Did William, Kate & Harry ‘outline their ambitions’ for Heads Together?

Did William, Kate & Harry ‘outline their ambitions’ for Heads Together?

I’m disappointed in myself. When I read KP’s tweets that Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry would “outline their ambitions” for Heads Together at an event today, January 17, I assumed they would set actual goals for the campaign that they would then work to achieve. My mistake. I fully blame myself for my disappointment right now. I should have known better than to get my hopes up.

William, Kate, Harry met runners at Heads Together event Jan 2017 s
[Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal]

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Harry were at The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London today for a Heads Together event which brought out various people from the HT partner charities as well as people who will be running for HT at the London Marathon in April.

William gives speech at Heads Together event Jan 2017 s
[Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal]

The three royals gave a speech in which they “outlined their ambitions” for the campaign, but the “next phase” of Heads Together consists of next to nothing new.


    “Thank you to everyone here today for being enthusiastic about Heads Together. We launched the campaign last year and are extremely proud to support the life-changing work of our eight Charity Partners. We are also very grateful for the support of our Founding Partners.
    “Mental health matters to each and every one of us. It matters just as much as our physical health. The crews I have worked with, whether RAF Search and Rescue or Air Ambulance, must take their mental health as seriously as they do their physical health or else they would not cope – and, actually, that is true for everybody at some time or another in their life. There are times when, whoever we are, it is hard to cope with challenges – and when that happens being open and honest and asking for help is life-changing.
    “Talking to someone else is a positive and confident step to take – but for too long it has been a case of ‘Keep Quiet and Carry On’. As a result, too many people have suffered in silence for too long, and the effects of this can be devastating. The three of us are really optimistic that things are changing. We believe that 2017 can mark a tipping point for mental health – a moment when more and more people no longer feel they have to bear the weight alone for fear of judgment.
    “It is no exaggeration to say that conversations – simple conversations – can be life-changing: in a workplace, in your kitchen at home, with a friend, family member or colleague. And that’s what Catherine, Harry and I want to do – we want more people to be having those conversations. It is our ambition to make this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon the Mental Health Marathon – a major opportunity to help change the conversation on mental health, and to get people talking. And for that, we really need your help.”


    “As William has said we have heard time and time again in the course of our work how talking can help heal the hidden challenges we can’t deal with alone. We have seen that two heads are better than one when dealing with a mental health problem. Yet, the challenge that so many people have is not knowing how to take that first step of reaching out to another person for help. Admitting that they are not coping. Fear, or reticence, or a sense of not wanting to burden another, means that people suffer in silence – allowing the problem to grow larger and larger unchecked.
    “William, Harry and I have been very privileged to witness in the course of our work countless examples of simple conversations that have changed lives, which were the first step on a path to recovery. Just last week at the Anna Freud Centre, I heard from one mother how talking to a support worker was – in her words – like medicine. Simply by having someone there to have a conversation with helped her immensely.
    “So the question that William, Harry and I have asked ourselves is how we can get more people to start talking. How do we encourage people to take the first step. What Heads Together is proposing is that in the weeks leading up to the Marathon, our campaign will showcase people from all walks of life, talking about the life-changing conversations that have helped them with their mental health challenges. We hope that these real-life examples will serve as encouragement to others to do the same. If we succeed with this, we will have taken a powerful step in normalizing mental health as an issue in our society, thinking about it as we do our own physical health.
    “Harry will explain more in a moment about what you can do to help us with this challenge. But first I would like to introduce Jon, who is running for Heads Together in the Marathon; and Steve, who will tell you the story of how a conversation made such a big difference to their mental health. Jon and Steve… thank you.”


    “Thank you, Jon and Steve, for sharing your conversation and the impact that it’s had on your lives; and thank you Jon for running for Heads Together. I’m reliably informed that you’ll run it in under four hours! Good luck with your training! Over 500 people will be running for Heads Together, leading from the front (well perhaps not right at the front!), raising funds for the vital services provided by our Charity Partners. These runners will also be leading by example by starting conversations on mental health with their families, friends and colleagues.
    “It has been unbelievably encouraging to see that attitudes towards mental health across the country are beginning to change. In the past, the phrase ‘mental health’ would be translated to mental illness. But thankfully that is changing! As a result of family, school or work pressures, everyone’s lives are lived at a frightening pace and these stresses can often seem overwhelming. Some will ignore the signs of stress, others will insist they’re ok after losing a loved one. Some will be afraid to ask for help, others won’t have anyone to turn to.
    “One thing is certain, we are all wired differently. We all have mental health; and we’ll say it again and again and again, if you want to be fit, healthy and set yourself up for success then your mental fitness is absolutely as important as your physical fitness. Everyone would get help for a broken leg, so why not seek help for an issue that could hamper you and others around you.
    “The truth is we can all help each other. You don’t need any qualifications to help your mate out, simply to listen to what they have to say. At the heart of this campaign is our hope that no-one should be afraid to ask for help, and no-one should worry about knowing how to help. That initial conversation could be the cure, before it has a chance to manifest itself.
    “The BBC have announced today that they are running a season on mental health to coincide with the Marathon, which is fantastic news. But every single one of you in this room can help too. You are all role models and highly respected people in your industries – the way you talk about mental health will have a profound effect on millions of people, whether you’re speaking from personal experience or encouraging those around you to do the same. So please could I encourage you all to have a conversation with the Heads Together team, who are here today, and share your ideas. We need as many people as possible – famous or not – who can help showcase what it’s like to have a conversation with a friend, family or stranger. All your ideas are welcome.
    “I would now like to introduce Rio Ferdinand – a sporting legend but perhaps, just as importantly, someone who is leading the way in talking openly about mental health. I first met Rio last summer when he joined our Heads Together BBQ and I talked with him, his dad and friend Ben about how the support we give each other can help us through the darkest of times and come out a stronger person.”


Kate gives speech at Heads Together event Jan 2017 s
[Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal]

They said many words – and I appreciate that Kate gave a rather long speech, because that’s an improvement for her – but what ambitions did they actually state?

They “want more people to be having those [life-changing] conversations” because they want to “make this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon the Mental Health Marathon” and their hope is “that no-one should be afraid to ask for help, and no-one should worry about knowing how to help.” But the only thing they are actually going to do is that “in the weeks leading up to the Marathon, our campaign will showcase people from all walks of life, talking about the life-changing conversations that have helped them with their mental health challenges.” Because they hope that “these real-life examples will serve as encouragement to others to do the same.”

That’s it? Those aren’t actual, tangible goals for the campaign. How do they measure success with this?

Harry gives speech at Heads Together event Jan 2017 s
[Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal]

I have a very personal connection to the topic of mental health issues and depression, and I don’t want to let my emotions on this subject overwhelm my comments on this event and speech. There are many people who will benefit from Heads Together, and from their campaign to get people talking and the showcasing of people discussing their life-changing conversations. I get that. I get that there are people who will benefit from this, and that’s great for those people. And while I am sure that Heads Together’s charity partners do great work, I have heard nothing from Heads Together or William, Kate, and Harry to show that they actually understand the various thought processes that people who suffer from depression go through (and let’s be honest here, that’s the only mental health issue they are focused on). They discuss the issues with broad brushstrokes but don’t seem to understand the nuances associated with it. Yes, fear and not wanting to burden others are big reasons why people don’t reach out for help, but HT and the royals don’t seem to understand how a campaign focused solely on the idea of “start a conversation, it’ll be life-changing” won’t necessarily solve the problem. For some people it will, but for others it won’t. Not everyone suffers in the same way.

One of my main issues with this campaign is that there is seemingly no focus on reaching people who don’t already pay attention to the Heads Together campaign. How is the showcasing of everyday people’s conversations going to help the people who don’t already follow HT on Twitter or YouTube? How is HT going to reach the people who are not already looking for help? How are they going to reach the people who are crying in their bed thinking they have no one to talk to, no where to turn? “Start a conversation, it’ll be life-changing” doesn’t address the issue of “I have no one in my life to talk to, and even if I did I wouldn’t trust them enough to tell them my problems”. It’s like telling a person with a broken leg, “Go to the hospital, they’ll fix it”, while the person is going, “I know I’m supposed to go to the hospital, but how do I get there when I can’t even walk?” Heads Together is telling people to go to the hospital, but they’re not helping people get there.

Another issue that Heads Together fails to address is the issue of challenging the stigma associated with depression in those who don’t suffer from it. HT and the royals are telling people who suffer from depression to start a conversation because it will be a positive experience and life-changing – William literally said “Talking to someone else is a positive and confident step to take.” But what happens when someone suffering from depression talks to someone who thinks negatively of them for suffering from depression? That would result in a negative experience for the person suffering from depression – it is one of the fears stopping people from seeking help. So starting a conversation with just anyone isn’t the answer, you have to start a conversation with the right person, because there is still such a stigma attached to depression. But HT and the royals haven’t said much on that. They’re very focused on reaching people who suffer, and I fully understand why, but they’re not reaching out to challenge the views and opinions of other people, which I think is a mistake. In order to tackle this issues, they will need to tackle it from all sides.

I’ve been critical of the Heads Together campaign and with Kate’s involvement with the issue of mental health in the past, and one of the biggest criticisms I get from it is that what they do does help some people and I don’t acknowledge that. So I’m acknowledging that. I know that what (little) Heads Together and the royals do for the issue of mental health does help some people – and that’s great. But it’s doesn’t help everyone. And if Heads Together and the royals want to “create millions of conversations” to “get the country talking about mental health” and “change the conversation”, then they need to do more than they are doing now, because their current way of doing things will only help a fraction of the people they claim to want to help.

Switching gears entirely… I still dislike Erdem as a whole, but Kate still loves Erdem, so she chose a new Erdem dress for the occasion, opting for the “Evita” dress ($813/£664 at Net-a-Porter, and $713 – discounted from $1,876 – at Forward). The “Evita” dress is crafted from navy matelassé and features long sleeves and a slim skirt.

I think it’s better than some of Kate’s Erdem dresses, but I just dislike Erdem as a whole so this isn’t my cup of tea.

Erdem Evita Dress tods-fringe-buckle-pumps

Kate repeated accessories with the new dress: her Oscar De La Renta “Pearl Gold Disc Button Earrings”, her Tod’s burgundy Leather Fringe Buckle Detail Pumps, and her Mulberry Bayswater Clutch in red suede.

When I first saw photos of this dress I didn’t see any red in it so I wondered why Kate chose a red bag and shoes to go with it, but looking at the product details the dress does have the tiniest bit of red in it.

