Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Kate Reveals "I Feel So Passionately About Working Together" During 'Mental Health In Education' Conference

The Duchess of Cambridge attended The Royal Foundation’s ‘Mental Health in Education’ conference at Mercers' Hall.


It is the first of two engagements focused on mental health for the Duchess today. Tonight, she will attend the black-tie 100 Women in Finance Gala Dinner at her patronage, the V&A Museum, in aid of Heads Together's legacy programme Mentally Healthy Schools. The engagements are leading up to the launch of Kate's early years project.


Kensington Palace said: "This event forms part of The Duchess’ continuing work at The Royal Foundation, where much of Her Royal Highness’s focus is on supporting and promoting the mental health of children and young people."


The conference brought together delegates from across the mental health and education sectors to explore and discuss the benefits of collaborative working and what more can be done to tackle mental health issues in schools.


Kate met Head Teachers from a number of schools that are currently piloting The Royal Foundation’s ‘Mentally Healthy Schools’ programme.


Launched by Kate last year, ‘Mentally Healthy Schools’ is a website giving primary schools free access to hundreds of the highest quality mental health resources, helping teachers better support their pupils’ mental health.


The Duchess met speakers and charity representatives.


They discussed the impact of Mentally Healthy Schools in classrooms.


Host Kate Silverton welcomed the Duchess: "Your Royal Highness, it's an absolute honour to have you with us here today, thank you for all the work that you are doing in this field. As you all know she has been a great driving force behind much of the Royal Foundation supporting children in their earliest years."


The Royal Foundation's CEO Lorraine Heggessey delivered opening remarks. Speakers on the panel included representatives from Place2Be and the Anna Freud Centre.


Kate listened to a number of sessions, including one on the benefits of integrating mental health modules into teacher training courses, and another on the role of school leaders in creating a culture of wellbeing in schools. Below Kate with Place2Be Chief Executive Catherine Roche.


Ms Roche participated in discussions at the conference.


The panel discussed research into children's mental health and the latest statistics.


The Duchess then joined a meeting with teachers and specialists from the sector to further discuss the potential impact of consistent mental health teacher training.


Teachers described lack of training as a "key barrier".


Kate looks through notes and findings during the meeting.


Simon Perry reports:

'During a private round table discussion at Wednesday’s Mental Health in Education conference, Kate — in a tweed suit by Dolce and Gabbana — met with 11 professionals to discuss the potential impact of consistent mental health training for teachers as well as the challenges facing its implementation.
“When I first started out – and I’ve learned a lot in a short period of time working with organizations – I was very naive myself as a parent of really just how important particularly the early years are for children’s futures,” said the royal mom of three – Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and Prince Louis, 10 months.
“And how critical it is, everyone looking after children at a critical time, teachers, parents, and everyone who’s caring for them, how important it is that we get it right,” she continued. “I didn’t know what some of the issues that perhaps we take for granted here as experts know about, but it’s being able to translate it to those who don’t have the training in a way that the points come across clearly.”

Although Kate wasn't intending to speak today, she was so impressed by the conference she felt compelled to address guests. Just before she was due to leave, the Duchess told staff she had prepared an impromptu speech. Kate said: "I wasn't actually planning on speaking but I just want to say a few words of reflection after today's wonderful speakers. It's really so exciting to hear everyone here speaking with your wealth of experience about the importance of mental health and particularly the emotional development of our children and teachers."


The Duchess continued: "What you've all been discussing here today really brings to life the vital role that teachers are playing in supporting our youngest children's mental health. Thank you all for your dedication to this important cause. Over the last eight years of working with charities, I've met some of our experts in mental health, addiction, family breakdown, homelessness and education. They have taught me over and over again the root causes of so many of today's social problems can be traced right back to earliest years of a person's life and often over generations. The scientific and other evidence is clear - the first few years of a child's life are more pivotal for development and for future health and happiness than any other single moment in our lifetime".


