Prince Harry mental health speech at Heads Together training day

Prince Harry was in Newcastle on February 21 for another Heads Together London Marathon training day, but unlike when he, William, and Kate did basically nothing on February 5 Harry gave a speech this time.

Harry Heads Together speech Feb 2017

Here is the transcript of Harry’s speech (I cut out the first couple paragraphs for space):

    “Jayne-Anne, Paul and Iain may seem to have very different stories. At their core, though, they share one invaluable lesson – a lesson that is at the very heart of the Heads Together campaign: none of us can get through a mental health difficulties without being willing to have a conversation and being able to admit that we might need some help.
    “William, Catherine and I started this campaign because we saw that fear of judgement, stigma, and outdated prejudice meant that too many people stayed quiet about their mental health challenges. And we saw that this fear of even talking about a problem often meant that issues could quickly escalate out of hand. How is it that for most, the first time mental health is talked about is when they’re already suffering?
    “Stigma cannot and must not be the reason we shy away from equipping ourselves and our families for the day that a dark cloud may appear. I have seen the threat that this fear and stigma poses in my work with veterans and my former Army friends. Guys and girls in the armed services often need to think they are invincible. I know first-hand from my time as an Apache pilot that you do not want anyone to question your ability to cope with pressure and stress.
    “When you are called on to assist with a rescue mission in a dangerous situation, you want everyone to know you won’t be fazed by the challenge. Questioning can bring about doubt, when you know the training will kick in. We all consider ourselves at the top of our game and strive for perfection. We all want to be as professional as humanly possible.
    “What I’ve learned through my work with the Army’s Personnel Recovery Unit, is that this need to be seen as tough and invincible can follow you home from the battlefield. And when the truth is – no one is invincible and anyone who is repeatedly exposed to tress and trauma will need help with their mental health, this pride can become very dangerous.
    “I have met too many people who waited too long to start having that conversation. I have met people who disconnected from their spouses and children rather than admit that they needed to speak to someone. I have sat with a man who struggled to admit he needed help even as he could not stop shaking and blinking as he fought post-traumatic stress. I have met people who considered taking their own lives rather than admit to anything that might make them look weak in the eyes of others. This is why we want to change the way we talk about mental health.
    “It’s the reason I try never to use the ‘D’ in ‘PTSD’ because I don’t think it’s helpful to label people unnecessarily with a ‘disorder’ – and I’ve seen with my own eyes some of the worst cases recover. It’s the reason we want to work with all of you to have conversations at work, with your friends, with your family to confront any notion that a mental health challenge needs to be kept quiet.
    “For me it’s as simple as this: if you have a persistent painful issue with your knee, you wouldn’t hesitate to speak to your friends about it or to go to the doctor to get it checked it out. You do that because you know if a problem is left unaddressed it could get worse, not better. And you don’t hesitate to speak about it because you know there is no shame in a bad knee!
    “Our mental fitness is no different. If you feel stressed or like a cloud is hanging over you, you cannot know how to fix that feeling unless you start speaking about it. It is hard admitting something is wrong, especially when you can’t explain it. Not knowing what depression feels like, not knowing what the cure for anxiety is.
    “What I really want to say is that if you do have the courage to speak about it you really can make things better – trust me. Mental health challenges are not a life sentence. I have seen people go from their lowest point – physically shaking, or unwilling to leave the house, or even with suicidal thoughts – to a place of real optimism and resilience in a relatively short space of time. Recovery really is possible. But it can’t happen if we aren’t willing to have that conversation. I can assure you, not talking about it will make it worse, and talking about it will equip you for the days ahead.
    “So please, when you go back to your desks speak to your colleagues about how you cope with stress. When you go home tonight, maybe tell your kids that sometimes you struggle with your emotions and that it is ok to talk about it. Or instead, maybe pick up the phone to a friend who you suspect may be finding it hard to admit that something isn’t right.
    “If we are all willing to have these conversations, we will end the stigma around mental health once and for all. That’s what Heads Together is trying to achieve – removing the stigma to pave the way for better access to services that can help.”

[royal.uk]

I have some issues with this speech, but overall I can’t help thinking why can’t whoever is writing Harry’s and William’s speeches on mental health write Kate’s speeches on mental health? Because while there are some issues here, this is a much better speech than Kate has ever given on the subject.

I like that Harry gave examples of why soldiers would have a problem opening up after coming home from war, and examples of people he has met who were unwilling to open up. But if the royals and Heads Together really are only focusing on depression and anxiety, then they need to say those specific mental health issues when speaking and not use the blanket term of “mental health” since they are only focusing on one specific issue under the very broad “mental health” banner.

Here is a video of most of his speech. He really needs to memorize his speeches more so he’s not staring down at his notes so much.

Here are some more photos from Harry’s time in Newcastle.

88 Comments on Prince Harry mental health speech at Heads Together training day

  1. Aks
    February 27, 2017 at 3:16 am (2 months ago)

    When royals stick to one topic, is it impossible for them to attend any other kind of event??
    This mental health discussion all the time is making me so sick.

    • Birdy
      February 27, 2017 at 3:37 am (2 months ago)

      I agree Aks. It is one thing to have a main focus, but at the cost of all other issues? And they are not really focusing on mental health but a very small part of mental health…anxiety, depression and ptsd. There are so many other mental health issues that cannot be resolved by talking. They all seem to either not understand or ignore issues like bipolar, schizophrenia etc .
      The issues they tackle are important but they don’t seem to understand that mental health is a much bigger, wider topic.