From Twitter calculations based on Rebecca English’s arrival and departure tweets (at 7:01 AM and 8:20 AM, my time), the royal trio stayed at the event for about an hour and twenty minutes.

Richard Palmer on Twitter made several remarks about how the royals didn’t bother to acknowledge the press who were standing only a few feet away from them when they arrived and left. This isn’t exactly a classic “Richard Palmer Twitter Rant”, but I think it’s worth noting how rude the royals are to the press.

On arrival, Palmer tweeted: “My phone died just as William, Kate and Harry arrived at the ICA. William noticeably blanked us all from two feet away. Charming.” And when the royals left, Palmer tweeted: “The three royal leave and one cheeky photographer shouts: ‘Bye!’ No reply.” and “The royal press pack has decided that part of having a national conversation about mental health should involve saying hello to people.”

I’ve been trying to be more positive over the last month, and I went into this event thinking and hoping I would be able to be positive about it. I genuinely wanted to be; I want them to outline actual goals and ambitions and work to achieve them. But after this event I am left so disappointed with the Heads Together campaign.

235 thoughts on “Did William, Kate & Harry ‘outline their ambitions’ for Heads Together?

  1. I have to say that I adore this dress. Usually I hate Erdem (especially the ugly floral gown Kate wore to the womens gala, ugh), but this dress is just SO PRETTY! I wish I could buy it (but what normal person can spend more than 1000$ on a dress?)!
    Also, she went bold (for her) with the accessoires, so that’s great.

    1. I think the floral detail above the waist is poor design. It gives the illusion in many photos that she has a roll of fat around her rib cage.

      She just spent $200,000 on clothes last year. No wonder all the reporters can talk about how she is wearing another new $2000 dress and how rudely the press pack was treated.

    1. If I say this was obviously another case of the kids being used for PR, and I don’t find these children more adorable than others? Can I say one, both, or neither of those things?

      Weren’t we discussing comments about the kids themselves (either physical or behavioral) possibly not being allowed, either positive or negative?

    2. That is a lovely picture. I like the perspective of seeing everyone’s faces as they smile and wave at Charlotte. When a baby waves at you it is impossible not to wave back.

    3. Cute! Thanks for letting us know about the photo M.

      And I rather liked the photo of Charlotte doing the “fish face” from the Middleton Christmas Walk.

  2. You could’ve saved yourself the effort(and ordered a box of pizza) and just written one sentence: The Royal Word Salad. This was just a waste of everyone’s time.

  3. Richard Palmer has also commented on his Twitter today that behind the scenes planning meetings are now being added to Court Circular engagements. I despair.

    The press have every right to feel aggrieved, that’s just plain bad manners. What really does it cost to say Good morning? Too bloody grand. Camilla would never ignore the press, PoW had it drummed in to him to treat them more respectfully by Marc Bolland. The press really ought to consider not turning up to the next HT press launch but I guess playing games with causes is a bit unfair but the Press need to start playing them at their game.

    Once again the speeches are all fluff. They are so massively deluded. They think their little trio is going to put Mental Health at the forefront of the nation’s health agenda? They talk about ‘their work’, what ‘they have heard and seen’. Talk about building their parts up. It’s small potatoes. If they actually ran the Marathon they would be in every front page in the world. But that would be too much of a commitment wouldn’t it? The irony of them telling people to start a conversation when they’ve just blanked the press. Give me strength.

    The Erdem is quite nice for Erdem but it doesn’t fit well. Too tight in the sleeves and across the hips which is really saying something. Two engagements this year, two new £1500 dresses. Kate really is the Imelda Marcos of coats and dresses isn’t she? But I loved the Tods shoes first time and I love them still but I really had to study the photos quite closely to see the red in the Erdem dress that was being used to coordinate the accessories with.

    Today I would not class as a success mainly because of their weak message and rude behaviour.

    P.s. Helicoptered from Amner to get to this engagement apparently.

    1. Running the marathon would be a brilliant idea to promote the cause, but maybe they’re not doing it because of security reasons.

          1. Beatrice doesn’t have protection normally, so that’s probably why it’s not an issue for her. I would think that it’s not an issue about one of them running, but if all of them ran then that would be a security nightmare.

        1. Pah…….we know that if William wants something bad enough he gets it. He could run in a teddy bear costume if he bothered about being visible. Yes logically it would be difficult but not impossible. Personally I see obstacles as things to overcome not reasons not to do something. Something tells me William would be rather relieved at being told no to that.

          1. It would also mean training regularly to get into shape to embark on the run in the first place. I don’t sense that level of commitment from the trio.

          2. You can’t “wing it” when it comes to training for a marathon, can you?

            But if Kate was the amazing sporty Kate we have been told about then she could do it? Yes?

    2. Camilla is right! Plus, she was vilified for years by the very same press that she now works warmly alongside.

      You catch more flies with honey, royal trio, but you see examples of this in your working royal family everyday. I can’t think this helped the very charity you just visited. The story is now about the clothes, the hair, and the boorish attitudes…rather than the actual reason you stepped out the front door today.

      1. It’s time the media realizes they hold a better hand than the royals. There will be a couple snarky stories but then seem to fall back into pro monarchy propaganda. They need to keep up until there is a change in their work habits.
        The royals still need the media and would be wise to have a symbiotic relationship with them.

        1. I agree that the media holds better cards. But they have pretty pathetic standards. Rather than veiled digs regarding Kate’s monster pageant hair, they could be more demanding in their write-ups: cut out the reporting of hair and clothes altogether and write about the charity, ask questions about what the royals provide (or not) rather than the usual gush. In other words, put the royals on notice that their value will be assessed. At the moment the media is simply regurgitating KP press releases rather than actually reporting and providing considered opinions.

          1. It’s better than that. DM and Hello have kicked the HT visit from their online feed completely. If charities can’t benefit from the trio’s visit, what use are the young royals? None. PC will get complaints and have to make the choice to get them in line or goodbye to allowance. The press is going to win this war.

          2. I’m thinking it’s not only the media’s fault though. They report what the public wants to read, and people seem more interested in Kate’s wardrobe and Harry’s love life than in their charitable work. It’s the fluff that sells.

          3. @Paula, agreed, but that’s all they’ve had for almost six years from W&K. This HT visit with speech could have really set the trio up to restart their interaction with charities and work in general. People were very interested in land mine removal, AIDS, and other charities when Diana visited. What she wore was usually interesting, but a sideline to what she was there for, and her genuine interest captured world attention, and often heightened concern. She couldn’t have done it by snubbing the media. She just didn’t stop them from invading her every movement because she liked the attention which cost her life. Will lets his hatred cloud realizing that one key mistake and throws the baby out with the bath water.

  4. I’m starting to think that the Cambridges (and alas, Harry too) are just ignoring any advice they get, and/or they’ve just hired a bunch of ‘yes’ men. There is no way a highly visible charity would keep launching platforms without goals, metrics or benchmarks with which to define and measure success. This is just stupid. And they look stupid for doing this. I wish the press would turn on them.

  5. According to the Court Circular (January 16th): “Prince Henry of Wales this afternoon received Mr. Michel Sidibé (Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.”

    Could you imagine if Prince Harry became an ambassador for UNAIDS??? It would be an amazing, to have him work for/with the UN. He could do a lot of good with the United Nations. So, I hope this meeting is an indication that him possibly joining the UN is a more concrete possibility.

    As for their Heads Together event, today, I agree with you 100%. They have told us nothing new. They continuously relay the same information over and over again. Even Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) does not know what is going on with their campaign. In a Twitter exchange with Royals_online (@Royals_online), Richard didn’t have an answer when asked what the campaign’s new goal was.

    Here is the exchange:
    @Royals_online: So Richard what’s their new goal 4 #mentalhealth apart from “starting the conversation” that we’ve been hearing 4 months now?
    @RoyalReporter: @Royals_online Um…

    Yes, I agree that Heads Together does help people. However, William, Kate and Harry (to a lesser extent), have showcased that they do not have a deep understanding of the complex issue that is mental health. Having a conversation is great, but there is so much more to it than that.

    The biggest hurdle I have had to overcome is personal acceptance. I have had to come to terms with the fact that I have a mental illness and I have had to learn to become okay with that. That my illness does not define/change who I fundamentally am. The Royal Trio has not touched on that. I think Harry, vaguely, has (when addressing his time deployed), but….

  6. Prince Charles built Prince’s Trust from nothing. Yes he had help, but he worked hard at it for years along side them. Over 800,000 people’s ability to earn a living directly improved because of it.

    Charles turned around the Duchy, from losing millions a year to making almost 20 million a year. Took an enormous gamble with Dumfries House, saved it, and has turned it into a job training center and artist center/workshop.

    Harry wanted to continue his mother’s work with HIV/AIDS, so he and Seeiso created Sentebale. Yes, he had a lot of help, but again he is there working hard at it making it happen. Ditto Invictus, lots of help but he’s right there the whole time driving it and making it happen. (Even when he freely admits he stole it from Warrior Games).

    William? He made an umbrella organization that takes credit for other people’s work at other wildlife organizations. He shows up at Tusk because of Jecca, not because of Tusk itself I suspect. He did his umbrella org instead of taking over Philip’s role at WWF. Anything to avoid taking on something touched by another royal, just like his refusal with Prince’s Trust. William doesn’t do anything, nor does his wife. They give occasional speeches and take credit for the hard work of others.

    The problem with Heads Together is that it is the same thing – umbrella where they take credit for the hard work of others. There is nothing tangible here. No proof that there is drive or doing anything behind the scenes. It is showing up, delivering speeches at varying levels of effort, and doing nothing.

    At least Harry showed concern over military mental health before this, and he does show up to visit military-related mental health work. But what if anything is he himself doing about any of this? To me, both Invictus and WWTW can positively impact mental health of the veterans involved, but how does that tie into HT?

    We get the PR stories that they want to back off on doing the bread-and-butter work that keeps the royals so popular. Not do the everyday work that actually means showing up more than 63 days a year. They want to be “real patrons” not the bread and butter kind. They want to “limit focus” “focus on a few charities” etc?

    Harry does that with Sentebale and Invictus. Set his mind to it and has created things of value. What seems clear is that W&K mean doing something like Heads Together or the Royal Foundation. Show up rarely, say a few words, and not actually *do* anything. Just as I suspect Prince’s Trust and the work of actively being involved in the Duchy will disappear when William is in charge. It will all be done by other people, he’ll just take the credit and spend the money.

    Harry needs to do something actively in the UK, in addition to making his rehab work with wounded soldiers offical. A UK-based charity, in his personal time, that directly impacts and betters lives of people in the UK.

