The Princess of Wales unveiled the next steps in her early years work today, convening several of the largest firms in the UK for the inaugural meeting of her new Business Taskforce for early childhood at NatWest's headquarters in the City of London.
Kate and her team at the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood have stressed their belief in the importance of a child's early years impacting not only individuals and families but society as a whole, and sequentially impacting the NHS, education and business. The Princess was eager to establish a taskforce "run for business, by business" to play an "essential role" to aid in "transforming" the way children are supported during the critical early stages.
A statement from Kensington Palace read: "Early childhood is vital to the health of our economy and society, now and for generations to come. Given the key role of the business community in both the growth of our economy and in shaping our society, as well as the clear interest in developing a strong future workforce, this is an opportunity to come together to affect long-term change." The taskforce will work to engage the business sector to help steer the community as a whole to participate in playing their part in nurturing the world around children.
The Princess of Wales is taking her early years campaign to the City of London as she launches a new task force of business leaders to help with #ShapingUs pic.twitter.com/SiHbiHz1lu— Kate Mansey (@KateMansey) March 21, 2023
Amanda Berry, Chief Executive of the Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales said: "We all have a role to play in building a supportive and nurturing world around children and those who care for them. It is fantastic to see business leaders placing the subject of early childhood at the heart of their organisations". Ms Berry continued: "Businesses play a key role within society and with their huge reach to their employees, consumers and the wider community, their involvement can have a transformative impact on the health and happiness of generations to come."
Among heavy-hitters taking part: Lego, IKEA, Deloitte, Unilever, NatWest and Co-Op.
NatWest's Dame Alison Rose said: "I am delighted to welcome the Princess of Wales and leaders from a wide range of sectors to our headquarters for the inaugural meeting of the Business Taskforce for Early Childhood. This is a critical issue for the future growth and success of our businesses, our economy and our society. As business leaders, we have an important responsibility to the colleagues, customers and communities we serve. This taskforce can deliver positive change by bringing together a wealth of experience across the private sector to help provide the support and resources that young children and their carers need to thrive."
Kensington Palace said: "The creation of the Business Taskforce for Early Childhood follows the launch of Shaping Us, a long-term campaign spearheaded by the Princess of Wales. The campaign aims to transform the issue of early childhood from one of scientific interest to one of the most strategically important topics of our time. The campaign also aims to highlight that all of society has a role to play in building a supportive and nurturing world around children and those who care for them."
I would wager the correlation between early childhood and business has another more pointed aspect to it -- employers supporting parents and caregivers to ensure a level of understanding in the employer-employee relationships. Raising a child requires fluidity and the stresses on parents, particularly now amid a cost-of-living crisis, are immense. An organisation which I would love to see included in this conversation is Employers for Childcare. Now in its 25th year, the charity developed from a community project to implement family friendly policies in the workplace. Their central ethos is addressing childcare needs, from a social and economic perspective, providing valuable recommendations for both sides of the table. Working Families is another amazing UK- based group. The royals convening power is one of the most powerful tools in their arsenal. I would love to see Kate creating an environment for healthy progress through this taskforce.
I enjoyed Kate's speech today and the fact it touched on the above points saliently. "Healthy development of our children relies on healthy adults. So this is why we all have a part to play. And that is why I'm standing here in front of you, to ask you, some of Britain's most influential business leaders, for your support in helping create the societal change that is needed. I have spoken before about the need to make early childhood the societal equivalent of climate change. In the way that the business world has embraced the net zero target to protect our environmental ecosystems, you also have an important role to play in ensuring that our social ecosystems are protected too. Your business organizations are living examples of these social ecosystems, so building healthy environments both in and out of the workplace is fundamental."
More from People:
"Kate acknowledged how many people in the business sector are parents or carers, but encouraged them to "think a little more radically."
"I know businesses are feeling the pressure across the board. However, I truly believe that by investing in early childhood, with a specific focus on social and emotional development, businesses in turn will see in the future… better communication, better working relationships, improved resilience, employees finding better work–life balance, less stress, more patience and understanding and increased job satisfaction," she said. "Not only that, but the societal impact we could have, if we work together on this, could transform lives for generations to come. As the saying goes, it really does take a village".
Afterwards, Kate joked, "I don't feel qualified to be standing on this balcony," as she stood atop NatWest HQ.
The Princess donned her go-to style for meetings -- a blazer and tailored trousers.
Kate's sophisticated blazer is by Alexander McQueen (with thanks to Bojana). Described as: "The fresh ivory hue of Alexander McQueen's blazer showcases how beautifully precise the tailoring is. Made in Italy from crepe, it has a slim silhouette and nipped-in waist. Turn the lapels into a plunging neckline by wearing the button fastened and nothing but a lace bra underneath." It retails for £1,490 at Net-A-Porter.
