Kensington Palace said: "Self-isolation and social distancing can pose huge challenges to our mental health - in recent weeks the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been in regular contact with organisations and patronages to understand the issues they are facing during this difficult time." Below, Prince William speaking to Paul Farmer CEO of mental health charity Mind. It comes as the government has announced a £5 million grant to help support the organisation and enable them to continue to provide their vital service in the weeks and months ahead.
Victoria Murphy reports:
'Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, the charity that will administer the £5 million grant, said: “We are facing one of the toughest ever times for our mental wellbeing as a nation. It is absolutely vital that people pull together and do all they can to look after themselves and their loved ones, when we are all facing a huge amount of change and uncertainty...Whether we have an existing mental health problem or not, we are all going to need extra help to deal with the consequences of this unprecedented set of circumstances.”'
A statement from the Duke and Duchess reacting to new guidance from Public Health England with specific advice on maintaining good mental wellbeing during the outbreak reads:
'The last few weeks have been anxious and unsettling for everyone. We have to take time to support each other and find ways to look after our mental health.
It is great to see the mental health sector working together with the NHS to help people keep on top of their mental well-being. By pulling together and taking simple steps each day, we can all be better prepared for the times ahead.'
As a voracious reader, I was delighted to see a selection of timeless classics on Kate's antique desk. I've been making a concerted effort to focus on the silver linings wherever I can find them, and one of those has been the importance of taking time out from digesting the news cycle to indulge in hobbies I never have enough time for such as reading. I remember during an engagement some time ago the Duchess spoke about enjoying The Girl On The Train. I suspect the collection on her desk may represent some lifelong favourites. The eagle-eyed Emma quickly discovered they are a collection of Penguin clothbound books designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith.
Kate's choices include Sense & Sensibility, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Tess of the D'Urbervilles (the Thomas Hardy boxset by Coralie Bickford-Smith is available at Amazon). We also see greats such as Mansfield Park, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and my favourite Jane Austen novel Emma.
The Duchess wore her pink Marks & Spencer trouser suit. The £99 Wool Blend Double Breasted Blazer is described as: "Tailored fit with added stretch for a figure-defining silhouette. Italian wool-blend fabric creates a luxuriously smooth drape. Contrast button fastening."
The matching £59 Wool Blend Cropped Trousers features a zip, hook and bar fastening. Front pintucks and two functional side pockets.
I hope you're all having a good weekend and have the opportunity to connect with loved ones. One difference I've noticed within my own family is the importance of picking up the phone for a conversation, whereas in the past, due to busy schedules, it was often shorter texts. Time and the value of every moment has taken on a whole new meaning.