    I’m going to keep going on about that because it is something I think he needs to do. He needs to show that he cares about the people of the UK, instead of only pretending to care because otherwise he is off the payroll.

    1. Prince Harry does a lot with the Full Effect program, prevention of youth violence in Nottingham, and he does a great deal with Coach Core. He does a lot with the UK. Yes, his big projects deal with Africa or are on a global scale, but he doesn’t leave the UK (Britain) out in the cold. Although, maybe he could do more, that’s up to each individual.

      Prince Harry is on the global stage (he knows this), lot of people know who he is and are watching what he does. Not the entire world, like some might believe, but people are paying attention. And he is using that attention to address issues that effect everyone. Because I feel if he doesn’t he will get criticized. Although, more than anything I think Prince Harry knows that he can’t win no matter what he does. It’s a double-edge sword.

      Although, I personally believe that everything for Harry would be better if he has his own press office, his own team — separate from The Cambridges.

        1. I wonder if Harry joined this iniative on his own volition or if he was told to join. He seems less charismatic whenwith them.

  7. She spoke so many words. Is this some sort of record? I hope they do something more for Heads Together like may be participate in the London Marathon.
    On a fashion note, Catherine’s dress is very pretty and she accessorized with the red TODS and red clutch instead of basic black. Overall an unusual day…

    1. You’re right and I should have given her credit for that because she clearly finds public speaking very difficult and she is slowly improving. Even if the message is not on point and not written by her.

  8. I have several things to say:
    First, yay the they actually spoke (probably the most from Kate I’ve heard yet to date) but what did they say? More of the same ambiguous phrases they’ve been saying.
    Second I don’t question the good work the charities under the umbrella of heads together do. I’m sure they are making a difference, it’s the actual heads together campaign itself that I do question.
    Third I’m sure this would be a touchy subject but William as head of BAFTA Could challenge the movie industry not to type cast the mentally ill person in horror movies as crazy/bad. That would help “end the stigma of mental health”
    Lastly (for now anyways) no they didn’t set out any goals or ambitions. More of the same catch phrases.
    On to the superficial, not a fan of Kate’s dress. She seems partial to floral patterns that don’t work. I do like the idea of some spring colors in winter but it seems too busy for me. Never a fan of those horrendous earrings!!! Bleh
    I loved the tod’s shoes she wore the first time in Canada and was sure we’d never see them again so I’m pleasantly surprised that she’s worn them several times now! I will give her props for not being monochromatic!
    Thanks for the post

    1. Given that BAFTA has openly criticized William for not showing up for their annual awards event? For basically being a terrible “president”?

      I doubt BAFTA would listen to a word William had to say, unless he first said, “I’m sorry for being a horrible patron of BAFTA” publicly dozens of times.

      1. I think we can safely say they’re terrible patrons for all their charities and i’m sure several would like to dump them.
        I saw some preview for a movie and the girl was yelling “he has multiple personalities and he’s trying to kill us.” It made me realize the movie industry needs to change their voice. I know that will probably never happen, I’m sure there is big $$ in those types of movies. I’ve never even seen/read one flew over the cuckoo’s nest but still get tons of nurse ratched jokes and I knew what they were referencing.
        If they want to step out of the realm of ambiguity into something quantifiable that could be a 1st step.

        1. William cannot expect to get support from anyone, BAFTA included, until he offers support instead of kicking them in the teeth. He has no idea what this role and soft diplomacy require. He has no influence with these folks, and thankfully they are pushing back just like EACH.

    2. I doubt William has any credibility or clout with the entertainment industry. I’m sure BAFTA would like to see the back of him. It’s silly, anyway, having him there in any capacity; they have plenty of amazing people who could assume that role with panache and professionalism.

      1. I doubt that; they’d just like him to actually take his role seriously. His position as second in line will always draw additional media attention and public focus

  9. I got no feeling out of two of them talking. Great, you have speech writers. These people are not relatable in this particular field.

  10. On substance, i agree with every word of KMR. So much potential wasted. It really is a shame. I’d love to hear more than just what one commenter here so rightfully called a “word salad”. But kudos to Kate for saying more than usual.

    I also found the parts about ignoring the press very interesting. And the DM, at least, is getting their revenge: their story on this this morning went on and on about “new year, new hair” and had countless pictures of Kate’s hair. Went on about how much volume it had etc. I took it as a coded dig at her extensions. Why will the press not just come out and publicise the fact she wears extensions? Given how much emphasis she puts on her hair, shouldn’t it be exposed for the sham that it is?

  11. So more fluff and no concrete agenda outlined on how they are going to reach people who need help. Something like setting up an anonymous help line under the umbrella of Heads Together would have been nice to announce. At least Kate gave a speech that was more than 3 sentences, so that is a plus. You have to read the article in today’s DM about this event, it mainly focused on Kate’s new hair style?????? Some of the comments are amusing and as usual, some are just downright mean. Was this the DM’s way of saying that nothing new came out of this event?

    I have also come to the conclusion that Kate will never change her hair……it is part of her identity and she sees her hair as her crowning glory and it earns her attention in the press, because there is really nothing else about her that is newsworthy. As for her outfit, not a fan of Erdem.

  12. Sigh. Okay, I’ll post the good and the not-so-good about this event.

    Good: I like how they’re each tackling (and I use that word loosely) various types of mental illness (Harry=military/PTSD via veterans, William=working, Kate=women? Truly not sure).

    I like that Kate wore a pencil-styled dress!

    Not-so-good: As someone above me said, this is a word salad plain and simple. They’re selling us the same old stuff but using different adjectives/nouns/etc.

    Also, I wish that other types of mental health is being featured. One that is personal to me, is mental illness being formed either via PTSD through surgeries (either routine operations or more something more serious) or addiction to pain medications due to a life-changing event. I’ve either experienced first-hand or seen it through someone close to me. It’s not pretty and can easily destroy you and simply “talking to someone” isn’t enough. You might accidently choose the wrong person to talk to who will make you feel worse than you already are. (A dear transplant friend is going through that and had to cut ties with that person!)

    I swear, the material for that dress reminds me of long johns!

    Finally: I’m sorry but I truly believe Harry has to bring himself down to W&K’s level whenever he’s with them at an engagement. Whenever he does one by himself, he’s absolutely fantastic and you truly believe him when he says he’s doing behind the scenes stuff. When he’s with them? That magnetism is brought down by a lot and it’s sad to see.

    Alright, that’s all I’ve got.

    1. The one thing I took away from the photos was that Harry really was looking into the eyes of the young man to whom he was talking. He showed great interest in the man and I think that’s wonderul. In the photo of Kate and William talking to others, William did seem more interested in the subject of the conversation, too. But, not as engaged one-on-one with the person.

      The entire bent of their speeches always say that it’s important to have someone to speak with if you experience depression/anxiety, etc. Ok, we hear that time and time again, but people will start to tune out unless more facts are given and more info is shared that people can relate to.

      It’s goog that each spoke and kudos to Kate for biting the bullet. She spoke more than a sentence and I am sure that was difficult, as she seems to hate public speaking. What she said, though? Well nothing major.

      As for her dress, I hated it. I’m not a fan of Erdem, though.

      I so wish they took the time to come together and flesh things out as to what they want Heads Together to be for them and how each of them can best help. Can you imagine them actually getting together for several days and hammering out points that would help the organization. They could also come up with some unique ideas as to what they could really do to help. Obviously, this is important to therm, but we need to know what each is really feeling/thinking.

      Hey, Kimothy, enjoy your new digs!

      1. I totally agree about Harry. I can’t explain it really, but he is listening while K and W are just pretending to listen…

      2. You make some good points about Harry, jenny! It’s true, he’s awesome when it comes to simple eye contact with an individual.

        And thanks! My place is all unpacked and settled courtesy of Mom (mostly) and me (Dad helped with the heavier things 😉 ) but whew! I’m pooped!

        OH! Slightly changing topics: a little over two years ago (at the first Invictius Games in the UK), a transplant friend went there because her daughter is a retired member of the U.S. military and was competing. Who did my friend get her picture with (and talk to a bit AND mention her transplant)? None other than Harry himself! It’s a great picture and he’s looking directly at the camera and everything. Looks even better than we imagine, dang! Her birthday is uber close with his and (of course) shared that information with him. When I (jokingly) told Rita (my friend) that he’d have to squat/bend down to pose with me she said he’d be more than happy to bend down and give lil bitty me a hug! Whoa!! Hahaha! Just thought I’d share that Harry story that I totally forgot that I had haha!

    2. From what they an KP have said, Harry is about vets/PTSD, William is about male suicide, and Kate is about children. None of them care about women.

      1. For real?! **face palm** My bad and dang! Don’t get me wrong; children definitely have issues too but, what about the mothers experiencing PPD and just unable to cope with motherhood?

        1. I’ve read that this is Kate’s brain child. If it is, I’m not surprised. She’s shown she has no follow through or work ethic. Or it’s a veiled attempt to get help for herself. Or someone is pulling strings to make it look like she has a brain, but it falls flat.

      2. Why do I get the feeling that children are kind of forced onto Kate? She just doesn’t seem natural with them despite what the media tries to sell us.
        Speaking as a mother of one, I am not very fond of children. I love my own, as I am sure Kate does hers, but other people’s kids just drive me crazy. That is the vibe I get from Kate whenever she is around kids. She is just there but there is no spark, no passion…

        1. When she first married there was an attempt to brand Kate as ‘The Children’s Princess’; it didn’t take. She’s not naturally warm and kids pick up on that. The role requires that quality as well as an interest in people, and a drive to do good. Again, not her thing. It’s playing to convention to attach a woman to children even if she has no interest in them, because all women ‘must’ love children.

          I’m not sure what Kate is passionate about. As has been said before, she is more a gym rat rather than being interested in sport. Nor is she a ‘hands on’ person like Harry. Not sure where that leaves Kate in finding her niche.

          1. KP really shot themselves in the foot by attempting to brand her this way. It’s gone on for long enough that now it would be awkward to completely change course. Would’ve been better to brand her as the sporty or outdoorsy or artsy princess. Something she actually enjoys so she can shine a bit more and hopefully not have to force her enjoyment so much.

        1. At some point KP said William’s focus was young men and male suicide. I don’t know if that’s changed, but at some point that’s what they said.

  13. As someone who has spent a lifetime battling anxiety and depression which included a stay as a inpatient, i applaud their efforts to bring mental health issues and in particular the stigma, into the open and the mainstream.

    However, I agree it is getting like groundhog day now, same words, same speeches, but lack of action or concrete measurable goals.

