Saturday, 28 November 2020

The Duchess Shares Her Thoughts on Early Years & Plans for the Future in Q&A

In a wonderfully enjoyable and fun Q&A, the Duchess of Cambridge answered questions from members of the public about her early years work, 5 Big Questions and plans for the future. I thought it an excellent means of hearing Kate speak more candidly in an informal setting and she seemed very much at ease and excited to discuss the project. Kate began by saying "a huge thank you" to everyone who participated, noting there was a "huge number" of questions submitted with "wonderful emojis attached".

The Duchess was asked, "What is the early years? Help." Kate replied, "I suppose we're looking at it from pregnancy, through to the age of five, so through to children starting school." When asked what sparked her interest in early years, she reiterated a point made during her keynote speech from the Royal Foundation's online forum. "I actually get asked this question a lot. I think people assume because I am a parent, that's why I've taken an interest in the Early Years. I think this really is bigger than that. This isn't about – just about – happy, healthy children; this is about the society I hope we could and can become."

Kate added, "Right from the early days, meeting lots of people who are suffering with addiction or poor mental health, and hearing time and time again that their troubles now in adulthood stem right back from early childhood experience."

There was a light-hearted moment when Kate was asked about managing tantrums especially with multiple children. She laughed and said, "That's a hard one. I'd like to the ask the experts myself," before asking Alice Haynes, deputy head of early years at the Anna Freud Centre. Alice recommended trying "to put into words" how a child might be feeling and deal with the situation as calmly as possible.

Hello! reports:

'The royal even opened up about her own childhood after being asked: "What did you like most in your childhood?"

"That's a very good question," started Kate. "I loved spending time outside and that has stuck with me for my whole life."

The Duchess touched on plans for the future, revealing there's plenty in store for 2021 with new projects in the pipeline over the coming years. Kate touched on hopes to bring the project to a global stage, adding "there's amazing work going on internationally, because ultimately, this is a global issue. It would be great to see best practice being shared so, yes, I hope so in the future".

Kensington Palace also shared a brief video with an additional insight from the survey. During the COVID-19 pandemic, support from local communities has substantially increased for many -- but not for all. The full report expanded on this noting those living in the most deprived areas felt tailored support was less accessible.

The Duchess wore the Gucci blouse she debuted in January 2019 for a visit to Henry Fawcett Children’s Centre to learn more about the work being done by local organisations in Lambeth to support young children and their families. On the day, Kate teamed it with Jigsaw trousers, her Aspinal of London Midi Mayfair bag and Gianvito Rossi Piper pumps.

Gucci's 'violet orchid' Pussy Bow Silk Crepe Blouse is designed in a beautiful purple hue that is so fresh for the season - especially if you tend to wear darker colors. Cut from fluid silk-crepe, this style has a loose silhouette and features fabric-covered buttons that run down the back.

A reminder, luxury accessories brand Black.co.uk are offering readers a 30% discount on all orders (20% is applied automatically and an additional 10% will be deducted with the code HRH10). Below, the brand's very popular Black Watch Tartan Cape, Long Black Satin Gloves and Short Ivory GlovesClick here to view the original post with Kate-related Black Friday weekend offers.

I'm looking forward to starting a new series of Kate Loves posts next week :)

39 comments:

  1. I think they have really done a great social media campaign around this. One of the things I thought was especially well done is whenever Kate got a question like, “how to deal with tantrums?” she swopped over to an expert, not pretending that just because she is a parent she knows everything. She really gets how the role of the royal family is to be a mirror that reflects and amplify the experts not so much share their own opinion.
    Not that Kate is not sharing her own passion for this project, but she does it in a way that doesn’t make it about her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. And I think that's hard because personally I do want to know what she does - but that's not the point. She's not an influencer.

      Delete
    2. Extremely well put. Just being in the spotlight, as a representative - some things are universal, after all - she does her part.

      Delete
    3. That’s a great point. I think most people start referring to themselves, their experiences a lot instead of putting others in the spotlight. I think it’s ok for everyday life but sometimes it’s really not about you. Sometimes it is more important to shine the light exactly where it belongs and be just a supportive key note rather than the star of the show. Kate has finally found the middle ground it seems. Her personal experiences are great but they are also from a very privileged background (even when she was young). I find it important that she is aware and finds ways to incorporate her experiences in away that don’t generalise it and still seem approachable. She also refers to the general statistical results instead of making her own reality part of it.
      This whole thing turned out way better than I expected. Praise where praise is due!
      C.

