit like Prince Charles tends to focus on what he's interested in, and is not as non-partisan in his approach as, say, the Princess Royal or Sophie. But I don't really know. ... Finally, I know this is going to be a potentially provocative thing to say (so I apologize for offending anyone), but when Meghan spoke out about women's rights/sexual harassment (which of course is an important issue) it did seem a little early for her to do that to that degree, a little too much maybe about what's important to Meghan, and not enough about showing respect for the incredible challenge she is going to face if she wants to try to learn about Britain and its people broadly and not just focus on the causes she is already familiar with or already personally invested in.

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    3. Longime reader here, but I don’t really comment ever.

      Julia, thank you for always explaining your point of view in a palatable way. When you have criticism, it is always constructive, instead of just the vague “bashing” or complaining. And this comment isn’t throwing shade at anyone in particular; just an acknowledgement of how much I appreciate your comments. I may not always agree with them, but at least you take the time to explain yourself in a thoughtful way.

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    4. Julia from Leominster7 March 2018 at 19:08

      Not sure whether to blame my brain or my automatic spell corrector - (Think I'll blame the latter but it's probably the former.) It should be deaf - not death.

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    5. While your comments and concerns are yours to express, we do not know what any of the royals do on the days they are not featured in news article or on a blog. I think its unfair to assume that what we see on blogs or in the news is the basis of these kinds of opinions.

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    6. I agree Julia and worry about the future roles the younger royals will take. William and Harry (and by extension their wives) have spoken about wanting to do more that cut ribbons and open factories but they need to realize that those "bread and butter" royal engagements are what connects to royals to their people. Cutting ribbons, factory and hospital visits as well as tours of country farms and fairs shine a light on the "common" but necessary work done everyday by men and women around the country. Of course Charles, Camilla, Edward, Sophie and the rest have their pet causes, charities that they are passionate about, but they still manage to attend community events up and down the country, highlighting events, products and areas that make up the larger British identity. I sincerely hope that once Cambridge Baby #3 is born and H&M settle down into married life, the four of them will start taking more of an interest in the wider scheme of events.

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    7. Julia you make some excellent points. I agree that giving time to many small charities creates awareness, that they otherwise may not have. I also see the point that William, Kate, Harry and now Meghan have, in not spreading themselves too thinly. They are perhaps thinking that they'd sooner do a few things very well, rather than just dabbling in many, many things. It is a tricky to know what is best. While their emphasis on mental health if very important, I feel they have almost exhausted their work here. They have made people aware of the need to talk it out and get help. Now the action is up to others. As for Meghan, let's hope she has enough sense to not bulldozer forward. As you say, she needs at least a year in the trenches before thinking she can lead the charge.

      We have here four likeable, intelligent and hardworking young people. Let's wish them success in all that they undertake.

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    8. i totally agree with what you have said. this is their job and just like any other job you dont get to choose only the work which interests you. you have to do what needs to be done.
      on a slightly related note its good to see Katherine wearing some repeats. much as i am interested in what she wears there is something verging on obscene in someone who does very few engagements appearing in a new outfit (sometimes costing thousands) every time. this seems particularly wasteful when they are maternity outfits in what is likely to be a last pregnancy.

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    9. Good points. I always get the sense that W/K/H are simply highlighting and following up with important causes, digging deep, as it were, to really bring about real and lasting change. I know we see a lot from Kate about children and mental health, but there have, also, been other areas visited. I agree with those who have said they think the young royals will take more on once the Queen dies. If they don't take the time to really focus on their specific areas, however, I feel like the nation won't take them seriously, at least not moving forward into the future. I guess I just don't understand why it's wrong for them to really zero in on the areas that are close to their respective hearts. While still visiting their other patronages, too, of course. Wouldn't that show that they really care and actually help to bring forth change? Do the people really want the same BRF as has always been? Times are shifting so rapidly, so it makes me wonder.