Kate added:

'It is also clear that the positive development of our children is directly linked to those who care for them, teachers, carers and parents.
And as we have heard today, it is therefore vital that we support teachers with their own wellbeing so that they can find the best level of care for all children, in their schools and communities in which they work. No one of us however can make a difference alone.
I feel so passionately about working together and being here today has affirmed to me just how much already is being done, so thank you to all of you who are prioritising the importance of mental health and the importance of childhood development as a whole. I look forward to hearing how your discussions will lead to proactive steps and to an ever more resounding commitment to mentally healthy schools, teachers and children.'

A video from the conference.


The Duchess was stylish in a Dolce & Gabbana bouclé skirt suit for the event. Initially, it was thought the bespoke ensemble was Chanel - the suit is very reminiscent of their classic designs. It's a very professional choice and the jacket is beautifully tailored. Although the look has proved very popular, Kate's glossy locks have been the talking point today. The style, colour and length all look fabulous.


A closer look at the fabric and buttons.


The jacket is very similar to the D&G Double-Breasted blazer shown below. It features a lapel collar, multicoloured pattern and snap button closure.


Kate wore her trusty Tod's suede block pumps.


Kate carried her Mulberry suede clutch.


And Kiki McDonough white topaz cushion drop earrings.


A closer look.


It was a very interesting engagement, it seemed particularly fitting for Kate to speak at this event as children's mental health is at the very core of her work with the Royal Foundation. I thought the speech was delivered very well, it's a cause close to her heart and one's she's very well informed on. I've always said one of the key advantages of William being second-in-line is the fact it affords the Cambridges the time to really focus on specific areas they care deeply about. Children's mental health is Kate's cause.

We'll see you in just a few hours for the 100 Women in Finance Gala!

115 comments:

  1. You are so fast! Love this outfit

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  2. Catherine looks lovely today, always love her style but there is a shift back to her younger days in terms of style, which I love. Maybe relying less on stylists. Regardless she looks great. Her hair is particularly beautiful today.
    Look forward to seeing more about the event.

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  3. oh i love the duchess you are fast Charlotte i will see the full update on these

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  4. So very nice to see Kate at events like these. I love this focus of hers!

    And what a pretty look! Businesslike, but still a princess twist! Love the fabric. Nice use of separates as well! The top is quite... "ladylike" so I like that the skirts length and flounce keeps it from getting too old in the look. And I always like the dark tights!

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    1. Look at our girl being great and stuff!! :D So fun to see her evolve like this. You can tell a clear passion in this area and you can see great growth in her confidence both when speaking and in general!

      I see alot of comparisons between which royals are better and such nonsense, when in reality it's just different personalities. Not better or worse ones. I see Kate as that toddler that is quiet, maybe haven't started talking. The other kids are fumbling away and learning to talk and the Kate-toddler is just there quiet. Maybe even worrying the parents. And one day she just starts talking full sentences. The kid that people thought were just a bit slow and "not doing what they should" turns out that they have been sitting back and absorbing until they had a better comprehension of it all.

      I'm aware that this is a very flawed analogy since Kate has never been slow. But you guys understand what I mean, hopefully! It's wonderful to see how during these years Kate have sat back and absorbed the life, the causes and her role. Slowly trying ideas and seeing connections. And then with Heads Together and now the Early Years initiative, putting together actually impactful initiatives tied into a plan that will reach decades into the future. I cannot wait to see what the future brings!!

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    2. Completely understand Rebecca!! I am reminded of an old Aesop's fable, "slow and steady wins the race". Our Duchess is certainly winning.

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    3. @Rebecca: Great post and I totally agree.

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  5. Love her hair - looks shorter. Not a fan of her suit, tho - style is OK but seems for younger woman, so not sure we'll see this much again as a repeat; boucle fabric is just wrong, IMO

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  6. I love this look! Perfect for the event. Her hair looks particularly fabulous today. You can see how committed she is to this cause.

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    1. Now that I've seen the rest of the pics and more info, I am so happy she is spearheading this cause. I am a teacher and I see first hand the effect mental health has on my students but I feel so ill equipped to help them through it, as it is most definitely not my area of expertise, and there are SO many different issues from class to class, student to student. Wish something like this would come stateside.

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  7. I live in Boston and love waking up to these posts; I check this and Mad About Meghan every morning. Thank you, Charlotte!