Kate accessorised with her Asprey London Oak Leaf earrings.
Kate sported her favourite Gianvito Rossi 105 black suede pumps.
Kate completed the look with black trousers and a white top.
I do agree that the stress in any partnership between the Princess's campaign and business needs to be on family-friendly employment policies and not on a rather vague and undefined "investment in early childhood for social and emotional development." God knows, we need more such policies in the States, where, given our traditional worship of individualism, independence, and pulling oneself up by the bootstraps, our society and polity haven't been very well-disposed to them. In some quarters, it's still virtually regarded as unpatriotic to suggest that new mothers and fathers should enjoy paid leaves from work.ReplyDelete
However, I'm afraid I remain somewhat bemused by the Princess's campaign, given the large number of related studies and projects that have taken place in various countries, plus all the ink devoted for many, many years to the subject of early childhood and its ramifications for adult life by educators, psychologists/psychiatrists, and others. We can go all the way back to Freud on that, outdated though his theories are today, and even to Ignatius of Loyola, who wrote in the 16th century, "Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man." (Some people attribute that saying to Aristotle!) In any case, while the cause is of course a worthy one, I'm a bit concerned that the Princess is exploring well-trod ground. I await new and original contributions to the discussion. I hope there are some.
The Princess looked polished and professional in her trousers and blazer. The tailoring of the latter couldn't be better and caused me to think about dressmaking forms and wonder whether people outside of designers' ateliers still use them. (I can't sew worth a damn, so I wouldn't know.) Sarah Burton and her staff must have created several over the years for the Princess of Wales, since her measurements have changed now and then. I confess to preferring fitted blazers like this one to the oversized, heavily shoulder-padded blazers that are in the process of becoming fashionable again. (See Yves Saint Laurent's latest runway show.) I actually sort of enjoyed the shoulder pads in the 80s but not the loose cuts. They'll look dated in a few years, whereas slim and fitted blazers are really timeless.
Vittoria, there is theoretical knowledge, the yes I know kind, and really believing early years are important, crucial, to be protected. There are so many interests, the economy for one that are so often seen as much more important. Even at this event, Kate has to explain to businesses what they will gain by taking care of children.Delete
Most people outside of the ivory tower already believe that the early years are important, indeed crucial. This isn't news. And I don't think the Princess is really needed to explain to these businesspeople what they might gain. They're not ignorant; they already know the good arguments. The question is whether companies will ever really decide that possible long-term benefits outweigh certain short-term profits and making the shareholders happy. That's long been a problem when it comes to business and the social good, or business and the good of employees. If the Princess can figure out how to maximize profits NOW while also offering much more family-friendly, but also expensive, employment policies, then she might win the Nobel Prize in Economics and a raft of other awards as well.Delete
However, I've said my piece on the subject. I'll stick to fashion from here on out.
Having worked in this realm, I agree, Natacha. This is an extremely important message and must be shared over and over. This work is incredibly vital to make positive impact for our society.Delete
I believe "bemused" covers much of what I think of Kate's project as well, Vittoria. Furthermore, any proper focus on early years cannot bypass the policymakers; parental leave, child care ... Who is she trying to reach? Stressed out employees or stressed out employers? Because they both have goals to reach at work, as well as at home.Delete
Any number of the blazers she already owns would've worked - but I like the look.
I do have one thing to add. The Princess suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum during all three of her pregnancies. I know two women who experienced extremely bad cases of HG, so I was rather hoping that the Princess might use her experience to take on the cause of maternal pre-and postnatal health, a subject on which the public is surprisingly underinformed. Within the last 10 days, I have read 2 lengthy New York Times articles on both post-natal psychosis and hyperemesis gravidarum. The one on HG discussed a geneticist who suffered from the condition, lost her second pregnancy because of it, and made it her mission to discover the cause, in the hope of developing effective treatments for it.Delete
The geneticist was told, even by her own physician, that the problem was all in her head. When I read that, I remembered how many members of the public, in comments sections of British newspapers, sneered at the Princess for being hospitalized and claimed that she was shirking work for "a little morning sickness". It occurred to me back then that this was an issue she could promote, and when I read in the second NYT article that many people also have little understanding of post-natal depression and psychosis, I thought that maternal pre-and post-natal health would be a non-controversial cause -- a "life's work" -- for some royal, if not the Princess of Wales, to adopt. I do think she'd be the best choice, given that she can speak to the subject from her own experience, but perhaps someone else will take it up.
Vittoria, then I hope Kate manages to get shareholders out of the ivory tower.Delete
As another poster said, climate change took a long time to be part of policies, there is still a long way to go for early years.
