William & Kate at Health Writers Conference: ‘silence is killing people’

William & Kate at Health Writers Conference: ‘silence is killing people’

After spending part of their morning with Place2Be, Prince William and Kate Middleton spent part of their evening on February 6 at the Health Writers Conference where it was William’s turn to give a speech.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Guild of Health Writers‘ The Anxiety Epidemic event at Chandos House in London. The event was supported by Heads Together and several people from each of the charity partners were there to network.

The event saw four expert speakers discussing why anxiety and related mental health problems are now reaching epidemic proportions, how they can best be treated, and measures aimed at reducing the scale of the problem. Speakers included: Jacqui Marson – chartered counselling psychologist, bestselling author and former war reporter; Paul Farmer CBE – CEO Mind and independent chair of the Mental Health Task Force 2015; Dr. James Davies – reader in anthropology and mental health at the University of Roehampton, co-founder of the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry; and Claire Kelly – Co-Director of the Mindfulness in Schools Project.

Heads Together marathon runner Louise and her boyfriend Ryan also spoke about the conversations they had to help overcome anxiety.

Then it was William’s turn to speak. For space, I’ve cut some of the thank yous at the beginning and end.

    “You may be wondering why Catherine, Harry and I got involved in this topic in the first place. Mental health is traditionally not a mainstream subject, after all.
    “For me personally, it was a gradual awakening over many years through work I’ve been privileged to witness with vulnerable young people – the homeless, the unemployed, those who are unable to fulfil their potential. It was their openness about their mental health, their anxiety issues, their honesty about not coping, that made me realise that poor mental health was a major issue in our society. Much greater than anyone cared to admit. And it was an issue that needed addressing if we were to attempt to solve many other problems that trouble us.
    “I know what I have just said may sound obvious to you – of course poor mental health underpins many other problems. But to me – as it still is for many, many people – mental health was the great taboo. If you were anxious, it’s because you were weak. If you couldn’t cope with whatever life threw at you, it’s because you were failing. Successful, strong people don’t suffer like that, do they. But of course – we all do. It’s just that few of us speak about it.
    “But I got interested in mental health for another reason. One that was related to my work as an Air Ambulance pilot. It was suicide, a subject that is so often hidden. The suicide rate among young men in this country is an appalling stain on our society. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 40 in this country. Not cancer, not knife crime, not road deaths – suicide. If one of these other issues took so many young lives, there would be a national outcry. But there has only ever been silence. And this has to stop. This silence is killing good people.
    “For Catherine and Harry, their journeys to Heads Together were different: Harry predominately through his work with veterans, and Catherine through her work with children and young families. But their conclusions were the same – that mental health needed to be brought out of the dark and de-stigmatised.
    “So, what have Catherine, Harry and I decided to do about it. These topics are complex, and we are certainly not experts. So we started by using our Royal Foundation to convene eight charities from the sector to seek their advice. We asked them to tell us what was the most useful thing we could do to help. And what they told us surprised us – although it seems obvious now given what I’ve just told you already. These charities told us that the most important thing that needed to happen was to normalise mental health – to get people comfortable with the subject and to talk about it. Simple as that.
    “At the moment, on average it takes a sufferer ten years to admit to a problem. This means that what often starts as a fairly minor issue becomes something serious and medical after time. What these charities told us was that silence can kill; but talking can lead to help and support.
    “I was already experiencing the benefits of this open, positive approach to mental health in my work as a Search and Rescue pilot previously and now as an Air Ambulance pilot. In both these environments, every member of the crew is actively encouraged to admit when we are feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope – whether because of work or something in our home life. My employer, I’m proud to say, knows about the value of normalizing mental health, and treating it with the same respect that we confer on physical health. This should be the norm.
    “So, for the next few months, we are running a campaign to get people from all walks of life to record videos recounting what it feels like to open up to someone else. We want that ‘someone else’ to be celebrated – simply for taking the time to ask ‘are you okay?’ and to properly listen to the answer.
    “We hope that these videos will inspire people across this country, whatever their background, to talk up, and to tell another person if they feel like they can’t cope. That it’s perfectly okay to do that – it’s a positive step, and a sign of strength not weakness. To achieve this we will be working with a number of media organisations that share our commitment to ending this stigma, and we greatly, greatly appreciate the support.
    “All of this activity culminates this April at the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon, where Heads Together is the Charity of the Year. This gives us an incredible platform to start millions of conversations on mental health and make this year’s London Marathon the first ever ‘mental health marathon’. We want to get the country talking about mental health.
    “So, what comes after all this activity? For some people, a conversation with a friend, family member or colleague may not be enough. It is clear that people struggle to access expert advice. With our Heads Together Charity Partners, we have been exploring the gaps in the support they would like to offer. We have been looking to see what we can do to give people more confidence to help each other and to make it easier to find the right advice. We are working through the detail of this programme and we will set out the direction of this work later in the year.”


Whoever wrote this speech needs to start writing Kate’s speeches. Because this was a great speech, and everything I’ve been wanting from Kate’s speeches on mental health.

According to Samaritans, in their 2016 report, the group with the highest suicide rate is men aged 45-49 at 26.5 per 100,000 in 2014. They also found that the male suicide rate is three times higher than the female suicide rate. In 2014, 4,998 men and 1,583 women died by suicide. From 2013 to 2014 in the UK suicide rates decreased by 5.6% in men but increased by 8.3% in women.

According to a report by the CDC, in 2015 there were 44,193 total deaths due to suicide in the USA. The group with the highest rate was white males age 50-54 at 3,236 deaths. For females, the group with the highest rate was white females age 50-54 at 1,180 deaths.