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  8. I like this outfit. like the frayed hemline, which gives a dash of quirkiness, and I also like the plaid pattern. I do think the skirt is too short compared to the top. I think this kind of short skirt works with a blouse that can be tucked in, but with the jacket top it kind of brings attention to Kate's very long torso. But fun, youthful look. I wonder if Kate got a new stylist? Because she definitely has been on a roll recently with looking trendy and youthful.

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    1. I'm certain she has been working with someone new since about November when Natasha went on maternity leave. Natasha gave birth in December. Since November there is a very slight shift in Catherine's style (for the better) and the brown socks (copyright Ivy Lin) have disappeared.

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    2. Rhonda - Wisconsin13 February 2019 at 14:49

      I agree Sunny - I really think she is either working with someone new, or reverting to her own style taste. Whatever it is, it's for the better and I really like it.

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    3. I think she's doing more of the "royal next door' type outfits. They're elegant, but they convey that she's not a princess, she's a normal person. This even extends to her makeup -- I've noticed her eye and brow makeup is a lot less harsh nowadays. I really love this trend and i agree, such a nice reprieve from the brown socks look.

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    4. She IS a princess! And not like everyone else! And that's what I love about having a Royal family. They are ROYAL!!

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  9. I love it when she wears separates, especially skirt suits. It's a nice change from dresses.

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  10. I love the hair, really love that they are getting longer, suits her so much better imho :)

    Then to the outfit, it does feel more like her previous years style, but I'm not a big fan of those kind of skirts on her, she seems to like them very much though :)

    I really like the jacket, would love if someday she would style it with black 'suit' trousers :))

    Looking forward to seeing the Duchess again in the evening :)

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    1. Oh I agree about styling the jacket with black 'suit' trousers!

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    2. Caroline in Montana13 February 2019 at 16:16

      +1 :) some black straight let trousers would look awesome with this jacket and on our Duchess!!

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  11. Kate is having a VERY good hair day today! 😍

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  12. Catherine’s hair looks amazing today. This is a great style on her and she looks incredibly happy. Overall—it’s a win-win.

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    1. I noticed her hair first as well. It's perfection today. It's not that easy for it to have just the right bounce. Today's a very good day.

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  13. I like the outfit, she looks good

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  14. Just a few thoughts:
    Kate's new radiance still amazes me.
    Her hair is fabulous, although I always prefered her hair in darker hues.
    I would only wish to change one thing on today's outfit - though I am not usually the one complaining about tight jeans and short skirts, I wish the hemline was a bit longer.
    Overall it is a lovely engagement and solid, trademark Kate look.
    Ella

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    1. Emmaline in the U.S.13 February 2019 at 14:20

      I agree. I don't think the length is inappropriate by any stretch of the imagination, but I think her long torso requires a tad more material to make the proportions look correct. It wouldn't take much and still be above the knee with lots of movement. I'll be very curious to hear the designer. Gorgeous fabric and her hair is really the star of the show too!

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    2. Caroline in Montana13 February 2019 at 16:18

      I agree on the hair front. I thought right off how light her hair looks, I think she looks better with darker hair, that's the only thing id change.

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  15. I think she should experiment with ankle length skirt especially in cold weather. If this skirt was ankle length she would’ve looked much better. I love the color!

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    1. Lekheeka, Your comment made me chuckle. Some 20 years ago, (in the day we all wore formal suits to work) a Vice President advised me to wear fitted knee length skirts when presenting (powerful and confident) and longer skits when spending the day at a conference table (relaxed and confident). Your comment brought back the conversation. FYI: I took his advice; it was spot on!

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    2. @anonymous I’m sorry, but that was 20 years ago. I don’t wear ankle/midi length skirts ever to the office and I’m in insurance. I’m all for a good power skirt but this would have looked too heavy ankle length.

      I think she looks great other than the jacket not hitting the skirt in the right spot.

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    3. Briggs, I agree a long skirt probably would not have worked for this event. Having said that, I did really like the red tartan midi-skirt she wore in the snow before the recent holiday in 2018.

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    4. @Anoynymous 18:50 - agreed!! That was lovely!!!