Natacha, "ivory tower" refers to academia, to the "theoretical work" you mentioned. I was attempting to point out that the general public, most members of which do not reside in an ivory tower, has long been aware of the importance of the early years for shaping us and determining much of the trajectories of our lives. This is a much, much older matter of concern to both individuals and governments than climate change, and many practical, non-merely-theoretical projects and programs have resulted from the various national conversations about it. One I can mention is the Head Start program here in the States. It was founded in 1965.Delete
My concern is that the Princess seems to be presenting the crucial importance of the early years as a new concept that everyone needs to grasp when it simply is not, when a great deal of work on early childhood care and education has been going on for decades, and when labor leaders have been demanding more family-friendly workplace policies for quite a long time, too. I simply would have liked to see her come up with a somewhat more original cause than this one.
Well, if you saw as many small children as I do, you would wonder if the concept is really grasped by everyone. And it seems it is the conclusion Kate and her team have come to. It is like the need to eradicate poverty, a concept so very old one may well get tired of it and prefer something new and original.Delete
Thank you so much for this in-depth post as it does a good job at explaining Kate's work to bring business into the discussion about early-childhood. I think such an emphasis is needed as there are many problems in the workforce that might be alleviated by stronger support in early childhood and at all stages in life and by changed attitudes by those in management.ReplyDelete
Her look is crisp and clean here-lovely McQueen blazer. It's nice to see her Asprey oak earrings again.
This is amazing and may be her most important endeavor so far. Much appreciated from the US where so many employees lack any paid maternity leave or family leave. Well done.ReplyDelete
Bravo Catherine! So many criticized and doubted the effort, it wasn't an immediate "wow" moment. Real change is methodical, purposeful and properly timed. Very few can convene those serving on the industry task force. Catherine's team has properly guided her and Catherine has taken the time to fully understand the issue, partner with experts, raise public awareness and now leverage industry leaders. W&C know when to do "photo-ops" and when and how to tackle real issues. Bravo to Shaping Us and Earth Shot!ReplyDelete
Nicely stated Anon, especially your statement about 'now leverage industry leaders'. This is a targeted campaign to make the partners, part of the solution.Delete
You are so right on. Later comments in this chronical mention "leaving causes in the dust by the royals & that other smaller organizations are also important & need highlighting". While it's true that there are a lot of worthy organizations I can't imagine that the ones the Princess has pledged to support are ever left in the "dust" & ones she takes on are fully supported. She is fully behind the ones she choses to work on large or small & one royal can't do it all the causes.Delete
Convening power for good - much better than, as some suggested the Waleses might have done recently, turning up at a charity with a gift parcel. They are not about Lord and Lady Bountiful Photo opps, but about long term change and improvement. Kate's outfit was perfect. Businesslike and a great fit.ReplyDelete
Now this is more what I would like to see from Kate’s project for two reasons.ReplyDelete
I can see some practical change coming from making businesses consider the impact of company policy on employee’s children.
And secondly, it wasn’t haralded by KP as earthshattering, groundbreaking event, but rather just another meeting on Kate’s calendar making the best possible use of her convening power. I have always felt that KP set Kate up for critism when they make such a bit whooha about “the next big step in her live long project…” and the everybody feels let down. This time the coverage seemed proportional.
I think you are correct. KP and some of the media are making comments about Kate and her life work, saying over the years that Kate is eager to fill her diary and Kate means business is getting a little silly. GADelete
I agree with you RachelZA!Delete
I am truly impressed. This is no mean feat. If businesses begin to consider the importance of early childhood, there is hope for change.ReplyDelete
Nice outfit, I am glad she didn't wear the blazer with "nothing but a lace bra underneath" as suggested.
Touche Natacha!! :)Delete
Commitment and continuity is the answer.Catherine is working systematically and that is far more impressive for me than pseudo humanitarian movements.ReplyDelete
Her appearance is again flawless..She is like a model not a mother of three!
I very much like this overall look (I think both duchesses look very attractive while being business like in this styling and colors). I don't like the "puddle-bottom" pants that are in style. Kate looks extremely pretty -- her hair looks lovely and flowing and darkish. Those earrings are some of my favorites for her, too. And I'm happy in general that she's not wearing a blouse with a bow. :)ReplyDelete
Allison in US, I've noticed that a couple of your comments on this blog which is dedicated to the Princess of Wales have referred to "both duchesses". I'm curious, are you referring to Kate and Megan?Delete
Patricia, I am referring to both Kate and Meghan. I am a huge Meghan fan and feel it's OK to mention both as Charlotte has blogs on both. In a very positive way, there are some outfits common to both women, and they are always outfits that I like. And when they both wear their hair long and barely wavy, one needs more than a glance to distinguish. (Of course that is not true for all outfits!)Delete
My concern is all these top companies already have extensive family friendly policies. The government bringing in free childcare over the next few years to enable many to return to work . It’s not a desire to work for many it’s a need to pay bills and keep a roof over their families heads . There needs to be sufficient funding to provide excellent quality childcare .ReplyDelete
Many people would love to spend time climbing trees with their children but have little time to do this .Zero hours contracts and low wages mean people have to take as many hours as they can to live .
