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.
Today was the big day: 50,000 runners participated in the London marathon and were cheered on by none other than the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The three started the event by offering some last minute words of encouragement and sounding “go” by pressing a large, red buzzer.
They then set up camp at a cheering point in Greenwich where they were visible to runners as they went by and proved something of a distraction. At various points people stopped to give them hugs, wave, shake their hands and pose for selfies, sometimes prompting a “keep going” gesture from William and Harry so that they wouldn’t lose too much time. I mean, yes running times are important, but it’s not hard to see why people were doing double-takes…particularly when the three Royals were trading a large, Heads Together-themed foam finger back and forth. You just don’t see that everyday.
Today, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry opened the Global Academy, a school focused on media and entertainment industry preparation, which builds mental health awareness and support into its curriculum. Thus, it fit in well with this week’s theme – all Heads Together everything.
The three learned about how the school attempts to incorporate mental well-being into its courses for a variety of ages, and to present it not always a serious or problematic situation, but rather a positive and normal aspect of day-to-day-life.
WELL, I hope you’re ready for Sunday’s London marathon because the British Royal Family certainly is. Following the airing of Prince Harry’s watershed interview on mental health on Sunday, he and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are continuing to pop up in support of their charitable initiative, Heads Together, which has a team running this weekend.
Sunday was a big day for the British Royal Family. And not because it was Easter and not because the Duchess of Cambridge wore a coat. The Telegraph posted a podcast in which Prince Harry was interviewed about mental health – more specifically, about his experience dealing with his own mental health issues. It was one of the most candid interviews in which a member of the RF has participated and is the perfect example of marrying one’s public duties with the personal appeal of monarchy. Basically this interview is exactly what I was gunning for when I wrote this, and what I think Kate came close to doing when she made this speech.
Essentially, Harry spoke about his struggles to process the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997. He said that he repressed most of his emotion about the event, but that it eventually caught up to him in his 20s. He found himself behaving aggressively, feeling angry and not coping well with his role as a public figure and all that that entailed. He came forth and discussed that he has availed himself of counseling and that his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, was one person in his corner urging him to seek help.
On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry made a joint speech on behalf of their charitable endeavor, Heads Together, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, outlining their objectives and opening up the initiative to the public with concrete ways they can become involved.
Specifically, in the lead up to the Virgin Money London Marathon, scheduled in April, the project, currently focused on de-stigmatizing mental health issues, will showcase the personal stories of people whom have benefited from simply talking about their problems. Using the hashtag, #thereforme, the goal is to show how straight forward getting help can be.
Announced last year, the Heads Together efforts has brought together eight charities associated with mental health support. At its launch, William, Kate and Harry said they were beginning a listening and learning tour to gauge how they could best be of use. And while since then there’s been some speculation as to what exactly the three royals were planning on doing with the effort, I think today’s announcement was well-done and a laudable first step towards harnessing this initiative into a concrete, defining issue for all three.