Royal Foundation invests £2 million in digital mental health start-up

Royal Foundation invests £2 million in digital mental health start-up

After spending the summer putting their heads together, Heads Together dropped some info on phase two of their campaign yesterday. After spending a year telling people it’s okay to have conversations about mental health, Heads Together will now focus on helping people have those conversations. To do this, The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry is investing £2 million in a new start-up for digital mental health innovation.

William, Kate, Harry Heads Together photo April 2017

Several of you guys have questioned the actual results of the Heads Together campaign, so Heads Together dropped some statistics on their campaign. HT worked with YouGov and The Data Science Institute at Imperial University to conduct a survey on mental health to research how the UK is talking about mental health and whether this discussion is changing. HT did not provide data on the survey sample, but of the people surveyed here are some of their findings:

  • 42% of those surveyed said they found talking about their mental health helpful.
  • 83% of people surveyed have actually had a recent conversation about their own mental health.
  • During the course of the campaign, there were 59,000 conversations in the media, and 4.9 million online engagements.
  • The number of men having a conversation with a professional during the campaign period rose 9% from 23% in February to 32% in May.
  • There was an increase in the number of people who said they would feel comfortable talking to a family member, friend, GP/doctor, counsellor or charity in the future.
  • People are most likely to talk to a friend or family member first, and least likely to speak to their HR department at work.
  • 3 in 4 UK suicides are male, and although more men are talking and getting help, they remain significantly less likely than women to have a conversation or get professional support.
  • 4/10 people find it difficult to start a conversation, but 8/10 people who had a conversation about mental health found it helpful.
  • The number of people who had a conversation about their mental health rose from February to April: overall, +12% from 49% to 61%; in men, +15% from 45% to 60%; in women, +9% from 52% to 61%.

Charity partner impact:

  • Anna Freud Centre saw a 42% increase in referrals to parent & child groups.
  • Place2Be saw a 14% increase in downloads of their school resources, with 18,000 downloaded this year.
  • Best Beginnings saw a 104.56% increase in downloads of the Baby Buddy App.
  • The Mix saw a 35% increase in unique under 25 website users during April.
  • Young Minds saw a 15% increase in calls to the parent’s helpline between February-April 2017.
  • Contact partners Help for Heroes and Walking with the Wounded saw 67% and 63% increases, respectively, in referrals to their mental health support.
  • CALM saw double visits to their website after CALMzine interview with Prince Harry and The Duke of Cambridge.
  • Mind’s infoline had its busiest ever day after the London Marathon, with 58% more calls than normal.

Those are some of the statistics Heads Together published, you can read their full report here.

I am very curious about the CALM statistic. I’m wondering if those “double visits” included or excluded visits to the interview’s page, because Harry and William’s interview was published on CALM’s website, so those “double visits” may have just been people going to their site to read the interview.

Heads Together announced that in the next phase of their campaign, they will be investing in programs to help people in the UK’s schools, workplaces, and armed services talk about and get help with their mental health. Which leads into the Royal Foundation’s announcement that they are investing £2 million to establish a new start-up for digital mental health innovation, which will develop new digital tools to help people have conversations about mental health. In their announcement they said:

    “During its Heads Together campaign, The Royal Foundation has found that better tools are needed to help give people the confidence to start a conversation on mental health – whether in times of calm or times of crisis – and to be able have this conversation wherever they are and whenever they need to. This new digital mental health start-up will be led by CEO Victoria Hornby and a Board made up of leading technology experts. The start-up will prioritise tools that could be of particular benefit to young people who are more likely to be seeking advice and help online and on their phones. The funding announced today represents the largest single grant The Foundation has made since it commenced operations in 2011. With the advice and support of its Heads Together partner charities, The Royal Foundation will also be investing in programmes to support better conversations on mental health in schools, workplaces, and within the defence community. Further announcements will be made in the year ahead.”

My criticisms of the Heads Together campaign and the royal trio’s discussion of it are well documented, but it does appear that there have been tangible results from the campaign and that it has raised awareness, so that’s great. Multiple people have asked me in the past if the charity partners have actually received an increase in traffic, but there is no way for me to know that information as I do not have access to their analytics, so it’s great that HT provided some analytics for each charity partner.

The start-up idea is too vague right now to comment on, but I will say that I hope the charity partners get some extra funding from the Royal Foundation in 2017 since they clearly need it with the increased awareness of their charities. Of the 8 HT charity partners, only two received grants from the Royal Foundation in 2016: Place2Be received £130,000, and Best Beginnings received £70,610. Place2Be had previously received £74,124 in 2015, £205,252 in 2014, and £100,000 in 2013 as Kate has been Patron of the charity since 2012. Hopefully all 8 charity partners receive grants in 2017.

