You guys, I’m very excited by this recycle. I don’t usually like to start with the fashion, but I’m going to make an exception today because that’s just how much I like this Barbara Casasola dress.
Indeed, two years ago I listed it second in my top ten favorite Kate looks. At the time, I think I noted that part of what made this such a winning look (for me) was that it was a surprising choice for the Duchess of Cambridge, but I actually think her style has evolved enough in the last couple of years that this dress now serves less as a “daring” choice and more as just a really beautiful piece in Kate’s closet.
I will say that I preferred the styling in 2016 – I’m not a huge fan of the sparkly Jimmy Choos with this particular look, but that’s a minor quibble, and overall this is a definite win.
Moving on to the event at hand – the inaugural charity gala hosted by Kate’s patronage, Action on Addiction, time with Addiction Awareness Week.
Action on Addiction was one of Kate’s early patronages, and she’s been associated with the organization since 2012. Indeed, given that we know the Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign came together, in part, from Kate making the connection between mental health and many of the charities that she and the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex are working with, it’s a safe bet that her exposure to the issues Action on Addiction tackles helped bring everything together.
To commemorate their first annual gala, Kate also delivered a speech, which, if you follow Kate at all closely, you know she doesn’t love doing, though she’s gotten notably better at public speaking over the years.
The dinner was co-hosted by chef Skye Gyngell and Kate took a moment to say hello to the cooks and kitchen staff, which I thought was a nice choice and way to highlight Gyngell’s participation.
Ronnie Wood and his wife were also in attendance this evening, both of whom met Kate.
We should see Kate next Monday during the Garter Day ceremony at Windsor Castle, an event that I’ll be covering regardless due to the expected participation of the King and Queen of Spain, and the King and Queen of The Netherlands. And in the meantime, it’s been reported – though not confirmed by the Palace – that Harry and Meghan will make a visit to Africa this autumn. I may put up a separate post on that later this week, but TBD.
Action on Addiction was one of my very first patronages, and as such, it is very close to my heart.
I’m hugely passionate about the support it provides, especially for parents,children and families who suffer from, or through, addiction.
And in some ways, it was the catalyst for my interest in early childhood development too.
For the last few years, I’ve been focussing on the importance of prevention:how can we all really support the earliest years of life, build foundations, and help avoid adversity later on in life.
Having met so many people who’ve suffered from addiction, I have seen over and over again that, sadly, the root cause can so often be traced right back to the very earliest years of someone’s life.
Trauma experienced in early childhood, in some cases, as a result of separation, abandonment, abuse, or even emotional neglect, can have a lasting effect.
What we experience during our earliest years, even while we’re still in the womb, shapes the developing brain.
It is therefore vital that we support everyone who cares for children in those formative years, especially if we want to help with the inter-generational cycle of addiction.
Sadly, for many who are suffering with addiction, they just don’t receive the help they need early enough. They have already reached crisis point before they find the support they need.
What’s remarkable about Action on Addiction is that it goes beyond helping those who are suffering on the courageous journey into recovery – it also lends direct support to the children and families affected by addiction – for as long as it takes.
This evening’s dinner not only marks ‘Addiction Awareness Week’, but it also provides an opportunity for us all to remember the vital work being done to help all those affected by addiction feel able to access help, hope and freedom from their addiction.
There was never a more important time for Action on Addiction to succeed. And I, for one, could not be more delighted to support such a special organisation.
Graham, I look forward to working together, and, as your Patron, doing all I can, to help your important mission in the future.