    It all seems so superficial, have a conversation, help each other etc etc. But that’s not enough, mental health services in the UK are in severe crisis, if you go to your GP you can wait months before you get an appointment to see a counsellor or psychiatrist. There are increasing numbers of mentally ill people living on the streets because there is no support to keep them stable.

    I know they have to be careful to avoid politics but chatting about depression and having conversations is putting a plaster on an amputation, it isn’t going to do nothing.

    There is so much scope here but it needs focusing, a proper project plan and report back. Also ignoring the press is childish and petty and is not going to help. They are criticised in the press for not doing enough work, so don’t blame the messenger!

    This event today smacks of a poorly planned, knee jerk reaction to recent criticism and as such it was a huge wasted opportunity.

    1. The burden falls to voluntary groups rather than pressuring governments to adequately fund health services. They could be using their influence in this way as well. Let’s not pretend that the monarchy is squeaky clean in not interfering or not having influence in government. They have and they do. Might as well do something for people rather than themselves.

    2. This campaign is total bullshit. It does nothing. For a real campaign about mental health, check out the Bell Let’s talk campaign in Canada that is held every year and where well known Canadian like Howie Mandel talk about their own experiences with mental illness which can actually help others who experience mental illness.

      Meanwhile, Kate, who is a 35 year old woman who still can’t bother to give a speech and wears a mop of hair like a security blanket, whispers sweet nothings and pretends that no one sees the obvious, which is that she clearly suffers from social anxiety if not more, which makes her a hypocrite and in fact harms their entire cause. If she actually admitted that she had the issues that we all have seen for many years, then she would actually be a spokesperson worthy of the cause.

      And William has massive anger issues that he has clearly never resolved which is not the sign of a mentally stable person either.

      People with mental illness need to feel that they are not alone, and not be spoken to from above, especially not the royal clods. I find this whole campaign offensive.

      1. Absolutely Nic919! I was going to bring up the very well-known Bell Let’s Talk campaign in Canada- I would say this campaign sponsored by Bell Media and getting big-name Canadian celebrities on-board has helped change the national conversation around mental health and promoted more awareness. Also, the Let’s Talk campaign donates to mental health causes in the community and puts money towards new research. Is this Heads Together campaign doing any of that? It is well and good that they want to change the conversation on mental health, especially considering that the classic Brit “stiff upper lip” is an art form…however, they do not outline where the money from the Marathon is going to go? What causes will it fund? Will they open new mental health support services, in order to help increase access? Will this campaign lobby government to put more money in mental health services in the NHS?

        1. I am SO glad you guys brought up the Bell Let’s Talk campaign and that money raised through this initiative funds research. Bell Canada donated millions of dollars to the hospital where I did my Ph.D., and that money went directly to help support and fund a brain bank where families with loved ones who had committed suicide could donate this precious and invaluable material.

          For many family members dealing with the tragedy of losing a loved one to suicide, they often said that donating their child/brother/father/mother/sister/husband/wife’s tissue could bring a glimmer of good from a horrible situation and help us, as scientists and researchers, better understand and learn about mental illness so we can treat and ultimately, prevent it.

          As you can imagine, I have so many problems with this pet project of William, Kate and Harry’s. Many of those sentiments have been eloquently aired and discussed by other posters here. Yes, talking about mental illness is incredibly important. If we are talking about it, then our policy makers, philanthropists, elected representatives and every day individuals make it a priority, and ensure that money is available to fund research, run laboratories, collect data and interpret findings. Then people like me can do our jobs and really make a dent in understanding mental illness, especially since there is still so much we don’t know about the human brain. For example, many of the drugs used to treat depression, anxiety and schizophrenia were developed in the 80’s and are still in use today… even though we know they don’t always work. In many instances however, its all we have. This has to change, and its getting there, but it takes time and lots of money.

          So, we actually have to talk about mental illness, and not Kate’s hair. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to me that this has become a wasted opportunity.

          1. Some of the meds my mother was prescribed in the 80s and 90s were brutal on her. There was this one drug that caused muscle paralysis as a side effect and she had to take another drug to prevent this particular side-effect.

      2. This campaign leaves a lot to be desired. There’s so much they could do even if they don’t have actual ideas on how to tackle the mental health struggles people face.
        1. They could raise awareness of the charities under HeadsTogether focusing on exactly what they do and where and how to donate to them. They could also host fundraising events and put the spotlight through a big event on the people who have been helped by these charities to inspire more people to get help.
        2. They could hold events on raising awareness of mental health issues. Many people are familiar with the terms but maybe not the symptoms or the treatment options. Part of the stigma probably comes from the fact that the most well known treatments of mental health issues are therapy and medication. Both can be scary. What other options are there? Who offers these options? How can you start the talk about it to your boss, co-workers etc. so that you get a more supportive environment without the fear of people thinking you are just trying to get special treatment?

        There’s so much they could do or say and they just need like 2-3 big events a year like a public day camp where they show up for the opening and do a brief tour/press event then leave.

  14. I agree with KMR and would add a personal and UK perspective – as someone who has had mental health issues in the past, access to NHS services and workplace support count for more than conversations. Services are being cut to shreds at present and while conversations may help the stigma that surrounds mental health, it is nebulous and patronising to suggest talking, alone, will solve the problem.

    I’m still confused by the whole campaign – even how it was chosen. Did they run through the major causes (environment, literacy, the services, animals, children) and none of the other royals were doing this? Did they like the fact that they wouldn’t have to ask anyone for money so could carry on wearing £1000 dresses without feeling a pang of guilt? Did it naturally tie in with interests or were they bored of hospices? Was it impossible to measure impact so no-one could say they’ve failed? I’m genuinely baffled.

    I’m looking at their website to give me a sense of what they do, what they want to achieve and how I could get involve: https://www.headstogether.org.uk/get-involved/

    I’m encouraged to follow on social media and watch some videos. They don’t make it easy to donate to individual charities and the FAQs page is worryingly blank.

    My biggest concern is anyone thinking the page will offer advice about support for mental health issues. It rather blandly states that “The good news is that here in the UK there is there is always someone to turn to” (is there?), followed by links to the Mind, Combat Stress under the headings ‘for parents’, ‘for young people’, ‘for men’. No ‘for women’, so get on that one, Kate. There isn’t any advice for anyone who might need more than a conversation – a link to NHS Direct or the Samaritans would have seemed very sensible somewhere on this page for people with urgent mental health issues.

    I’m also surprised that under ‘about us’ there is no information about staff or other trustees, which is weird for any charity or campaign.

    All in all a pretty disappointing effort.

    1. I used to think it was a ruse for Kate to get some help with out getting it. That could just be me projecting that I think she needs some =) she gave some bizarre reason why being interested in it IMO. She never looks comfortable with children or the sick, so they should have picked something else.
      I now think someone else picked it out for them. The ambiguity of the campaign aids in their laziness as all it appears they do is spew a few catchphrases and call it good. They don’t seem to want to delve deeper into other areas of mental health.
      Harry’s the only one that has shown a real interest in mental health with his PTSD work.

    2. Future Crayon, you bring up some valid and concerning points. They don’t have staff and board members listed on their website? No FAQ page or further information and links about services available for different segments of the population? No women-centric services that can include things like mental health for assault and abuse survivors, post-partum depression, multi-cultural health for diverse populations (people from many immigrant communities would face even more stigma in disclosing and even talking about their mental health)…???

      1. No – it still seems that Heads Together is a campaign sitting under the Royal foundation.

        I’ve some experience of the charities sector and this campaign lacks the sort of basic transparency I’d expect. It also seems to be largely a branding exercise for W,K and H who are now obviously world leaders in the field of mental health advocacy.

        1. Yes, it is just that: a branding exercise for William, Kate and Harry. That much is clear. The principals at the top ‘preach’ the same message unconvincingly, while the charities do the grunt work and hope for some funds from HT. I have no idea what the point of today’s meeting was; they are repeating the same chants as in previous outings. What is new here?

    3. At a recent benefit, the HT people kept potential donors away from individual charity reps in case of ‘poaching’. Very cynical. The HT site is not good for some of the reasons you mention. As I see it, HT is a collection point for money which the trio will distribute according to their interests. It will be interesting to see who gets what when the next accounts are released. I did read that individual charities are experiencing more people accessing their services; not sure if that is a result of NHS services being cut or publicity via HT. Trouble is these charities don’t have the resources to cope with such increased demand.

  15. Just dropping in for a quick comment so I haven’t read what others have posted.

    At quick glance, I thought this was another version of her LK Bennet blue poppy dress she first wore in Australia. It’s the same silhouette with the same floral design. Yawn is all I’ve got for it. At least it’s not a totally hideous Erdem. I really should just acknowledge that Kate and I don’t have the same taste when it comes to dresses and patterns.

    As for the campaign “goals”. I hate to say it, but I’m not surprised. I get the feeling it’s more of a “Here’s a name you guys can all work under. Now go do charity!” And they don’t really have an idea what that “charity” is.

    I haven’t watched the speeches yet. It looks way longer in length than anythig we’ve seen/heard from Kate. So kudos for that. I’ll reserve judgment on the delivery of the speech for after I’ve watched it.

  16. The charities under the Heads Together banner tend to disappear or morph together because specific services/objectives are not outlined with sufficient clarity. I agree with others that ‘starting the conversation’ and ‘ending stigma’ are hopelessly generic, repetitive and simplistic to the point of naivety.

    William, Kate and Harry are three people whose lives are whitewashed to an extreme level; they are not the best choices to champion open communication. I’m not convinced that they appreciate the depth and breadth of mental health issues. I’m not convinced they do much at all beyond rocking up the fluffy press conferences – their performances are woefully amateur and look ‘off the cuff’. Personally I cringe when the trio talks about ‘their work’ in mental health.I also detect the inference of their being above such concerns themselves because their status equals superiority. There is a lack of honesty on display here. W+K talk only about getting help should their children (the props) need it.

    I checked the HT website and there are decent links to each charity partner as a starting point. However, I’d reorganise that aspect of the site to bring each charity to the fore, and where help is available much more clearly.

    That ‘behind-the-scenes’ meetings will now be recorded as part of the CC is a cynical tricky-dicky move on the part of the BRF. The trio’s numbers are woeful; they are incredibly lazy by anyone’s standards and this seems the only way to bump up numbers since the trio is not going to do substantially more public gigs. Does anyone believe the ‘secret meetings’ Kate had? Will people believe this new version?

    KMR, could you start recording these too, if possible? How does one prove they actually happened and are not padding?

    1. One thing’s for sure, with no media to capture arrivals & departures these meetings will be brief. I wouldn’t even be surprised if a Skype call with the office counted as a ‘planning meeting’.