Also, William visited the Data Conservatory to speak with representatives from the charities, view the survey results, and film this video:

Tuesday is World Mental Health Day, and William and Harry have a day engagement related to Heads Together, and then Kate is scheduled to join them for a reception at Buckingham Palace in the evening.

William, Kate & Harry run relay at Heads Together Training Day s

William, Kate Heads Together Snapchat filter s

82 thoughts on “Royal Foundation invests £2 million in digital mental health start-up

  1. I always think “Credit where it is due” and I remain to be convinced the the Wales trio actually add much to the mix . . . . . yes they show up . . . . but I don’t see them as engaged. I think Harry works well on Invictus etc and an the assumption that he is getting engaged he would probably be well advised to seperate himself from W&K and the current Foundation and do his own thing.

    1. Are they? They’re creating demand yet not helping provide the supply. Does anyone know how much money they could be distributing or are they distributing all funds?
      And they’re still not tackling serious mental health issues that ‘just talking about it’ won’t help, their approach seems naive and under researched, although I do concede it may be well intentioned.
      Harry seems to be the only one providing concrete, tangible solutions…Invictus and now the newly announced initiative with the armed forces regarding better mental health support.

  2. I hope all of the charities receive grants to keep going considering there isn’t a lot of funding going towards them and I am sure with all the increased interest they are struggling. I am suspicious of this whole thing about a 2m grant for digital resources, but if it helps somehow–that would be great. I assume online access to therapists free of charge because sometimes mental health care is very expensive or it’s hard to get an appointment?

    1. Hmm… I doubt very much that online therapists are part of the mix; the expense would eat up that £2 million pounds in no time. Plus having one-off online conversations with one professional after the other would not solve serious mental health issues. More like money will be spent on online resources explaining mental health conditions, and as they say, how to start conversations is the order of the day. I hope that whatever is conceived does not duplicate what is already available.

      What has never been made clear with HT is the difference between the everyday ups and downs of life and serious, clinical problems of longer duration. The trio’s involvement has been shallow, at best. As we’ve discussed here again and again, the latter category needs professional diagnosis and treatment. And generally speaking, such treatment is group/one-to-one therapy with (maybe) prescribed medication for a condition to be managed.

      I feel disappointed for the charities signing up to HT but have received no funding from the RF to date. Awareness may have been generated but if the charities do not have the funds to address this increased traffic, and be able to treat mental health conditions, what’s the point?

      1. Yes, they seem to just repeat “let’s talk” ad nauseum and focus on feeling sad, down, or anxious. Not real disorders or problems, which need to be addressed by medical professionals. They cannot delve into real funding problems, that would be politics, so why encourage and create an even greater need for a service they cannot support? (Since they can’t get into NHS funding or anything.)

        Harry today at the Employer Recognition Scheme announced some collaboration with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) but I am not sure precisely what it is. They come up with stuff then the details are so very vague. The speech itself was good but as always little meat to it because it’s not like they can get involved in real policy shifts. They can encourage it, sure, but that is all.

        I want them to use the money to fund charities and their endeavours, not create new crap that rehashes stuff and proves little to no help except more websites saying, “Let’s smash the stigma! Let’s talk!”

        1. Oh not another app. Haven’t the young royals been telling people to be less attached to their phones? I think Social Media affects teenagers, how many likes, how many followers etc equates to how popular you are.

        2. “I bet it turns into a bloody ap…”

          It may very well be. HT’s explanation: “The start-up will prioritise tools that could be of particular benefit to young people who are more likely to be seeking advice and help online and on their phones.”

          Since phones can be ‘online’ – yup, another app.

          1. But the Royal trio need to be consistent. Don’t say put down your phones and talk to people, but pick up your phone to look at our new app. There is a total lack of consistency here. Surely it is easy to lie to an app, I. The real world with someone who has consistent contact with you they can tell if you mean what you say. I can send a text ‘I’m fine thx’ while sobbing into my pillow. Surely kids need more human contact not more apps. I know, I’m a dinosaur, but we do need to get kids putting phones down and eyeballing other human beings.

          2. But what if the app were a place to find resources? What else are kids supposed to use? Referrals from friends? The phone book?

            Absolutely get off your phone and get outside, but this could be really great for people who need to locate resources.

  3. KMR, I couldn’t find it anywhere but how large was the sample group of people surveyed? The Imperial University woman said it was the largest survey on mental health carried out but that doesn’t tell me how many people were surveyed or whether previous surveys had similar objectives and were carried out under similar circumstances. So when xx% of people surveyed did y, is it xx% of 1 million people, 100 people, 1,000 people etc? Was it representative of UK people across urban and rural areas? Socio-economic groups? And so on?

    I don’t understand why YouGov and the Data Science Institute did not provide salient information about their sample to legitimise their findings. ‘Cos it’s pretty useless claiming 42% of this and 83% of that unless you drill down. Giving stats of how successful the headbands were blew all credibility in my eyes.