It’s fine for Kate and William they work when then want and around their children’s school hours also .They also both don’t work during school holidays so have ample time to nurture their children.
In the real world parents both work full time often working around each others hours to reduce childcare costs . I really hope she has some real working parents input into her campaign
I am sure she does.Delete
I agree with everything you said. We would all love the amount of time they get with their kids and several months of vacation. But that is not reality as they are some of the few lucky people and not the norm. I hope as well she has some working parent inputs.Delete
She could start by working 47 weeks of the year … 8 hours a day… so she understands. I feel there is too much criticism here for working parents trying to ensure food on the table, hot water for a shower and a bit of money to pay for the Saturday football practise or ballet or whatever. She has zero idea . I am a CEO and I find her approach condescending and unhelpful. And she wears new clothes all the time… I rewear clothes and don’t have 3 white jackets. Does she understand having a dog is stressful… I adore my dogs, but ensuring they have the proper care while I work is expensive.Delete
I appreciate my post won’t be published but somewhere somehow people need to start appreciating the real world we are living here in the UK>
Hi Anonymous 19:01: Having childcare and leave to care for an infant , yourself or for family member depends on where in the world you live and what type of business you work for. In the US our businesses typically do not give more than 3 months forDelete
any type of leave. If you want or need more time, they will often not guarantee your job. The Princess is laying groundwork that will build better programs and I hope it might ‘cross the pond’. I was so surprised when my nephew had more leave granted to him from his company than his wife did after she had their son. They are in the same line of work, but his company offered more. I’d like to see every nation do better for children and their parents. I agree with you that she needs real working parents giving input. I feel first world nations should be able to find a way to fund excellent childcare.
Not sure that I agree with you, Anonymous 19:01, when you say, "they work when they want to." There are many things on the calendar where they are expected to turn up. State visits and royal tours are command performances, where they put in very long hours. They must also be available for numerous other events. I think it is admirable, that for the most part, they do not do engagements during school holidays. It is important work to spend time with their children, as they need to be prepared for their royal roles. Also, just because we might not see Kate, does not mean she is not working. Writing speeches, doing research, making phone calls, attending to her wardrobe, are all part of Kate's preparation for her role. M.Delete
I’m sure Catherine has done a massive amount of research and speaks to the right people. You can tell that from her outings. Also many people take time out to have fun with their children. You don’t need money to have precious moments with your children. Neither should we be upset that she spends quality time with her children. The Queen who I adore was criticized for not spending time with her children. So was Charles and William and Harry were out in boarding school at very young age. I’m proud that Catherine and William are doing the opposite and cherishing the time they can spend with children. Plus we have know idea how much they work behind the scenes. William has had to learn and run the Duchy of Cornwall to name one and I think Catherine has a lot more responsibility than we see in public events.Delete
Anon 2100 she is not criticizing she is trying to find solutions. Not once has she attacked people who are struggling. She is trying to launch initiatives that help parents by providing more awareness and funding for childcare and schools to better help children’s development and the ease the cost of living. Catherine is using her Title and position in a good way. I believe her compassion and commitment is genuine and suggesting she live like the not so fortunate and ignore her children needs will not help. Fact is CEO of major companies make more than Catherine and William with most of their money spent on keeping all the historical Palaces upkeep and all the ceremonial components of the Royal Family bring multi millions if not billions into the economy.Delete
I appreciate there are somethings they have to attend but most of them are in term time .Royal Tours are also usually during term time too.I’m sure many people would like a minimum of 20 weeks off a year and almost all weekends off work . I appreciate you can do things with your children for free but so many people are working at least 8 hours everyday. Then they are home to their other job washing , ironing , cleaning , shopping , cooking to name a few . Somehow I don’t think Kate does all those things …As others have said there need to be easily measured objectives . I would also question when did she last attend an event for EACH ?Delete
cate has never said that she was an expert in any of this.. her role which she has articulated is to highlight the concerns and to use her influence to bring people together.. which is exactly what she is doingDelete
Anon 21:00 I agree. Though I appreciate the Princess’ goodwill I feel like she really does not have a clue what most of us average parents here in the UK are dealing with. No fault of her own. She was raised with privilege and has even more now. And no, I’m not jealous of her privilege, just acknowledging it. And Anon 17:24 the reality is many of us have to work full time to provide the basics for our families. It doesn’t mean we are ignoring our kids needs because we can’t spend as much time with them as William and Catherine do. Also, they are definitely not paying out of pocket to upkeep the palaces. Jennifer UKDelete