      My cynicism knows no bounds but I can actually see the Lazies plotting to get their numbers up without actually changing anything. As Marc Bolland once said. It’s very important to make the Royals look busier than they actually are and that was about the PoW who actually does have a work ethic and wants to make a difference.

    2. About the behind the scenes which were recorded is not a novelty, it was already the case in 2016 : like the meeting of Harry with Invictus or with the president of Malawi and Bostwana.

      1. I think official meetings have always been recorded, they are for HM & PoW in their official roles but it’s the planning meetings that are new to the agenda and raising a few eyebrows. One could argue that every time a Private Secretary briefs their boss they is engaging in a ‘planning meeting’. My issue is that it’s a very loose and woolly catch all probably for doing b****r all in the case of William & Kate to fudge their PPP. (Piss Poor Performance)

    3. If I’m being cynical: if it’s William and Kate people don’t believe the meetings happened, and if it’s Harry they do.

      1. Yes absolutely. ‪@_peppersmint_ ‬gives numerous examples of Harry’s work that is done behind the scenes and not recorded in Court Circular. In fact this poster frequently challenges KP on why Harry’s work is often not recorded officially when Kate & William’s is. If I ever want to know what Harry’s up to I check this poster.

      2. I believe Harry because people see him and have mentioned it, seeing him leave meetings for Invictus for example before they were counted; W&K I can’t imagine showing up to an meetings considering William is so proud he never reads his briefings!

      3. Well, the press didn’t catch William and Harry out shopping during the time of the annual meeting for the trio’s royal foundation. Ditto when they caught KM out shopping and taking their son out instead of attending the funeral in Belgium, after the BRF said no one was available because they were all working.

        Sometimes there is photographic proof one way or the other. It ends up being twitter and people on the street who find the proof, whether it is Harry working at the rehab or someone out shopping again.

      4. People want to give Harry the benefit of the doubt because he’s likable, handsome, and charming. Once he loses his looks things will change. Let’s face it, life is easier when you are considered attractive. Even scientific studies show this. (Side note I truly believe that’s part of the reason Beatrice and EugenieI get such a hard time in the press. If they were seen as more traditionally attractive they’d get a bigger pass imo) I also have a feeling that once Harry marries and has kids, people will also change their opinion because his wife will also spend an exhorbitant amount on clothes, and I can see Harry being just as obnoxious as William about access to his kids.

        1. I actually don’t find Harry physically attractive at all, and I’m bemused by the people who think B&E are unattractive because I’ve always found them very pretty. I think Harry is more attractive as a human because he cares more about the work he does, even while I agree that he needs to do far more.

          1. I think B&E are lovely and feel so bad for them whenever the press and public give them so much sh!t over their looks and make such nasty rude remarks.

          2. Beatrice and Eugenie seem self-conscious. Perhaps they are ashamed of their family-past and didn’t learn much strongness.
            I like them as anybody else. It doesn’t matter how they look (and I think they shouldn’t try to copy Kate or someone else). They should be proud of what they are, the grandchildren of the Queen of England. They didn’t do anything wrong and aren’t accountable for the faults of their parents.

        2. True, and relative youth also plays into giving Harry the benefit of the doubt. But as the focus shifts to his personal life, people have started to question how he spends his time and there seems to be a re-assessment of Harry happening. Given he keeps under the radar, there is no reason to think that should he marry and have children, they will have many public moments beyond official family occasions. The brothers are more similar than not.

          I don’t find Harry particularly attractive though he has an easy manner in public that is appealing. The York girls I think are attractive; at times they look stunning. They suffer from being tarred by their parents’ many indiscretions more than anything else. If Beatrice settles into a job, as her sister has done, that might hopefully quiet critics somewhat.

        3. i think Eugenie is actually beautiful. Bea not so much but most of that is because I’m not a fan of her fashion.
          It’s Harry’s charm and warmth that makes him attractive to me but as I said finding him less so as he appears to be floundering with wanting to work more.
          William is so unattractive to me because I think he’s generally a jerk and it shows

        4. I agree with you, Carter. I think the idea that Harry is going to be more open with his kids than William is, is a pipe dream. Harry is much more like William than some people are willing to admit, and considering Harry’s kids aren’t the heirs and won’t even be Prince/Princess (as long as QEII is alive) they will have no reason to be shown more than George and Charlotte, so Harry won’t show them more.

          1. He’d be more justified in it, being more like Edward and Sophie and keeping them out of the public eye as much as possible.

            Harry’s kids (if he has them), will never be working royals and may not end up being titled. They will not be supported by the taxpayers once they leave the family home (hopefully as gainfully employed adults at 22).

          2. Exactly. Harry is more justified in keeping his kids hidden than William is. And they have the same hatred of the media. Some people have said that Harry will be much more open with his kids than William is. But that’s a pipe dream based on the fact that they like Harry and dislike William and Kate so they want Harry to be everything they think is wrong with William and Kate including being much more open with his kids. Harry has the same hatred of the press William does, and a much better excuse to hide his kids away. So we will certainly see way less of Harry’s kids than William and Kate’s kids.

        5. To be honest I’ve always given Harry a pass because I see Diana’s compassionate nature in him. I find him on the whole genuine, loving and caring. I find the idea that he’s naughty but not cruel plausible. I’m sure he has some traits he shares with his brother but look how children react to him, you can’t fool children. They know the real deal when they encounter it.

  17. I wonder if W and H picked mental health because of the mental health problems that Diana (depression, bulimia) had and seeing first hand how much pain it caused her. Also, a few years ago Penny Junor basically called Diana crazy and how much that damaged W and H. That must have really gotten under their skin.

    1. I’d say that the topic was suggested to them and paid staff have developed HT with overall sign-off from the trio. I don’t see them as any more than figureheads.

      1. Yes, mental health is ‘trendy’ and hey, they get kudos from the PM in her speeches for showing up and doing nothing for this HT thing. It’s a good gig they got going. W&K don’t have to do anything. They don’t even prepare! Harry I don’t think even was involved in the beginning, he always seems totally roped into this as if someone said, “BTW you’re coming with us.” Like how they didn’t have a podium for him at the event last year because he wasn’t supposed to speak since it wasn’t originally his thing.

        I just keep thinking of all the things Charles has done and his patronage of charities like Samaritans. What if, what if, they had his work ethic and drive to make things better. 🙁

  18. How utterly disappointing yet expected.

    Sigh. I feel like you do, KMR.

    Look at what Charles has accomplished with TPT and his other organizations. Heck, look at Harry and Sentebale or Invictus. If they really get in there and do things, there are amazing things royals as public personages who people look up to and listen to for whatever reason can do.

    But they choose to do as little as possible, pat themselves on the back and whine the press is oh so mean and bad to them (less Harry than W&K though I know Harry has a problematic relationship with the media, he at least respects they are doing their job).

    What, then, is the point of this HT other than get money for a bunch of vaguely related mental health chariites under an umbrella and not even give them the blasted money?

    If this were run well and if they had more involved royal patrons it could do an amazing thing.

    Charles, HT needs your help, you’re their only hope! lol Slap your boys silly, make them do their job and go above and beyond stupid platitudes and appearances and mumbling awful speeches! (The latter more Kate, tbh.)

    Um, I like the dress. The shoe choice was awful with it though.

  19. I am now of the conclusion that this whole Heads Together thing has been done to give an excuse to Kate to buy new clothes, for William to be seen doing something and for Harry to have a job and be seen doing something. And for all 3, to just get some positive PR. But they forget that to get positive PR, they need to show their basic good manners to the press. Really, people with such rudeness are somehow considered classy and royal?

  20. I completely agree with you KMR. Along with the commenter about “word salad. All fluff yet no meat here. Same old blah blah. Mental health is such a broad topic. Their tag line is start a conversation are they going to hash tag it to? Mental is very important. Yet what is the message here? Also being rude to the press. I get they do not like them. Yet if want publicity for your charity. You need the press. As for Harry I feel like he has to dumb himself down. For Tweetle Dee and Tweetle Dumb. I really do think they probably tell Harry to do that. Tone down don’t outshine the future King and Queen of Lazy. Like he needs to know his place.

  21. I think as long as people won’t change and there are unfairly given means-just look at Kate, she has everything a person should have, money, always healthy food, extremly supportive parents and siblings, it’s great- but as long as all others see how life could be but they don’t have the means to do it, a huge amount of people will have depressions. It’s the knowledge what is wrong in the world, what is wrong with your own life but there seems to be no way for yourself to change it.

  22. I think it’s a very strategically chosen “hands off” cause. What can really be done other than an overarching message that “It’s ok to ask for help!” It’s not like Kate is going to man a suicide hotline. Imagine that?

    If they really wanted to make a difference in mental health, William could work one on one in grief counseling or at least speak about it. Kate could talk about body issues and eating disorders. Even if she doesn’t actually have one, she’s very clearly affected by body image. It would be wonderful to hear her discuss such things. Harry would work with soldiers on PTSD. But this top-line message will never have much substance because this set of royals refuses to open up. That’s fine, if that’s not your thing – attack homelessness by distributing sleeping bags or help the hungry by working in a soup kitchen. Nope, easier just to headline an organization (that I’m sure does a lot of good in spite of them) vs getting your hands dirty.

    I know I’m in good company with the thought that William thinks he’s had a rough life. And I guess I might too if my mother was taken from me because of my family’s public image. Remember, his friends live in at least the same, if not more financial comfort than he does without the duty. It’s a shame he sees it as such a burden. I don’t blame Kate much. I think she’s just happy to follow his lead. I do hope this doesn’t hold Harry back. He’s got a lot of spunk and could do a lot of good out there.

    In other news, she looks great. Best she’s looked in ages.

    1. She chose to do nothing for a decade, nothing but wait by the phone for a prince to call. I think it is fair to blame her for her laziness now, as she showed for a decade that she had no interest in working for a living. William didn’t make her this way, they just enable each other’s laziness.

      Diana wasn’t taken from him because of the BRF’s image. She was killed because she got in a car driven by a drunk and didn’t put on her seat belt.

      Many members of the aristocracy are land rich and money poor. See the excellent series Great Estates Scotland to see what it takes to earn the money to replace a square mile of roof on a crumbling mansion.

      William may experience a weekend shooting party and think, “None of my friends work, why should I?”. The reality is, most of them are scrambling to earn money and keep the family estates together. Those shooting parties are one of the many ways they try to earn money. ex. The shooting party Carole booked for Boxing Day.