    1. Many years ago in my statistics class in undergrad, my prof mentioned the book “how to lie with statistics”. So I take all stats with a massive grain of salt regardless of the issue. News articles are particularly bad. This seems like better PR from Catherine Quinn, which I guess justifies their existence but I don’t see how more frequent websites translates into people getting the mental health care help they need.

    2. I mentioned in my write up that HT did not provide any information on the survey sample. So I have no information on the survey sample since HT did not provide any. Terribly annoying on HTs part.

      1. This is what I found so far.

        “The Duke of Cambridge visited the College’s Data Science Institute (DSI) to see the impact of the Heads Together Campaign displayed in the Data Observatory…”

        “For the past two months, Imperial experts from the DSI and the Department of Mathematics, along with representatives from Heads Together, have been analysing YouGov data on emerging trends in relation to attitudes to mental health. … Around 14,000 responses from 6 surveys were analysed by the team.”

        Imperial College London, Data Science Institute

      2. “The research shows that a majority of those who have had a conversation sought support from someone close to them – usually either a family member (60%) or a friend (60%). Furthermore, people are more likely to talk to a work colleague (24%) than a GP (19%), while under one in ten (8%) spoke either to a counsellor or a supervisor at work (5%).”
        On Yougov. com published 24 April 2017.

        “Nearly half of us have discussed mental health in the last three months – which was described as a “tipping point” for the issue – and 82% say discussing their own issues was helpful, according to YouGov’s poll, the most comprehensive survey of its kind for 20 years.

        The gulf between the sexes is large, with only 37% of men saying they discussed mental health compared with 54% of women. A total of 57% of those aged 18 to 24 had, compared with just 32% of those over 65.

        The poll was conducted to coincide with the launch of a series of films for the Heads Together campaign, launched by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

        …YouGov polled 5,003 British adults online from February 21 to 28.”

        Here’s the February survey report:

        1. Thanks alot Grace for the additional info! The YouGov pdf is interesting in that it shows of those who did “have a conversation about mental health” the majority (45%) were talking about someone else’s mental health while only 12% had a conversation exclusively about their own mental health. (38% discussed their own & someone else’s mental health. The numbers only add to 95%..maybe 5% didn’t answer?) Given those stats it’s not at all surprising the conversations were with friends and family most often as it would seem the “someone else” is most likely a friend or family (a parent talking to a spouse about a child, adult children talking to sibs about an elderly parent, a friend talking to a friend about the friend’s health, etc) Concerns about the safety of talking to HR aside, I’m really not sure why anyone would talk to HR about the mental health of family or friends unless it was to ask for a leave of absence to take care of a family member.

          Have I missed the data showing an increase in these conversations? From the links I don’t see data showing the purported increase.

        2. This is not a scientific study. This is polling with haphazard sampling, not scientifically established random sampling; it’s for marketing purposes. Eg., who is more likely to answer such a survey? Someone already interested in mental health. This is rubbish in terms of validating the ‘work’ of HT- it’s merely bias confirmation.

    3. Just what I was going to say! I question any group that won’t release their polling data!
      How large was the group? What demographics? Are they polling people with known history, none or both? Was it truly random.
      I’m suspicious
      And love the the headbands

      1. My son ran the marathon, the headband was cheap and nasty! We are framing various things and I asked if he wanted the headband included…absolutely not!!

        1. Oopsies that was supposed to say love the bit about headbands!
          Because I actually think they’re ridiculous and a waste of money

          1. I have to agree about the headbands – I asked for some as the mental health charity for which I work was holding a fundraising event where we would be promoting Heads Together. I was told by the RF that they were too expensive to give out.

      2. The multiple headband ‘data’ was a dead giveaway that this was all PR. I’m still shocked/ suspicious that those undertaking the survey did not release the required info re sample size and all that pertains to it, rendering the exercise a useless PR grab.

  4. Am I a bad person? I just cannot read anymore about their superficial participation in this important platform. Everything is so glib. I am also intrigued by where the stats are from and the idea that one can make stats do what you want them to do is something that shows just how jaded I am when it comes to HT.

  5. I agree that without more information about the sample (size, demographics) the stats aren’t that useful. I also question two things Will reportedly said.

    1. He lamented that 3/4 of suicides were male. Would he be happier if a higher percentage were female? (Actual numbers and per capita stats weren’t mentioned, just gender percentages and he said those were “disturbing.”)