I think she has the experience of a happy childhood. That's a privilege that has nothing to do with wealth or position. She knows what a child needs and she wants every child to have a happy childhood. In that sense she is an expert. She is also patron of many charities and has seen a lot of what is happening and of what people try to do to help. She has a team of experts and they have elaborated a strategy. She has the power of convening different people and make them work together. That's what she is doing with these businesses. If big businesses implement family friendly policies, if they put the wellbeing of their employees first, it is life changing. Also after the pandemic there seems to be hope for better professional-private life balance, she is the right person at the right time.Delete
DD, will and Kate don't pay for the upkeep of the palaces. Remember tax payers covered the renovations and always will. They don't pay for food, clothing, transport, their 3 houses or security. They make far more than a CEO especially when you factor in not having living expenses. They don't have the freedom of a CEO but let's keep things in perspective. They have a level of privilege that very few will ever know.Delete
Hopefully she will hear and incorporate the established you suggested. Great idea! Thought it was a very good day for the Princess and the cause she has chosen to champion. Hopefully other organizations the royals have previously supported won't be left in the dust because if these large endeavors. Plenty of other causes and smaller organizations that are important and could use the spotlight the royals bring but I do understand the strategy. As for her look today...fabulous. Everything fit her so well. Amazing. I wouldn't have been sad to see aodest brooch make an appearance but then again I can be a bit if a magpie 😊ReplyDelete
It's very brave of Kate to work with the UK's top businesses and I really hope it works and makes a difference. I agree with a PP about the importance of her team doing this kind of thing relatively quietly rather than trying to use this work to flatter Kate. I like this outfit for this event.ReplyDelete
Love this outfit. Polished, classic, professional…perfect. Love everything from head to toe. It’s just my taste, but I like this type of trouser instead of the wide leg. I’m all for seeing the shoes!! ☺️ Thanks Charlotte!ReplyDelete
Joanne in CA
I think the threads in the back vents of the jacket needed to be clipped? Did no one else see that?Delete
Gosh I love this outfit! Loved the cropped fitted pants like these best of all! Nice to break up the color with different tips AB’s bottoms. The cut in the jacket is perfect. This whole initiative is so important and I look forward to seeing it role out in the upcoming years. Thanks to Charlotte for her amazing work! Sue from ILReplyDelete
I am so hopeful that this task force actually accomplishes something. I’m more inclined to think it’s just another “let’s have a conversation” type initiative. I hope we have an affirmative word in the VERY near future that committed policies and procedures/ programs are put into place and enacted.ReplyDelete
While it does appear that she has trimmed her hair and dyed it a richer, darker due of brown which I like (especially the slight trim!), I am not a fan of Kate in cream (white works better on her). Whether it is this expensive piece by Alexander McQueen, the cream Catherine Walker coat she debuted in 2016 in Canada, or the Zara blazer she has worn more recently, they all have the same unappealing effect: they wash her out.ReplyDelete
On a more serious note, as historically has proven the most effective in raising healthy, productive individuals is having strong parental involvement. As another poster has said, the answer should not be to provide government-sponsored care for children. Psychological studies show that children should – as even animals do – attach to their mothers and be cared for by their mothers primarily during the first years of their life. Without secure attachment, children are more likely to develop disorders that manifest later in life through avoidant disorders or narcissistic traits (evident through the inability to relate and sympathize with others).
I was really struck by how comfortable Kate was at the podium (even smiling quite naturally) in front of that imposing Board Room!! I was immediately taken back to her first time giving a public speech & just how noticeably nervous she was! It's moments like this, when we see how far she's come, to being the incredible Princess of Wales we always knew she would be!ReplyDelete
The negative comments on this amazing new initiative perplexes me. Firstly Catherine is not the Government and cannot force Government to do anything. Secondly any sort of charity based or even corporate based changes take time to come into fruition. Thirdly she doesn’t actually need to do this however she passionately sees the need for awareness and help in these areas. People ask why just the first years are being targeted. Well it’s simply that you need to start somewhere then grow in the future. So much negativity in the world and the need to pick apart people that are just trying to help people. I say what Catherine is doing is the start of something wonderful and yes it’s big companies at the moment helping however if those companies take the pressure of the public sectors than that frees up more resources for people who work for smaller companies who can’t afford to help with childcare. Let’s champion her attempt to help and give this wonderful initiative a chance to achieve its goals.ReplyDelete
I love you DD, you have said everything that I have thought for a while now and sometimes voice, probably ineffectively.Delete
Catherine is providing a master class on how to achieve a big goal. I went through several classes on goal setting as a committee chairman for the technical organization that I belong to related to work. You cannot go from A to Z in one step, it has to be broken down into smaller steps with each having a specific purpose. And focusing on the first years means that the programs that come out of this initiative are helping future teens and adults. The benefits will be life long.