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  16. Replies
    1. +1 - I'm a fan of boucle fabric as well. Texture adds interest.

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  17. Love this entire look on her from head to toe!

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  18. Lovely Duchess of Cambridge. I’ll be back to read all the interesting info about the conference. Thanks, Charlotte.

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  19. She is literally perfection personified. I'm drooling over this suit!

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  20. Hey Charlotte,

    Super fast post, thank you!
    Just one thought: are you sure that these are the "white topaz" drops and not the "morganite" drops with a sublte soft pink?

    Greetings from Austria
    Lilly xx

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    1. Good point Lily, I'm going to check more images now.

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  21. Darling! I really like Kate in this outfit. She has done some shopping and I like the new outfits. Great hair day...she just looks so happy and glowing.

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  22. Her hair looks super today, the suit is nice, but I’m beginning to dread those Tod’s shoes like the praline ones.
    The mention of mental health training for teachers is interesting. I wonder if there is any at all in the US, because it sounds like they’re saying it is lacking in the U.K.

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    1. There are efforts in some school districts across the US to provide mental health training to teachers. The state of New York is working particularly hard at this, but local districts elsewhere in the country are too. The primary training provided in this area is a course known as Mental Health First Aid. There is a youth version and an adult version of the course, and the youth version is most appropriate for elementary, middle, and high school teachers. Some districts are also trying to hire more guidance counselors and school psychologists, but funding is a significant challenge to that endeavor. I wish that there could be a nationwide effort to provide mental health training for teachers, because it is sorely needed.

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    2. Sarah from NC,
      Thanks for the information. I agree, it is sorely needed.

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    3. For the USA, you may find resources helpful at NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness. Here is their web information on help for U.S. schools: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Public-Policy/Mental-Health-in-Schools

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    4. Marci,
      Thanks for the link.

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  23. She looks wonderful. Love the suit. I like the proportions on her. I am also one who likes her hair a bit darker without what at least comes across on photos as a red hue. The length and style look great. I also would not mind seeing a new black shoe but I get that these are most likely very comfortable.

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    1. Yeah, I like it better without the reddish tint also, but the style itself today looks good.

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  24. Rhonda - Wisconsin13 February 2019 at 14:52

    I really, really like this suit. This is something that a business professional would wear to the office and it's just lovely on her. I agree - her hair looks fantastic. Most importantly, I am really glad she is shining a light on mental health in young(er) children. It's a great cause and she's really honing her knowledge of it. Way to go Kate!

    Charlotte - great post as always. Thank you!

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  25. She should ask for a pencil skirt so the look will be more versatile in coming years or like princess Mary buy more fabric to futur alteration .I think it's Macqueen .She have this white maternity dress for Sweden trip and black dress for paris trip with the same fabric but I hoped for a look similar to her Anna freud conference ( coat and trousers ).I think she will repeat a dress for the night maybe one of the gowns from Eugenie and Harry weddings.
    Thanks for the blog Charlotte.

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  26. I mean can we just say she is having a fabulous hair day!!! Love her outfit! Very good choice for today’s engagement. Not really about the fashion but the work she is trying to accomplish in schools for young children. Beautiful and professional! Thank you Charlotte!

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  27. Wow Kate looks fab I love the suit and I disagree with a few comments regarding the length I think it is youthful and business like Kate shouldn’t feel every skirt has to be to and beyond her knees Bravo Kate as great cause and gorgeous look x

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  28. Mental Health in Education is a very important area that will get the attention it needs through Kate's and the Royal Foundation's patronage. It is an area to which Kate obviously intends to devote a lifetime. It's interesting to see how the Foundation is tackling the area of mental health (one of their main areas) with Kate focussing on children, Harry on veterans, and William with adults and workplace. I remember at the beginning when all three would appear to support the launch of this part of the Foundation's work, and how each of the three has branched out into their own specific areas. Love the fabrication of Kate's suit and the opaque tights. I think the long jacket and the shorter skirt has been a consistent silhouette with Kate, and one I've started to idenitfy with her. Her hair looks glorious. She looks very well-rested for a very busy day!