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    10. Zora from Prague7 March 2018 at 21:44

      Very interesting discussion. To me as an outside observer, it seems that W+K are still at the initial phase of their "royal work". After all, William left his job of a pilot only last year and Kate is going to be a mother of 3 children within 5 years. (This is not to say they haven't been carrying out a lot of royal duties - from attending events to representing the Queen and the country abroad; on the contrary). I suppose if they focus on a smaller number of charities/areas it is not because they don't care for the others; I agree with Katie C.H. - they will probably "inherit" plenty of charities as the time goes by. Also, if they have lots and lots of charities and patronages now, it might be viewed as superficial or not reaching deeper. Perhaps it makes sense to focus on fewer charities at the moment and take on more when the time comes. As for Kate and her focus on charities dealing with children, it is only natural at this stage of her life when she is a mother of young kids herself and this area is not only close to her heart but she sees it and literally touches it every day. I don't think she will be unwilling to widen her scope later. However, I understand what Julia is saying and I agree it is really important for people to know that the possibility of a royal visiting their charity/town/area is real and that it is always there.

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    11. As I commented elsewhere today, we really need to look at the BRF as a whole. I do believe that W&K will take on more patronages as time goes by. For now, I understand that they are concentrating on a few rather than taking on so many that they're accused of being nothing but names on letterhead. (Any bets on that?) :-)

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    12. Hmm if I have a complaint about W&K's work with mental health awareness is that if anything I feel like they go for the soft-focus photo ops and the prepared remarks. One might get the idea that mental illnesses can be cured with a visit from a princess and a few arts and crafts projects. That's not the way it really works.

      The reason everyone remembers Diana shaking hands with an AIDS patient was because back then people were so genuinely uncomfortable with the all-too-familiar sights of AIDS patients: the sickly wasted look with the lesions on the face. It was painful and prolonged suffering. When Diana shook hands with that patient the unidentified patient was clearly suffering from AIDS and had not much longer to live. It kind of up-ended the idea of what a princess's charity work should be. Later she took it further and took pictures with kids who had lost limbs from land mines.

      Here are a few pictures:
      https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/diana-princess-of-wales-with-children-injured-by-mines-at-neves-in-picture-id52100219

      https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tScUxhLGn74/V1X2-AZJdaI/AAAAAAAAKU0/U3sAp4v-mxQ8btSnWLuMAb5NLdrZcGpbgCLcB/s1600/Princess%2BDiana%2Bshakes%2Bhands%2Bwith%2Ban%2BAIDS%2Bpatient%2Bwithout%2Bgloves%252C%2B1991.jpg

      https://peopledotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/diana-aids.jpg

      Notice how even though she was one of the most glamorous women in the world and her facial beauty is of course obvious that she deliberately makes those photos not about her. She looks away from the camera and her focus is on the "ugliness" so to speak. That was what made her a people's princess, the knowledge that a woman who was best friends with Elton John and never wore anything but the most expensive designer clothes was also willing to drop all that and spend time with people who were the most stigmatized and alienated.

      When I see Kate at these events I see a pleasant presence, but I don;'t see the kind of deep empathy that working with the most mentally ill requires. If she's going to be focus on this sort of work she sort of has to de-princess herself, if that makes sense.

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    13. First, I strongly disagree that Kate lacks empathy. I happen to believe that she comes across as being extremely sincere and empathetic . Also, I'm not sure how one would do a mental health photo op that would be comprable to a lost limb or a dying AIDS patient.

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    14. Julia from Leominster8 March 2018 at 12:29

      Another reason Diana was so loved was that amazing intuitive empathy - I've always felt it went in part with her emotional lability. It was a joy watching her with people because there was nothing forced or over the top about it.

      Neither Kate nor Meghan have that kind of instant empathy - which doesn't mean they don't care, it just doesn't flow out in the same way.

      I do a lot of royal watching and I would say the one who comes closest to the natural empathy Diana had is Mathilde of Belgium. I'm not sure it's a coincidence that Mathilde chose an career of one on one helping people before she was a princess (she was a speech therapist - Diana was visiting care homes long before she dated Charles.)

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    15. 🌸 Julia. I didn’t know that Diana was visiting care homes long before she met Charles.
      That is very interesting and revealing.
      She was a very special person.

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    16. I think that Kate is a kindhearted person who was brought up with love and nurturing, who is happy with a family of her own. Naturally she is an empathetic person and feels empathy for people, like most people would in her circumstances. However, feeling empathy and showing empathy are two different things.

      Diana's display of empathy was clearly an outlier. I don't think many can emulate her, which is why you had hundreds and thousands of people cry for her when she passed. However, I do think that Kate has made great strides over the years in her interactions with people. They are natural, warm and soft. I have always felt that Kate is a simple, kind and sweet girl and now you can actually see that side of her when she interacts with people. The nervous, shaky, lacking-in-confidence side of her is less pronounced.
      Except when she gives speeches. I still bemoan her speeches and her lack of articulation, which I think is really below par.