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 27, 2017 at 3:53 am (2 months ago)

      I get that W&K&H are focusing on Heads Together to promote it for the London Marathon, but I just wonder what will happen after the London Marathon and will W&K&H let Heads Together and “mental health” drop completely off their radar. Kate has a history of just dropping causes, and they don’t really seem to have a plan for after the London Marathon.

      • Jen
        February 27, 2017 at 3:59 am (2 months ago)

        To be honest, KMR, all I want them to do is hand over some decent amounts of money to those organisations who have seen increased demand for their services but lack the financial resources to help under such pressure.

      • Red Tulip
        February 27, 2017 at 9:38 am (2 months ago)

        But if Kate drops this cause, then she won’t have any more excuse to buy and parade around in hideous clothes. No for that reason alone, I foresee Kate sticking with this cause du jour for now.

      • Carter
        February 27, 2017 at 2:16 pm (2 months ago)

        Didn’t they say that Heads Together was going to last for a year and end at the London marathon or did I just make that up?

        • katemiddletonreview
          February 27, 2017 at 2:39 pm (2 months ago)

          I have not heard that before.

          • Carter
            February 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm (2 months ago)

            I guess I made it up then!

    • Sarah
      February 27, 2017 at 11:39 am (2 months ago)

      Well in theory there is also there conservation effort. Harry seems to go during the summer and William is essentially all talk. And it seems to be Africa centric. Conservation of wildlife elsewhere doesn’t seem to be important to either one of their efforts.
      Kate also has her art patronage. Which she seems to do stuff when there’s pictures of her =)
      There could be easy engagements with all of these but they don’t seem willing

      • Clem
        February 27, 2017 at 12:03 pm (2 months ago)

        For conservation, they have the engagements during the tour too. But not an initiative in the UK

        • graymatters
          February 27, 2017 at 1:03 pm (2 months ago)

          Charles does a lot with UK-centric conservation. Harry helped him out once when he spoke out against American Gray squirrels killing off the British Red Critters. No, I’m not making this up. Apparently, the American Grays are brash, competitive, prolific breeders, and hell on the environment. Charles’s coronation fields are his way of returning meadowland and native species to the UK. He’s done a lot of quiet, non-sexy, low-media-coverage stuff. I wish Harry would work with his father consistently on this.

          • Sarah
            February 27, 2017 at 1:41 pm (2 months ago)

            I saw Charles and the squirrels! It made me smile. I think Harry would be great at doing conservation programs in the U.K. with kids to help get them interested in conservation.

        • Carter
          February 27, 2017 at 1:57 pm (2 months ago)

          I would love to see Harry and William work with conservation efforts in the UK. I would begin to take their efforts and platitudes on the subject more seriously.

  2. Jen
    February 27, 2017 at 3:52 am (2 months ago)

    Again, it’s the same ‘start a conversation’ spiel. The campaign, or whatever it is, has not progressed past the vaguery of the ‘mental health’ message. It needs to progress to something more specific eg depression, anxiety. Anyone listening with undiagnosed issues would be left dangling as to what to do. I wish they would link particular aspects of mental health to the various organisations under the HT umbrella. I appreciate the perspective of veterans though this is a group who have endured a particular type of stress; I’m not sure how the ‘ordinary’ person can relate to it, or perhaps might feel that they should not complain as they have not been to war. And yes, Harry should be better prepared; he’s given the same speech many times before. Given the superficial repetitiveness of phrases, I’m not convinced that the trio is as involved or as knowledgeable as they claim to be.

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 27, 2017 at 3:58 am (2 months ago)

      “Anyone listening with undiagnosed issues would be left dangling as to what to do.”

      Uh… you just start a conversation, because, like, that’s the most important thing. It doesn’t matter that that conversation turned out terribly for you and you feel like a piece of garbage afterward OR that conversation lead nowhere and you’re more confused than you were when you hadn’t talked to anyone OR you now feel even more embarrassed about talking about your problems. You just have to start a conversation. Because that, like, fixes everything. Have conversations about mental health and magically everything is fixed for you and the stigma is totally gone.

      • Jen
        February 27, 2017 at 4:06 am (2 months ago)

        Yep, that sums up the depth: shallow as a puddle. And worryingly, they could do more harm than good.

      • Red Tulip
        February 27, 2017 at 9:36 am (2 months ago)

        Exactly KMR! And this could be flipped the other way too- I “start a conversation” & research mental health resources for a family member who has deep mental health concerns and has exhibited worrying and escalating instances of aggression. But any offer of help, to try to explain to the family member who is suffering what we are seeing, any understanding, is completely rejected by the person who actually needs the mental health supports. Funny, WK and Harry have remained silent on that front

        • Fifi
          February 27, 2017 at 9:48 am (2 months ago)

          +1

      • Sarah
        February 27, 2017 at 12:01 pm (2 months ago)

        I couldn’t even take William’s notion of talking to people at work about when you’re having problems serious. It just showed how clueless he really is. as a healthcare provider I’m all for people seeking help wherever they feel comfortable but some things are personal, I don’t go around sharing when I have menstral problems, I’m not going to share other more personal problems either.

        • Jen
          February 27, 2017 at 12:39 pm (2 months ago)

          I think you have to be careful confiding in people at work. It depends entirely on whether the workplace is progressive and genuinely invests in its people, in which case it would have programs in place.

