The royal trio pulled out all the stops for World Mental Health Day, including bringing forth the Duchess of Cambridge for the first time since Kensington Palace announced her third pregnancy. Kate hasn’t been seen in public since she toured the White Garden with the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry on August 30, and before that hadn’t been in public since she and William returned from Belgium at the end of July. So, it’s been a minute.
Earlier in the day, William and Harry hosted a reception at St. James’s Palace celebrating the success of the Heads Together campaign. Both men made speeches and William followed up on a point first referenced in the spring during the trio’s “Ok to Say” video – that it was Kate who first thought of the mental health connection between all of their charitable endeavors:
“When Catherine, Harry and I launched Heads Together, it is fair to say that we were ambitious about what it could achieve. It was Catherine who first realised that all three of us were working on mental health in our individual areas of focus. She had seen that at the core of adult issues like addiction and family breakdown, unresolved childhood mental health issues were often part of the problem.
“Harry had seen that it wasn’t enough to help veterans recover from their physical injuries without acknowledging the emotional and mental support they required. And after years of working with the homeless, and having been called out to multiple scenes of suicide as a Search and Rescue and then HEMS pilot, I understood the damage poor mental health was causing to our communities and for our families.
“We decided to assemble a coalition of charities – comprised of people who had spent decades working to bring mental health out of the shadows – to campaign together to change the national conversation on mental health.”
Harry’s speech, meanwhile, acknowledged yesterday’s news, which is that the Royal Foundation is partnering with the Ministry of Defense to address mental health issues and support among the armed forces. Speak at the MoD, he said:
“Quite simply, these men and women are prized assets which need to be continually invested in. We surely have to think of them as high-performance athletes, carrying all their kit, equipment and a rifle. Crucially, fighting fitness is not just about physical fitness. It is just as much about mental fitness too.”
As part of the joint initiative, the Foundation will offer resources to improve training, education and information-sharing for service members and their families. The initiative is expected to include annual briefings and online platforms.
So, all told, it’s been a busy 24 hours for the younger set – this, combined with William’s announcement of the first Heads Together metrics and the new grant, are not only impressive, but give a good indication of where KP will be dedicating its resources over the next several months.
A few hours after the St. James’s reception, Kate joined the brothers at Buckingham Palace in honor of mental health workers.
A member of her staff noted that she is still not fully recovered from her pregnancy-related HG, but that this particular event was important to her. My guess is that tidbit was let slip to warn she is not yet ready to begin a full schedule of engagements.
The image in KP’s tweet below gives a better sense of the ambiance:
Of her attendance, actor Stephen Fry noted:
“I do understand she’s been having this problem more severely than many pregnant mothers and so we’re very grateful [she’s here] … When mental health is discussed here under these chandeliers in front of these portraits it does have a meaning it does show a change in our society’s ability to look at problems like mental health.”
Kate wore a new blue lace Temperley London dress. Midi-length, featuring black detailing and ruffles, it’s about as “Kate” as you can get. From the waist up I’m definitely not a fan, but I do like the skirt – it’s reminiscent of a very similar dress Kate wore in India last year (also Temperley), which I was a fan of. This one’s rather twee sleeves and bow are just a bridge too far for my taste.
But honestly, who cares? It’s good to see Kate out and about, and I’m glad she felt well enough to attend even if she’s not yet back full time. As of now, there are no further engagements on her calendar, but hopefully this is a sign that we’ll slowly but surely start to see more of her.
As for her “bump” (I hate that phrase), it’s small but visible in a handful of photos:
In other royal news, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have officially left their summer holiday behind them, traveling from Balmoral to take up residence at Buckingham Palace until December. A new season is officially upon us!