      But I will take what I get. I am happy she is out and about, I am happy she looks like a goddess and most of all I am happy she is RECYCLING her clothes. Please - let's not have to see another $4000 coat.

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    17. Rosman, This is intended as a genuine question, not anything aggressive or negative. I'm asking because what you said can be interpreted in so many widely different ways. Can you quantify what you mean by saying Kate is a "simple" girl? Thanks!

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    18. Caroline in Montana12 March 2018 at 15:40

      Julia, as Diana was 19 when their engagement was announced, I'm not sure how many homes she visited "long before" she married Charles. she was but a child herself.

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    19. Julia, I recall reading that about Diana and while it does reflect positively on her character, I do believe it was put out there and "emphasized" because of the 13 year age difference between her and Charles.

      Personally, I believe her own life experience and regrets made her more empathetic. How wonderful because similar experiences in childhood and adulthood can make people bitter and a lot less kind. My two cents, anyway.

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  20. I wonder how she can sit through the lengthy Commonwealth service at this stage (in the front row, no less) on a hard chair. Hope her medical team recommend staying home with a cuppa and her feet up.

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    1. I think this is a very harsh comment on mothers who have to work for a living up until they are in labor.

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    2. Beau I don't think it is harsh - it doesn't mean those mothers who have to work until they are in labor are in any less discomfort. I worked until both my sons were born while enduring lots of back and sciatic pain and I would have been miserable in a hard chair without the ability to stand up and move without causing a scene. Let's just support each other as women? Privileged or not, pregnancy and motherhood is a joyous journey that is sometimes very uncomfortable.

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    3. Butterflies Are Free8 March 2018 at 21:55

      We need to factor in-how many of those mothers working up to birth must do so in public and in front of cameras and face endless personal comments from strangers on her decisions, appearance, and caring for their child based on their choice of attire? Now, that's truly harsh.

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  21. I am so happy to see the growth of Place2Be. The combining of the Art Room with Place2Be seems, at least for now, to be a good decision. I hope all the young Royals will continue to find their passions, work diligently and in doing so, develop and refine their OWN INDIVIDUAL APPROACHES. Charlotte, thank you again. Excellent job.

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  22. Becca, that is great news about the sports figures in the U.S. coming forward re anxiety and depression! As sports is a huge deal in the U.S. (on a par, or maybe higher, than entertainment) if the players, sports figures not only open up but also start getting involved in initiatives re mental health, that would be super! Now if only they get tied in to some mental health charities....

    And Julia, I read what you wrote very carefully. I no longer live in the UK or near the UK. So my interest in the Royals is beginning to be from a very North American point of view. Given what is happening in the U.S., I can only wildly applaud their spotlight on mental health. Without mental health, without early intervention for children at risk, families at risk, the tragedies that are occurring in the U.S. will only increase, not diminish. I see it every day in the classroom and that is MY focus right now. But I understand what you are saying in that the Royals "mean" more than just modern causes. They are a kind of familial figurehead for the nation and when they are out and about people get excited, lifted from their ordinary day-to-day stuff. Probably not expressing that well but anyway. I hear what you are saying about diversification but from my selfish point of view, thank goodness they are spotlighting mental health and early childhood intervention, family support. Someone has needed to. And I think if Diana were alive today she would have said the same because if anyone had needed that kind of support, that kind of love from mental health agencies, family/childhood support agencies, she did. Maybe once things are rolling, they can move on. But for now I think the subject has to be hit, hit hard and hit constantly.

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  23. Pregnancy suits her and I am glad that after that horrible start she seems to enjoy her pregnancy and is healthy enough again to handle 2 kids, engagements plus I believe a lot of prep and background work .... and I bet its a boy...