          When starting my current (uni academic) position a few years ago, I was informed that I would be under constant surveillance, for example, key strokes on my computer recorded and all phone calls are noted (number, dates, and length), not permitted to do academic research in the uni library aka must be visible in one’s office, peers provide reports to management but are never made available. I’ve never experienced it before because such a job affords autonomy and one works way more hours than is paid for anyway. In such an environment, it’s wise to be vigilant re. one’s professional persona lest anything be recorded and used later for some reason. I see the strain on colleagues, for sure.

          William was alluding to EAAA; you’d expect them to have procedures in place to take care of its staff, and they do. But William’s company’s policy is not necessarily replicated elsewhere.

          • Herazeus
            February 27, 2017 at 12:46 pm (2 months ago)

            I thought that when William turned up at a charity to listen into a call and immediately asked for an easy call on the grounds that he deals with bad situations at his job was really tone deaf and off message.

            On the one hand i truly understand the need to switvh off from a high stress job, but on the other don’t take up high stress charity work and demand easy work based on your other high stress job.

            Also, it shuts down those who might think their situations are difficult and do not want to trouble other people as a result or they fear that they will be judged for sharing their difficult situation. A direct contradiction of his campaign for people to share their problems.

          • Sarah
            February 27, 2017 at 1:38 pm (2 months ago)

            All the hospitals I’ve worked at have an employee assistance hotline that provides so many counseling services. I would think that would be the same in the U.K.?
            I also think there’s a reason so many nurses and drs smoke/drink
            As a copilot how often is William actually intereacting with the people? I would think he is supposed to stay inside the helicopter, especially since he isn’t trained to provide any such assistance.
            Hera, that comment at the help center irked me to no end. I don’t know if that’s just another bad attempt at humor on his part or what but it shows that he has no concept of how call centers work. I don’t get to pick my patients on how stressed out I am. Call center operators don’t either.

          • Miss K
            February 27, 2017 at 5:57 pm (2 months ago)

            Mental health is getting to be a huge thing around here. Most fire, police and ambulance services are starting their own in house peer support groups. This is on top of the existing employee assistance program we have. There’s also a regional critical incident stress management team that gets used for major calls. I’ve used EAP and have been glad that service was available. As for our peer support group, personally, I would never seek out any of those individuals on the team to talk. And that’s because I’m.not comfortable talking to any of them.

            Boyfriend is a firefighter. His brother is a cop. I’m a paramedic. And it is very true that we have a very dark sense of humour due to our work. It’s just the way it is. And a lot of us don’t reach out to talk because we’re supposed to be the strong ones. But that’s wrong and why there has been an increase in suicide among first responders.

            All that rambling is me saying it pisses me off that Will has absolutely zero clue about this field even though he’s supposedly works EAAA. He has a great platform to bring awareness and all he does is spout “end the stigma” without providing the resources for how to do it. And asking for an easy call? There are no easy calls!

        • Hetty
          February 27, 2017 at 12:50 pm (2 months ago)

          I have been in difficult and very stressful work situations in the past and it was not possible to start a conversation there about feelings of stress as some of the work colleagues and bosses were the ones causing the appalling and intimidating atmosphere!

          • notasugarhere
            February 28, 2017 at 9:10 am (2 months ago)

            Been there too. And HR was not there to help us, they were there to make sure we toed the line and kept quiet.

          • Jen
            February 28, 2017 at 10:51 am (2 months ago)

            Agree Hetty. It’s usually the bullying from colleagues and bosses that is problematic. Best to look for a new job and leave asap and never look back! As nota says, HR is a management tool and definitely not to help employees. EAP with confidentiality guaranteed is a great option, if available in the workplace.

      • EL
        February 27, 2017 at 7:52 pm (2 months ago)

        Which is why I prefer Carl-Phillip & Sophia’s initiative much more. They have given people a place to hear more from professionals. These 3 are not MH professionals. They should be using this platform to shine light on places to get help, advice for family/friends on how to help, ways people can help fund these places etc.
        I wouldn’t go to a friend to help them treat my severely injured knee. Talking to people can do more damage than good if the person you are talking to doesn’t understand how to help.

        • katemiddletonreview
          February 27, 2017 at 8:03 pm (2 months ago)

          I hadn’t thought of that, but you bring up a good point about how Harry’s injured leg/knee analogy (that he keeps using over and over) fails. Yes, if you have a physical injury you are not going to hide it (usually), but no one would go to a non-professional to treat a physical injury. In that same way, one should not just go chat to a friend or colleague about their mental health issues, they should seek out professionals.

          • Shelly
            February 27, 2017 at 10:50 pm (2 months ago)

            This is an excellent point and actually helps me analyze my issues with this campaign. It is great to bring mental illness into the open. And it’s great to normalize mental illness as an illness as real as the flu for example. (or a knee in your case.) But their whole positioning is off – you don’t just talk about a bad knee and feel better, and you don’t just talk about mental illness and feel better. Their whole main message should be about conversations normalizing mental illness, not actually helping it. The one talking point that Harry used in particular that he stays away from using the word “disorder” in PTSD is actually the opposite of what he should be saying. It IS a disorder. It is a very real illness. So, why not call it a disorder? (I’m not daft, I get where he is going, but that’s the opposite of normalizing it.)

          • EL
            February 28, 2017 at 12:40 am (2 months ago)

            I actually realised this when a friend was going through depression. She wasn’t able to get help easily (long waiting lists with the NHS) and she did try to talk to me about what she was going through but it was frustrating to both of us knowing that talking was getting us no where. She needed counselling, and the only way to get that was to wait, wait, wait and wait some more for a space to open up. It did eventually but it was in a group setting and she had a lot of social anxiety so she ended up quitting the group.