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  29. Adorbs! Can I say adorbs about a Dolce & Gabbana suit. Well I just did. She looks amazing. The block shoes are excellent. Love the skirt cut. Lots of movement. And of course her hair is beautiful. I wish she would let it go natural without a blowout once to see what it looks like.

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    1. i do recall Kate letting her hair go natural in one of the early trips to the islands when she and William were up on stage dancing with lovely floral attire on that had been gifted to them. Her hair looked fabulous.

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    2. Then there was also that time just after Prince George's birth when she appeared unannounced at an event in Anglesey with William, and her hair was in natural waves. It was beautiful.

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  30. Perfection......need I say more?

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  31. I always love a boucle suit and this is a great choice, love the pattern! This is what I would call a "Board Day" look. Kate looks superb, ready to conquer the day. The only thing off to me is the cut of the skirt; either the jacket should be a little bit longer, or the drop waist of the skirt should be shorter, the bottom of the jacket should reach the seam in the skirt, IMO. Other than that minor quibble, this is a great working look. Don't mind the length with the dark tights and shoes, she's not bending over with children, she is sitting at a conference, so it works for this engagement. Don't mind the Todd's either, think they are a great work shoe. Her hair is certainly her crowning glory, it really is beautiful. cc

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    1. I agree that it's a great work look. When I first saw the suit combination, I thought...she must have thought, "something similar to my Paule Ka burgundy suit but in a fabric similar to my Rebecca Taylor suit, with frayed edges and best if it were black, I'll wear the jacket with my my black slacks for a repeat."

      She looks darling, yes it should be referred to as an 'adorbs' Dolce & Gabbana suit, Kelly

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  32. She looks beautiful head to toe! I don't understand why people don't like the shoes. I think they look good and also comfortable.

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    1. I love the shoes too! They lend a more modern youthful feel to the outfits she wears them with.

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    2. I'm kind of neutral on the shoes. They work well as a workday shoe with the thicker heel and patterned sole. Not the most gorgeous shoes around, not the ugliest either. Some solid work horses!

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    3. Love the shoes too! They are sold out, but also a little expensive if they ever do come back for sale. Kates closet has some ReplicKate styles that look reasonable.

      http://www.katescloset.com.au/tods-black-suede-block-heel-pumps.html

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  33. Kate looks great today! I love the shorter hemline and the Tod shoes (much better than those high thin heels all the time). As many have already said, her hair is beautiful! I'm glad she is still wearing younger styles as she is still a very young woman! Thanks Charlotte for the posts.

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  34. I think that this is perfection.

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  35. I really love this suit and Kate has the best hair ever!! When Kate first began wearing those shoes, I didn't care for them but they have really grown on me. I am really enjoying this double duchess week with appearances by both Kate and Meghan. I look forward to seeing Kate tonight in another gown and jewelry. Charlotte, as always, your coverage is the best!

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    1. It really is the best coverage out there, isn't it? I appreciate it now more than ever in the wake of terrible tabloid divisiveness.

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  36. I really love this outfit on Kate! A similar cut to other separates she has worn, but this is a style that looks fantastic on her.

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  37. I truly think the Duchess looks beautiful and professional. I cannot get over how polished and glowing she looks, brimming with confidence. She gets better with age. This mother of three looks amazing and she has matured from a young girl into a beautiful woman. Motherhood becomes her.
    Sandra from Canada

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  38. This is fantastic. Professional but the skirt lends youthfulness. Staid accessories to show the suit off. Her hair. Man she has good hair. Even if she wears hair extensions I don’t care. My blow outs never look like that. I’ve tried!! Love what she is spearheading. She really has come into her own and I think for her slow and steady worked. She has taken the time to learn and grow and I think it is paying off

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  39. Replies
    1. Yes!
      I love her style, she seems to be a very thoughtful woman in her sartorial choices. Today's outfit was perfect for this event, and I think this might be one of her personal style favorites. She has always loved a "flirty skirt" and it suits her to a tee.

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  40. Perfect from hair to toe!

    Thank you Charlotte for you fantastic posts!