      Delete
    4. ...and it's not over. The Five Questions survey was just an offshoot not an endpoint. (Rachel ZA explains this so well in her comment in a previous post) The EY initiative began long before the relatively short-term survey. Kate's selection of a panel of experts signaled the beginning of the formal, long term study. I think Kate was responding now to criticism at that time about lack of results from the panel when she emphasised in her speech the long ranging, time-consuming nature of research needed to support the depth of change needed to turn jeopardized childhoods into productive adulthood. The survey promised and produced short term results. I suspect the survey grew out of the public's clamor for instant success, as well as being a useful tool for involving the public, as has been suggested here.
      Kate pointed out that this was not a spur of the moment choice based on current headlines. It was born of years of work with various charities and her recognition of interrelationships involved. Heads Together was an earlier stop on the path.
      I feel she was also defending herself when she denied her being a parent was the sole motivation for pursuing this initiative. To me, the assignment by some of merely Mummy motivation to her effort showed a lack of understanding and respect for the level of research and use of scientific method inherent in her work. I am impressed that she bided her time and addressed this criticism only once she had proof of her seriousness.
      As others here have expressed, I hope this incredibly valuable project with such great potential can remain aloof from partisan politics. Project Head Start was a similar initiative in the USA. It became identified with a particular political party with the result that funding became dependent on the whims of partisan politics. The power of the purse.

      Delete
  2. Valerie in Arizona28 November 2020 at 20:23

    Thank you as always Charlotte for your great coverage! I too loved the candid video of Catherine looking at the questions people had asked. She is beautiful, she appears kind, caring and so very involved. I bought a Black & Co tartan scarf last year and absolutely love it. It shipped over here to Arizona in such a short time and was so beautifully packaged. Would love to order another this year but with so many people in need here....

    ReplyDelete
  3. It looks to me like she is wearing the blouse backwards!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I remember right from the last time she wore it, it was designed to be worn the other way around. But she must prefer it this way. I have at least two tops in my cupboard that I insist on wearing backwards because it just works better that way.

      Delete
    2. It does look backwards. Unless it is a knockoff version of the blouse?

      Delete
    3. I speculated it was a knock off but it looks identical and in fact it is on backwards which makes the sleeves and cuffs off. Maybe as you said the fit is the same and she just likes the ease of being able to button it up herself:). I do think it throws the sleeves off however. I also think the sleeve length is odd. I assumed the sleeves are a bit short on her due to needing a smaller size but who knows.

      Delete
    4. Maybe the high neckline plus bow was too much round her neck. I would want to wear it backwards too!

      Delete
    5. Kate wearing the blouse HER way makes me stop and think about how, over the course of her ever-increasingly public life, she revealed right from the beginning that she didn't pay one iota of attention to the cacophony of voices telling her what she "should" or "shouldn't" be doing. The blouse is an insignificant issue; this has been apparent ever since she refused to give up on William. She got her way. She is one powerful woman, someone to watch ever more carefully, especially since she is intent on making such a difference for good in the world.

      Delete
    6. Marci Andy, excellent point! Many have underestimated Kate and her abilities, and to Natacha's comment below she does have a 'scholar's mind' and a methodical approach to all her projects. Patience and knowledge seem to be her forte, and perhaps her 'small steps, big win' approach has served her well!! She definitely has a mind of her own and if the potential expanse and reach of this program can make a difference in the world, then good on her. If I wasn't already a fan, I definitely would be one now, she is one to watch.

      Delete
    7. Another option to consider is that historically upperclass women would wear dresses with buttons at the back, because they had a lady’s maid to help them dress.
      Women who had to dress themselves would wear dresses with the buttons in front.
      So buttons used to be a indicator of social status. With that in mind Kate might have liked the colour of the blouse but not felt comfortable with the optics of wearing a blouse with the buttons at the back.

      Delete
  4. Fantastic project. That shade of purple is beautiful on her.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent insight here of what experts think about Kate and this project.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-family/2020/11/28/wanted-work-duchess-cambridge/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for the link!

      Delete
  6. Kate Loves posts on the way? Yay! It’s those little things to look forward to that get me through the week! Thank you, Charlotte!
    Beth in SF

    ReplyDelete
  7. the duchess really did a great jobs looking forward and the duchess cambridge sharing her passion does dont look like she she make her own way

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is my favorite piece of thIS project so far! She seems more at ease and natural, and her personality comes out. It is also great that she is incorporating many of her charitable interests together, which is going to make this project successful. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

    This is not my favorite blouse style wise, but is very professional. The color suits her very well,and her hair looks great.