          • Jen
            February 28, 2017 at 10:55 am (2 months ago)

            Agree with Shelly. PSTD is a legitimate disorder that doesn’t need to be laundered by Harry to be acceptable. He is de-legitimising it in his attempt to smooth over any reference to a disorder.

    • MavenTheFirst
      February 27, 2017 at 11:07 am (2 months ago)

      The whole approach is just so wrong. Unless one recognises some symptoms most people go on in obliviousness. Also, placing the onus largely on the sufferer to always know they are suffering is ridiculous; how can they ask for help when they don’t know they need it? Or their loved ones don’t?

      Without education it’s largely a boondoggle. It is education that destigmatises mental health issues and encourages seeking help. And yes, I agree with all, that the focus is really on illnesses of mood and that should be pointed out. It’s all so ignorant and ridiculous and irresponsible without wholesale support from a strong, integrated framework to offer.

  3. Indiana Joanna
    February 27, 2017 at 6:59 am (2 months ago)

    I wish they would get on with it and start addressing access to mental health care. I do think the longer they repeat this opening salvo of starting a conversation their stale message will do harm. It is trivializing the issues. Like you said Jen, the three should be addressing access, programs, and other substantial issues. And doing fund raisers. The three are very lazy in terms of moving the mental health discussion forward. Same old thing.

    • lobbit
      February 27, 2017 at 3:57 pm (2 months ago)

      Health care access is political issue, though – so maybe they’ll never go there…

      • Mrs BBV
        February 27, 2017 at 9:11 pm (2 months ago)

        Not only that but Mental Health care is currently on it’s knees in the UK Health Service. It’s been slashed to the budgetary bone so much so that both the Government and the Opposition are talking about appointing Mental Health Ministers / Tsars as they know it’s a growing problem that they’ve stripped the funds away. What it needs is the whole issue having it’s own department, policy and budget and it’s direction being revisited but that’s another issue.
        So it’s all very well this triple act posturering about Mental Health and getting it in the nation’s agenda but who do they think is going to be helping deal with this sudden surge of people wanting talking therapy? Because we are in the realms of talking therapy not pharmacology and that is by far much more expensive to treat MH that psychiatry and needs far more client contact. Hence we have a MH policy built on psychiatry.

        If these three aren’t very careful they are going to stray into political hot water by becoming direct opposition to current govt. policy in MH. Not saying that’s a bad thing in challenging the culture of pharmacology versus psychology but you have to have the system in place to cope in the shift in treatment and our NHS cannot cope with it’s current position never mind and influx of Mental Health patients who want to start ‘talking’ because Heads Together advocate they should.

        I can see this initiative quietly going away soon enough. Not just because they’re getting bored and are useless at seeing thing through to the end but because they are getting very close to interfering with Govt policy. When you drill down to what their message is this is quite frightening because they don’t have the background to shape national policy and there aren’t the resources in the NHS to back such a campaign up. Meanwhile you have potentially many, many desperate people trying to access help that just isn’t there for them. Actually I would call it irresponsible.

        • Ellie
          February 27, 2017 at 10:20 pm (2 months ago)

          The PM has mentioned this silly initiative before in her speeches so I assume it has her support in some way, and makes WK&H look legitimate.

          Harry’s speeches and work with veterans say and dofar more than anything W&K have said and done. I found it interesting in an article about Harry’s event today the CEO of Big White Wall asked him about funding and could they get funding from TRF and HeadsTogether because they are struggling and only Help For Heroes has asserted that they will continue to fund the initiative. Harry made a comment about how they have to prove it’s a cost-saving initiative to get a lot of people to donate because people just aren’t interested unless it is proven to a) work and b) save money (I think he was mentioning the NHS funding problems as well since this organization got funds from the NHS, the MOD, etc). I hope Harry has TRF help these organizations with funds.

          • Mrs BBV
            February 27, 2017 at 11:17 pm (2 months ago)

            How legitimate can their initiative look when it flies in the face of current policy? The two schools of thought and treatments just don’t have the same cohesive aims.

          • Jen
            February 28, 2017 at 10:45 am (2 months ago)

            Doesn’t HT (under the RF) give funds to just the eight charities under its banner? Does anyone know?

            I read a while ago from someone who worked for one of the eight charities that all were coming under enormous pressure as the demand was huge, due to HHS cuts and publicity. This person’s gripe was that any HT money had yet to flow to them so they could not cope with that increased demand. Also mentioned that a gala, the charities reps were kept away from potential big donors who were pushed to donate to HT rather than the individual charities.

  4. Herazeus
    February 27, 2017 at 7:25 am (2 months ago)

    One positive thing…..he is using experience from his volunteer work with the MOD rehabilitation programme that is never publicised officially though we know he volunteers there regularly.

    He is tying his examples to that work which is why it is so veteran specific and or focused on the primary issues they face as a result of battle experience rather than the other areas of mental health that you guys keep pointing out.

    My guess is that for his specific experience, starting a conversation in the rehabilitation units is the most important part so they can help the soldiers. They probably don’t delve any further than that. The reason being that once they start the conversation, then the soldier can be helped.

    Part of the reason for this approach goes to the process of recruitment for the military. Anyone can sign up, but they still put you through medical tests that also include mental health. Anyone who doesn’t meet the standard or who shows any kind of poor mental health is either not recruited or is discharged during the training process.