Border Terrier lover
Anonymous 01:13, what a nice, positive spin you have put on Kate's work. All the nay sayers are overestimating the power that she has. You are correct in saying, that she is not the Government. Kate does not write policy. She has no magic wand to wave to address needed changes, to accommodate early childhood development. All she can do is keep raising awareness which will keep the topic relevant. Those who criticize Kate's work ethic are being most unfair. With the entire Royal Family, they can make suggestions, but it is beyond their power to make demands and insist on changes from the government, from businesses and from the population in general. M.Delete
+1, DD and BTL! Thank you for saying it so well. Zora from PragueDelete
Agree DD. I work with child literacy in the US. I can assure you that the business community "hears" and "nods" to the issue; however, business leaders do not fully understand the issue until someone of prominence forces them to process the future impact. Programs provide a soft solution to an intangible issue. Change occurs when leaders process and fear the future implication.Delete
I agree with you all!Delete
DD, I couldn't agree more with every word you said. I wasn't going to comment until I read yours. Any good work is good work. The Princess looked perfect for a day in the city, very sharp. S.🙂.Delete
Well said everybody! Completely agree and particularly like Anon 21:59's comment about "Change occurs when leaders process and fear the future implication." It all starts with a dialogue and bringing everybody to the table to be part of the solution.Delete
This is a lovely outfit very chic and stylish.ReplyDelete
Thank you Charlotte for the post. An important engagement to move the conversation to encompass business. For our children to develop well in early years and not have a bad effect on their children's development work practices an attitudes need to become flexible enough to meet to a certain extent individual need. It is not just child care though that is important. A dad should be able to start early and leave work early to be involved in family activities etc. It takes time , decades for this kind of change to become mainstream. Charles has been talking about climate change for decades and it is only now that there is some progress. The strength of the Royals is that they are in a unique position to bring all sorts of different people together who normally would not be at the same table. One of the positives of Covid is that in most countries it forced major technology developments which will help great the wheels of change. 9 to 5 is no longer an absolute requirement. I am often saddened to think that in a first line democracy like the US there is no one really to help facilitate change,. The British Royal family is part of the fabric of society and as such fill an important role. And yes I do believe everyone should have some time to 'climb a tree with their children'ReplyDelete
As always Catherine was impeccably groomed and appropriately dressed for the business engagement.
If this is allowed a big congratulation to Camilla for the success of her Reading Room, now a charity to promote reading for enjoyment across all ages. The Reading room is like a book club originally on instagram but now with a Web address as well. Worth a look at.
I see people's comments spread across a spectrum of praise to criticism. I praise W&K for spending time with their children, citing the examples of previous royals and the damage that was done emotionally. It would be crazy to not acknowledge the financial privilege, of course -- after Kate's parents grew their business, all three of their children had very fortunate lives financially. There are many, many families in this situation in the UK, US, everywhere, and they also do not have to worry about working enough to stay alive. It's silly to pretend that people's situations around the world do not differ. Likewise, the importance of children's early lives is a very old concept, and a very valid and important concept. When I worked at the Harvard Business Review more than 40 years ago, that was a topic much discussed and researched in regard to how employees could be helped by their company's policies. I think all the research is available for a simple internet search. However, it is nice that Kate is given a project rather than just continuing the old format of only appearing at events to shake hands and cut ribbons. If you continue to have a royal family, you have to decide their purpose, how they are helping citizens. We do have legislation in the US that passed ages ago to help children and have had many proponents for such -- lately there has been an extremely unfortunate move away from valuing experts to ignoring them. If Kate's campaign can somehow translate into reversing that trend, then it will have made a difference. I agree that it must be very frustrating to see such ideals when so many are suffering and lacking basic needs.ReplyDelete
Wow! Nice to have a surprise visit of PW in my home country! Zofia from Poland https://www.plotek.pl/plotek/7,154063,29587926,ksiaze-william-jest-w-polsce-wizyta-pary-byla-trzymana-w-tajemnicy.htmlReplyDelete
Zofia, Thank you for sharing this link. The Polish people have been so good to the Ukrainian refuges with homes and military support.Delete
Yes it was great to see The Prince of Wales taking the time to visit Poland. Looks like it went very well. The Polish people have set a great example with their kindness and generosity. S.🙂.Delete
East Coast Anon here. Is anyone else frustrated here or am I the only person frustrated with what's happening here? I will root for the POW when she knocks it out of the park but she is a public figure and she should be called out for her public failings. She looks stunning and engaged at the event but this Early Years focus isn't working. I'm sorry. I just don't understand what the task force will be doing? I read a transcript of the speech and I read Charlotte's reportage on the event but, I still don't know what the task force is doing exactly? It's all talk talk talk talk.ReplyDelete
I'm not trying to be mean or unjustly critical, and I might be missing something that others have gleaned from the event, but I didn't hear it spelled out....the task force will be doing this, this, and this on this date, this month, or this year? Did I miss that? Or was it more of this is important because of this, this, and this. There's a big difference between talking about something and doing something about it. She is in a position to do something about the things she keeps talking about and yet there are no measurables.