    Elisabeth, Carcassonne, France

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  41. Caroline in Montana13 February 2019 at 17:19

    A total hit for me!! I like the suit very much, I didnt think at all that the hem lines were off. funny folks calling her frumpy yesterday and now today someone said the outfit was too young for her! -she cant win:) these shoes are a favorite of mine, I really like the block or chunkier heal, they look so much more comfortable as well than the stilettos (also less chance of getting stuck in a grate:)). love all her kiki's! her hair does look great but the color is off to me, too light/red. would like to see it in her natural shade and with out any blow out or extras. I think this initiative is the best, it does all start in childhood for each of us, what a way to make a better society going forward!! kudos to the DoC!!

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    1. Love her look today! Very classy and chic!!I still haven't had the chance to view the video but I assume she's done a stellar job as usual. It's not east speaking in front of an audience(at least not for me) but I'm glad she's growing in confidence with every speech :-)
      Thank You Charlotte!XOXOSiddhii

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  42. I’m glad she spoke and made a little speech. It shows she’s invested.

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  43. Love the look, love the cause. I am just very curious and have been for some time. Each time Kate makes a speech, she reads from A4 pages which she turns quite frequently after relatively few sentences which makes me think it is written/printed quite large? And for today's impromptu speech it was again written/printed and read - when did she write it or was it her secretary? Not criticism, I get and accept it she is not a natural speaker, and it's ok - im just curious. Any thoughts?

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    1. Caroline in Montana13 February 2019 at 18:17

      I agree, I think it is printed large, worst thing ever to be making eye contact and look down and cant find your place again because its too small/too many words. I also think the shorter cards get delivered better in terms of tone, effect, pausing etc. I find it very effective and im proud of her, I can not public speak a drop.

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    2. Kate appears to be someone who is organized and tries to prepare for her engagements and while maybe she wasn't scheduled to speak, perhaps she had something drafted something or some talking points in the event she could speak if she choose to, JMO. Recently I was asked to speak in a public forum for a presentation, which was filmed. (I was a reluctant participant :() There were several of us who shared the responsibility and we practiced extensively (each of our speeches was timed and couldn't be over 3 minutes). Everybody had a different style, some read from one page, others had notes enlarged over several pages, and I had mine in a presentation on the screen that I read from so I wasn't looking down trying to find my place. Unfortunately my portion made it to the news that night. My grandson told me lots of his friends saw it on television. I asked him, what did they say and his response was nothing, except one kid told him "I looked uncomfortable"!! To which my response was "well he's right I was." If it is not your strength to do public speaking, you have to find the best way to do it as naturally as possible. It is not near as easy some make it look or as others think it should be, and with that being said, IMO Kate is doing a fantastic job in her public speaking these days, especially knowing all eyes and cameras are on her!! cc

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    3. Lize: I was a speechwriter at a Fortune 50 company. Yes, speeches are printed in larger type and reduced margins. This prevents the eye and head from cycling back-and-forth; it's easier to retain your place; it can be read regardless of available light; and it facilitates natural pauses. Usually each page contains one paragraph. Think of it as a TV teleprompter which has a narrow field.

      Kate did a marvelous job today. She was relaxed and poised. Over the years, I worked with executives of varying preparation styles. Some were experts at delivering exactly what was provided; others were engaged in the process. Kate appears more comfortable in a a hands-on role versus performing prepared remarks. This impromptu capitalized on her strengths.

      One last comment, the consistent page structure also provides solid length estimates without timing the entire speech.

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    4. Very interesting points and thank you for sharing your experience, CeCe and Anon! I agree Kate is improving a lot. Well done. I love both this engagement and her look. Thank you as always, Charlotte!

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    5. Yes that answers my curiosity! Thank you!

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  44. Love the suit but quite surprised she's wearing D&G after their abhorrent behavior recently. I would have thought they would have crossed that brand off the list.

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  45. SierrafromMontana13 February 2019 at 17:59

    This is such a great cause for our Duchess. My long term partner has a brain injury which he suffered from a car accident. I've learned so much in the past 3 years about mental health and how important it is for everyone to acknowledge mental health in general. There are so many folks who simply put - don't get it. So bravo for starting this trend early in children to be aware of how important mental health is in every day life!

