To mark Children's Mental Health Week, Kensington Palace shared a new video message by the Princess of Wales and several photographs from a visit to St. John's School in Bethnal Green.
Speaking after an arts and crafts session, Kate spoke in the classroom: "I'm delighted to be supporting Children's Mental Health Week yet again, and it's lovely to be here at St. John's Primary School. It's been wonderful to speak to so many children here about the importance of connections and the important people in their lives too."
The Princess added she's a "firm believer" in "giving children the skills that they need for life and focusing on their social and emotional development".
Kate donned an apron as she chatted with pupils about dealing with their moods and emotions. One boy talked about the importance of "releasing our emotions" to those we care about. Kate replied, "Absolutely," before adding, "It helps you feel part of things, doesn't it? It makes you feel like you've got relationships and people in your life that matter."
'Place2Be's Chief Executive, Catherine Roche, said in a statement: "We are delighted to have the support of our Royal Patron HRH The Princess of Wales to help shine a spotlight on the importance of supporting mental health from an early age. As the children of St. John's Primary have shown, taking part in activities and having positive conversations that help us connect with others, make us feel so much better. This Children's Mental Health Week we are encouraging everyone to make time to connect."
If St John's in Bethnal Green sounds familiar, it's because Kate visited the school as part of the unveiling of Shaping Us.
"Human beings thrive in communities, and this connection is vital for our wellbeing, and our survival. When we have healthy connections – to family, friends and others – this can support our mental health and our sense of wellbeing. And when our need for rewarding social connections is not met, we can sometimes feel isolated and lonely – which can have a negative impact on our mental health," Kate's patronage Place2Be said.
The mission statement for the week continued: "Let's Connect is about making meaningful connections for all, during Children's Mental Health Week - and beyond. For Children’s Mental Health Week 2023, we’re encouraging people to connect with others in healthy, rewarding, and meaningful ways. Watch the video below to learn more about the theme."
It's been a busy week for the Princess who unveiled 'Shaping Us' through a series of engagements and videos. During this campaign, we've seen a focus on social media with the release of a new Instagram page for the early years centre, inviting influencers and well-known faces to spread the message. Kate shared a beautiful photo of 'Baby Kate' studying her dad's face. The image, taken by Carole Middleton, was accompanied by the caption: "Faces are a baby's best toy. With Dad, by Mum." Kate then invited social media users to share photos from their early childhoods.
Famous faces joining in included England captain Harry Kane...
I'm only 5 in this pic, but look at the right foot ready to go!— Harry Kane (@HKane) February 4, 2023
Our early childhood shapes the rest of our lives. From pregnancy to the age of five, the world around us, the people we meet, and the experiences we have are all #ShapingUs pic.twitter.com/ZeCI2cIj96
Chef Jamie Oliver.
How cute does 5 yr old Jamie look in his cords & roller skates? He counts himself lucky for having a happy childhood, growing up in his mum & dad’s pub. He knows those @Earlychildhood years are so important #ShapingUs— Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) February 4, 2023
Find out more: https://t.co/R71pMorFsx pic.twitter.com/Q0Ln8H4znu
Presenter Vernon Kay (married to Strictly Come Dancing's Tess Daly).
Here I am infront of Mont St.Michelle around 5ish..best time with the family!!❤️❤️😂😂— Vernon Kay (@vernonkay) February 4, 2023
“Our early childhood shapes the rest of our lives.”@kensingtonroyal and @earlychildhood
Join me in posting your own favourite childhood photo”#ShapingUs pic.twitter.com/DNE90AlvH6
It comes amid a report from the Mirror royal correspondent Russell Myers on
Kate's next steps in early child development. Myers has been told a return
to university to study child development is on the cards. He said: "The
Palace has described Shaping Us as Kate’s life work. And when you ask them
what she does on a day-to-day basis, it's very much a lot of reading, a
lot of research. She’s spoken about wanting to go back to university -- I
think she's said that a couple of times recently. So that might be
something that she does realise in the next couple of years."