Sigh. I really want to root for the POW, but this is more of the same...just like Shaping Us...all talk, very little, if any measurables.
I am not frustrated at all. I understand where she is coming from and what she wants to achieve. I understand also better why an awareness campaign was so crucial. Businesses won't do anything if they do not get the pat in the back of public opinion. She was clever in selecting the participants, as IKEA is a leader in the field of employee welfare.Delete
Even if businesses only talked about early years, the very fact they feel compelled to talk and seem interested is groundbreaking. It is the first time I have ever heard a business making early years a priority by word or deed. And once you talk, you end up having to walk. .
Well said 👌. I get it you get it some people don't. Is there anything more important than giving the next generation the best start in life. I don't understand why some people think she isn't a working Mother. She works on behalf of the Crown as well as all the charity work she does. As for living in the real world, her mother grew up in a flat. Her parents worked very hard for the lifestyle they have. The Prince and Princess of Wales always show great kindness and empathy when meeting people who are in the worse of circumstances. They are well aware of the real world. S.🙂.Delete
I am with you. I'm frustrated because all they do is talk. That's all that has been done for the last 5-7 years. This was supposed to be different and its not. It's the same thing with "awareness". There has been no physical walk with the talk. Mostly Kate hasn't shown the goals to be achieved. I keep waiting for something to be different especially since Kate made a big deal about this campaign. But sadly nothing is different than before. I'm just frustrated with the amount of time they still take off to and hardly doing any work. Will and Kate are supposedly changing the monarchy but sadly this extravagant and privileged lifestyle I think isn't going to work anymore. I think they have to start doing more and being seen. And not take 4-5 months of vacation a year. And not wearing new clothes for every apperance. I'm disappointed with how nothing has changedDelete
Early childhood development (ECD) has been promoted for a long time in US businesses and federal government. Larger, family-friendly businesses already have related perks for employees. It's definitely not a new concept, but it's not a requirement for companies. For people who have to continue working, the best help for the child is a safe, qualified daycare. And for the family to have basic needs met.Delete
Kate did have a happy childhood, and that requires some degree of financial security.
I also wish I knew to whom this campaign is directed. There are so many areas that need improvement to help children in their development. Having some focused, direct, clear goals would help people who want to assist in her quest.
I completely agree it’s too much talk and not enough action. Yes she is a very part time working mother and William likewise . They need to substantially up their workload , rewear clothes frequently and relate to the vast majority of their subjects who are really strugglingDelete
S. You're right. I suppose either you get it or you don't and no amount of discussion will change that.Delete
But that is the thing, Kate is not in a position to do much about early years. She cannot give new parents better maternity leave, she cannot make the workplace more flexible for mothers returning to work. She cannot lobby goverment for changes.Delete
But what she can do is make these bigwigs sit around a table and talk about a topic they might otherwise brush under the table. What she can do is call them out on not doing enough. What she can do is create a bit of competition between them to not be the worst in the room. Just because it is not spectacular doesn’t mean it is not having an effect.
I quite agree. but I also see how "agreeing" is misunderstood. What happens here and elsewhere on blogs is that people of entirely different views come back and say that they "agree". It becomes impossible to sort out who agrees, and who does not, with some original post and why.Delete
Charlotte, please: you may wish to consult your tech people to address this problem.
Natasha, I just don't understand people asking what this is about. For me I thought her work was all about getting anyone involved with young children to do their best to give them a better start in life. Be that Parents, grandparents, extended family and teachers ect. Some parents think it ok to let their children sit in front of a screen for the day or on some device while eating nuggets and chips. As I have said before she is doing good and only good comes from good. Rachel, watch this space. I'm sure when she gets her magic wand she will fix everything. I think she is dammed if she does and dammed if she doesn't . While wondering where is all the negative towards good coming from. 🤔. S.🙂.Delete
Anon 18:13, I wanted to comment on Williams visit. It looked like a wonderful but I am sure heart wrenching visit. From the photos he appeared to be very connected with all those he met. AliReplyDelete
I work with babies and toddlers' healthcare, and 100% agree that we should spend much more resources on the early years. It is so much wiser to invest in prevention than treatment of lifelong problems.ReplyDelete
Catherine looked wonderful, black trousers are a great fit.