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  24. Me in Vancouver7 March 2018 at 19:01

    I understand what you are saying Julia and I respect that I’m not a British Citizen and am not paying for the security that you are, but I don’t agree that the focus of these 3 (soon to be 4) id as narrow as you suggest. William is patron of several charities outside of the focus you refer to. The homeless, the medical facility (Marsden I believe it is?), the military, etc. Kate shows interest in sport, the arts, addiction, fashion, and others. Now nurses and maternal health. Kate and William represent the government on trips to European countries. They champion business and technology. To lump all of their activities into mental health is a disservice I think. And those other causes that you refer to are ably covered by royals as well – Camilla works with breast cancer causes, osteoporosis, the importance of reading, and many others. Harry works with wounded veterans, youth crime, and so on. Sophie’s interest in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Fashion, representing the Queen at Royal engagement throughout Europe and the Commonwealth cover a myriad of important causes and events. The BRF has a lot of human resources right now with Charles, Camilla, Edward, Sophie, the younger ones, and the extended Dukes and Duchesses. It wouldn’t make sense for there to be much overlap. There will be plenty of time for the younger royals to take over the more mundane but very important chores the public expect the royals to support. And I don’t think there is enough evidence as yet to suggest that they won’t. I recall a quote from Sophie a few years ago where she said something to the effect that in the early days she used to rush around as quickly as she could doing anything and everything. But when she observed the Queen, she does things in a measured way. She said she hopes that she’s learned to do things in a slightly more focused way.

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  25. The Fab Four can focus on a few issues to work on themselves because there is a realatively large royal family supporing scores of other issues already.

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  26. Julia a very thoughtful post, I think that WKHM are laying the foundation for what is meaningful and relevant to them. Im sure that in time when Charles becomes King they will take on the "other" duties, openings local charities etc. Something that I wonder about is that when the other working Royals retire, Princess Royal, Andrew, Sophie & Edward, Dukes of Kent and Gloucester and Princess Alexandra, a lot of charities and causes will be left without representation.

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    1. Julia from Leominster8 March 2018 at 12:54

      I was going as much on what William and Harry have stated as their intent as anything - time will tell what actually will happen.

      There are other royals at the moment but their ages are telling - we are not just speaking of approaching retirement age (Edward 54, Sophie 53, Andrew 58 Anne 68) but pensioners who are going to have to stop soon (Edward (Duke of Kent) 82, Alexandra 81, the Gloucesters who are in their high seventies.)

      Even if the foursome took on a lot more than they have, there are going to be a large amount of charities without royal patrons. These charities don't just disappear - they seek patrons elsewhere - from celebrities to local figures.

      The replacing of royals by celebrities concerns me the most because it dilutes the purpose of the royal family - why do you need a state-sponsored royal family if a 'name' (I think of Lloyd's and shudder but never mind that) can do as well. That's why I feel it's very important for royals to define their position differently. Celebrities are generally looking for photo opportunities - royals have traditionally taken on work - as pointed out - that once they are older goes hardly noticed - except by those who are the beneficiaries of their attention.

      I've said before behind every ribbon cut and every planted tree there are a host of people who will remember the day a royal came to visit - and people who come to visit in the future notice a plaque - and think, hmm, Philip opened this new school building, the queen this oncology centre. To me, that's as important as being 'expert' in a few fields - because there are many individual experts - but only a few royals. Royals don't make good experts - even the Head's Together statements tend to sound general - but they have an opportunity for an amazing scope no expert in one field will have. And since the older royals don't get the attention (which will be true of the foursome soon enough - I remember the days when the camera couldn't get enough of Andrew - or Alexandra, or Margaret) the younger members of the family are the ones that must show the public what the family truly does whilst the press and public are still following them closely. So delaying is not a good thing.

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    2. Julia, I am sure I am misreading--54 is approaching retirement age? Edward and Sophie are lined up to become the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh when Philip passes. I doubt retirement is on their mind :) Sophie has slipped very well into the Queen's WI role and is out and about constantly with the ribbon cutting and such. Camilla may not get the media attention but, in terms of roles, all of the ordinary people that she has tea with, samples biscuits with, commiserates with, dances with and makes funny comments about country life with, like her and will support Charles with her at his side. She has done a good job of making Charles' reign more palatable for many. I do think that Andrew might be phased out when Charles comes to throne. My sense is that Andrew and Charles do not get along. I watched a short clip of Beatrice and Eugenie at a WE conference. They were nice but they don't seem to me to have either empathy or star quality but, then, I don't think they were given much of a chance to become true working Royals. I don't think we will see much of them in the next generation of British Royals.

      Alexandra wasn't ever popular in Canada when I was younger. Margaret was somewhat, Andrew more. When he married Fergie, we hoped for another pair like Charles and Diana (little did we know.)

      Again I am not commenting from the UK point of view because you are the expert Julia. But from a Commonwealth/International media point of view, I think that W/K/H/M will remain newsworthy, relevant and bring good light to shine on the UK. Certainly my teacher and mental health professional friends here in the U.S. and Canada are green with envy. And if, as is hinted, Harry does take a Commonwealth role, that will be very important.

