Earlier today, Kensington Palace tweeted out a nearly seven-minute long video of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry talking about Heads Together, mental health and their own experiences with both. Kate briefly spoke about the “steep learning curve” that went along with caring for Prince George with William, while William and Harry talked about how the experience of losing their mother at a young age has made them particularly cognizant of certain issues as they now engage on mental health issues.
Nothing discussed would be new to anyone who follows the three, particularly in recent months as they’ve been gearing up for this Heads Together push. But it’s interesting, frankly, to see them interact with one another and to speak more informally, as opposed to a speech before an audience and cameras at an engagement. A few things jumped out at me:
- The three honing in on mental health issues was apparently Kate’s idea. I’m not sure I’ve heard this articulated before and I think it’s quite interesting that this coordination started out as her brainchild. It’s impressive and speaks to a level of consideration, thoughtfulness and big-picture thinking that actually reminds me a bit of her father-in-law, the Prince of Wales.
- I liked that Kate stated quite plainly that William and Harry are close. It’s always appeared that way, and it makes sense, but there’s always a certain amount of speculation and it’s nice to have it confirmed that the two are genuinely close in day-to-day life, as opposed to just getting along when they happen to see each other at public functions.
- It was interesting that both men acknowledged that they haven’t spoken enough about their mother, and that Harry once again spoke to how William had been urging him to work through his memories of her and address his feelings.
And finally, I find it notable that Kate has now spoken three times about her difficulty adapting to parenthood, as has William on occasion. I remember that summer and fall well enough to recall that 1) Kate looked physically exhausted at times and 2) it was the opposite narrative reported at the time. Articles ran that Kate had taken to motherhood like a duck to water, and while anecdotes emerged that George was a fussy and difficult baby, there was little indication that William and Kate were truly struggling. And “struggling” is perhaps the wrong word, as it indicates that the norm for new, first-time parents is anything more or less than exactly what William and Kate said in this video: a steep learning curve.
To provide context to Kate’s comments in the video – after George was born, the couple ended up decamping for a few weeks to the Middleton family home in Berkshire. It was an interesting move, which prompted some comment at the time, because the future king was spending his early days not in a palace, but in a “normal” family home. Essentially, it emphasized the non-royal half of his ancestry. After that, the couple returned to what was then their full-time home in Anglesey, Wales, where William worked for the RAF. It was their last summer there, where they had lived together since 2010 and thus saw them through their last unmarried year, their engagement and their newlywed phase. I think it’s rather sweet they had a few weeks there with their first-born before moving back to London.
But that time apparently marked a different milestone altogether for the two, because it was their first weeks taking care of their son without the help of Michael and Carole Middleton. And consider, then, Kate’s comments yesterday about how isolating early motherhood can be. Not only does your body not feel like your own, but your entire life surrounds caring – and figuring how to care – for a tiny human whom you’re completely responsible. Factor in that she was in Anglesey, far away from her family and friends, and I can see how that period of time has stayed with her – and perhaps in a different way than it would have had she remained in Berkshire or London longer.
Anyway, that’s not all: Today, William and Kate helped DJ a BBC 1 radio show and answered some questions. Among the tidbits revealed:
- Not only do William and Kate watch a lot of kid shows with George and Princess Charlotte, but George is insistent that they pay close attention and appear invested in all the characters. The more I hear about George, the more I like that kid.
- They apparently watch a lot of box sets, including Homeland and Game of Thrones.
- At some point they would like to attend the Glastonbury music festival, but William said, “I’ve got into enough trouble with my dancing recently. So it’s probably best to stay away from that one.”
The full interview can be viewed here:
To do our due fashion diligence, Kate wore a white ruffled top by Temperley, which is v. Kate. Kate loves a good ruffle, flounce and bit of lace and this one has all three. She also appears to be wearing her first pair of dress pants, which is a nice change of pace from full-on skirt/dress or skinny jeans.
We’ll next see these two and Prince Harry on Sunday when they attend the London Marathon.