    Hope from USA

    ReplyDelete
  9. She is a great learner and is putting visible effort on this project. I hope the people of UK who most needed will benefit from it. Children of people suffering with cycle of addiction and violence. And let's hope we see a visible improvement on the coming years. Thank you for writing this blog about Kate. I love seeing her outfits which are so clasic and beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have enjoyed following these past posts about what the Duchess has been doing in this Early Years project. I am with young children 5 days a week and have worked with them for years but there is no two children exactly alike and so I feel like I am always learning. A reminder about how very important these early years are is always good for me. I can tend to forget that in the daily grind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nanny It is hard to strike the right balance. When a child is having a sit down temper tantrum in the middle of a grocery store aisle must you ponder how your response will effect him 20 years down the road? Or react spontaneously, grab the kid and run. I still have a picture in my mind of toddler Charlotte having a sit down tantrum whilst boarding an airplane on the tarmac in Germany. It was thought that she slipped and fell but that was a very angry two year old who was reacting to having a paper meant for her being taken away. I also recall a chastened but protesting toddler George being seriously spoken to by Kate over a toy car incident at a polo event. So in the video when she laughed and called on the expert concerning toddler dealings she might have had those incidents in mind. Those both happened literally in front of the eyes of the world. I imagine that could add another dimension or challenge to her approach that might differ from that of most Mums. But probably not.
      I seem to have gone off a ways from your comment here. Your honest remarks touched me and I did want to respond in some way.
      I think the main focus of the initiative is to reach children whose lives are missing one or more of the basic needs.
      I suspect if you are always learning , those children in your care are getting their needs met plus some fun and play along the way.Sheila

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your kind encouragement Sheila!

      Delete
  11. I really enjoyed Kate's keynote speech. There were comments about her gravitas, about how she has grown in her role...But for me what really shone through was that she knew what she was speaking about. One could feel the depth of research and learning. She wasn't reading another's words, acting as a figurehead as is so often the case for the FR ( not a criticism, actually it is part of their job)
    I get the impression we know more about her mind, about how she uses her brain. Collect information, study it, form a theory, check it, then act. She has a scholar mind. Also, I admire her long term, big win, small steps approach.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I left my praise further up, so this comment is about my criticism in terms of how they constructed the video.

    The answers from the experts in this video don't really answer the questions asked. Also: Will there be more questions answered? Because if that is all it is a bit of a let down on the "I will answer your questions" remark. Her reference to emojies was a bit strange? Why not tell some of them? Especially with the question she chose that had one attached?
    I absolutely understand she might not want to discuss her own parenting with the public- but her transition wording was very empty and not really touching the core of the question. She could have just said, she sometimes feels helpless and uncetain in dealing with tantrums too and then cut to a better phrased expert statement. Paraphrasing toddler feelings can help but you can also make things worse. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose- but it is a great starting point. The other experts really didn't hit the questions. I wonder who cut the video, because that is just storytelling 101.
    I think this was a missed opportunity for (1) more short videos with just one or two questions and than more time for the expert statement and (2) bigger panels with her, two experts and two parents/caretakers/teachers... to discuss one topic more indepths with different opinions and strategies. But who knows, this might come next year. They could be produced in short time but released over a longer period (think one per week + a monthly panel). It would establish the topic on a regular basis AND definitely make good PR in terms of her work numbers. As they would be preproduced she could go on and support all her charities and do specific projects regarding the early years. In terms of visibility this would be a massive win.
    Fashion wise I do think she has absolutely nailed the business look in the last days. The purple blouse definitely works better when you don't see it completely (sitting or under a blazer). But especially her hair and make-up was spot on in terms of looking fresh, professional, visible but not too much. I know some will criticise her "panda" eyes. I think she could do with less black, but I love that she has found her style and doesn't feel the need to run after trends in that regard (very different fom how she woks her wardrobe).
    C.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. C., after reading your crit, I went back and watched the first video to look at whether questions were left unanswered. I think it's more like 50%--there were some good answers, and some half answers, and one major unanswered question about how to help children adjust emotionally post-Covid (that question is very broad and deserves its own video, doesn't it?). I really like your ideas of more short videos and of a bigger panel to discuss the in-depth questions.
      The question about tantrums I thought had a good answer, but it was just the basic, generalized approach you want to take, and it really needed one or two examples to model how to implement the generalization. It was a half answer. I thought Kate's laugh and deprecating comment that she herself needed the expert at those times was actually a good transition to the expert. Probably your and my difference is one of the style of transition. That there were no other transitions at all between Kate reading the rest of the questions and the experts answering I attribute to them thinking the one transition stood in for all the questions, and I agree with you that it doesn't work as well as they hoped. It's choppy.
      I too hope that there are going to be more videos of answered questions, and that they will improve their editing in terms of allowing for just the bit of detail to explain the generalizations, and vary the number of questions so that the deeper ones don't get short shrift.
      I really enjoyed reading your comments and applying them as I watched the videos. Thank you, C.