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    3. Jo, I struggle with the idea of Camilla making anyting more palatable. LOL. Although I think Charles has softened a bit by following her lead.

      I do agree with you regarding Edward and Sophie, and since they do not represent a threat in the popularity stakes, I do believe they will remain active members of The Firm when Charles is king.

      And I am also in agreement with you regarding Beatrice and Eugenie... Personally, I think Eugenie is sweeter, but Beatrice has always come across to me as being out of touch and a wee bit condescending.

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    4. The "palatification" of Camilla is happening again. Through Meghan Markle this time by no other than Richard Kay. Did you ladies see the article in the Daily Fail? A version of that also appeared before Kate's wedding. I have one word for that: Ugh.

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    5. Rosman, it's official then; Camilla is every royal bride-to-be's confidante and mentor.

      All kidding aside, I'm surprised it has taken this long for an article like this to surface. But in lieu of a REAL photo-op, I guess a good dose of fiction was to be expected.

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    6. Julia from Leominster11 March 2018 at 11:08

      Love that term Rosman 'palatification'! As many here have probably noted - it's in most of the papers, Clarence House has removed Camilla's 'intended' title of Princess Consort in a bit of 'royal housekeeping' because 'no one's interested', according to the Palace. The response even in the Charles-friendly Telegraph shows feelings are otherwise. The thought is this means that Charles has decided Camilla will be crowned - or I should say, since we know who wears the trousers - even though she never actually does - Camilla is insisting she be crowned.

      My own feeling here is simple - without getting into Camilla present work versus her past actions or likes versus dislikes - it comes down to one thing. Camilla has said from the start she would be Princess Consort - it said it right there in the Website - and people relied upon that in her acceptance of her. My belief is 'you say it, you should be held to it' and it once again goes to what I have always most disliked in Camilla - that she is a hypocrite - what she says has absolutely no connection with her schemes - and here I use the word in the strongest sense - that she has ambitiously plotted her future - even as she says other things. I believe she is completely untrustworthy - as her past and present show.
      Enough on her - because even those who accept - in fact, even those who like her - pay almost no attention to what she does - she has made Charles irrelevant to the public - something that I think a crown will only change slightly. Several people commented in surprise to me when I said she and Charles had been on a royal tour in the autumn - no one knew - no one cared. And interest in royal women is why most tours get followed.
      As for Edward and Sophie, there has been talk Charles will push them out in his monarchy streamlining but I think that's unlikely - the fact the queen handed them some of her patronages points to a future. (What title they take will be up to Charles) Andrew is another matter, but he has made his niche in the business world - where he is still admired, despite airmiles and golf - or maybe because of that! Anne will probably work until she's a hundred.
      But the Gloucesters and Kents - even my favourite Alexandra, are getting up there and have important patronages including my favourite Guide Dogs for the Blind. Alexandra still does some engagements - but all those charities will need new patrons - along with the queen's and Philip's.
      There has also been an announcement of Charles restructuring his personal charities - with that Michael person still playing a prominent role. I feel like I'm watching The Dresser when it comes to Charles, right down to "Her Ladyship."

      As to whether interest will remain with the Foursome into old age, well, maybe, but as someone who watched the fall of Princess Margaret - once so beautiful and popular - I don't think present attention/popularity comes with a future guarantee.

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    7. Margaret's downfall could have been predicted when she was young. There was a time when I worried that Prince Harry might be following in her footsteps, but he seems to have turned his life around. One can only hope that Meghan is the woman who will be the partner he needs. I like her sweet personality and her intelligence. She is mature enough to understand her position, and his. I hope that Harry can avoid the sad destiny of Margaret and Andrew. William's brotherly support is obviously vital to him, along with Kate's friendship. If Harry has indeed found his true mate, his life will be much easier and more productive. The stress on him of the unfortunate treatment of Meghan is visible and must be acute. I hope this eases soon, and they are accepted as the worthy couple they are.

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  27. I am very happy that Kate is working more. I hope she keeps up the pace and won't disappear for months on end like before.
    I do understand where Maggie, C and others were coming from, with regards to variety of engagements and I think that Julia has a solid point as usual.

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  28. Enough with the blue. I am sorry I am a big fan of Kate, but of late she has been boring. She needs a new stylist. Enough with the coat jackets and simple shoes. She needs to mix it up.