I like the outfit. The blazer and pants are great. The simple t-Shirt is a big nah, but whatever. I find it sad that out of the five or six attendees, 2 are from countries that already have elaborate concepts for parents. And they are already somewhat into the sphere of young children with their products aimed at children and parents.ReplyDelete
What I don’t get- another task force? What is the aim? Develop concepts how companies can support parents with the correlating data that this is not hurting their profit? That would be the only productive use I can see. Flexible hours, hybrid concepts of working remote and in office, special sich days for children, (emergency) daycare options? The government has set the law around parental leave so it’s not up to the employer. They can only make changes to support the working parent they employ. International working companies should maybe offer the best benefit package they do globally. I just think of US companies who have absolutely no problem with all the regulated benefits here but can’t be arsed to offer the same to their employees back home. I would be so p*****.
But I digress. Kate’s PR need to stop hailing her every move as life changing but put out some clear communication what the actual goal is. The concept of SMART goals seems to be beyond them. I think her campaign wouldn’t be half as criticised if they would to a better job in this department. Because looking at this, even with Charlotte’s well researched and information, I am left with a big question mark.
I’m disappointed Catherine didn’t go to Poland too . According to court circular as at 23rd March she has carried out 7 engagements and 4 meetings …. Easter holidays start today so no doubt no engagements for at least 3 weeks. Hardly hardworkingReplyDelete
William will be head of the armed forces so of course it was his visit to do. And he deserves the attention he's got because when Kate is with him he's widely ignored. It's an absolute shame.Delete
Agree 15.52. The Prince of Wales does fantastic work. Like the previous Prince and Princess the camera is on the Princess. I think it's great that William is very proud of his wife and happy for her to have her take the spotlight. He will make a great King for the UK. S.🙂.Delete
I have a general question about the monarchy. I don't understand why RF members don't retire at age 65, 75, 80. I have no affection for the new king and queen and certainly don't wish K&W to have to take on the lead too soon, but why must they continue with duties until the end of life? I have heard that Charles' schedule is very full, and I thought it might be too much soon. Thanks!ReplyDelete
The king or Queen swear a oath to serve their people till their last breath. Just like when we saw the late Queen with her last prime minister. Just before she passed and God bless that Lady, she was looking very frail. Some of the European king and Queen's do retire, which I think is a good thing. Not the case in the UK you go from the throne to death bed and then the next person sits on that throne.S.🙂.Delete
Do we perhaps have too high expectations for the princess? She has clearly shown in both her fashion and her causes that she is not a "rulebreaker" in the way her mother-in-law and sister-in-law might have been.ReplyDelete
I, for one, appreciate the princess for her solid dedication, much like the late queen. I think she can do much for the monarchy by quietly supporting King Charles and Prince William, as she has been.
Well considering both her mother and sister in law ended up outside the monarchy she's probably right in her approach. Also, how exactly did they break rules?Delete
You hit the nail on the head. I have heard the word "boring" used to describe Kate because she follows the rules. Being a "rule breaker" usually bring negative publicity and unwanted attention from the paparazzi. Kate doesn't need that stress in her life and neither does the royal family. I hope she continues her good works.Delete
To clarify my above comment- by "rulebreaker" I was thinking of examples like Diana's AIDS advocacy or the Duchess of Sussex's work for women's rights - issues that are not traditionally royal causes. Catherine is a modern royal with a traditional bent, so if we expect her to engage forcefully with hot button issues we might be disappointed. I think it's important to value someone for who they are, rather than who we think they should be.Delete
Catherine's been working on addiction since she joined the royals, which is much more controversial than women's rights, Sophie had been working on it long before Meghan married into the family by the way.Delete
Camilla had been working for women's rights causes long before Meghan arrived in the family, just to clarify...Delete
I support the Princess’s campaigns but is there actual proof of them searching out needy families and actually making changes? I mean, most abuse and neglect goes hidden in family homes, how is she actually getting help to those who need it? Is she building free centers for these people to come to? I am just curious, seems like she’s done tons of meetings but are we seeing any outcomes?ReplyDelete
This blog provides information on the causes she supports, the charities she is involved with, the visits she makes. Many of those aim to help people and families in need. I don't understand your question?Delete
Kate's ability to articulate a range of ideas on the topic of "the early years" has become increasingly impressive. However, I find the idea of "emoji posters" to be caricature-ish and, while some might argue that these are aimed at children, it seems superficial –– perhaps, though, I am underestimating the effects of mask wearing and social isolation over the preceding two years and the damage it has done to children in reading others' emotions. Children (normally) can express and identify when they or others are happy, sad, scared, angry, etc. And while all emotions can be valid, children and adults must learn self-controlled ways to deal with difficult emotions; this in contrast to what the CEO of Iceland Foods stated. Ultimately, all people, generally, need to learn the virtues of compassion and patience. As the Bible says, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep".ReplyDelete