    The idea being that the military training/ recruitment is only given to people in perfect mental health who then suffer depression or PTSD as a direct result of the horrors they’ve seen on the battlefield and not because they already have poor mental health. We don’t have an urgent need of soldiers such that these those who don’t meet the standard are overlooked as happened during the world wars.

    The training teaches them to be warriors and not to acknowledge any weaknesses because that makes them bad soldiers and or may lead to a discharge from the military because they would be useless cogs in the military machine. And that’s before you get to the machismo it encourages irrespective of gender.

    WK don’t do any deeper research of their areas of interest, so if Harry’s focus is using his personal experience that focuses on this tiny corner, the other two are going with his vision rather than doing any extra research to cover other areas of mental health.

    Harry is starting at a point where the poor mental health develops as a direct result of horror, WK have made sorties into the idea that poor mental health can develop in childhood, but only because of a lack of support and or poor parenting. The solution WK prescribe might work for Harry’s corner of veteran specific mental health issues, but it may not work for WK’s corner of mental health and they haven’t researched it beyond using Harry’s talking points.

    That was my thoughts based upon the specifics in Harry’s speech.

    I’ve never understood HT before today in terms of why they keep banging on about the conversation and or how it may have been conceived. Looking at it from Harry’s persepective, using his experience, it makes sense. It makes no sense from WK’s perspective because that side of it ignores about 90% of why children and later adults, without the excuse of the military, may exhibit poor mental health.

    • notasugarhere
      February 27, 2017 at 10:19 am (2 months ago)

      To me, it looks like Harry has been invested in veteran mental health for years. His volunteering with MOD, the Invictus Games, WWTW – they are all inter-related and involve physical and mental health and rehabilitation.

      Along these lines, I recommend interested people read Thank You For Your Service by Finkel. It is an up close and personal look at the mental health of one set of veterans.

      One of the findings is that suicide rates are higher in those who joined the forces later in life. There may be other factors at play in their lives that they chose this career later, which needs to be accounted for in any treatment and intervention plans.

      “while the truth of war is that it’s always about loving the guy next to you, the truth of the after-war is that you’re on your own.” – Finkel

    • jenny
      February 27, 2017 at 11:02 am (2 months ago)

      I agree with you, Herazeus. Tapping into his own experiences in the military was most useful in this speech. HOwever, like others, I think it is time to move forward. Taking the stigma out of discussing depression/anxiety (For that is where they seem to be headed) is one thing, but showing/telling where help can be found, is another. And, addressing the issue of other mental health problems seems to be left out at this point. Perhaps, on purpose?

      I commend Harry for his speech. For once, I am going to address his clothing, though Yikes! That shirt did nothing for his demeanor. I would have liked to see him looking a bit sharper when making an important speech.

      William and Harry do seem more capable in the speech making process, but Kate can surely learn. I hope she is finding time to take some coaching. It would certainly aid in her involvement with Heads Together.

      • jenny
        February 27, 2017 at 1:02 pm (2 months ago)

        Oops, wanted to add that the photo of Harry reaching out to the baby is lovely! As, is the one where he is accepting the flowers and touching his heart. Rhiannon, are you ok?! To me, you will always be his Duchess!!!

  5. Gie
    February 27, 2017 at 7:25 am (2 months ago)

    It could be because William and Harry largely write their own speeches and are somewhat more informed/interested in the topic they’re covering. Well at least Harry when it comes to soldiers, AIDS, Africa and underprivileged children. Don’t get me know, they have help to make sure everything is above board but I think there’s a collaboration.

    William and Harry have also grown up with the expectation to give speeches and around family who have to do public speaking, so while delivery might not be their strongest point they know a thing or two about what works around. I’m not saying Kate can’t learn, she can just as Diana did, but I don’t think Kate’s that interested in public service, a public role or that side of things of in her royal role.

    • Gie
      February 27, 2017 at 7:39 am (2 months ago)

      Let’s also not forget their schooling, Eton.

    • Herazeus
      February 27, 2017 at 7:40 am (2 months ago)

      I agree with your points too.

      I’ll take William then rather than William AND Kate to stand by what i’ve understood from Harry’s speech.

      Operationally, if those veterans in those units admit to mental health problems, the facility is equipped to help them, or at least i hope it is. They don’t have to research how they can go about helping themselves after admitting to these issues.

      For regular non-military people, they may admit they have a problem, then what? How do they go about seeking help?

      That’s missing from HT’s campaign. The fact that HT is partnered with charities that might be able to provide an answer to that question is not highlighted at all.

      • jackie
        February 27, 2017 at 9:22 am (2 months ago)

        I think they do not deal with more serious mental health problems because it’s way too much for them as this really require to make a real prevention work and a lot of speech and
        And visiting adults who are affected by this and more children and teenagers.
        But this is far too much for the weak abilities of William and Kate

      • Jen
        February 27, 2017 at 9:27 am (2 months ago)

        The question raised in your penultimate paragraph gets to my point. I’m surprised that there isn’t – or is there? – mandatory, intense debriefing of military personnel when they are discharged, with ongoing checks. It is particularly important that this be mandatory, given the culture of peak mental and physical health demanded in order to serve. It would be hard, if near impossible, to go against the culture one had given oneself over to for so long.

        I see that ‘Contact’, one of the eight charities under HT, “is a collaboration of leading military charities, support organisations, the NHS, the Ministry of Defence, UK Psychological Trauma Society and top academics working together to make the most effective mental health support easily accessible to Service Personnel, Ex-Service Personnel and their families.” Why couldn’t Harry mention their work if he is going to single out the military?