Some suicide prevention hotlines and websites:

USA: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – Suicide Prevention Lifeline
UK: Samaritans.org
NZ: Lifeline.org.nz
OZ: Lifeline.org.au
Canada: suicideprevention.ca

Taking a turn into the frivolous… After going Full Repeat earlier in the day, Kate opted for a new jacket and skirt from Oscar De La Renta. Kate wore the “Three Quarter Sleeve Pleated Jacket” (originally retailed for $2,190) and the “Full Pleated Skirt” (originally retailed for $1,290). Both the jacket and skirt come from the AW15 collection and feature a wool blend and are in the ‘Ultraviolet’ colorway. Given the color, it looks like Kate may have worn this to the Christmas lunch at BP back in December.

Oscar De La Renta Three Quarter Sleeve Pleated Jacket Oscar De La Renta Full Pleated Skirt

Kate’s accessories were the same as earlier in the day: Mulberry Bayswater Clutch in black suede, Gianvito Rossi pumps in black suede, Mappin and Webb Empress White Gold and Diamond Drop earrings, and Cartier watch. Kate also wore black tights.

It’s fine. It’s not amazing, but the color does look nice on her.

84 thoughts on “William & Kate at Health Writers Conference: ‘silence is killing people’

  1. This was the speech they should have given at the Heads Together briefing. It wasn’t late in the evening, all three of the royals were present and could have talked about their own accounts as to how they got involved and it was actually a briefing on what is coming next for HT. It’s not really reported on, because hardly any royal reporters were present and it was a late evening engagement. Maybe it is a response to the criticism they received after the briefing.

  2. What a great speech! I have to say I wish he gave this speech at the beginning of the campaign. It would have provided a background on why this issue and what they were hoping to gain from the campaign. I would love to hear a similar speech from Kate and Harry about their personal journeys to the subject. (Though I suspect Kate’s speech from yesterday was get version on this speech) I also like that they had experts talking at the event too.

    As for Kate’s fashion. I love that color on her. I don’t like the skirt though. I like A-line skirts but there is something weird about the structure of that one.

    1. I agree, this is a great speech, but one they should have given much earlier. Imagine if they gave speeches of this caliber at the start of the campaign. A year later they could have been pushing for more, perhaps workplace support, or support for women. Please use this speech writer for all your speeches going forward.

      And I agree that this suit is odd looking. That bell-shaped skirt isn’t flattering on anyone except 6-12 year old girls.

    1. She is too low waisted for that skirt- I’m pretty sure that’s not how it’s supposed to look like on. It’s very pretty, but if she’s going to spend that much money she needs to stick with what styles look best on her. Not, oooh but I love the look of it. Go ahead and love it. In fact, buy the jacket, but with tears in your eyes and sadness in your heart turn away from the skirt that *will not* flatter *no matter* how thin and in shape you are. It’s a waist line location issue and there’s not much you can do about that, except work with it (even when it’s breaking you poor widdle heart not to get the matching set- or what have you). Who is shopping with Kate? They are really bad at their job. Unless their job is that of yes man- oh that job would suck. She could look so fabulous full time with that budget, yet here we still are.

      Fashion aside, I really liked William’s speech.

    2. +1

      what a difference serious dedicated dutiful, working Prince and Princess (in waiting) Henry Wales has made – spotlighting the lazy entitled lambridges. This period seem to be whiny last chance…

  3. Very good speech. Like others, I wish he had given it when Heads Together was announced. It’s a huge step in the right direction. My problem with the whole Heads Together campaign from the beginning is that they have made it seem like talking just solves everything, which in my opinion makes the stigma worse, especially since William and Harry keep tying it back to how they wish they had spoken about their mother’s death more. To me, that equates the natural grieving process with clinical depression. Part of this is a failure of the English language. Depressed means both, “I’m really sad as a natural part of the human experience and range of emotion,” and, “The chemical balance in my brain is off and I shouldn’t be sad but I am, or I feel nothing and am incapable of functioning at a normal level.” By equating the two, they do a disservice. Because now “having a conversation” turns into, “I don’t get why you’re not better. I talked to someone about how overwhelmed I am at work and now I feel better, or I talked about my feelings about my mother’s death and now I can go back to work. What’s wrong with you that talking doesn’t fix it? You’re obviously just lazy/faking it/need attention.”

    So in general, as someone who has battled depression most of my life, I have found their campaign to not just be ineffectual, but damaging. I hope, as this speech hints at, that they’ll start directing the conversation away from, “Talk about your feelings and it’s all better!” to, “It’s okay to seek professional help. Medication is not weakness, needing to alter your lifestyle for your mental health is not weakness.” The biggest stigma is around people needing medication or help to simply function at a high level because there’s no concrete physical symptom that the medication or help is addressing. There is no stigma around needing/wanting to talk about the fact that your mother died, and it’s been really bugging me how they act like it’s the same. It’s literally like William and Harry talked one day about their grief over their mother passing, realized it felt good to talk to each other, and then decided they would bless the whole mental health community with this new-found knowledge that talking makes it better.

    So great speech, and I’m actually a little excited to see where Heads Together goes from here.

    1. Yes, you are right. Hopefully the trio will move from banal slogans to acknowledging different types and levels of depression that need unique approaches to wellness. As you say, there is huge difference between ongoing clinical depression and discrete life events that culminate in depression. It is dangerous and irresponsible to conflate them.

      it’s a sold speech and that should be applauded and hopefully further speeches will point to more detail. I’d really like them to distribute funds to the partner organisations who can’t meed the demand for their services.