      Delete
    2. I think it is early days yet. Give it time to roll out. Obviously there will be reactions to this first attempt of presenting the research. People will express a need for more clarity. There will be evaluation as to what was effective and what wasn't. With new territory and during a pandemic, I'd say they are off to a good start.

      Delete
    3. I thought it was choppy on purpose, to give it a youtuber vibe...I like that it isn't overdone

      Delete
    4. @Natacha: I politely disagree. YT is quite the professional plattform nowadays. Successfull YT channels produce extremly high quality content. Good storytelling and cutting isn't out of the ordinary anymore. There are tons of free tools that even amateurs use to produce fantastic footage. Choppy doesn't cut it anymore.
      I have no problem with trying to find a more approachable output but this was just sloppy work. Not necessarily on her part but definitely the producers. Lots of 13year old Youtuber do it better.
      Additionally, my opinion they actually did overdo it. It was supposed to look as if she answered question on (her own?) phone and reading them for the first time. Obviously not the reality. And it shows. Either go all the way or don't. In the end, the Early Years inititive needs to find balance between being set up professionally but being delivered in a professional but warm and approachable way. Good editing can do that.
      I am sure they can biult a great plattform, if they stay on top of it now. Steady output is important if you want to survive and establish youself on SM.

      Delete
    5. It shows I am not on youtube very often. I agree with you, 13 years old do it better. Still, I think that was what the editors wanted to achieve, amateur, spontaneous choppy relatable. Don't know if it was achieved or not. I thought it was unpretentious. I am sure you are right and the quality could be much better. I don't think the aim is to establish themselves on SM, they aren't profesional youtubers and why should they be?

      Delete
    6. Natacha-remember when television advertisers were doing that thing with the wandering focus? The camera bobbled around from face to face like it was a human eye observing. Professional doesn't always mean slick and perfect. In fact, people tend to mistrust or not relate to the overly processed. That is one reason, for example, why the holiday ad showing the chocolate candy bells with one renegade ringer slightly off balance is so popular

      Delete
    7. Anonymous 0900-all I can say is that Kate must be one heck of an actress. Those laughs and responses looked pretty spontaneous to me, not as though the questions had been pre-read and the answers rehearsed.

      Delete
  13. Her happiness shines through all the times. Great job Catherine and wonderful cause. Our children are the future and need the right guidance and love from day one. Looking fab as always.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The Duchess has greatly improved in her public speaking; it’s great to see! Her confidence is shining through 🤩
    I’m really looking forward to some new ‘Kate Loves’ posts, Charlotte 😃

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you Charlotte for the post. I thought the format of the presentation was fine. This was not meant to be a finale to the survey or a quick fix to problems. I saw the survey as a means to guage opinion and need and that the results would inform research and projects from many many different areas and perspectives. I look forward to seeing how this develops over the next few decades. Perhaps someone here will write a book of their journey or a novel opening minds or someone else will do a PHD or someone else making working in the field their life work. I do think that the ripples in this pond will be widespread and interesting. I have just read Where the Crawdads sing an unforgettable depiction of prejudice, violence and the resilience of the human spirit and a novel that will probably change some attitude and I have hope that things will come out this project to effect change. Incremental change is fine and often has more longevity than a big splash.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you Charlotte for the post. I thought the format of the presentation was fine. This was not meant to be a finale to the survey or a quick fix to problems. I saw the survey as a means to guage opinion and need and that the results would inform research and projects from many many different areas and perspectives. I look forward to seeing how this develops over the next few decades. Perhaps someone here will write a book of their journey or a novel opening minds or someone else will do a PHD or someone else making working in the field their life work. I do think that the ripples in this pond will be widespread and interesting. I have just read Where the Crawdads sing an unforgettable depiction of prejudice, violence and the resilience of the human spirit and a novel that will probably change some attitude and I have hope that things will come out this project to effect change. Incremental change is fine and often has more longevity than a big splash.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Catherine is beautiful, compassionate, sincere and strong. Is this the first time we have seen her holding//reading a mobile/smart phone?!

    ReplyDelete

Comments are most welcome! Constructive discussion is always encouraged but off topic or hateful remarks will not be published.

We ask you use a name when posting (a pseudonym such as the name of a royal you like or anything you wish). If you do not wish to use the sign in options, simply select the "Name/URL" option on the drop down menu and insert your name, and if you wish the country/state you're from. You can leave the URL blank.

If there are a large number of comments, it is necessary to click the 'Load More' button at the end of the comments section to see the latest additions.

Kate's Favourites