      1. @notasugarhere I happen to agree with what you’ve said. I was never a huge Diana fan. I’m sure she did some good, no doubt, but moreover she was a hot mess.

        As for W&K I think they do truly enable each other. William feels put upon with “duty” and Kate feels she’s doing her duty at home (in whatever capacity she actually raises the kids).

        One thing is for sure, it really highlights royals like Queen EII and The Princess Royal. They really do work. Queen Elizabeth had to step up at a young age after the loss of her dad and the mess that was King Edward. Not easy but well done. Princess Anne is always working! So much opportunity there.

        I’m fine with her not doing more than her future king husband wants to do, but maybe just wear one of the over 100 coat dresses or 250 day dresses that must be in the collection now.

        Show up less in new clothes and donate money to charities.

        It will be interesting to see now that they’re committing to more work. What will that look like?

        1. I don’t believe they have committed to more work. I’m sure they have committed to business as usual – spin, hide, pretend, obfuscate, vacation, complain, and lie. I do expect a bump in “work” around the trial in France.

  23. It wasn’t just Palmer who complained about how rude William was. Emily Andrews said “Said hello and Wills ignored… oh dear.” William really needs to learn to play nice with the media. Here he is wanting to get people talking about mental health and asking people to help, yet you ignore the media that you are asking help from. He is totally clueless.

    As others have said the speeches were just the same old things they have said in the past. I think every time they talk about mental health one of them mentions that you wouldn’t hesitate getting help for a broken leg, so it should be the same for mental health (or something to that affect). I am also so tired of William and Kate mentioning their work every time in speeches. It is like they have to remind us of all they do and how hard they work. This whole campaign makes no sense.

    On a positive note, Kate looks beautiful. She must have just gotten her hair done. It is the best it has looked in years. More like the Kate from the first year of marriage.

    BTW, the rumor is that the royal trio will participate in the BBC special. I hope that is true and they will give more than a couple of sound bites.

    1. Overit: Was that Emily Andrews who said “morning” and Will ignored her? That was so rude. The video is on the Daily Mail. She sounded like she was right by his side. Why couldn’t he smile and say hello? And Emily seems to write sugary thinks about the royals, too. A little gratitude would be nice.

        1. Emily said on Twitter that she greeted William and he ignored her even though she was only a few feet from him.

      1. Cookie, I don’t for know sure. However, Emily has the video on twitter and she took it, so I am assuming that it was her who said ‘morning’. William is unbelievable rude and really does look down on people. He needs to be careful about being rude to those who do writer surgary things about him.

  24. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4127198/Kate-William-Harry-launch-new-Heads-phase.html

    Yeah, I agree with everyone about the trio being rude. Towards the bottom of this article there is a video of “Duchess Kate Stuns in a New Dress…” with William getting out of the car. You can very clearly hear a woman reporter right near William’s door say “Morning” or “Good Morning” and William totally just walked away with a look of contempt on his face, another male reporter laughs in disbelief in the background. I don’t know if maybe you would like to add that video to your post, KMR or if you had already seen it. It is unbelievably rude and I am glad there is a video of it. Shocking.

    “It’s like telling a person with a broken leg, “Go to the hospital, they’ll fix it”, while the person is going, “I know I’m supposed to go to the hospital, but how do I get there when I can’t even walk?” Heads Together is telling people to go to the hospital, but they’re not helping people get there.”

    This perfectly sums up my feelings about this campaign, which I have talked about before on other posts. I wanted to be positive and had high hopes for the beginning of a new year, but Heads Together and the trio’s work with mental health in general is just as vague as ever.

  25. Kate is at her best (relatively speaking) when she is engaged in a physical task. But she never seems comfortable with public speaking, conversation/small talk, or coaching, which I think is what they are doing here. Kate should abandon this mental health cause in favor of causes which require physical involvement. She could help distribute blankets to the homeless, for example. Anything where she can physically pitch in would play to her strengths. And then she could boast about measurable results (e.g. “DOC helped Charity X distribute 1000 blankets today”.)

    1. @Jane, well said! But as I mentioned above, there’s no interest in getting her hands dirty. She’s happy to “bring awareness” to something but showing up in new clothes and talking about it from a 30,000 ft view. Nothing of physical action.

      I do agree with you that she’s better when moving in sporty settings. Maybe teaching kids coming from abusive homes or poverty how to play a sport. Actually on the field with them in sweats and trainers. But that’s a break from her perfect image she works so hard to maintain. Sadly, it would make us love her but this song and dance here today never will.

      1. But that would require she cares about anything or anyone other than herself or her own orbit, which I find hard to believe, sadly.

        It’s so frustrating, isn’t it? She is in a place of being able to do immense amount of good, a privilege I’m sure all of us posting here would love to have; and chooses, happily, to do nothing with it.

      2. Don’t you remember the lecture she gave kids on the camping trip, a physical outdoors activity? That they should turn off the tv and go to the country more often? The whole point of the charity is that the families cannot afford to go to the country, that is why they raise money to take the kids out on these trips. She couldn’t even stay on message and understand what the outdoors charity was about for an hour.

        After an hour, she hopped onto the helicopter, went somewhere to change, then flounced around a polo match. Couldn’t be bothered to work more, had to helo to polo.

        This is also the woman who shows up in a dress and high heels to participate in sport activities with kids. I don’t think she’s “sporty” or interested in sports (other than yachting, men’s tennis, and freebie tickets to the olympics). She’s obsessed with working out, not necessarily interested in sport beyond her personal interests of tennis and yachting. Big difference.

        1. I would go one step further and say she isn’t obsessed with working out. She’s obsessed with being skinny. And to be skinny either means not eating or working out. I workout a lot. My boyfriend is a bodybuilder. Fitness is a huge part of our lives. Kate shows no signs of health or knwoledge of what it means to be healthy. Just because you’re skinny doesn’t mean you’re healthy. She looks more like a cardio bunny. It all comes back to her looks and vanity. How many times have we been told she is active and sporty? But how many times has she shown us? I’d say never. Someone who is active would NEVER show up to a sporting event where you know you will be participating in in sky high heels. Or keep jewelry on. She needs to show off Big Blue. She needs to show off her legs. Kate can be summed up in 1 word: vain.

          1. You are right about that Miss K. Her exercise and green juices are not so much for healthy reasons but to be competitively (imo) thin. The most glaring example to me is that women normally don’t lose baby weight the way she did (especially after Charlotte) if they care about being fit and healthy. But they do if their main concern is being model thin. Unless it’s a mental health issue- and if so, the irony is we’ll never know.

  26. Nagging people to ‘admit they’re not coping’, that’s all they’ve got…. love the dress and shoes. Hair awful.

  27. I’m so disappointed. And like KMR said, it’s my fault. It’s the New year. The holidays just ended. I wanted to be optimistic and totally bought into the trio turning a new leaf. And then this happened. Nothing new was offered. I’m not even convinced they know anything about mental health beyond talking about it might be good for people.

    I’m very passionate about health in general including mental health because I work in the health field. It’s not a joke or a cause du jour to exploit for good PR. Though that seems to be exactly how they are treating it.

    It always bothers me too when people say they want to remove the stigma. You know what matters so much more than the stigma surrounding mental health??? Access to mental health services. There that’s a tangible goal for the heads together campaign. Helping to improve access to mental health services. Even if it’s something simple as advertising the suicide hotline. But the thing is that’s work and requires effort. Giving a word salad speech about how you should call up your friend (if you are lucky enough to have someone you feel close enough to talk to about this stuff) and talk about how your feeling is way easier than outlining how to get help.

    It’s become obvious that this campaign is a way for the trio to seem like they are doing something without actually doing anything at all.

    One last thing. The rudeness shown to the press at this event by all three of them is so petty and juvenile. It’s a public launch of their official charity campaign. Not a private moment on their personal property. Why do they have to be so antagonistic all the time? It’s unbecoming and reflects poorly on them.

    1. Urging greater access to mental health services would be useful and tangible. Surely that’s the point – getting the right help for as long as it is needed. Like you, I think this initiative is a vehicle for looking busy without being busy.

      The rudeness to press is immature. The trio is (laughingly) ‘at work’ and part of their job is to publicise the cause they are allegedly championing. So, it behoves them to be available in this work time. Plus, courtesy costs nothing and is a mark of good manners. But this is nothing new; they have been rude for years and no doubt will continue to be so.

  28. I feel a little torn about this initiative, on one hand… talking about mental health, stressing that it’s nothing to be ashamed of, taking it “out of the closet” as it were, is good thing and perhaps will help some. On the other hand, I agree with so many of the comments, that much more of an impact could be made, if specifics are mentioned… what are the new plans and new thoughts that they can introduced or express? If true changes are to be made, something more concrete is needed instead of them saying the same things over and over again… but highlighting it perhaps can remove some of the stigmas… again I am torn

    1. pretty much everything they do is talk and lecture without walking the walk.

      A shame nobody’s learned from Anne or Charles.

        1. I think he is in some ways, yes. His devotion to his charities proves this. Without him Invictus and Sentebale wouldn’t be here.

          1. I’ve come to the conclusion that for joint efforts, Harry and by extension Kate, has to let William lead. Whatever his contribution, he can’t truly lead, but has to give way to the other two.

            He seems so muddled and unfocused unlike when he is on his own and discussing mental health issues of veterans, his pet project.

            He is focused and pragmatic as well as ready to promote/fundraise for that aspect of wounded soldiers. Message clearly explained. Ditto all his other projects including Nottingham, Big Change, Invictus, Sentebale, WWTW and Help for Heroes.

            It’s so strange that he is so low energy and muddled for HT and the opposite with his other projects which have some aspeft of mental health.

          2. So, so true. It’s almost as if his heart’s not it it and yet we know he deeply cares about PTSD and veterans. If I didn’t know better I would say his style is cramped because he’s having to defer status due to his rank, he can’t be himself and get his sleeves rolled up without showing the other two up and he knows his role is disingenuous with this helicopter style approach to the cause.

            Harry’s so like Diana in so much that the briefings and top line stuff doesn’t really play to his strengths and interests, he needs to press the flesh and be at the sharp end of a cause. This word salad and speech making is just all wrong for him as is being the third cog in a wheel.

  29. I’m past disappointment. It’s always more of the same. Same = not much.

    I appreciate your op-eds and attendant comments around the issue of mental health. Much more informative than anything Kate and William say or do.

    Perhaps that’s a backhanded compliment for WHK because their HT efforts are the springboard for your informative op-eds that create discussions on the topic.

    If only WK knew the work you do!

    Or used your op-eds as a springboard to focus their ideas.