  4. This was a great speech and Finally outlines what Heads Togethee has been doing for the past year and what they intend to do this year. So their initial phase is wanting to get ordinary people to seek out help, even informally. I also like that Will pointed out the focus areas for each of them. See, I guess because William is born Royal, he knows what he needs to do in order to make his role count- he just needs to do it more consistently.

    Kate’s outfit looks wrinkles. This looks like something that one wears when going out to watch theatre or something Not for a professional conference. The colour is nice but the choice of outfit is wrong for the event. It also looks too twee for someone who is in their mid 30’s.

  5. I was shocked when I saw that close-up foto of Kate. She looks older than 35, 45 at least. Her eyebags are so prominent! They never photoshopped her pictures anymore.

    1. Yes she looks tired, perhaps her diet is not good or she isn’t sleeping. I know this will infuriate some people but I do believe it is a huge strain being in the public eye. Yes, I know she chose this and was aware of it, she cannot be unaware of what Diana or Fergie went through, but nevertheless it must be horrid to be watched and photographed all the time.
      I get so anxious about being photographed that I did not have a wedding photographer, it would have ruined the day for me.

      Loved the speech and perhaps the criticism is having an impact, I hope so, these three could do so much if they got stuck in. Saving one young man from suicide would be something to be proud of.

      1. Debra, I’m with you 100% on being photographed!

        It must be a strain being in the public eye continually, though, to be fair, Kate lapped up attention pre-wedding and certainly enjoyed the camera in the early years of her marriage.

        Her discomfort seems to be most palpable around serious issues that charities undertake, because hardship and illness are just so far from her own life experiences. She’s not naturally empathic so I’ve no doubt Kate finds meet and greets difficult.

    2. Hi IDA, personally I think the heavy, dark eye makeup and excessive rouge really brings out the under eye bags and the bit of jowls. Kate is still a young-ish woman with great skin, so she really has no need to go so heavy with the makeup, especially around the eyes.

      1. But doesn’t she use Botox? Does anyone know how often it needs to be done? Kate looked fresh for Canada so maybe she’s due for another top up. But yes, the makeup on all three Middleton women is heavy. Given she can afford the best, I wonder if she’s had professional advice re skin and makeup? Sun, excessive dietng and smoking don’t do the skin any favours; I would have thought she’d eat very well – lots of organic veggies.

        1. I don’t get using heavy makeup. She always looks like she has far too much blush on, and let’s not talk about the eyeliner. Even on a date night I use light foundation and a bit of blush and so on, maybe go big on a red lip or use pretty metallic eyeshadow, but I hate the clown-like look of over doing it which I always see on Kate. I get she’s probably tailoring it for photographs, but it looks ridiculous. I did my own makeup for my wedding and I made sure while I put more on than I usually would have I didn’t go hog-wild so I still looked natural!

    3. She isn’t aging well, 35 years old should look much “fresher” non? l… but then again even though I am 2 years older then her, who am I to say that, I don’t have kids and don’t live under the media glare… so get some Botox Kate?

      1. Dimples are nobody’s friend after 30. Her father has the same problem, but men get away with wrinkles. Her make-up is aging.

      1. Jet, I agree she has the benefit of editorial photo shopping for most of her pictures. In this last photo I just think the makeup is too heavy and along with the clutching of the top button on her jacket she looks tense and unsure. Also, if she wore her hair shoulder length it would take five years off her looks. For some reason I really felt sorry for her when her overly styled hair was noted in the press as “hairzilla” a few appearances back. I thought how desperate she is to please W because he likes long hair and I’m sure Carole promotes whatever it takes to keep W’s attention.

        1. I’m not sure Kate is clutching her top button out of anxiety as much as showing the ring, which has become a constant behavioural trait. I don’t understand why she needs to show the ring so constantly for photos.

      2. It also shows how excessive dieting can really age you. A little fat in the face goes a long way once you hit mid 30s. She has been extremely thin for so long though that it started to show much earlier. She always looks way better when pregnant.

        1. Yes, I agree about excessive dieting, the French say after a certain age you have to choose your face or your bottom, so a little extra weight on the body gives you a fuller face.
          Victoria Beckham is another example of this.
          Also agree ‘re the make up. Not sure why kate doesn’t appear to seek the best professional support, I would in her position. The best stylist, make up artist, speech coach, postural classes, could all make so much of a difference to her confidence.
          It seems very odd not to, diana did, went to anna harvey ‘re clothes and had speech lessons from a few like Peter setteln and dickie attenborough. Also diana had poor posture until she had personal training lessons from a coach who pointed out her hunching.

        2. If you look back at the photos from the event her and William did just before they announced her first pregnancy (everyone picked out how she was wearing the bow belt on her coat upside down). I think many of you would agree how lovely she looked. Happy, healthy, glowing and a wee bit fuller in the face. Just highlights how much she’s aged in 5 years, and I agree, besides stress and no sun protection that the culprit is her commitment to severe thinness. I wish she would look back and see how good she looked then.

  6. Great speech!! !00% agree with you that whomever wrote this piece should write one equally as good for Catherine.

    Hated her outfit though. The colour and the skirt were fabulous but the jacket was way too much. That white blouse that she wore with that BR skirt would have looked fabulous with this.