Hi Charlotte. Do you know if there is any engagements schedule coming up for William and Catherine together. It has been a while. Missing them together.ReplyDelete
Hello, I'd expect something very soon in terms of joint engagements. Last week was focused on 'Shaping Us', which is why we saw more solo work for Kate.Delete
Also - the photo of Catherine with her Dad was also published on social media in order to ask people to reflect on their childhoods in order to shape how we care for current children in our care/communities. The social media campaign stated "This weekend, we’d love for you all to spend time with your friends, families, colleagues and communities talking about your early childhoods and how they’ve shaped your lives. [2/3]" It is by pausing and reflecting on our own childhoods that we can pause and hopefully reflect on how we are raising the current generation. A great call to action, not in the traditional sense of the word, but one that is gentle and considered.ReplyDelete
I love your description, Cara: gentle and cosidered/considerate! Zora from PragueDelete
I like this call to action. It’s something everyone who wishes to try it can do.Delete
Beautiful comment Cara, it is a 'great call to action'. I am very honored to have had the childhood that I did and my siblings and I have been reflecting on the influence and impact our grandparents had on our lives. Our parents were divorced when it just wasn't done, leaving my mother to raise 5 children as a single parent with little mean., My brothers grew up without a strong father figure, but we had one in our maternal grandfather. I have watched my brothers grow up to be responsible and loving husbands, fathers, and now grandfathers. We all have a role in shaping the future, big or little, and it does start at home.Delete
Is there a reason that there are so many hidden engagements that are not announced in advance..??Just wondering....ReplyDelete
I have asked around about this quite a bit and there's been no clear explanation. It started when W&K took on their new titles.Delete
If she wasn't a future queen, she'd be a great teacher! She speaks so well to youngsReplyDelete
The support for Childrens mental health week, so important, wonderfulReplyDelete
Glad she’s continuing with this week! I’mReplyDelete
a teacher in the states and it’s so important. Darling photo of her released on their instagram page- She has such a nice way with children. It’s so nice to see this sweater repeated. I also love the photo of her and her father. Just precious! Thanks Charlotte. Sue in IL
I like how other celebrities/public figures shared photos (Harry Kane is a favorite), it’s a nice touch.ReplyDelete
As you noted there is more social media engagement than perhaps we usually see. I think that may be due to K’s new private secretary who has a PR background vs the traditional staid civil servant.
That being said I still think more results based action is needed vs a PR awareness campaign.
I’m currently reading President Obama’s memoir. He wrote about the visit to London where Michelle Obama met with school kids and noted that for several years after her visit there was a “noted spike in students test scores suggesting that her message of aspiration and connection made a true and measurable difference”
This is a great example of how this type of work can have an impact but K needs to show a connection between the work and measurable and quantifiable results.
Kate has responded immediately, with a visit to a girls' school supporting young women to break boundaries and enjoy sporting, outdoor challenges!Delete
In some ways, it would be very inspiring for her to go back to University (advanced degree?) setting an example that one is never too old or entrenched to continue growing their education. But I think the backlash will be strong, especially if ties up her time in such a way that she’s not able to spend significantly more time with her charities and other Royal responsibilities.ReplyDelete
On another note, I like that sweater on her. Generally a big fan of Breton stripes. I have a very small collection but the one I love the most is the one I purchased on a trip to Brittany a few yrs back.
Zipzipzippy, I strongly encourage Kate to pursue an advanced degree. What better motivation and inspiration to not only others, but to her own children - who I believe will be encouraged by W&K to pursue higher education and possible careers outside the monarchy. I believe Kate is fully capable of managing her children and royal responsibilities with her educational pursuits. She has proved that she is organized and disciplined to multi task. She will receive backlash for whatever she does, but if she is to pursue a higher education, it is not just for herself, but to further enhance her knowledge and betterment of her initiatives and her life's work. I strongly feel that Kate wants to make a meaningful and significant change, and is willing to meet the challenges head on. I think she is all about pushing boundaries and trying to lead by example and more power to her for her efforts.Delete
Is there a royal tour this spring? I heard they are going to AustraliaReplyDelete
I didn't see going back to school coming, but it makes sense as I think of it. At the very least, it encourages your children to get a good education. But I imagine it can be irksome to be surrounded by experts in a field you enjoy -- why couldn't she get a master's and a PhD? I am always in support of more education.ReplyDelete
I could see her taking one class every 6 months or so over the next 5-10 years to get an advanced certificate. But doing it online.ReplyDelete
"Keep talking about your feelings. And, be sure to ask others about how they are feeling."ReplyDelete
This! This is what we need to do here in the USA too, and badly. By giving this very simple message to kids when they are young and reinforcing it over and over again, perhaps when they are grown up, our society will have changed for the better.
This gives me so much hope. Nice job, Catherine. Keep it up.
She's so good with children. Genuinely fun and caring. I love the sweater.ReplyDelete
Interesting piece about Sure Start and an alternative angle this campaign could look at. I work in a GP surgery and more 'awareness' is certainly not helpful when there is little-to-no infrastructure present to support the ensuing increase in demand, as worried people call in because there's nowhere else to turn.
Anon 23:59, true about needing the support with increased awareness, but the increased awareness and ensuing demand for help can really help push for the services to be provided for by public and private monies.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Charlotte! I so appreciate your work.ReplyDelete
From comments above, I see that some believe that advanced degree studies would benefit Catherine. I agree. Especially since Royal cohorts (example: Maxima, Mary, Letizia, etc.) have advanced degrees. It overcomes parochialism, enables one to converse readily and add value to participation as well as stimulates thought.ReplyDelete