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  29. Actually, Vacouver, I believe you pay for security during the frequent royal tours of Canada. Where variety of patronages is concerned, Princess Anne covers a lot of interesting agricultural projects, including one called Equine Semen! I don't know that Charlotte considers that mentionable in a polite forum, but it did appear the other day in the Court Circular. :-)

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    1. Julia from Leominster8 March 2018 at 12:31

      There's nothing mealy-mouthed about Anne!

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  30. Kate cut her charity teeth on Place2b aswell as action on addiction. And with that she brought needed highlighting to these well deserved causes. I wonder now they are up and running, will kate look to patron other causes, linking them into the Royal Foundation ?
    The other Royal ladies like Anne and Sophie are hard working royals, linked to many smaller charities, they just dont get as much media coverage as Kate.
    William mentione going forward will put his efforts into male depression. We'll have to wait to see what H&M will centre their efforts on.
    For now i hope Kate takes her maternity leave, and im sure she'll surprise us all with a new venture, one that she'll feel just as passionate about.

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  31. This baby may arrive by April 15 at this rate. Regardless, most likely she was already on the on-set during their travels in Germany around mid July, 2017. Doctors either suggest higher activity, or elevated feet and legs, and some rest and relaxation. She is lucky her feet does not swell; over all, it is time she she starts a vacation and get a relaxed rest IMHO Best Wishes Kate and family!

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    1. I think so, too. Do we know if next monday will be her last engagement? With Charlotte she did her last engagement 5 weeks before the birth if I counted that right. I hope the last few weeks won't be too hard for Kate.

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    2. Butterflies Are Free8 March 2018 at 21:24

      Elisa-when she went on leave with her last baby she did not know precisely when her baby would be born. Judging from the time parking spaces were reserved around the hospital, she was anticipating an earlier birth and would have had a shorter time than five weeks between last engagement and birth. Also, I think her physicians have a substantial say in her activity--or at least should have.

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  32. Well, it’s not the coat I suggested for a repeat, but it’s still great to see clothes from the Scandinavian tour reappear. Gives me hope for some of those fabulous coats we saw and that they might appear next week. The blue one would be great for the church service and of course the green one for St. Patrick’s Day.

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  33. This dress could have been a work horse for her during pregnancy - but I think it's time is up at this point -- despite the stretch lace, the bodice pulls some. Also, it rides up in the front now. Time to retire this one. I'm glad to see her up and at it working. She missed a lot that I know she would have wanted to do in the first months of her pregnancy. I wonder if this will be their last child?

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  34. While I respect the commenters above who believe William and Kate need to broaden their patronages and charities, I strongly and passionately disagree. I understand where some of you are coming from, but I believe their focus on Mental Health is deeply important right now and for the foreseeable future. They have not exhausted their work or their learning in this area. They only began Heads Together just over a year ago and there is much more outreach they want to do with it. As someone from a country that desperately needs positive changes in mental health care, I am exceedingly grateful to this younger generation of royals for choosing to enter the trenches of mental health/illness and challenge the stigma and obstacles that exist. Providing mental health care is my life's work and this cause is not only a personal one, but also hugely needed by so many people. I believe that were Diana alive today, she not only would be proud of the work her sons are doing on mental health, but she would have joined them in it. As a young woman who lived with an eating disorder and the lingering effects of a very difficult childhood, she never had the support system she needed. A focus on mental health should begin at home, but it should also begin in schools, in colleges and universities, in the workplace, in law enforcement and first responder units, in hospitals and medical offices, in faith communities, and in our conversations with friends and families. Mental health challenges and mental illnesses are caused by a variety of factors...chemical imbalances in the brain as well as trauma and certain circumstances or situations. Coming from a loving home does not automatically provide immunity to mental illness and it is important to remember that. It is also important to remember that those living with mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of violence than they are the perpetrators. I would encourage everyone to read this article on mental health and violence:
    https://afsp.org/debunking-the-myth-of-violence-and-mental-illness/?utm_source=All+Subscribers&utm_campaign=cbed3f8091-hope_hub_october_17&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3fbf9113af-cbed3f8091-382195917