  7. I think this has been the best speech given by any of them on the mental health topic so far. But like many have said, I think they’ve over simplified the message, probably unintentionally. I think the work theyre doing with the “talk to someone” is a decent start, particularly for normalizing difficult feelings for children before they internalize things and lead to unhealthy thought patterns in adulthood. But that’s just one path to possible mental health issues. For many adults, the stigma of mental health issues also deters many people from seeking professional help- from a doctor or a therapist, psychologist… I know they’ve briefly touched on this topic with children but I wish they’d really stick with it- that you wouldn’t hesitate to go to the doctor for a broken arm or physical illness and it should be the same for mental health. Depression and anxiety, etc do not reflect on a person’s strength, or worth. That is a big perception that needs to change. I’ve found this not just through my education and work as a mental health counselor but also in my own challenges. I’m glad they’ve chosen mental health- but I don’t think they’ve been particularly skilled at explaining exactly what is is they’re really doing. I think they are primarily focused on prevention and early intervention, one aspect of mental health not necessarily focusing all of the issues. And that is where teaching children to openly share their feelings and urging adults and other children to be accepting listeners can really help people cope with negative emotions, not necessarily someone who is already diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia etc who is isolated and doesn’t have people they can trust. I also think it’s worth them mentioning that some children have early onset of these psychiatric disorders that need professional care and this is okay. I can’t speak for the U.K., and I know we still have a ways to go in the U.S., but still- there are many wonderful people and services in the field of mental health. I wish William Kate and Harry would just advocate for these services available, like going to counseling by saying it’s okay to get professional help! Their inability to articulate their purpose in this area makes it seems like they are trying to fix and prevent the entire problem on their own. They could do a lot to help the stigma of “seeking professional help for mental health issues” just by reiterating that, ex. whether your issues feel big or small therapy can help. They could really encourage a message of acceptance. “It’s OKAY to need help!!!” Even from just skimming the comments on this blog, we can all see that mental health issues are prevalent, we mostly, know someone or have personally dealt with it. I spent a lot of time in therapy before becoming a counselor and I still take medication- I’m glad I had people in my life who encouraged it. I hope that doesn’t sound too negative, I don’t want to discourage anyone from advocating for mental health and I know this is a long post. I’m sure they are still making a difference!, but I am super passionate about this area. And I just feel like they are so close but always a little off in the things they say. Like the thought process is there, if they would just explain themselves better then there might be less skepticism of their “work.”

    1. +1.

      This speech is the most thoughtful so far; I hope whoever us responsible writes more. I think KP’s agenda of spruiking their clients as the saviours of mental health gets in the way of highlighting the actual cause and this is one reason communications have been ‘off’. They should not be the centre of the message. The message has stayed stuck in conversations without moving it to next stages of seeking professional help. The series of steps to wellness has not been articulated well.

      If changes to being open can be embedded in children as natural, all to the good, though some children from traumatised backgrounds will most likely hide those feelings. Children are aware when their own home lives and life experiences do not measure up to those of their friends. There’s shame, but also fear of being removed from the only thing they know if they speak up. So getting help to families who need ongoing assistance, while keeping the unit intact, is a real battle.

      Adults do encounter stigma if revealing MH issues, I think. If you work in a toxic culture, such information could be used against you at some point. There is a good reason then to be discrete in the workplace and seek help independently. I’ve certainly observed a colleague’s reputation shredded when it suited management to rid themselves of the staff member; hints of instability were spread etc. It wasn’t true but the damage was done. But it does keep MH hidden. I’ve also seen young adult students’ work perceived as ‘lesser’ by other lecturers once a MH condition is known, even confidentially. The lecturers couldn’t see past the condition. That level of intolerance, though not overtly expressed, is there. Sadly, the student is unaware of the prejudice visited upon them, earning lesser grades due to the personal perceptions of a lecturer. I’m not sure how to flush out such practices but i know it exists.

    2. Honestly, the Heads Together campaign would gain more headlines and credibility, if WK and Harry did the following. If KP is reading this, please take notes- you’re getting valuable advice for free:

      – They each need to specialize in a field of mental health, learn about their specific focus areas (Kate needs to learns accurate information, in particular) do events that support their field of mental health (fundraising, raising awareness, giving talks and speeches). They cannot be all things to all people.

      – Promote. highlight and talk about specific mental health services already available within their focus area/s. Provide website information, phone numbers, what they do, etc. Put this info on the Heads Together website.

      – Direct funds that are raised to the umbrella agencies immediately!
      – Work with the agency and the community to find and fund new mental health services, particularly in under-served areas and populations.

      – Speaking of population, they need to educate themselves and also talk about why people from ethnic communities are hesitant to seek mental health support for themselves or their loved ones. For many people, talking to someone doesn’t really cut it. There are cultural and gender expectations of “suck it up buttercup” or “being a mad person is a shame upon the family” and whatnot. Many adults have learned from their childhood to not admit they need help (as its a sign of weakness), to not aknowlege that they need help before they ruin relationships with their family further through untreated mental health issues and so on.

      – They need to work A LOT MORE.

      – Kate needs to stop buying and wearing new outfits everytime she steps out the door. Considering that Britain is facing austerity and cuts in NHS and in mental health services, spending thousands of pounds in taxpayer money in designer clothes is crass and in poor taste. It makes me think that funds to the BRF need to be cut off and diverted to programs like the NHS.

      1. +1. Yes! Excellent advice. They are embarrassingly unknowledgeable about this area they allegedly are so ‘keen’ and ‘passionate’ about, that they don’t prep for.

  8. I think the speech was ok. Better than others that either W or K have given. If their ultimate message is “don’t be afraid to ask for help and talk about what is bothering you,” then, this speech was fine. I just am wondering where the real meat and potatoes are in regard to their desire to help people who suffer from all types of mental illness. I believe he was very sincere with his words and wish to credit him, but I think more needs to be done and I really hate to say this, but I don’t think they are able to deliver that.