        What is missing in W+K+H’s advice is the bridge to professional help. It’s all a bit glib. I think they are trapped by their slogan, ‘starting conversations’. The two examples given focus on (1) military and (2) a mental health counselors’ work environment. I’d expect professional support is available, if not mandatory, in those situations. But what about the person who feels isolated at work, home or in society for a myriad of reasons?

        Just checking the HT website, I have to scroll quite a way before I can access the eight charity partners. These are the charities that do ALL the work, NOT William, NOT Kate and NOT Harry – let’s get real here – whose undefined ‘work’, whatever that means, heads even this section.

        Five of the eight charities focus on either young children/ their families or those under 25, one on military, one on male suicide for men under 45, and one that is focused on mental health, no matter what the age. There seems to be an imbalance there.

        • Fifi
          February 27, 2017 at 10:01 am (2 months ago)

          I wouldn’t be surprised for HT to quietly fade away from W&K’s “duties”, though I expect Harry to continue his work for veterans. We have been discussing the amorphous, unfocused poorly thought out qualities of this “campaign” for a while. I’m sure others with more influence have noticed, too. How long before serious criticism is raised publicly?

          Look at Charles and Camilla’s recent engagements. Some serious, some light-hearted, all bringing a little royal magic to citizens. William, Kate and Harry need to do a lot of different engagements in many areas of the country.

          • notasugarhere
            February 27, 2017 at 10:27 am (2 months ago)

            HT feels like W&K co-opting the work Harry was already doing. Throwing a collective banner over it, and taking credit from both Harry and the work others are doing.

          • Herazeus
            February 27, 2017 at 10:55 am (2 months ago)

            What Nota says here.

            I was as confused as everyone else, but now i’m firmly in the same cakp of thinking WK are co-opting Harry’s mental health work ON VETERANS which has a very specific set of circumstances that is reflected in all the gibberish they sprout.

            Doesn’t mean that Harry’s message is perfect, but i understand it better in the context of veterans especially those already seeking help for what may appear to be just physical problems when there are mental issues as well, and already part of the rehabilitation system rather than out of it.

            WK’s focus on children and families should have made them realise the greater scope of mental health rather than a small corner that may have been triggered by a specific set of circumstances that are probably best described as don’t join the military!!!

            Harry’s focus has always been the military, so i understand why he hasn’t evolved his message to fit rest of society, but WK have no excuse. At the very least they should acknowledge that the field they are in is huge and wide ranging and not as simple as bad parenting or being born poor.

          • JET Texas
            February 27, 2017 at 2:56 pm (2 months ago)

            To follow up on HeraZeus’ point. I think you may be on to something. These talking points work well for veterans because there is already a system in place to help veterans, the vets just need to start the conversation and ask for help. But this doesn’t work for civilians. W&K face a huge hurdle in that, if they dig too deep on mental health, they run the risk of criticizing the government or even advocating for policy change. In a way, they really can’t say more then “speak up”. Aaaaaand now I’ve just justified their lack of depth and work on this issue.

        • Sarah
          February 27, 2017 at 12:13 pm (2 months ago)

          I don’t know any of the charities under the umbrella of HT maybe place2be? So I wonder if these charities actually gain anything by being grouped with them? They don’t seem to be gaining any name recognition which I think you would need for donations, to get people to volunteer or have seek your services.

          • Herazeus
            February 27, 2017 at 12:41 pm (2 months ago)

            I firmly believe that Kate’s interest in Place2be was sparked by interest in the development of her children and will continue as long as it serves to help her understand their development. Once her kids age out of their target demographic, she will lose interest in the charity and drop them.

          • Sarah
            February 27, 2017 at 1:44 pm (2 months ago)

            I used to think it was a ruse for Kate to seek help for herself without having to seek help. Now I think she was told it would be her cause.

  6. notasugarhere
    February 27, 2017 at 10:21 am (2 months ago)

    “He really needs to memorize his speeches more so he’s not staring down at his notes so much.”

    Different types of memorization are known to be much more difficult for those with dyslexia. CP Victoria also uses notes frequently, to judge her place and continue with her speech. The longer the speech, the more they may need to refer to notes. It may not be lack of preparation, but rather related to the dyslexia.

    • Poppy
      February 27, 2017 at 11:16 am (2 months ago)

      As the DM put it Harry has spent the last 2 months loved up at Kensington Palace, so I somehow think rehearsing his speech was the last thing on his mind! I do believe though that out of the three, Harry is the most dedicated to championing mental health. He has even been out this morning on an engagement for mental health services in London ( he had a face like a smacked ar-e because he’s pinning 😢) so he genuinely seems committed to helping. And as has been mentioned above, he does do alot privately as well. I think H/T would get further if Harry were promoting it by himself. Yet I can’t understand why William is so lack luster towards the issue after all he is Patron of Centre Point & they deal with homelessness & that comes with its own mental health issues.

      • Carter
        February 27, 2017 at 2:08 pm (2 months ago)

        His girlfriend visiting him is not an excuse to not perform well at his job.

        • Miss K
          February 27, 2017 at 5:43 pm (2 months ago)

          Whether he is all loved up or not, you’d think he’d get some pointers from his girlfriend. MM knows hiw to deliver her lines. Harry could learn a thing or 2 from her. And no, mind NOT in the gutter? 😛

        • katemiddletonreview
          February 27, 2017 at 6:47 pm (2 months ago)

          Absolutely. One is expected to do one’s job properly no matter whether one has a boyfriend or girlfriend or not.

