Friday, 27 November 2020

The Duchess Reveals Survey Results & Exclusive Discount from Black.co.uk

 Ahead of tomorrow's online forum hosted by the Royal Foundation and Ipsos MORI, the Duchess of Cambridge has unveiled the findings of her landmark early years survey. Kensington Palace described the results as "a milestone moment for her work on the importance of early childhood in shaping the rest of our lives and broader societal outcomes."

The Palace shared several images from a recent meeting with Kelly Beaver, Managing Director of Public Affairs for Ipsos MORI, the market research company who conducted the study. They revealed the following information on the background of the endeavour "The publication of this research follows nine years of work by the Duchess of Cambridge in which she has looked at how difficult experiences in early childhood are often the root cause of key social challenges such as poor mental health, family breakdown, addiction and homelessness – with the cost of late intervention estimated to be around £17 billion per year in England and Wales. Throughout this time, the Duchess has listened extensively to the early years sector, convening a steering group of experts in 2018 to look at how collaborative work could bring about positive change.  In January, Her Royal Highness asked the general public for their views – sparking a national conversation on the early years through the ‘5 Big Questions on the Under Fives’ survey which attracted over half a million responses, making it the biggest ever survey of its kind."

The five major insights from the survey are:

1. People overwhelmingly believe that a child’s future is not pre-determined at birth.  However, most people don’t understand the specific importance of the early years.  

2. Answering the 5 Big Questions, 98% of people believe nurture is essential to lifelong outcomes, but just one in four recognise the specific importance of the first five years of a child’s life.

3. The reality of life makes it hard for parents to prioritise their wellbeing. 90% of people see parental mental health and wellbeing as being critical to a child’s development, but in reality people do very little to prioritise themselves. Only 10% of parents mentioned taking the time to look after their own wellbeing when asked how they had prepared for the arrival of their baby.  Worryingly, over a third of all parents (37%) expect the COVID-19 pandemic to have a negative impact on their long-term mental wellbeing.

4. Feeling judged by others can make a bad situation worse. 

5. 70% of parents feel judged by others and among these parents, nearly half feel this negatively impacts their mental health.

The prevalence of loneliness among parents has increased notably during the pandemic. The results revealed whilst support within communities has increased overall, there are many who were unable to avail of this support or found it wasn't available for their specific needs. This has affected those in the most deprived areas particularly. 

The Duchess wore her white ZARA blazer. Below, the Duchess wearing the one button jacket in Canada in 2016. Kate teamed it with an off-the-shoulder H&M top, ZARA jeans and J Crew Avery shoes.

During her speech at the online forum, the Duchess will say "Over the last decade I have met people from all walks of life. I have seen that experiences such as homelessness, addiction, and poor mental health are often grounded in a difficult childhood. But I have also seen, how positive protective factors in the early years can play a crucial role in shaping our futures. The early years are not simply about how we raise our children. They are in fact about how we raise the next generation of adults. They are about the society we will become."

It appears Kate wore the electric blue, double breasted, long sleeved £139 Reiss Trina dress from her first speech at East Anglia's Children's Hospices in 2012. Kate's mother Carole was photographed wearing the dress to Ascot in 2010. 


We'll look at the report in depth and Kate's speech following the forum.

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It's also time for our annual Black Friday post with sales and savings information on pieces worn by the Duchess and an exclusive discount code from British luxury accessories brand Black.co.uk. Toby and his team have worked tirelessly to curate a collection filled with classic items, quality fabrics and elegant prints for the festive period. This year, the brand is offering readers a 30% discount on all orders (20% is applied automatically and an additional 10% will be deducted with the code HRH10).


I recall last year several of you were very fond of tartan pieces. The 100% merino wool Black Watch Tartan Cape is described as, "Made in the UK from high quality pure merino lamb's wool, it can substitute for a coat and is perfect for informal dressing."

Below, the Duchess wearing her Alexander McQueen Black Watch tartan dress.

The Black Watch Tartan is also seen in a cashmere scarf below, made from 100% Scottish cashmere. We also see the Black Stewart Tartan Cashmere Scarf, the Mackenzie Tartan Cashmere Scarf and theSilver Bannockburn Tartan Cashmere and Merino Wool Scarf.

This year's collection includes a number of gift sets. The brand's mantra 'Give a Little Luxury' is particularly apt as we prepare for a very different December. Sending a gift to a loved one or close friend has taken on additional meaning. Below, the Winter Cashmere Silk Scarf and Black Cashmere gloves gift set.

The Snake Print Cashmere and Silk Scarf and Cashmere Lined Leather Gloves Gift Set and the Leopard and Chains Cashmere and Silk Scarf and Cashmere Beanie Gift Set. From the men's collection we have the Navy Polka Dot Silk Scarf and Navy Italian Leather Gloves Gift Set and Cashmere Neck Warmer and Cashmere Beanie Gift Set. All Christmas gift sets come with complimentary gift wrapping.

A selection of excellent little stocking-filler luxuries include Barely Blue Cashmere Blue SocksWhite Velvet and Satin Tong SlippersLadies Grey Mark Cashmere Gloves, which are knitted in Scotland from 100% cashmere yarn, and Beige Midi Length Cashmere Wrist Warmers.

Exclusively designed by the team at Black.co.uk, the Seasons Collection of cashmere and silk wraps features stunning prints reflecting scenes of flora and nature reflecting the four seasons of the year. More on the decision behind the print for the Spring wrap: "Our choice for Spring is the Forget-Me-Not, showcasing two large sprays of this pretty Spring flower in vibrant leaf green, blue and white. Soft, warm and generously sized the wrap is crafted from a perfect blend of cashmere and silk and the short eyelash fringe gives it a nice finishing touch."