    While I understand the desire for the royals to represent the nation with a multitude of charities, I am not a proponent of that approach. I believe it is better to focus on a smaller number of issues at a time, where you can grow in awareness and understanding, dig deep, and have the most impact. Mental health has tentacles that affect many aspects of life, and the layers are very complex. As Harry said at the Foundation meeting, they don't want to just look at the symptoms. They want to look at the cause of the challenges they are seeing, which in this case is mental health/illness, and collaborate with professionals to change mindsets and provide help, support, and positive outcomes. I believe they are in this for the long haul and their commitment is genuine. Mental health is not a glamorous topic, but working on it is vital to communities at large and to families living with mental illness on a 24/7 basis. The word vocation has been defined as "the place where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need." I believe that in a sense, these young royals have found a calling and vocation in advocating for mental health. Their desire to help in this way, to bring passion, compassion, empathy, and listening skills to this endeavor, is meeting a profound need that cannot be measured. I am grateful they are living out this vocation.

    As an aside...Meghan has truly hit the ground running and I believe she is doing a great deal of listening, learning, and work behind the scenes. I do not agree that she should be slowly assimilated. She is willing to dive-in and is indeed doing just that. I believe she has much to offer and I look forward to seeing her grow and flourish in her role and life with Harry. Most importantly, I'm glad they have found one another.

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    1. Well said. Mental health is the "elephant in the living room" and affects us in all areas of our lives. My mom was schizophrenic and I grew up in 50s and 60s where it was 'taboo' to be mentally ill. I felt firsthand the side effects of living with a mentally ill person. Agree that mental health is not a "narrow charity". It affects everything and is the dominant problem in our schools and homes today. I think it's great they have taken this on. You don't see many celebs etc working in this area. And of course, Diana with her bulemia and childhood suffered from mental health problems as well. Blueskygal USA

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    2. Beautifully said, Virginia. Thank you.

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    3. Beautifully said indeed Virginia! :)

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  35. SierrafromMontana8 March 2018 at 15:56

    Lovely engagement. I really liked this dress when it first debuted and so glad to see it recycled at an important event for the Duchess. She's really coming into her own with these patronages! Have we heard whether she will attend St. Patrick's day as her last event before maternity leave? I'm always impressed by how other countries provide better maternity leave than here in the States. How long does the UK give mothers for maternity leave in general?

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    1. FYI Sierra, KP just announced on Twitter that Kate and William will be there on St. Patrick’s Day 😊

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  36. Hello!

    KP just confirmed The Duke and Duchess will attend the St. Patrick's Day Parade at Cavalry Barracks on 17 March :)

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    1. Excellent. Thank you:-)

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    2. ILoveElephants9 March 2018 at 17:52

      Yay, I hope Kate wears the same brown coat she wore back in 2015 when expecting princess Charlotte

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    3. Yay!
      I still thing this will be her last official engagement, although I’d love to see her for the rest of March.

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    4. Thanks for the info! Was St. Patrick's Day Kate's last engagement before Charlotte's birth?

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    5. I would love to see that brown coat again!!! It was super elegant.

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  37. Zora from Prague9 March 2018 at 17:34

    Hooray! :) Thank you for the news, Charlotte! And a relaxing weekend to everyone!

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  38. The Duchess looks lovely as always. She really does connect well with children as well as adults.

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  39. When I watch the videos, I am so impressed by Kate's warmth, and charming demeanor. She is a natural around children, and her off the cuff comments are not forced or awkward. As others have said, mental health is a huge issue, and I applaud how Kate, William, Harry and Meghan are using their influence to bring attention to this mostly overlooked topic. Oh how I wish we had a similar campaign in the USA. It is sorely needed.

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  40. Happy to read that we will see Kate and William on St. Patrick's Day!

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  41. I admire Kate enormously, mostly for her faultless transition from middle class girl to royal Princess but more relevantly here for working so late into this pregnancy. However I have to say that she doesn't look her best here. This pretty dress looked good on its last outing, but now it simply Does Not Fit - it's straining over her upper half. Also (and I thought the same the other day) either she isn't wearing tights or they're so sheer you can't see them, and the bare legged look in winter isn't a good one. I think she deserves to rest now till after the baby is born!
    Sarah UK

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  42. That news just made my day! Love it! cc

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  43. I think Kate does a much better job of separating her personal life from her public one, I think Diana was the same no matter where she was and that’s why she seemed more genuine. Kate just seems to go through the motions and I think she is super camera shy, she could barely get out a complete sentence the other day when on stage with William, Harry and Meghan. I think she shines when working behind the scenes or one on one but is absolutely Not a public person, I actually think she must have had to overcome a great case of nerves to do what she does and I am so tired of people saying well Meghan does it well because she comes from Hollywood, the only reason Meghan does it well is because she was born with it and for the record she could have had much more success in Hollywood if she had had parents who had been in the right circles, yes they had connections but not the I better than your are connections that it takes to make it to the real big time. I have heard that she was sort of shunned as a B actress but boy did Hollywood miss out. She is super Dynamic and had she not found Harry she was absolutely on her way up in a big way. I would make a pretty good assumption that she is academically brilliant and could work circles around any Royal in the UK.