    As for her outfit? No! That skirt looked awful on her. And, she did look tired. So much move lively at the other event. I think it is sadness that often reveals itself in her appearance. I am sorry if she is sad.

  9. W finally realized he needed a speechwriter who knows something about the subject of mental health. His message also came across as the most authentic one he’s ever delivered. Good job. If they continue to collaborate with good writers and medical experts they will be presentable spokespeople. Like Jen said above they also need to focus more on raising and distributing funds for support organizations.

    Sidenote: I really love this color on KM. The suit itself looks a little askew, but not too bad.

    1. I think this speech shows how a a true speechwriter can benefit someone. Most public speakers don’t write their own speeches, the key is to find someone who can write in your voice and write knowledgeably on the subject. I don’t know who was writing the terrible stuff before but hopefully they’re relegated to other tasks now.
      This should have been their roll out speech.
      Better late than never
      Oscar de la renta has some beautiful pieces, this isn’t one of them. I love the color and the skirt but not the top.
      Kate is of the age where she needs to find a good eye cream.

  10. It’s so funny how people see things so differently. I didn’t like the suit. The color, imo, was not a good one for Kate. Drained her. I like her better in brighter jewel tones, like red, bllue, or green. This particular color is harder for many to wear. Oh, well, to each her own.

    1. I love the color but not on her. I think letiza has a jacket or top in this color and she looked beautiful in it. It was the big color last year.
      And I agree red and blues look much better on her
      And did William try and match his tie to her color.?

    2. Mary Elizabeth, I often have a strange reaction to what KM wears. eg when she wore that red and white dress (known by some on this site as the shindig dress) during the Canada tour, it jumped out at me as fresh and flirty. Then immediately after I found it disorienting and way too fussy. Same reaction to this suit. I love the color but on closer inspection it looks odd and off center. I have no idea why I get these different split second impressions from KM other than I feel she’s dressing for Carole rather than herself. Maybe Mrs BBV can provide some insight with her courture background.

      1. I like this suit, but I grew up in the 50s, so I like fuller skirts and peplums. But I think it’s the wrong skirt on Kate. With her slim hips she is overwhelmed by fabric. Now I could wear it as it would disguise hips and thighs.

        1. Hi,Indiana:

          I’m with you. Jenny and I were talking the other day and we had similar reactions. Sometimes we really dislike something Kate is wearing and at a later look, it’s better to us. Also, it works the other way

          I’m not a fan of her particular styles. But, if she likes them – well, she is the one wearing them.

          I think Kate does look better in the clearer jewel tones. But, that is me. When she wears a red, green, or blue that really pop, I think it really lights her up. The more I look at the pictures here, I think this color does not work well on her. Maybe, in person? The lighting could be bad and the color may not be photographing well?

          Have a good day, all.

    3. Hmmmm.. I don’t mind Kate in this colour. I think the problem is that she only wears 1 colour at a time. It’s the same colour from head to toe. Sometimes she even matches her shoes and clutch. It’s just so blah. Like the colour wheel threw up and that’s what came out. I think it would look a lot better if she wore only 1 piece in this colour and made it the focus.

      1. I agree. She can get matchy matchy so wrong at times.

        I hate the skirt, it’s way too poofy for her, looks ridiculous.

        I do love the jacket and it would’ve looked beautiful and smart with some slim black trousers and her hair up.

  11. William gave a great speech. Whoever wrote it, I hope you get a raise. 😛 This is what I expect from a future monarch. This sort of thing, and far, far more often. I do not think William is some great person or anything, as you all know, but I think there’s a lot of potential there that reminds me of the young man he used to be. No, he’s not charismatic and he lacks even an ounce of empathy imo but when he pretends it’s good. The problem is the arrogance and ego; running from his real job, and thinking showing up every few weeks to honor people with his presence is enough.

    Kate looks ridiculous in that pink-purple-whatever suit….thing. The skirt is so childish. With a slim skirt it would be nice except it’s so similar to the red one. Had to make sure we had pictorial evidence she worked more than once today?

  12. This speech by William was a big improvement for this initiative. It did give more insight to what Heads Together is trying to accomplish, I am beginning to think that when this idea was dreamed up by/for W/K/H no one had any plan on how to implement this or what the focus would be. It was like they put the cart before the horse, but maybe they (KP) finally got some help in defining the goals for this program since it appeared to be foundering. All in all, an improvement. Now to the shallow, I kind of liked Kate’s outfit and love the color, but I do agree the skirt made her torso look extra long. I know she is always going to be slender, but to me she looks like she is at a lower than usual weight. Her Adams apple is so prominent, also, as we all agree, she needs to lighten up on the eye makeup, particularly the eyeshadow. The dark grey eyeshadow is aging and harsh on her. Lighter matte neutral eye shadows in the browns and grey eyeliner would work so much better for her.

  13. I loved the speech. Well done William. It’s a shame Kate doesn’t give such focused and coherent speeches. Even if addressing children you can still be informative and include evidence based research. Which is why as the years go on it’s so apparent she is not a natural speaker nor well researched/advised and so she would really benefit from a scriptwriter. Lol maybe one day???

    Aside, I love the colour of the suit. The skirt is a bit childish.

    Overall a good event.

  14. I find it interesting that it’s a good, professional speech when facing MH professionals, but becomes pathetic and uninformed when reaching out to the great unwashed. I wonder if they hired a health writer from the conference to write this for him.