    Personally, i thank you and all other commentors for the information and ideas added to each post.

    1. Maybe this question has already been answered but:
      Can someone tell me why Kate didn’t go to the Endeavor Fund Awards? Why is it just William and Harry?

  30. As someone who has long suffered from depression and who is currently working in the mental health field I feel quite sad that they don’t understand what it is like to have depression. When you have depression, it isn’t easy to have a conversation. Why? Firstly there is a huge amount of stigma around mental health. We always feel ashamed of ourselves that we can’t cope better. But it’s also because we feel like we’d be negatively judged by a lot of people. When someone has depression, we see everything in a negative light, and hence we feel that when we talk to someone they will judge us negatively. We feel like we can’t trust anyone. So I agree KMR, we can’t just talk to anyone we need to speak to the right people; those who are non-judgemental and willing to listen. I wish the trio can talk more about who people can turn to be it suicide help lines or telephone counselors.

    Also they keep mentioning the word stigma. Yes them talking about mental health is great, but how else can they reduce the stigma around mental health? How can they address a world population? Because I’ll be honest, if not for this blog I wouldn’t even have heard of this organisation Heads Together or the work the trio are doing about this issue. The trio and their team need to focus on how they can spread their message out to everyone, not just by attending these sort of conferences where only an exclusive group of people can attend. How about they go to schools, and talk about mental health over there? As someone who has had depression since high school, I would’ve loved a popular figure to come and address the issue of mental health with me. If the trio do want to make a difference in the field of mental health, they need to get really serious about it, because it is a serious issue.

    That’s my take on this whole event.
    P.S. Palmer makes me laugh 🙂 He’s someone who has the guts to say it as it is.

  31. I just don’t understand this ‘umbrella organisation’ thing. Doesn’t it detract focus from the individual organisations doing great work? I would rather hear about the specific work of those organisations instead of a lot of blah blah blah. And im sure the organisations would rather be individually highlighted. Why did Bill Kate and Harry have to invent something else when there were perfectly good organisations there already?

  32. I also noticed how quite it was when they got out of the car. Usually I can hear people in the background cheering or calling their names, etc.. but this time it was pretty silent. As if they’d just pulled up to a friend’s house for a visit. Did anyone else notice that?

  33. I also thnk William’s hatred of the press is colouring his entire ‘work’ life. He just doesn’t want to play the game and use his public position to help any organisation. He is now so offside with the press that all the attention is on him rather than the charity or cause he is supposed to be helping. I think he is totally rejecting the traditional royal role of visits and appearances and honouring and drawing attention to the work of various organisations. Honestly what is the point of creating an umbrella organisation like Heads Together when there are already so many existing mental health organisations and work to highlight and promote? He wants control and to do everything on his terms.

    1. I hope it’s worth it, financially speaking, for the organisations under the HT umbrella. Obviously they signed up to garner much-needed funds in addition to those they raise independently. It’s up to the trio to decide where they want to put the funds. But as we have seen, there is more to mental health than depression and stigma which is all the trio bleat on and on about. William’s control issues are a real problem; Kate and Harry most likely go along with him to keep the peace. There is no point in any of them participating in ‘royal work’ if it is such a burden.

        1. Kitty you have made it plain that you *feel* William won’t be King. You *sense* it. Lovely. Please excuse the rest of us for not confusing your emotions for facts. By all means keep us informed of your psychic predictions. I will continue to scroll over your posts.

      1. If what someone said upthread is true, the HT folks were actively steering funders away from individual charities. Wanted to get the funding to HT umbrella, not to the charities themselves.

        You need a funder who connects deeply with your particular part of the problem and the solution you offer. Denying them the ability to connect with the one-on-one organizations that are doing the active work? Disgusting if true.

        1. Just realized that was you, Jen! That they did such a thing, deliberately keeping the funders away from connecting with individual charities? Proves it is about them and the image of the umbrella, not about getting the charities the funding they need (unless the umbrella gets credit).

          (wrong spot)

          1. Nota, I read this somewhere fairly recently; sorry, can’t recall where but it was a published article I think. It will drive me crazy trying to remember! There were comments from a person who works for one of the charities under the HT umbrella who either attended or their co-worker attended one of the fund-raising events. The person alleged that the HT folk were at the top table with potential big dollar donors and kept the charity reps at bay. There was not much/any mixing, the perception being that HT wanted donations to flow to HT rather than to the individual charities.

            In the article, the person went on to say that HT had raised the profile of the charity, leading to increased demand for services but they did not have the financial resources to meet those needs. The problem was that money from HT had (and has) yet to be allocated to the charities. So it would appear that the logistics are not quite sorted yet.

          2. Or rather that now, HT has put an additional barrier in the way of getting funding to the people who do the real work. Instead of getting funding from the donors themselves, the charities have to go begging to HT and hope that HT deigns to fund them.

          3. Nota, it would have to be a good deal for them, wouldn’t it? They do their own independent fundraising and I assume HT will donate (hopefully) significant sums on top of that.

            Grace H recently did a great break down of how foundations work from an accounting perspective, how and when money can flow. But the choice of who gets how much lies entirely with William, Kate and Harry as it’s their foundation.

          4. Imagine all these hard working organisations seeking this umbrella, hoping against hope that their profiles will be raised, that their donations will increase, that the word gets out about mental health.

            And then they get these 3 duds who don’t even have a game plan, continue to be ignorant about MH, do the barest minimum and rarely show up. It’s like adding another layer of bureaucracy which in the end doesn’t help and might hamper. These 3 indifferent know-nothings will decide the financial fate of recipients?

            Then one day the organisations wake up and realise they’ve been conned.

          5. I couldn’t even tell you any of the organizations under the umbrella. I always view the events as ht so don’t even think they get name recognition by having them as their patrons and under the umbrella.

          6. Oyyy… to me this just all reads as money going to HT so the trio can get a bigger cut. I don’t think any of the charities will actually aee any of the money raised. They’ll find some excuse to keep the money for themselves.

  34. I’m with you KMR. I was on twitter when this was happening so seeing that there was no actual goals outlined was extremely disappointing. I really thought there would details about long term and short term goals but there wasn’t much. I was quite surprised that it was such a quick event too. I didn’t want to say this in the last post but I think that they’re actual goal is simply to raise money during the marathon. Let’s see if this continues beyond the marathon.

  35. 1. I really liked the dress.

    2. She REALLY needs to memorise parts of her speech, so she doesn’t look down so much. I’ve had my primary school students doing an oral presentation and speeches do better than her in terms of engaging the audience and not looking at their notes.

    3. I loved reading Richard Palmer’s tweet that Baldy completely blanked the press pack. What a dick. Will that is.

  36. It’s so sad to me her posture. I think she’s permanetly hunched over now, and she looks weird to me in profile pics with all of that hair.

  37. “Start a conversation”
    “Get our heads around it”
    *le sigh*

    Whoever came up with these hackneyed phrases needs to stop. Like now!

    Less talk more action please!

    I actually like the dress, but don’t think the shoes went with it. And can someone superglue Kate’s hands away from fiddling with her hair?

  38. It’s all about the HAIR & KATE. She wants to be the centre of attention! It’s all fluff & no substance. She just wants to fill her engagement diary – no heart & soul. Just put William & Harry in the mix & you’ll get the Terrible Trio. I’ve had it with them. Very, very disappointed!

  39. I am just going to throw this here because I would love to hear some opinions. I hope you all won’t get it the wrong way.
    Being who I am, I always take everything with a grain of salt. And I admit that I haven’t followed Kate in her pre-wedding years, she came into my radar when she got married. And I remember reading how she was a fresh blood, the modern middle class girl who will bring something new into the monarchy. So much hope. She was given this huge platform and she can do so much, yet she keeps disappointing and doing next to nothing. I remember reading afterwards how she never kept a job, how she was called Waity-Katie for waiting on (and apparently stalking) William all these years prior. Then she took only several patronages and she rarely shows up to even those. I know why she is called the Duchess of Do-Little and so on.
    In the back of my mind, there is always a thought if it isn’t all done to make William happy. Out of the two, he seems like the worse person. He is so hateful towards the press and he usually seems very cold and distant at whatever he does. On the other hand, I have seen Kate looking animated at some of her appearances, like she can genuinely care. Is it possible that her lack of work ethics, short stays at charity functions and general stiffness are a result of what William had prepared her to do? I believe that she truly loves him, albeit in some weird way and she does want to make him happy. Is it possible she is acting like this because he made her believe that’s what she is supposed to do? Kate doesn’t have much personality on her own and for that I blame her overachieving mother but that seems the reason she can’t find her own place. She is handed these patronages and she is told: ok, this is what you are expected to do – care for children because you will be the young mother in the royal family; care for arts because that’s your degree and okay, here are some sports because you really seem into that. Kate is always at her best when she is involved in some sports. This mental health thing doesn’t seem close to her heart at all.
    She just seems lost to me. Stiffened. And because she can’t find her own ground, she just goes around and does something she thinks she is good at – shopping and showing up in new clothes.
    Also so much is expected of her that she has no idea how to handle it so she just doesn’t. Handle it I mean.
    Well, of course, I might be completely wrong and she might be just this empty shell of a person who has utterly no idea what is happening around her. But still… I can’t shake off the feeling that if William was a better person, we would have had a much better Duchess on our hands.
    Thanks to all who have read this stupid rant 🙂 Sorry to have bored you.

    1. Hi m!

      Your rambling makes perfect sense to me! It’s sad that Kate (and Harry) have to turn inwards while on engagements with William to pacify him. It’s sad that the rambunctious little boy and “shy, handsome Wills” has grown into a bitter, aloof, paranoid, manipulative man-child. I hate to think as to what he’s like behind closed doors.

      On the rare occasion, whenever Kate is doing a solo engagement related to something she genuinely loves (like sports), we see a bit of a sparkle in her and are given a small glimpse as to what might’ve drawn William to Kate initially (besides the fact that she walked down a runway in a see-through outfit but that’s beside the point) and it’s wonderful to see though, sadly, these moments are few and far between.

      That’s all I’ve got right now. I’ll try and come back when I’m feeling better (royally upset stomach + beginnings of a sore throat =a Kimothy who is going to crawl under the covers with Missy as soon as she calls in sick at work).


    2. I think she (and her family) have catered to a spoiled man for 15 years because it gets them what they want. Status. Not to make him as a human happy, but to get what they want. If they wanted him to be happy, they’d encourage him to walk away and be a private citizen.

      If she truly cared, she would have done something in the 10 years of waiting by the phone. Or she would be incredibly on-point, prepared, and engaged at every one of her few appearance. Instead it is clear she only cares about the fun stuff – like hanging with Ben Ainslie.

