Friday, 20 November 2015

A Day of Engagements & Abseiling for the Cambridges' Day in Wales

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge concluded a busy week of appearances with a day of engagements in North Wales.

Their Royal Highnesses received a warm welcome from locals upon arrival at Castle Square.

A look at the excited crowds in the square before the royals arrived.

Adorable three-year-old Theo presents Kate with flowers.

Kate greeting a group of school children.

Kate discussed plans for George and Charlotte to join the scouts.

Emily Nash Twitter Feed

William and Kate's first port of call was Caernarfon where they visited a photography project run by the local Mind organisation.

The project has been designed to give young people a voice to talk about their experiences and the challenges of living with mental health problems.

William and Kate supported World Mental Health Day at an event hosted by Mind in October; today's engagement very much offers an opportunity for the couple to see their work in Wales.

The Duke and Duchess also visited GISDA where they met young people and staff. The organisation works to help young vulnerable people by giving them opportunities to improve their quality of life.

William and Kate visited an exhibition of "Mute: are you being heard?"

The photography project is designed to give young people a voice to talk about their experiences living with mental health problems. The photographs address the issues and challenges faced by young people.

More on the exhibition:

'The photographers felt it was important to have their images displayed publicly, both to raise public awareness about mental health problems, and to showcase their personal expressions of recovery. Also in the room will be students working on pieces of art, themed around mental health.'

The couple's next stop was a rather fun one at the Outdoor Education Centre in Snowdonia where they tried their hands at abseiling.

When asked if it was her first time, the Duchess giggled and said "yes".

Judging by the photos I think they both thoroughly enjoyed it :)

A great quote from Emily Andrews.

"As Kate held William's safety rope while he abseiled she said: "I'm enjoying this actually. For once I'm in control!" 

Another memorable one from British Royals. A video clip is available here.

'William, how much do you love me?"- Kate jokes as she holds his rope while he abseils in Wales' 

When Kate saw William climbing she said:

'Not that we're competitive but if he climbs that wall I'll have to do it too!'

It's always fun to see the couple interacting and sharing jokes.

At the centre they met young people from Holyhead High School who have worked on anti-stigma and discrimination training. Through their training, the young people have increased their awareness of mental health problems and gained the knowledge and confidence to talk openly about mental health and to challenge stigma and discrimination.

Before leaving, they posed for a photo with staff.

Royal reporter Emily Andrews shared this photo of the beautiful countryside in Snowdonia.

Another stunning photo of a rainbow shared by Kensington Palace's Instagram.

Finally, the Duke and Duchess met men from the Vale of Clwyd Mind Men's Shed project in Denbigh. They visited the Peace Garden that has been developed by the project and will be shown a wood work session. The visit concluded with a performance from the 'Musical Meatballs in Mind' choir.

A great shot of William meeting a little girl.

Kate brought back one of her most popular coats today: the Reiss Angel fit and flare coat. Readers will recall the Duchess first wore it Christmas morning in 2011 and again in 2012 for a visit to St George's Park. It's a staple piece and a stylish choice from Kate's to-die-for coat collection.

The £325 military-style garment is from the brand's Autumn/Winter 2010 Collection. It features a large wrap around collar and smart multi stitching detail.


Kate wore a black turtleneck and black jeans underneath.

Kate sported her trusty Aquatalia Rhumba boots.


Kate accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Citrine Pear Drop Earrings. The 18K gold earrings are available at Neiman Marcus for $740.

Kiki McDonough

Kate wore her hair in a lovely ponytail today; it's a great look for her, quite youthful and perfect for the unpredictable weather conditions.

At the Outdoor Centre, Kate changed into her Brasher boots. They are still available at Amazon.

You can view an arrival video here and a video of Kate abseiling here. It's always lovely to see William and Kate in Wales, as the couple have a great fondness since their time in Anglelsey.

With apologies for the delay in posting; a prior commitment proved more time consuming than I had anticipated. We hope you all have a wonderful weekend! :)

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Kate Speaks of "Wonderful & Secure Childhood" at Place2Be Headteacher Conference

The Duchess of Cambridge attended Place2Be's Headteacher Conference in London today as part of her ongoing work supporting children's mental health organisations.

Despite the blustery conditions, Kate received a warm welcome from teachers and excited children before going inside.

The Palace confirmed Kate would be staying for the full duration of the conference to learn more about the key issues, latest developments and thoughts on the role schools can play in tackling mental health problems in young children.

Today marked the second annual Place2Be Headteacher Conference, bringing together senior leaders from the organisation's partner schools in England, Scotland and Wales to increase knowledge and understanding of children and young people’s mental health and share ideas and expertise to help build children’s emotional resilience.

This year's conference is entitled ‘My Head is Too Full’, and is targeted at school leaders who share a commitment to early intervention in children’s mental health, with the aim of raising aspirations and improving attainment, while helping children get the best chance at achieving their full potential.