    “You may be wondering why Catherine, Harry and I got involved in this topic in the first place. Mental health is traditionally not a mainstream subject….”

    But it is a sexy cause du jour and Jason knows it. I don’t believe any of the guff about how their ‘work’ inspired them. They are still largely unempathetic know-nothings even if they hired a great speech writer.

    1. It annoys me no end when they talk, straight-faced, about ‘my work’. What work is that? Meet-and-greets for 30 minutes or so? Is there work beyond these public personal PR exercises?

      “They are still largely unempathetic know-nothings” : 100% totally true.

      1. I find it more interesting that he talks as if the copilot is the one treating the pt’s!?! I honestly don’t know how the system works in the U.K. But can assume it’s relatively the same universally. In the US there is usually a critical care nurse and cc paramedic sometimes dr or other staff. The pilot most definitely isn’t out treating the pt’s and as William has no medical training to my knowledge would think as copilot same rules would apply.

          1. It plays into the narrative, the superhero serving prince pilot dude who saves lives because he’s also a paramedic somehow too if he treats the patients!

          2. I should start calling myself dr then =)
            If EAAA were smart, they would have made him and his RPO’s (if they don’t already) get their equivalence of EMT-basic so they’re not completely useless on the flights, taking up space

          3. Sarah, that was the original plan that created the outcry. The RPOs were going to get paramedic training and take the jobs of the paid and committed professionals. In an emergency, their first concern would have been William, not the patient.

            After the public outcry, William put pressure on the government to give EAAA (a private charity) taxpayer money to buy a new larger helo. That helo accommodated a useless co-pilot, his RPOs, and the medical staff.

          4. Nota, wait… his RPOs fly in the heli with him too?!?! Dude!!! That is one seriously overcrowded heli! I work in the back of an ambulance and find it impeding when a family/friend jump in the back with us to go to the hospital. But all those extra people?!?! *face palm* is the only reaction I have.

    2. Why did he, “Catherine”, and Harry get involved in Heads Together? Because Jason Knauf recognized that they–Kate especially–needed a focus, a hot trendy topic, to boost their image as caring, knowledgeable, professional royals, and creating this initiative was the perfect strategy. Others do all the work and research, the royals just smile and take the credit.

      1. Sadly, oh so true. Does the trio not know that we know that they know diddly squat? Do they not know that we know that the Foundation is just a prop created to make them look as if they are doing something without them actually doing anything? Frankly, I cringe when they talk about ‘my work’: such vainglory from such lazy, unaccomplished people! You’d think they’d have just an ounce of humility given the courageous people they meet on their one script drive-by meet and greets. I wish they’d confine their appearances to fund-raising only and donate money asap to those organisations doing the hard yards for their fellow citizens. We really don’t need to hear about wonderful childhoods (fake news!) or awkward attempts to relate to people that, ultimately, do not figure in their world of privilege.

  15. Hmmm, well she did great this afternoon. As for tonight, why couldn’t she wear the same thing from this afternoon? William looks like he is wearing the same thing. Either way though, I don’t like the color at all. I don’t think it is flattering on her. And the style of the whole skirt suit is bad. It is trying to be young and mature at the same time. This was a bad outfit, especially for the price. Oh well, at least this afternoon was a win.

    1. I think sometimes the royals wear different outfits on the same day to differentiate between engagements, so that pictures from one event look one way, and pictures from another event look a different way.

      This outfit to me is a testament to how diverse our tastes are 🙂 I thought the color suits her much better than the usual blue, green or red. You thought exact opposite. Here’s a blessing in diversity if ever was one 🙂

  16. Okay, I’m going to get a bit more personal than I normally get, but I’ve mentioned many of the issues my family has gone over throughout the years after my husband was killed overseas.

    Although the speech is better at the beginning he ties it to being homeless, unemployed etc. which these issues do cause serious problems in the US more Veterans are homeless due to mental illness. They don’t become homeless and then the mental health issues begin. He tries to tie into his work but as a rescue pilot he wouldn’t be encouraged to talk about his issues. He has a mission to do. Period. (okay a little Sean Spicer thrown in for humor) The military cares about the mission being accomplish, and while they may have a psychologist that they can speak too, they won’t “encourage” you to take time off. And maybe the suicide he saw in his minimal work with his current “employer”, did encourage him to start speaking out loud about this issue, but again they haven’t made any concrete steps other than talking to someone. Okay, what happens when you talk to someone? Very little. Most of your friends won’t understand and won’t know what to do. You talk to a doctor, they won’t know what to do and they will do very little.

    Now all of this is based on my own experience. My Danny was killed on the 2nd of January this year when a car was speeding too face through traffic control. There’s a reason you are suppose to slow down when crews are working on the roads and this is why. When I found out I was beyond distraught. My children were gone, my friends were gone due to the holidays. I literally had no one. I called my doctor and got the on call doctor who told me to go to the hospital. The treatment there wasn’t even treatment. It was threats and the refusal to do anything to help with the immense grief I was experiencing.

    I was there for 9 hours and didn’t see a doctor until 8 hours in. The admin nurse had wrote, in the wrong box, that I wasn’t suicidal, but apparently everyone misread it. I was forced to give blood and I was in so much grief I could barely comprehend what had happened. I was then left in a room on my own for hours, until I was yelled at by both on call psychs and the nurse threatened to tie me down to take a urine sample. There wasn’t any explanation for this, except that it was going to happen. I told them to tie me down, call the cops, do whatever they felt they needed to do. I was there only because my on call doctor told me to go there.

