Kate Opens New Place2Be Headquarters

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Today, the Duchess of Cambridge was in London to open up new headquarters for children’s mental health charity Place2Be. In addition to meeting with students and staff, Kate also delivered a short speech and unveiled a plaque commemorating the day.

The full text of her remarks is at the end of the post.

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Kate recycled the blue Seraphine maternity dress that she debuted in Oslo last month. At the time, the dress was overshadowed by the blue coat she wore over it for walkabouts and a rather eye-catching fur hat, but this Seraphine piece is lovely and I’m glad we got a second look at it with less going on so soon.

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A number of media outlets noted this week that this is Kate’s busiest winter to-date. No doubt some of that is meant to “make up” for the fact that the Duchess will be out of the public eye for a few months when she’s on maternity leave, but it’s also a good indication that the Cambridges and Prince Harry have transitioned to more full-time roles. We discussed this in a bit more detail yesterday, but I’ve personally been glad to see that Kensington Palace has been making the most of this time while they can.

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We’ll next see Kate with the Duke of Cambridge, Harry and Meghan Markle on Monday, March 12 for Commonwealth Day along with the rest of the Royal Family. In the meantime, we’ll cover Harry and Meghan’s visit to Birmingham tomorrow and I’m going to do my best to write up the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia’s visit to the UK, including his reception by the Queen and his dinner with William and the Prince of Wales this evening. Much to unpack there.

Our photo of the week instead comes in the form of a tweet shared by the Duchess of Cornwall’s son, Tom Parker-Bowles. This, my friends, is an unfortunate mistake:

Full Text of Kate’s Speech:

Thank you so much for your warm welcome and for inviting me to open Place2Be’s new home.

Through my work with patronages like Place2Be, The Art Room, and other organisations which I support with huge enthusiasm, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with many school leaders, teachers and school-based mental health professionals.

I have always been struck by their commitment to ensuring that children in their care receive the very best possible support.

Their dedication to integrating emotional understanding and wellbeing into all areas of the school environment is extraordinary.

We know that schools have a vital role to play in creating an emotionally healthy culture for children.

In spite of often-challenging circumstances, and the ever-present focus on academic achievement, I have witnessed the determination of many teachers and head teachers, in schools across the country, to prioritise the mental health and social development of children in their care: to help them build social skills; to help them build emotional skills; and ultimately to teach them life skills that will last a lifetime, and be the foundation for becoming mentally healthy adults.

Schools, however, cannot and should not have to manage all this alone. School leaders and teachers need expert guidance and training to develop their own approaches to supporting children’s mental wellbeing.

They also need access to a pool of experienced, well-trained mental health professionals, who can step in when things are more complex or serious.

As its Patron, I am incredibly proud of the contribution that Place2Be is making towards exactly this.

They are training and guiding thousands of counsellors, and many hundreds of school leaders, teachers and staff, based on the evidence and experience gathered from their frontline work.

In my years of working with all of you at Place2Be, I have seen at first hand the leadership you provide: you are at the forefront of efforts to give every child the very best start in life.

That’s why this new Centre of Excellence is so crucial, not only for Place2Be to continue their outstanding work, but for all the school leaders, teachers and children it helps now, and undoubtedly will help in the future years to come.

I congratulate Benny, Catherine and all of you who have contributed to making it such a success.

This Centre of Excellence is a new, and significant, step to helping those who will raise the next generation of mentally healthy children.

Thank you.

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