      • notasugarhere
        February 28, 2017 at 9:16 am (2 months ago)

        Missing the point, Poppy. For many dyslexics (one of my close friends included), they cannot memorize. No matter how hard they try. Whenever my friend had to give a speech, she had to use notes.

        He’s being criticized because he used notes and didn’t memorize, when for many dyslexics, notes are a necessity. It may be that he could not memorize the whole speech, because like many other dyslexics, his brain isn’t wired that way. It is like criticizing Beatrice for her Hanoverian eyes. Genetic, cannot change it, but criticize him for it anyway?

    • Carter
      February 27, 2017 at 2:13 pm (2 months ago)

      People keep mentioning that he has dyslexia. Where is the proof of that? I have a hard time believing that the palace wouldn’t announce that publicly, especially as it would be a perfect come back to all the negative press he got about his A levels and poor academic performance through the years. Beatrice announced that she has it, so clearly it’s something that the palace is ok with announcing.

      • Herazeus
        February 27, 2017 at 2:56 pm (2 months ago)

        His dyslexia was diagnosed around 17 / 18yrs old which explains his poor school records.

        Beatrice was diagnosed before her 12th birthday and started receiving treatment immediately whilst Harry’s diagnosis came too late to help his high school career.

        It also explains why he never tried for university though army turned out to be a very good fit for him.

        • Carter
          February 27, 2017 at 3:49 pm (2 months ago)

          I have read all that before, but I’m asking how we know this. Is it all because Harry supposedly told Jeremy Clarkson while on vacation? Or did it come from somewhere else?

          • Herazeus
            February 27, 2017 at 4:23 pm (2 months ago)

            It came out ages ago in an article, but then was pulled.

            I am surprised this Jeremy Clarkson article is still up because this was one piece of information that was pulled from public arena. Never to be repeated.

            Surprising considering Harry was fair game as far as releasing his personal information.

            Perhaps that was a line too far.

            This sort of tactic has been employed for various members over things they didn’t want the media to discuss.

          • Lizzie
            February 27, 2017 at 10:20 pm (2 months ago)

            There are a number of articles about Harry’s dyslexia that use Clarkson’s interview as their source, but–like Herazeus said–that original Sun article no longer exists. Finding anything about Harry’s dyslexia with a source other than Clarkson appears to be impossible. Apparently the Palace did clamp down on that topic, as it relates to Harry anyway. (Odd given how open Beatrice is about her struggles.) Anyway, I did find another small, recent article that seems to confirm that Harry does indeed have dyslexia (or at least the Palace didn’t deny it): http://www.wellington-today.co.uk/article.cfm?id=105058&headline=Students%E2%80%99%20letters%20from%20the%20palace&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2017. It’s too bad that Harry doesn’t publicly share his experience with dyslexia–he would make an excellent spokesperson.

          • notasugarhere
            February 28, 2017 at 10:20 am (2 months ago)

            It may be it is too close. He was teased for years by many people, big brother included, for being dumb. That’s why he acted out in class, to take attention off being “the dumb one” so he’d be “the class cut up” instead.

            Some of the talk around him being so successful in the helo? It centered around him being surprised that he was smart, and smart-enough and good-enough at something to win an award for it.

  7. Kitty
    February 27, 2017 at 10:28 am (2 months ago)

    I have a question for all of you. Do you think The Queen knows that once she is gone the monarchy will either be no more or struggling without her? I mean The Queen is a wise woman. So what do you think?

    • Queen Lauri
      February 27, 2017 at 12:08 pm (2 months ago)

      Great question Kitty! I think that on some level, the Queen does worry about William, his entitled attitude, his inability to listen to wise advice and his reluctance to embrace his destiny. But on the other hand the Queen seems quite adept at not “seeing” things she doesn’t want to. Maybe, she figures that once she’s gone William will be Charles’ problem.

      • Jen
        February 27, 2017 at 12:43 pm (2 months ago)

        Trouble is, Charles doesn’t seem to have any influence over William.

        • Kitty
          February 27, 2017 at 2:53 pm (2 months ago)

          Exactly Jen. He doesn’t want to rock the boat with William. I bet The Queen is praying hard that the monarchy will last once she is gone.

      • Kitty
        February 27, 2017 at 12:46 pm (2 months ago)

        Thats true but she must know that she is the most respected and popular monarch in modern history and Charles while he has a sense of duty isn’t as popular as her and William reluctant and the younger royals not wanting to do work and just likes the perks. I mean The Queen lives and breathes the monarchy and I doubt she would like to be the last monarch. I feel like she thinks it can be gone once she passes.

        • jenny
          February 27, 2017 at 1:01 pm (2 months ago)

          That’s very sad, Kitty. One can only hope that William steps up to the plate
          and that Charles will do a bang up good job as King, too. HM and Philip have done so much in their roles. It would be terrible if William doesn’t eventually get it! He has to realize at some point in his life that he has a role to play and play well.

        • Lovely Blossom
          February 27, 2017 at 2:41 pm (2 months ago)

          I think she is much stricter as we see it in public. I also think she would have been much stricter with Kate and her family but she doesn’t want to make the same faults as with Diana or other things which went wrong in the past.She is surely afraid, how could she not?

          • Kitty
            February 27, 2017 at 2:55 pm (2 months ago)

            Lovely Blossom, that sure does make sense. In her POV she doesn’t want to push William and Harry wife like she did with Diana but The Queen has a sense of duty also and would like to know the monarchy will be in great hands once she is gone.