    There was literally no one in our town that was going to do anything to help this immediate, extreme shock and was so different than what I went through when my military husband was killed. (yes, I’m not going to marry anyone else because I’m cursed.) When you go through that extreme of shock medication is what you need. All the talking in the world isn’t going to help. I was given 2 mg of ativan and sent home, too late to pick up the prescription, for two small doses of ambien.
    I was sent home to cry myself to sleep and try to keep the will of going on for my children. We have one clinic in town that will accept my insurance. I’m a licensed psychologist and the people who work at this clinic aren’t. They are interns and there isn’t anything they can do except talk to you.
    I’m not ashamed to admit that I called the crisis line every single night for two weeks. What I received for 13 days of those calls were generally men yelling at me and throwing their hands up telling me to go to the clinic that couldn’t do anything for me. It wasn’t until my break down on the 14th night where I received a woman who talked to me like I was a real person and not a script. She assured me that what I had gone through with these other people was not okay. She assured me that I should still be grieving and after an hour found some extreme grief support groups. I will never, ever forget her and what she did.

    So yes, listening will help, but with suicidal people then need immediate medical intervention and sometimes need ongoing support as well as medication.

    I am beginning to believe that Kate is uncomfortable at these places because it hits too close to home. I have said it before that she bounces back and forth and at times I think she is playing to the crowd so she can be excused for not working. But what if there is something more serious there. Could she be bipolar with manic episodes of the continual large smiles that she plays and then she drops down to the other way. Most women with bipolar do not develop symptoms until their 20’s or 30’s. It’s like she wants to create this perfect vision of her family and I honestly don’t believe it is.

    Now I’m not willing to give her a pass unless she comes out and speaks about it directly, but knowing what I have gone through with these severe depressive episodes brought on by extreme grief I could see that it may be something she is going through. Particularly if her husband is running off to an old flame’s wedding and leaving me at home.

    I’m not the only one that has mentioned this, but I get the impression that if these aren’t manic episodes that perhaps it is the effect of xanax, which will make you more relaxes, and it takes the edge off of any anxiety. I also have wondered if the summer break wasn’t more of an intervention with her weight loss and perhaps the issues behind it.

    Now I share my story only because it upsets me when someone says “go talk to someone” because I saw this or I experienced that. They have to have concrete ways for them to get help without any stigmas attached. I know that was a huge issue for what I was going through and the abuse I received because of it. They need to increase funding for mental health. I know that won’t happen here, but there’s no reason it can’t happen in the UK. To me that’s where I feel they should be focusing on. Not simply going to a meeting here or a school there, but really creating a network where anyone can go to get immediate help and not simply told to take a number and come back three weeks from now.

    They aren’t doing that. Instead they are telling you to talk to someone, who will tell you to talk to someone else until you are so exhausted from telling the same story over and over again that you attempt suicide. Now I will tell you that I never seriously considered it, but there was one night where I stayed awake just trying to make that thought go away and I’m a trained professional who should no better. If that happened to me, then it most certainly could have happened to Kate and she is doing her best to hide everything and make it appear as if she has a perfect family. That pressure alone could bring out bipolar disorder.

    So while I’m not going to give her a pass, I use to think she was playing games so she could get out of working. I know she will never put in a lot of effort but I have noticed patterns with her similar to what I have gone through.

    In conclusion ( yes a long winded paper) the whole talking to others spiel needs to progress to concrete action within their national health services. I’m sure that most who commit suicide are aware that they should talk to someone and won’t because of the stigma. That stigma would be erased if they would come forward and say that this is something they battled with (besides their mothers death) or that they battled with depression or being a father brought back the memories of the battles they went through as children or that trying to be the perfect princess has been a tough adjustment even though she spent 10 years as a hanger on.

    That’s my two cents and I’m just really frustrated even though the speech was better than anything they had spoke about previously.

    1. Big big hugs SpringsMom. I was sent to the hospital due to depression and suicidal ideation and the way I was treated was appalling. Waited hours, was threatened, treated like a drug seeker, etcetera. It made me feel WORSE! I don’t want to post about it here, but you are so brave to do so in such a public forum. <3

      Talking is well and good and fantastic with people you trust and/or a qualified professional, preferably both, but when one is treated that way when seeking help that is even more damaging to one's mental state. Even professionals treat those with mental health issues whatever they may be like crap; see your experience, and my own, in hospitals. Or my awful psychiatrists over the years who refused to engage and just prescribed higher and higher doses of drugs not appropriate for CHILDREN (yes, I was on psychiatric meds as a little girl because I was sad my parents divorced, and then as a teenager on insane doses of Prozac). People don’t LISTEN, even if it is their job. I had a wonderful therapist but that was my only good experience in years and years of mental health care.

      I doubt either of them will open up. They must play the perfect couple, the perfect princess, perfect parents. Harry has hinted he has struggled with nightmares and anxiety and perhaps mild PTSD due to his deployments, but that is all; even he closes off when he should be more open about his own experiences as he knows how it is for the veterans he speaks with.

      1. Ellie your journey appears to be very similar to mine and I thank you so much for making me feel that I’m not alone. We just don’t know who else may be going through something similar and in this cyber world that KMR created we have found similar experiences all while discussing British Royalty.

        Yes, seeking drugs is basically what is slapped out you immediately. Okay, fine, but do you have that behavior? Are there any facts or are they jaded by a couple who come in that may be seeking so that everyone who comes into the hospital hysterical (yes, I was hysterical and collapsed on the floor, which is why I was brought back so quickly) is seeking drugs. That in the 9 hours that I was there they wouldn’t let me leave and from my blood tests they saw that nothing came back abnormal except that I was having liver issues that they apparently didn’t feel the need to deal with because they were too busy threatening me.