Take a look at the soft lilac and vivid blue Summer wrap.

The brand's £79 animal print scarves have been upgraded from silk/wool to silk/cashmere this year. The Brown Leopard Print scarf featuring warm tones of "chocolate, coffee and copper on a natural background give depth to the design and the silk in the fabric radiates a subtle sheen". The Navy Leopard Print features rich tones of navy, blue and grey on a natural background. Both are quite long and can be draped around the shoulders, worn as shawls or sarongs.

The Swarovski Black Wrap in Cashmere and Silk is embellished with Swarovski crystals and draped as a shawl or scarf.

Experience a touch of Downton Abbey glamour with the elegant Long Black Satin Gloves and Short Ivory Fine Lace Gloves.


The brand has a very limited stock of face masks available. Ranging from £10 to £13.50, the organic cotton face masks are reusable, machine washable, airy and breathable.

Click here to view the men's collection with an array of gloves, hats, scarves, pocket squares and ties available.

Information on shipping is as follows:

UK Shipping

​Free on orders over £50

Free returns on all orders

Extended returns until Jan 31st 2021

International Shipping

Free on orders over £100

£7.95 for orders under £100​

Extended returns until Jan 31st 2021

The discount code HRH10 is valid until 2nd December. You can view the full women's collection here.

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For the weekend, Mirabelle Jewellery are offering 20% on their website with code CYBER2020

Readers will recall the Duchess has worn their striking Lolita earrings on numerous occasions. The £45 22ct gold plated brass earrings are handmade. They make a glamorous addition to any look.


Mirabelle Jewellery founder Veronique Henry has travelled all over the world throughout her life. This has inspired her love for unique pieces "made with love and soul". Importantly, Mirabelle Jewellery is Fair Trade. UK Delivery is free.

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The Monica Vinader Siren Wire earrings in green onyx are reduced from £125 to £93.75.

Kate's J Crew Crystal and Pearl earrings are discounted by 50% with discount code EARLY for US readers. For UK customers, it's 30% off with code SHOP30.

ShopBop are offering 20% off full-price items including a range of Smythe Duchess blazers with discount code SHOP20.


Kate's LK. Bennett Mortimer dress is reduced from £325 to £227 (with many thanks to Carly from Kate Middleton Style).

Kate's Equipment Slim Signature Polka Dot Shirt is reduced from $280 to $230 at Nordstrom.

Bobbi Brown is offering 30% off site-wide. The Duchess wore a number of pieces by the iconic make up brand on her wedding day.

And Net-A-Porter is offering up to 50% off in their sale.

I hope all those celebrating across the pond are having a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

14 comments:

  1. Thanks Charlotte. I love looking at the shopping options. It can give me gift ideas even if I can't afford the specific item you've referenced. On another note, I think it's notable that the 'Early Years' project has the potential to be quite political because of cuts to Early Years public funding. I guess the Duchess is aware of that but it will be interesting to see how she drives forward with this project as it will take skilful handling to avoid criticism or controversy.

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  2. the duchess looking good for her enagement as young mom i dont know to be a mom for first time there no manual or book to acompany so only your mom can help but i need to understand my child more so thank you i have 8 months old i see her all first..

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    1. Congratulations on your first child, Bluefire! I think a lot of people will benefit from the outcomes of this survey, not only young mothers like yourself. Society will be better off as a whole, I hope, by taking on board the findings that will be discussed in the forum.

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  3. Kate to those supporting EY: "What you do isn't for the quick win. It's for the big win." And..."...I truly believe big changes start small."
    This is what some of us have been saying about Kate's motivation for the past ten years. Nice to have some validation.

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    1. Yes, that is so true! I love Kate’s thorough & methodical approach to her Royal role. It’s really exciting to see all her hard work in Early Years come to fruition.

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  4. Loving the effort, dedication and commitment that the Duchess is putting into her projects. She is laying out the insights of the survey in increments to allow for a conversation. Very thoughtful approach and a very worthy project. Kate looks lovely and liking how we are seeing her mix it up with repeats from her wardrobe, much like we would see a co-worker's. As much as I miss the 'in person' events, this new dimension with Zoom has made her seem much more accessible. On a completely unrelated note, the what a pretty teacup and saucer! cc

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    1. P.S. Charlotte there is a lovely short video on @kensingtonroyal of Kate. It is a very well spoken, genuine message about 'Early Years'. It speaks to what Katefan mentions above "What you do isn't for the quick win. It's for the big win...and I truly believe big changes start small." Very well done. cc

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    2. I agree with everything you say, CeCe! And thank you for mentioning the cup, otherwise I would have overlooked it! It is really lovely - says a tea lover! 😊☕️🫖

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  5. Replies
    1. I, too, would love to know the details of that beautiful teacup & saucer 😍

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  6. Great initiative and great lady - credit to the royal family and the UK

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  7. Seems to be a very well thought out project with an excellent approach to rolling it out over the short and long term.
    Always love the gift ideas. Thank you Charlotte.

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  8. I strongly advise against buying anything from Reiss. The quality of their clothes leaves much to be desired. I bought one coat that frayed very badly around the pockets the first time I had it dry-cleaned. I'd never seen that happen before, and my cleaners are quite reliable and skilled. A dress sagged badly in the back after hanging in my closet for a few months before I tried to wear it. The fabric was simply cheap, but the price of the dress was NOT.

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  9. There was a stunning blue plant holder on the wood mantle behind Kate. Does anyone know where it is from? Thank you

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