      That is the ultimate problem, as blurted out by her cousin. She doesn’t find other people interesting, struggles to pay attention to things that don’t interest her. She has no interest in charity work or the people around her. William didn’t make her this way, he doesn’t force her to be this way. It is shown time and time again, including her caught on video rolling her eyes at a homeless shelter and during a fund raising event. She is bored, uninterested, and doesn’t want to be there. This is just who she is.

      1. I don’t disagree with your comment except I think it is unfair to characterize that event as “caught on video rolling her eyes at a homeless shelter”– she was rolling her eyes because the lady was shouting at them to keep working and she was actually talking/engaging with the other volunteers while wrapping gifts. She didn’t roll her eyes at homeless people or something… it was actually the most relatable/real I’ve ever seen Kate. Okay, white-knighting over!

        1. I’m not talking about the event in NYC. I’m talking about a visit to Centrepoint with William. She showed up in yet another new outfit ($400+Ralph Lauren sweater dress), identical to the black one she wore to visit children in hospice.

          Sat down, leaned her body and shoulders away from the person next to her, kept shifting in her seat and playing with her hem because she was clearly uncomfortable being there, and rolling her eyes in boredom. She acted like some entitled priss who was there doing forced community service because the judge ordered her to.

    3. I wish I could agree with you, m. Nice rant, BTW.

      William is insufferable and Kate is no victim who has lost her way. She has a choice. She’s not held captive in a fairy tower. She’s a grown woman. And a manipulative one at that. What you see is what you get, and I’m guessing Kate is perfectly content with the status quo. She and her family really are golddiggers.

      Let’s face it, the Dolittles don’t value what many of us great unwashed value- the simple things like compassion, kindness, service, advocacy, charity, and….good manners (which are a sign of respect).

    4. I agree with everything you have said. I don’t think Kate is a bad person or an empty shell of a person. I think she is not a strong, independent person. I think she will follow the lead of stronger people in her life hence how Carole was able to push her and now William. I don’t want to absolve her for everything though. If she grew a backbone I think she could more much better at her role. Let’s be real for a second, being a successful royal isn’t hard. All you have to do is show up to the engagement that was preplanned for you and talk to people that you have been prepped to meet (if you bothered to read your briefing notes). If William pushed her and demanded that she engage more and work more I think she would.

      1. I don’t see a shrinking violet. I see someone who’d like you to believe she’s fragile and cannot handle working 10 hours per week because poor snowflake. The guard getting fired for telling what she’s like behind the scenes was a hint, along with the stories from friends of the screaming matches over Scrabble with William. Their passive aggressive sniping at each other during engagements is another tip off.

        IMO she showed plenty of backbone in ten years of cutting dead any woman who got between her and William. She has plenty of ruthless backbone in her, and as much ambition as her mother. I think she knew what she wanted and her equally ambitious mother helped make it happen. Not against her will, but because it took more than one Middleton woman to land the prince.

        She chooses to be in this relationship because it gets her what she wants. What she didn’t want was the work that came along with bagging the prince.

        1. I agree, nota, with your analysis. I’m not sure achieving her goal has made her happy, and her disinclination to take advice is causing her to make many needless mistakes.

        2. blah blah blah. If Harry would marry and equally ambitious ruthless cunning manipulative competitive woman who has work ethic and the media loves her. Kate is done.

          1. Wasn’t it that she was being driven in to BP not long before the wedding and she didn’t wave at the guard so the guard called her a bitch on Facebook?

          2. Yes, KMR, and another story people at CH talking about how rude Kate was to the staff, dismissive, sniping at them, and expecting them to bend over backwards and give her the world when she was only the girlfriend. W treats staff like this as well; his petulant demanding even behind closed doors they bow and curtsy to him and Kate and call them Sir and MA’am. Even Charles doesn’t require any bowing.

            I’d much rather work at CH than KP for sure.

    5. m, there is a point where a person has to take responsibility for their choices.

      I agree with above respondents to your post. The Middleton’s as a family sought status for years, and took their shot when William was in the frame. It was a united family effort to close the deal.

      Regardless, it was Kate’s choice based on prior information to have a gap year, change universities, select the same course as William and infiltrate his set.

      It was Kate’s choice to to pursue a career after university and live her twenties as William’s courtesan.

      It was Kate’s choice to be whatever William wanted her to be when married: not interested in anything but him, following his lead in terms of attitude to work and so on.

      So the argument is that in order for Kate to hang on to the status and bling (the driver of the above behaviour) she must deliberately do less and be less, just to please William? But there’s a conflict of interest, isn’t there, as Kate is (ultimately) paid by the UK taxpayer to represent them. She wastes money and under-performs because (1) she sucks at the job, and (2) does not care. Year after year, event after event.

      At some point, Kate must own her choices. As has been said recently, when someone shows you who they are, believe them.

  40. Yet another year of promises to “work” and create visions. Yet it never happens. HM’s health scare should have been a wake up call for them. They need to work and do it now. If they are unable to do so, they must step down.

    This whole initiative is vague to me and don’t know how any if this will take flight.

  41. I’ve got nothing on the HT initiative, because I never thought it would go anywhere.

    Stylewise, I still dislike Erdem. Her girly Mary Pickford hair is fighting with this busy print. Her hair is no long her glorious mop; it is aging her. Kate clinging to what she did in her twenties, makeup, hair, too high waistlines, is proof of her stobborness and inability to grow up.

  42. Probably someone already mentioned this, but when I looked closely at that Erdem dress, I noticed that the material weave or maybe it is a small background print, reminded me of thermal underwear that has a floral print.

    Also noticed the DM changed the title of the article about Kate’s “new” hair (and the Heads Together “initiative)to:
    Hairzilla! Kate transforms locks from lank to lustrous…but has she gone too far with her latest transformation?
    By Rebecca English Royal Correspondent For The Daily Mail and Siofra Brennan For Mailonline
    PUBLISHED: 07:11 EST, 17 January 2017 | UPDATED: 18:39 EST, 17 January 2017
    What is up with that?

    1. BostonBrahmin, I mentioned it upthread; it looks like long johns!

      And oooh I didn’t see that article switch-up. The tides are definitely turning for the Cambridges.

      P.S. I’m a native Bostonian!! 🙂

    2. I think it’s payback for snubbing the reporters outside the event. I’m sure all the royal reporters know very well that Kate’s hair is courtesy of wiglets/extensions. Since it is her ‘signature’, the press is a hair’s breadth away from exposing it as fake and this is being signaled to the trio. The message being: “Want to f**k with us? Back at ya.”

      1. +100, Jen. I said upthread (Jan 17th at 12:04pm) that I suspected the DM’s bitchy focus on Kate’s hair was revenge for the snub. If you know how to read between the lines of the article, it was practically *screaming* “Extensions!”.

          1. Rebecca English had a video showing the trio did not answer when greeted by the press when they arrived or respond to the press when one reporter said goodbye. Richard Palmer also tweeted this too.

            Additionally, Mark Cuthbert, another reporter on the royal beat, remarked that W+K refused to speak or acknowledge the press pack on their plane for their 3-week Australia/ New Zealand trip. And we know they barred press on their monastery hike in Bhutan.

            So Kitty, this is normal behaviour for William and Kate ie rude and ill-mannered. It’s really dumb thinking because the press can be a great ally. Conversely, the press can shine a light on them as they really are.

      2. It makes you wonder what else they could expose Jen. That is why it is stupid of William to be so rude to the press. He doesn’t have to like them, but he needs to learn to work and play nice with them.

        1. I’m sure the royal reporters know where the bodies are buried.

          Both parties are doing a job. All they have to be is professional. Do we all like the people we work with?

  43. Great post, KMR! I, too, have my personal experience with mental health and thought what you said about finding someone to listen to you if you do start a conversation was an excellent point. There is still a stigma to depression and other mental health issues, and people do treat it as a weakness instead of an illness. A great way for the trio and HT to take action would be promoting listening skills when someone chooses to start a conversation; resources on how to direct someone to help when they start a conversation; be helpful and empathetic instead of dismissive when someone starts a conversation. There has to be more than just starting a conversation. Also agree that the fact that they are even involved and attempting to promote HT is a positive step forward, but more is needed for real follow through.

    1. Vegas, those are brilliant ideas, I suggest you write to KP and suggest them, who knows they might listen.
      It is just what is needed, focus, raising real awareness and concrete steps to take.
      As an example, because we have always been honest and open in our family regarding mental illness because of a huge family history of all sorts of problems, when my daughter’s were struggling they came to me and my husband and we got them help. When a friend of my daughter’s told her parents she was feeling depressed, their response was ‘what have you got to be depressed about, sort yourself out!’.
      So you are right, if we are encouraging conversations, we need to aid the people listening.

  44. I just want to make a prediction for 2017 here:

    In a few months after Will’s contract with the air ambulance expires and the press has exhausted their stories about how William is going to become a full time royal, Will is going to have Jason tip off the press and tell them that William can’t work full time because it would look like he is usurping his father. So instead, he is going to take a transitional year to focus on being a family man. I already feel like this is where we are headed. His excuse for not working more this year will be that he doesn’t want people to think that the crown is going to skip his father and be handed to him. So he will focus on something like farming or agriculture instead of royal duties.

    Mark my words, you guys. The excuses are coming. Will is going to dig his heels in as much as possible to avoid becoming a full time royal.

    1. Yep. I wish instead of KP leaking that the trio are going to definitely step up this year and work, they just work and let their numbers speak for themselves. I won’t hold my breath.

    2. Don’t worry. Lots of people will be distracted with the kids on show. The Trooping of the Colour, George first day of school, ect…

    3. Sadly I think you are correct Cookie. We all predicted that Will would burn out quickly from his current ‘job’. He gets bored to easily and is trying to find excuses for not working. He and Kate will just been keen to work but always find a reason that they can’t.

  45. I’m weirdly thrown for a loop by the news that Louis and Tessy of Lux are getting divorced. Anyone else? Looking back over the last year it makes sense, but part of me hoped they were going to grow (up) together instead of apart.

    The Luxembourg country divorce rate is 60 percent so I guess it won’t be shocking to the electorate. They had 10 years and two healthy sons. Moving forward happily apart is better than miserable together.

  46. KMR, would you mind writing a post about Kate’s girlfriend days when it’s slow on the royal news front? I wouldn’t want you to do extra work. Totally up to you. But I would like to know about her pre-wedding. I didn’t start following her until after the wedding and bought into the whole fairy tale before I found your site. Man, what an eye opener!

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