          • JET Texas
            February 27, 2017 at 3:06 pm (2 months ago)

            The only time I’ve seen the Queen correct anyone was when she told William to stand up on the BP balcony a while ago. William was having a normal parent-child moment, crouching down to talk to George and keep him calm, but the Queen made him stand up. That moment stood out to me. She seemed more concerned about appearing royal than appearing as a normal family. That was actually one of William’s nicer public moments, and the Queen squashed it. I think she is concerned about appearances most. Charles will keep up appearances. William, well, we’ll just wait and see.

          • Kitty
            February 27, 2017 at 3:18 pm (2 months ago)

            @JET, I think it was more of The Queen telling William to respect the air forces that’s all.

          • Herazeus
            February 27, 2017 at 3:35 pm (2 months ago)

            Jet Texas: William was being disrespectful. He spent his entire time on that balcony either crouched down or kneeling to talk to the boy instead of the reason they were all on the balcony.

            If the boy needs that much attention, don’t bring him out to the balcony. The rooms on either side of the balcony have windows facing the Mall from which the boy would have enjoyed the show with all the attention he required. It’s been done in the past.

            https://d.ibtimes.co.uk/en/full/1443751/prince-george.jpg

            http://www.protothema.gr/files/1/2015/06/13/prince/6.jpg

            http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2015_24/1073741/pc-150613-prince-george-mn-03_1a731336874e00ebda1e378d24be248b.nbcnews-fp-360-360.jpg

            http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/06/13/11/2996030F00000578-3122591-image-a-74_1434190519795.jpg

            Further, IF the boy needs that much attention, hold him up. That looks less disrespectful to all the people on the Mall lined up to pay homage to you as you ignore them to attend to a boy too young to be left alone for a few minutes without parental attention. This has been done too with various children.

            http://www.hellomagazine.com/imagenes//royalty/2013071013077/kate-middleton-baby-born-william/0-68-912/charles-eliza-lopes-1–z.jpg

            http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/06/13/15/29968B8A00000578-3122591-image-a-195_1434204909096.jpg

            Finally, everyone stands up for the RAF flypast, and William just ignored it and kept talking to the boy.

            That flypast is as much a hail/salute to the chief as the reciprocal standing up for it.

            Taken in isolation, it looked as if HM was telling him off for no reason, but actually William was being disrespectful at that particular moment, and for entire time he was on the balcony.

            And btw, Charlotte was clearly in teething distress for all the attention either parent gave her on that balcony, so i stand by my earlier comments that they use their kids as shields to get out of interacting with other people or the situation at hand.

          • Ellie
            February 27, 2017 at 7:07 pm (2 months ago)

            William IMO was clearly trying to appear to be Father of the Year by fawning over George and talking to him. They know about optics, thus Kate holding Charlotte despite the poor mite being very distressed by her teeth, the noise, etcetera.

            HM was completely in the right to scold him as Herazeus said.

          • Gie
            March 1, 2017 at 3:34 am (2 months ago)

            +1000 Herazeus

  8. Carter
    February 27, 2017 at 2:23 pm (2 months ago)

    Though I continue to be confused and unimpressed with the Heads Together initiative as a whole, I think Harry’s speech was overall a good one. I like that he used his personal experiences in the speech. Whoever wrote that did a good job. As for his delivery, I don’t think any of them, William, Harry, and especially Kate, are good public speakers. They really could all use some speech lessons. It boggles my mind how all of them aren’t good public speakers. You’d think the palace would make them practice more since its such an important part of their job. They seem close with the Obamas maybe they can ask them to give the trio a few pointers and lessons. Whatever you may feel about their politics, both of them are fantastic orators.

    • Lovely Blossom
      February 27, 2017 at 2:56 pm (2 months ago)

      It’s also a waste of money, they were all in private schools. Not to speak of the wasted talent who could have flourished there. There are so many talented children out there whose parents can’t afford such education. It angers me a lot, especially when you see what they make out of it. Kate and Pippa marrying rich. The high education just for prestige, to have the right background.They could have never gone to school, mommy will always pay for everything!
      Excuse my rant, I just can’t stand it.

  9. lobbit
    February 27, 2017 at 4:39 pm (2 months ago)

    I’m sure there will be a post about it, but I just saw pics of Kate at a reception celebrating India and her outfit…it’s honestly the worst thing I’ve ever seen her wear. So bad. A silver lace dress and terrible sparkley shoes! Ahhhhh so awful!

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 27, 2017 at 6:47 pm (2 months ago)

      I’ll have a post up tomorrow. I actually think Kate looked really pretty, though.

      • Ellie
        February 27, 2017 at 10:27 pm (2 months ago)

        A bit too much beige but I love the sparkly dress! And hair back. Improvement! She looked nice.

        • Nic919
          February 27, 2017 at 11:03 pm (2 months ago)

          She desperately needs to cut her hair because she just can’t style it properly. Wearing it back is better than loose, but it’s just so basic. A sharp cut would make her look much younger and modern.

      • lobbit
        February 28, 2017 at 1:35 pm (2 months ago)

        LOL I am always the odd man out around here!

    • Sarah
      February 27, 2017 at 11:09 pm (2 months ago)

      Ha that shows how subjective fashion is becuase I hated everything but the shoes!
      Nic, I think her hair weirdly alternates between tween/matronly type of styles. Neither are flattering