    Now on to the outfit - I love the hair and tweed suit. I wish she would have worn boots or booties instead of the Todds but - overall wonderful professional look. She was on point today!

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    1. My condolences to you and your partner in your current challenges. Wishing you all the best in this journey. I have a close family member with significant brain injury too---your "normal" in this situation is not anything like what most people understand without training.

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    2. SierrafromMontana14 February 2019 at 16:29

      Oh thank you Marci. It has been a life changing event. I'm noticing more and more research regarding car accidents and brain injuries so that has been a plus. Scientists are finding that car accidents are now the leading cause for deep depression following concussions and TBIs. I hope your family member is doing better. Sending positive thoughts.

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  46. A couple of thoughts...
    Kate's hair appears to have been recently cut with some new layers. Fabulous is the only word to describe the look.
    Her suit is wonderful. While it is professional, it also gives her an age appropriate look and hopefully she will remain with this fashion trend moving on with engagements. Her closet appears to have received some much needed updating in recent months as we have all noted with previous engagements. Kates statement that she had not planned on speaking did give me pause. In my opinion the script she then made reference to while speaking projected thoughts that were more then words jotted down on a piece of paper while engaging with other people throughout the event. Her words to me appeared to be very scripted, reviewed and prepared. It is nice that it is evident that Kate is growing in her ability to speak in a public forum.

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    1. I imagine she jotted down notes as did her secretary. It was probably someone who was in charge of the conference who approached them about speaking so something was put together quickly so the Duchess could cover all points of discussion in her appreciation.

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    2. USA Granny: When a leader attends a highly productive session, it is perfectly natural for the individual to make final comments. It is actually rude of an organizer to request an impromptu unless the organizer sees the need to reinforce a specific point. The comments sounded very genuine and appreciative. My bet is Kate decided mid-day to thank everyone and worked with her assistant during a break. When one feels passionate about a topic, jotting down closing thoughts is rather straightforward and requires little time. A trained writer makes a living jotting down quick comments in the style of the exec -- they do it on the fly during live press conferences! Too bad we can't see if was handwritten or typed:-).

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    3. Anon 19.46: I agree with you that Kate's speech sounded and seemed as if she and Catherine Quinn (or whomever was her assistant today) did a quick write-up of her appreciation during a break, and maybe she dashed into a restroom to read it aloud once. She certainly did a great job delivering it! Remember her first speech? Tremendous progress in this area.

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    4. Anonymous, I am not going to belabor your comment. I do not need to be schooled in the art of impromptu speaking engagements. However, I personally do know that when I or anyone else that I have personally witnessed speak off the top of their head or begin with remarks saying, "I did not plan on speaking today" it is always a purely organic statement that follows. It is genuinely a conversation with the audience who sits before you. It is not a statement read at length off a script as Kate did today. Someone prepared a statement and she delivered it. The point is moot.

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    5. USA Granny, with respect, I think we are splitting hairs here. When Kate said she hadn't planned on speaking, I'm sure she meant that when she arrived, she didn't know she'd be speaking, or she would have had something prepared already. That she and/or her team prepared sometime during the event could make it "impromptu" according to some definitions but not according to your more exacting standard. I agree, it's a moot point, but your providing your exact definition was certainly helpful of you so that we understand where you're coming from. I hope my explanation helps too in that regard!

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    6. I think it is possible that Kate had already her speech for the evening gala prepared and she decided to use a part of it here. In the evening, she repeated several things she said here so it makes sense to me. I think it's good both for her and the audience when she makes a speech, even a short one. It means practice and gaining "speech confidence" for her and a moment to remember for the public who can see she is personally involved in the matter.

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    7. Since Kate is not a natural public speaker I would have been very disappointed if she got up there to speak without having something on paper.
      There are people who have the skill to speak completely off the cuff, if you don’t then you quickly scribble a few things down (or plagiarise the speech you have prepared for the evening) and there is nothing wrong with it. To be honest it is the professional thing to do.
      There is nothing as bad as somebody getting up to speak off the cuff and they end up just rambling.

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  47. Just popping on to say I thought this speech was one of her bests! I don't remember any off-the-cuff comments in prior speeches, and it truly set her up well by engaging the audience and adding an "in the moment" component that makes communication powerful. Thanks as always for the post!