        I am a 49 year old mother of 4. Danny helped me pick back up the pieces a year after my husband was killed. I didn’t have that this time and I didn’t have the support system that the military supplies

        Dr and nurses need to think about their patients first. They weren’t taking my blood or my urine to provide additional help for me, they were doing it because they clinic required it before they admitted me. They were going to admit me because they thought I was suicidal based on the intake nurse typing in the wrong box.

        This is not okay. It’s not okay for doctors and nurses to take people seriously when they have episodes such as this. Even if I didn’t go through something so horrific, but maybe I just broke and was going through this, is this something they shouldn’t take seriously? Because that’s the way they behave.

        Anyways networks need to be put in place and Will and Kate have the ability to do this. It’s like the Princess Diaries where her best friend brings up the fact that she now has the platform the enact world change. Will and Kate have the ability to enact world change and they have the ability to create this network. They have it within their means to make a long, lasting change that would endear them to their subjects for the next 50 years and they don’t want to do it. It makes me so frustrated to see that.

        Anyways Ellie you are amazing! My son has been on zoloft since he was 5. Yes, at 5 he told me he was stupid and wanted to kill himself. I immedately took him in. He was put on antidepressants and went to counseling for two years. He has now moved in with his girlfriend 20 hours away from mom, but that’s what happens when you have someone advocating for you. What happens if you don’t have someone? You bounce around all over the place and generally receive more abuse than help as you have Ellie.

        Now I would love to talk more about this with you if you are interested? I’m sure that KMR could give you my email if you are interested. Keep your chin up and I will hope for all the best for you and hope that your life brings you unlimited joy! 🙂

        1. SpringsMom, we should e-mail each other! Maybe KMR can give each other contact details? 🙂 I know she has my other, main e-mail address as we’ve e-mailed each other before…

          1. Springsmom and Ellie, I am in awe of your strength, compassion and grit. I too have suffered many years, but when I had my breakdown I was lucky to be taken straight into a great facility and got the best care.
            This time round not so good, our NHS is really struggling especially ‘re mental health services but I’m getting there.
            You are both amazing women and I salute you.

        2. Thank You SpringsMom and Ellie for sharing your personal stories and your grief. Maybe it sounds cavalier of me to say this, but sharing your grief does lighten the burden of grief. You are not alone.

        3. Thanks everyone. This community is great. <3 <3

          I'm doing pretty well all things considered now, so that's good, but sometimes I have my bad days as we all do but they aren't nearly as bad as they were!

    2. Thank you Spring Mom and Elle for sharing your stories. You are both so incredibly brave to share your stories! Many cyber hugs are coming your way! 🙂

      I just wanted to say Thanks to all the wonderful people who comment here, I have learned so much from all of you and I am deeply touched by the personal tales that have been told here. Thanks for making this site such a great place to be!

      1. Along with Queen Lauri and Overit, I send you both my best thoughts and hugs across cyberspace too. Stay strong.

      2. Well said Lauri. Spring Mom and Ellie my heart goes out to both of you. I am sorry to read what both of you have gone through.

        1. To Ellie and SprinsMom, how sorry I am for what you have been through . And, how brave you both are.

          It is true. I don’t think ER’s often handle grief, or depression/anxiety in the best ways. Oh, some may, but what you wrote really is a testament as to how much attention and understanding needs to go into emotional issues at hospitals.

          I really hope that things work well for you both in the future and I can appreciate your strength and understanding of what works and what does not when it comes to proper care.

          A lot needs to be done everywhere in the world. Maybe, William and Kate and Harry are sincere in their efforts and will help things in their country. We all need such help.

          I am tired of so many people’s cavalier responses to the depression/anxiety and/or other mental health issues that other people face. “Just be happy that you don’t have cancer.” Or, “just be thankful for what you do have,” seem to be common ways others approach the subject of mental health issues. So sad. So hard. So wrong!

    3. I am so sorry for what you have already gone through, and that you were mistreated as a result of your response to this terrible event. Even you, as a professional who knows the field, ended up being treated as if you were the problem instead of as a person who was experiencing a problem. I wish any of us had been able to be of help to you.

  17. The speech is better but this is a serious subject deserving of way more than one sorta ok speech. Until there are dozen of attendances and serious speeches I will give no props. I too have had family members who have experienced mental illness, and more than just depression and so I have high standards that need to be met. They have tons of time to work on making this something with substance. They aren’t there yet.

  18. Some of us may be critical of why they may have gotten involved in Heads Together, however, look at how many conversations about mental health were started in this one blog post. And we would not be talking about it without them. They are in fact getting conversations started, which is their goal.

  19. The saddest of news. Tara Palmer Tompkinson has died today, she was only 45. She was PoW God daughter and very formative in the lives of W and H when they were younger. A trouble soul but a lovely, lovely girl who was very well known in U.K. as the more acceptable face of aristocracy because she was such a dear girl with a huge personality but with many flaws but intrinsically a good egg. This news has been in all the UK breaking news bulletins since it was revealed this afternoon.


    1. Over 1600 comments on the DM and most, if not all, positive.

      I wish she were alive to see how she affected strangers positively just by being herself.

      1. It’s really one of the saddest things that she was so insecure and never really understood how much affection there was for her by the GBP. As you say nearly every comment about her has been positive which I hope brings her family some comfort in the days ahead.

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