Place2Be is an organisation fans of the Duchess will be familiar with. Kate became royal patron in April 2013 and she has attended a number of events in support of the charity.

Place2Be works with 257 schools reaching a population of 105,000 children to help them cope with wide-range and complex social issues including bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, breakdown and trauma. It's been so interesting to see the organisation grow over the past couple of years; below two year 5 pupils share what having Place2be in their school means.

Place2Be Twitter Feed

I've mentioned it before, but the artistic talents of the children involved in Place2Be and the Art Room are fantastic.


The Duchess made an unexpected speech highlighting the need to intervene with vulnerable young people and spoke of her own "wonderful, secure childhood". Aides said the address was "very much her own". Kate has only given a handful of speeches since the royal wedding; like many she has found public speaking quite daunting. It's excellent to see her tackling it and publicly speaking more about causes she's passionate about. You can watch a video here.

The full text from Kate's speech:

'I want to start by saying a big thank you to all of the head teachers here today. I know how much is asked of you. The fact that you are all committing your valuable time to support Place2Be, and prioritise the mental health of your students is something that all parents should be grateful for.
 I often get asked why I decided to spend time highlighting the mental health of children. I imagine my answer might be similar to many of yours.
I know that I was lucky. My parents and teachers provided me with a wonderful and secure childhood where I always knew I was loved, valued and listened to.
But of course many children are not so lucky. Since beginning my work in areas like addiction, for example, I have seen time and time again that the roots of poor mental health in adulthood are almost always present in unresolved childhood challenges.
I am sure you will agree that all children deserve time, attention and love from the adults in their lives. These basic qualities are so much more valuable than the always changing material and social concerns that can seem so important to young people.
As today's theme reminds us, many children – even those from stable, happy homes – are finding that their heads are just too full. It is our duty, as parents and as teachers, to give all children the space to build their emotional strength and provide a strong foundation for their future. Of course, not all children have the anchor of a strong family. Many will arrive through your school gates feeling a real lack of love and devotion in their lives. This often leaves them feeling insecure and without confidence and trust in the world around them. That is why your work is so important.
Parents, teachers and other school staff need the tools to help these young people early in their lives. And the earlier, the better. It is proven that early action prevents problems later in life.
Imagine if everyone was able to help just one child who needs to be listened to, needs to be respected, and needs to be loved – we could make such a huge difference for an entire generation. As head teachers you have the chance to reach tens of thousands of children during your careers, and make an impact on a great scale. Thank you for making the work of Place2Be part of your mission. I hope you know how much your work is valued.
 Thank you – I am really looking forward to the rest of the afternoon.'

More from royal reporter Victoria Murphy.

Victoria Murphy Twitter Feed

The conference included presentations from headteachers working in some of the most disadvantaged parts of the UK, alongside leading experts in child psychology and those involved in M-PACT Plus, a joint programme between Place2Be and Action on Addiction (funded by the Royal Foundation and Comic Relief) to support families dealing with the hidden harm of drug or alcohol addiction.

Kate repeated the dove grey Matthew Williamson dress she first wore to the 'African Cats' premiere in 2012.

The dress is from the designers Pre-Fall 2012 Collection and features peplum detailing, an exposed zipper and turquoise and gold encrusted detail.

Matthew Williamson

Kate wore her Emmy London shoes and carried the matching bag in carbon suede.

The Duchess accessorised with her Lauren Yellow Gold Pave Diamond Leaf Earrings by Kiki McDonough. The £2,200 earrings are described as "Beautiful and elegantly small these 18ct yellow gold and pave diamond leaf motif drop earrings are from our new Lauren Collection inspired by the British ballerina Lauren Cuthbertson."

Kiki McDonough

And completed the look with her Cartier watch.

Saks Fifth Avenue


Following the Fostering Excellence Awards last night, Kate attended a dinner for the Defence and Rehabilitation Centre at the Kensington Palace state apartments. The engagement was unannounced and we don't expect to see any photos.

Cepe Smith Twitter Feed

Interestingly, Prince William attended a dinner for the centre back in November 2013, the same night Kate attended the SportsBall. I expect Prince William may have been scheduled to attend but due to the tragedy in Paris opted to show his support at the match whilst Kate took his place.

The Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre supports the wounded, injured and sick members of the armed forces along their road to recovery. At present, a new state of the art centre in the Midlands is being purpose built to provide the very best and latest treatments available. The Duke of Westminster (his wife is one of William's godparents and his son Hugh is one of George's) has greatly supported the effort acquiring a site at Stanford Hall Estate. It is hoped it will be operational by the end of 2017. Below, a look at what the completed centre will look like.

 See you all on Friday for the Cambridges day of engagements in Wales! :)