Kate Middleton gave a speech yesterday, March 23, when she visited the launch of the ‘Out of the Blue’ film series with Best Beginnings and Heads Together at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Kate started her visit by giving a speech ahead of the presentation of some of the films.
“Before I begin, I know you would all want to join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to all those sadly affected by yesterday’s terrible attack in Westminster. We will be thinking of all the families, as we discuss the important issues we’re here to talk about.
“I would like to thank Best Beginnings for inviting me here to introduce the ‘Out of The Blue’ series. This collection of films highlights how vital it is to be open about our mental health especially in the early years of parenthood. Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience. However, at times it has also been a huge challenge – even for me who has support at home that most mothers do not.
“Nothing can really prepare you for you the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together. Your fundamental identity changes overnight. You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost. And yet there is no rule book, no right or wrong – you just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family. For many mothers, myself included, this can, at times lead to lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance.
“Sadly, for some mothers, this experience can be made so much harder due to challenges with their own mental health. Two in ten women will suffer mental health issues that can occur during pregnancy and in the year after birth, often clouding their moments of joy with a real sense of darkness and isolation. Many of these women also suffer in silence, overwhelmed by negative feelings, but also afraid to admit to the struggles they are facing due to the fear or shame of what others might think if they ‘aren’t coping’.
“Some of this fear is about the pressure to be a perfect parent; pretending we’re all coping perfectly and loving every minute of it. It’s right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains. It’s ok not to find it easy. Asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness. If any of us caught a fever during pregnancy, we would seek advice and support from a doctor. Getting help with our mental health is no different – our children need us to look after ourselves and get the support we need. Conversations are crucial for mental wellbeing and they should be part of everyday family life. Talking about a problem with a friend or another trusted person can be the beginning of getting better.
“This week, as we look forward to Mother’s Day, I would love to see everyone celebrate and value the fundamental importance that mothers play in family life. Mothers take on an overwhelming responsibility of caring for their families. Their role is vital in providing unconditional love, care, and support at home, particularly in the early years of a child’s development. We therefore should do everything we can to support and value their hard work.
“The work of Best Beginnings is vital. By providing tools and resources to help parents establish their own confidence and their own self-awareness, Best Beginnings enables mothers and fathers to do the best they can for their families. The Out of the Blue films you are about to see are also an amazing example to all parents, that starting conversations and asking for support is a real source of strength. They have been created with real parents, talking honestly and openly about their own experiences of parenthood.”
This is potentially the best written speech Kate has ever given, right? Did she finally get William and Harry’s speech writer? I like that Kate mentioned herself, and acknowledged the fact that she has help in the home that most women do not (since that has been a big sticking point around here, that William and Kate discuss parenthood and never acknowledge that they have help). I don’t have children, so I cannot comment on the experience of being a mother, but I like that Kate acknowledges that some women do have a hard time dealing with motherhood, and that not everything is wonderful and roses and sunshine that celeb mothers usually spout. People take to things differently, and that’s fine. People need to allow women to process pregnancy and motherhood individually without judgement. The “Your fundamental identity changes overnight” line kind of bothered me, but, as I said, I’m not a mother so I cannot comment on that.
Kate’s delivery is still pretty bad, but it’s not as bad as it was in the past and at least she didn’t touch her hair. But her voice is still so weak and unconfident and monotone that I zone out and can’t focus on what she’s saying – I’d rather read the speech than listen to her talk.
After giving her speech, Kate met with mothers during a parent support group. Kate spoke to several women about their experiences dealing with mental health issues after giving birth. Kate said to the women:
“I feel very passionately about women – and fathers, getting the help they need at the right time and being able to talk about these issues. I know if William was here then he would say the same. Well done to you all in taking the step to come here and talk about your experiences. Having that conversation is so important.”
Best Beginnings, a Heads Together partner, supports parents to give children up to age 3 the best start in life by developing practical, simple, educational and interactive tools to support parents-to-be and new parents. The Out of the Blue series is a series of films created by Best Beginnings to help people unerstand that parental mental health is important.
Kate then joined in a photocall before leaving.
The red and white Eponine London two piece from the SS16 collection that Kate wore to XLP in March 2016 made a reappearance, this time teamed with nude accessories: LK Bennett Nina clutch and Gianvito Rossi nude suede pumps. She also wore her Kiki McDonough morganite drops.
Kate in March 2016, and in March 2017. I wasn’t a fan of this before, and I am not a fan of this now.
Kate’s engagement came one day after a terror attack at Westminster which caused the Queen to cancel an engagement, lest she draw resources. The Queen released a statement following the attack:
“Following the shocking events in Westminster, Prince Philip and I are sorry that we will not be able to open the New Scotland Yard building as planned today, for very understandable reasons. I look forward to visiting at a later date. My thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathy are with all those who have been affected by yesterday’s awful violence. I know I speak for everyone in expressing my enduring thanks and admiration for the members of the Metropolitan Police Service and all who work so selflessly to help and protect others.”
My thoughts are with those affected by Wednesday’s attack, and I hope everyone stays safe and strong.
PS. Cepe Smith on Twitter tweeted last night that The Queen has approved the nomination for Kate to have a membership to the Tuvalu Order of Merit. I checked the Charities and Patronages list of the British royal website and it’s there for Kate, but I checked Wikipedia and I haven’t found anyone else with this. I Googled and could only find this blue and yellow ribbon from the Worcestershire Medal Service. There is no Wikipedia entry for the Tuvalu Order of Merit. I don’t know if this is an Order like the Order of the Garter or if it is something else. I know literally nothing about this.
Kate visited Tuvalu in 2012 (from September 18-20) with William. I wonder why only Kate would get this and not William, if they visited together. Odd.