The second of two Place2Be-related events (you can read about Kate at the Natural History Museum here) Kate Middleton had yesterday, November 22, was the Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards held at Mansion House in London.
Kate attended a reception ahead of the Awards where she met Ceri Knapton who was overcome with emotion as her son, Ethan, 13, told Kate how he used his own battle with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome to raise awareness of the condition to benefit others. Kate reportedly flung her arms around Knapton and told her: “I just had to do that as a mum.”
Ethan told Kate how he was bullied mercilessly at primary school because of his undiagnosed conditions, which can lead to problems with concentration and tics that cause him to shout without even being aware of it. He said: “It was a very difficult time but my diagnosis helped me to cope with what I was experiencing. I decided that I wanted to speak out about it. There is no point in sitting back. I’d rather stand up and make a difference.”
The Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards recognize ambassadors of positive mental health and highlight the unique contribution that school communities make to the wellbeing of local communities. There are nine categories which each carry a £1,000 prize to benefit the wellbeing of school of the winner.
Kate gave a speech – yay!
“It is a great honour to be with you here this evening for these very special Place2Be Awards. Tonight, we are celebrating the truly remarkable work taking place across Place2Be schools in support of children’s mental health. Without many of the inspiring people gathered here this evening, countless children would not receive the transformational support in their schools. It is because of so many of you, that in their time of need, children have the help, care and attention that will get them through tough times in their lives.
“I am a firm believer that it is absolutely crucial to confront problems as early as possible, to prevent them from escalating into even greater issues later in life. This is why Place2Be’s work – prioritising children’s emotional wellbeing from the outset – is so important. I have been privileged over recent years to visit a number of schools and to meet the teachers, volunteers, and parents who make Place2Be’s work a reality. Together, you ensure your students know they have somewhere to turn, someone who will listen, or simply a safe place to escape.
“As you all recognise through your support of Place2Be, even the luckiest people can face great challenges. No matter how invincible we seem on the surface, all of us need help from time to time. This is why William, Harry and I have set up the Heads Together campaign. We want to end the stigma surrounding mental health that stops people getting the help that and support that they so desperately need.
“On a recent visit to Stewards Academy in Harlow, William and I were so impressed by the young people we met. I know that some of you are here tonight. I wanted to thank you again for sharing your stories with us; each of you had faced difficult times but had the courage to seek support and to speak openly about your experiences, encouraging others to do the same.
“Our young Champion finalists here tonight are extraordinary. You have not only faced challenges but you’ve had the resilience to overcome them. You have also, in your willingness to have open conversations, become young mental health pioneers. So well done to you all. I cannot tell you how moved I was to be here this evening. Thank you once again, and have a lovely night.”
Did Kate get a new speech writer? This was way better than her previous speeches, right? She talked about how it’s a privilege for her to visit Place2Be schools, and actually named a recent visit she went on. Way to go, Kate, this was a nice speech.
I haven’t seen a video of the full speech but the below video includes parts of it (it cuts around). I’m going to continue to complain about the head-bobbing because it is still so distracting, but just listening to her words without watching the video I think she’s getting better. She’s still not very confident with her speech, but this one does seem to be somewhat better than previous ones.
Kate wore a new but familiar dress for the Awards. She wore the black version of the red Preen stretch-crepe “Finella” dress ($1,715) she wore to the Government House reception in Canada on September 26.
Kate wore yet another new pair of black suede pumps: the Prada Suede Point-Toe Cutout Pump (although Kate’s are higher than the 85mm). These, though, are how you do a black suede pump and not be super boring. I love the cutout because it makes it interesting, and I hope Kate wears them again.
Kate also wore a belt with a giant crystal embellishment: the Temperley London Crystal Bow Belt ($1,055). I think it’s kind of tacky, personally, but it does add interest to the dress which desperately needed it so I’ll give it a pass because without the belt this outfit would have been very boring.
Oh, Kate carried her Mulberry Bayswater Clutch in black again.
Kate’s really racking up the jewelry loans this fall. The earrings Kate wore to the Awards are her third new-to-her pair of earrings loaned from The Queen in the last three months. These Diamond Pendant Earrings first appeared on The Queen at the 2012 State Opening of Parliament, however their provenance is not yet known. As far as I am aware, this is the first time HM has loaned these earrings out to a member of her family; and apparently it’s only the third time these earrings have been worn publicly by anyone.
Thankfully, Kate pulled the front pieces of her hair up so that we could see the earrings better.
Here’s a photo of The Queen wearing the earrings in 2012.