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  48. The Duchess looks lovely in this outfit, very chic. She seems more confident, she is really coming into her own now

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  49. She looks so lovely! I love it when she wears tights. :) Her hair is really gorgeous today too.

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  50. The Duchess looks great. I would prefer this jacket with a different style of skirt, or at least a longer one. Still, it's a nice business-like look. I'm impressed with Kate's commitment and growing expertise in the area of childhood mental health.

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  51. Kate has been hitting it out of the ball park these past six months. Not only in terms of her sartorial choices, but she exudes a confidence and bearing that is wonderful to witness.

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  52. This is a lovely look, and a wonderful engagement. I think it's amazing that she works so hard to highlight such an important cause. Mental health is truly an integral part of a person's overall health.

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  53. As a member of Toastmasters International, I am often asked to evaluate speeches in our club. Looking at Kate's speech I would say that when one feels as passionately about a subject as Kate does, she would of course want to have said something at the end. And so she probably did already have some notes and probably jotted more down. I would also say that she has been learning some of the principles of public speaking, such as looking to both sides of the audience when speaking. Yes, she still reads from her notes quite a bit but her vocal variety has improved so much in the years since her first interview, her first speech. And she has learned to control her nerves as well. She will probably never be a "natural" at public speaking, i.e., someone who can make a speech without notes, but her speaking abilities are very pleasing, very heartfelt. And she was willing to get up and speak which is HUGE. And, finally, what a great cause!
    Valerie

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    1. Agreed! I was surprised that she went up there without really planning to. She was still a bit stilted and appeared nervous, but I too thought it was a huge leap for her to get up there and speak. She can only improve!

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  54. I'm so proud of Kate and her initiative to get going on changing the future for countless people by changing the availability of mental health help for the children of today and tomorrow. It is significant to me that she notes her own ignorance of the issues as a new parent, and now that she knows how vital it is that children get the best care from the earliest possible time, I imagine that she is more than ever determined that she will be the most hands-on mother she can manage in order to give her three the best possible chance for a mentally and emotionally healthy future. She certainly seems determined to learn as much as she can as fast as she can, and to arrange that the benefits she is reaping herself shall be shared as widely as possible through the Royal Foundation. If parents, teachers and child caregivers could have a chance at being trained in these issues, we may see a difference in a significant segment of society in as little as twenty years. What a great thing that would be! Now to bring such an initiative here to the States and get it implemented as widely as possible . . . !

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  55. Wow! It pretty much sums up how I feel about every aspect of Kate & Today's Event! Especially love the suit & her glorious hair!! :)

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  56. Perfection from head to toe. Love everything from the suit to the shoes to the hair. Love the reddish tones! Congratulations to the Duchess on her selections lately!

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  57. Fab, fab, fab...fabulous! Stunning! Gorgeous! Love it!

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  58. Thank you Charlotte for this post. I found this event to be very interesting and informative. As a childcare worker myself for many years; I have become increasingly aware of both the shortness and importance of childhood. It is sobering to think of the impact we as the adults can have in their growth and development.

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  59. very young look at a very in shape young woman. At the same time the suit is very professional at the same time. The whole look is gorgeous.

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  60. Love everything about today. I am glad to see this becoming a regular engagement on Kate annual calendar. I love that she took her time in earning and getting a firm foundation and then gradually stepping out and using her resources to connect and support a growing need in the community.

    Her look is good. Hair is great. I don’t see the fuss about the shoes. I think it’s pretty normal to have a handful of regular work shoes to rotate through. As long as they are appropriate and comfortable and coordinate with the outfit, they work for me.

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  61. I think this is one of Kate's best daytime looks. I think it's very classy and flattering. I love every element of this ensemble. Her hair and makeup and smile are beautiful.

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  62. Kate's look reminds me of the early years of her marriage - but now she has grown into her role. She's now giving "impromptu" speeches. But I think she's a bit nervous, she keeps licking her lips. Thank you for your post.

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  63. She looks so happy and lovely pure class

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  64. She looks super gorgeous and professional. Fabulous suit.

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