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    1. What you see as hardly being able to get a sentence out came across to me like grace and humility.

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    2. Me too Royalfan. And, for the record, I thought she did just fine.

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    3. A shy person and a confident person can both have grace and humility

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    4. Exactly, Tedi. :-)

      ILoveElephants, yes, they *can*; I was responding to the suggestion that Kate was struggling and lacks confidence.

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    5. I really wish we could stop comparing these two women. Kate and Meghan are two very different women who have had incredibly different life experiences and who are both shaped by distinct cultural imperatives. Meghan is also new to Britain, and while she may be able to "work circles around any Royal in the UK," perhaps she would do well not to challenge the people who have graciously accepted her into the family but to take her time to really understand how the BRF operates as an institution and to figure out how she can contribute to its strength and continuity with the "grace and humility" she has demonstrated thus far and which she will certainly need to sustain her through the long decades ahead when the family dynamics change, as they must.........

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    6. I want to address something that always bothers me. As someone who worked in Hollywood, with zero connections--For someone to have any connection, which she did have since her Dad worked in Hollywood, they have a major advantage over someone without connections. People who haven't worked in this industry don't understand the level of frustration for those without connections. An example, finding a good agent who will give you the time of day is insanely hard. You are lucky if they will look at your cv or come to a play to see you. Someone like Meghan had even that slight advantage because she would go to set to see her dad, she could meet actors and ask for a recommendation to their agents. That might not seem like much to an outsider, but to an actress, that is huge. So any connection, which Meghan had, is a major one over those who don't have any. I just want to clarify that because she did have an 'in' which makes it 100 times easier. The saying is true in Hollywood, it is who you know or who you do. Sad but true. And honestly, she is a better humanitarian than she was an actress, which is why with even having connections she didn't go far in Hollywood.

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    7. Well stated Wecy.....grace and humility go far in many situations. cc

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  44. I guess I sort of see Kate as a very nice intelligent I follow the rules type and Meghan is the I make the rules type and when I do, I do so brilliantly that I will amaze you and you will beg to follow me Type!

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  45. And I am not saying she is a rule breaker- but a rule maker a natural born leader.

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    1. I am not commenting on ability, but I will say if that is the goal, then I see choppy waters ahead.

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    2. 🌸 Amen to that, rf. Hopefully she’ll assimilate in a humble, wise and positive way, not a would-be, wannna-be revolutionary way. That would be supercilious and most tacky in my opinion.

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    3. I couldn't agree more royalfan and surfer girl. cc

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  46. This look is ... unfortunate. And not flattering at all.
    At this point, ruffles and ribbons and ribbon belts and lace just add bulk that's hardly needed.
    She's got dozens of lovely dresses and coats she wore in her third trimester with George and also with Charlotte that are lovely and much more flattering (and warmer!) than this dress.
    Also really wish she'd go to a black tights with black shoes or boots look. It just seems more polished.

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  47. This might be Kate's last engagement before the birth, but, we can look forward to seeing her at the wedding in May, and maybe, we might see her at Trooping Of The Colour ceremony in June. And we have the christening of baby Cambridge to look forward to :-)

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  48. Happy Mother's Day to all - we just had one new baby arrive - looking forward to hearing the name - and the wait for Kate's continues.

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  49. The little Swedish princess looks exactly like her father! Spittin' image, as we say. She also looks amazingly calm and well dressed, for having just been born.

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  50. I think a lot of posters wishing Kate would re-wear pieces from her earlier pregnancies are really missing how much bigger she is carrying with this third baby. Remember the first time she wore the pink McQueen- it was hide and seek with her bump! She has shown much earlier and much larger than with George and Charlotte, which is common in subsequent pregnancies. I commend her for re-wearing this piece as I agree this is probably her last baby, and overall, for working this late in her pregnancy. I am anticipating an early April baby.

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