    2. He said it was great people were talking at home but said the goal was to get more people talking to HR. HR depts must be different in the UK than places I’ve worked in the US! If I was struggling with mental/emotional issues HR is the last place I’d go. Maybe because of stigma and worry about job security…HT has not removed all of that by a long shot but I’d not go to HR about a physical illness either unless I had to. I know for a mental illness to be treated like a disability at work and for workplace accommodations to be provided HR has to be informed. (ADA in the US and there is a similar law in the UK) Is that Will’s point? For people with mental illnesses to get workplace  disability accommodations? Or does a referral from an HR dept allow faster access to NHS mental health counseling services? Services that often take months to get? I don’t understand the point in encouraging people across the board to reach out and “have a conversation” with their HR dept.

    1. I was very confused by the HR thing, too. Why would anyone go to their HR department to start a conversation on mental health? The HR department isn’t there to help you with life matters, that’s not their job.

      1. Yeah, I work in HR and I thought this was a weird thing to focus on, but maybe they’re doing a poor job of explaining it.

        Like, I have a colleague who broke her arm a few weeks ago and needed to take a week off work. She alerted the HR department because we will need to coordinate her absence and return. But if one of my colleagues was having a depressive episode I can’t imagine them coming to HR or feeling comfortable taking time off when they absolutely should. There’s just such stigma about taking time off for “mental health” reasons.

        So yeah, HR is not your therapist or your best friend but we are absolutely here to make sure that your professional environment is conducive to a healthy lifestyle, and that any and all accommodations you are legally entitled to are provided.

    2. The statistics on male suicide are alarming and I think William is right to continually bring it up… when one segment of the population is dying at an increased rate it’s important to examine why. Clearly, this group has specific needs that aren’t being met when it comes to mental health care, and it’s very hard to pinpoint what’s missing since so many people with mental illness suffer in silence.

      Not to put it too glibly but yeah, a lot of health professionals would be happier if there were parity in the percentage of female and male suicides. Obviously, the goal is fewer suicides all around, but when one group of people is dying at an increased rate maybe it’s important to focus on that.

      1. I think different wording was needed. It did sound like a 50/50 M/F suicide split would be cause for celebration. And without knowing the actual rates that doesn’t make sense. We also know the male rate is higher because the methods they use are more lethal. Women attempt suicide at higher rates than men but men suceed more often (in the US anyway)

      2. I read a study once (awhile back so may be fuzzy)that men had a higher suicide rate becuase they generally choose more violent method (gun, hanging or jumping)thus making it more successful. Women usually choose pills thus higher chance of reviving.
        So I don’t know if this number includes attempted suicide as well

        1. I have heard this too. Even attempted suicides are more likely by males because female failed attempts may be easier to “hide” due to method (e.g. pills; wrist cutting) and thus underreported.

  6. About the HR thing, a lot of companies have EAPs, which are Employee Assistance Programs. It is an outside vendor that can provide the employee with a referral to a counselor. EAPs also help with other things like, scheduling travel for a vacation or finding a daycare. There is no cost to the employee. At my company, an employee gets five free visits to a mental health professional per issue. The company does not receive information on those who specifically use the service, only overall data (example, 100 people called EAP for a referral in the past year).

    1. At my workpace though one advantage to the EAP program is employees call directly. We don’t go through HR nor are the appts held at the workplace. That helps to provide a stronger sense of confidentiality. Maybe it’s different in the UK? I don’t think the EAP we have does anything but very short-term counseling usually with a focus on workplace issues–don’t think it does vacation travel planning kinds of things. But I haven’t asked.

      1. In Ontario it would be your family physician that makes a referral to a counsellor or psychologist/ psychiatrist depending on the severity of the issue. That is covered through regular OHIP. Some employers provide additional resources through benefits, but that is something you don’t need to speak with HR about since they would have provided your benefits booklet upon hire.

        Will sounds like a guy who has never worked when he says that stuff about HR. Few employees go to HR except to advise of time off.

    2. EAP is used in Australia and provides confidentiality to the patient. While there are some great people in HR, it needs to be remembered it is a management tool and should push come to shove, sensitive information can be used against an employee eg to get rid of them, justly or unjustly. The general feeling about HR in my workplace is that you give them no reason for their eyes to fall on you for any reason. SO I wonder what William is getting at. Does he really think that HR is there for mental health referrals? Perhaps he is thinking that all workplaces are like the rather enlightened EAAA organisation he spoke of glowingly in terms of staff in hugely stressful jobs are encouraged to alert those further up the chain of problems. Given hte life and death nature of the work I can see that that is a very sensible requirement. In other workplaces, it could prove problematic for reasons mentioned before.

      1. Having never worked a job in the normal sense of it, perhaps William doesn’t understand the overall role of HR within an organisation? He seems to be trying to give good advice, but his lack of experience makes the suggestion fall a bit short of reality.

        1. Yes, the sheltered nature of Wiliam’s life and he constant pandering to him his whole life actually disadvantages him in his role.

  7. Just curious why they had to do go to the Data Science Institute for these statistics. These can be generated using a simple Excel. Anyway, not my money to spend for expensive analysis, not my choice.

    Started watching The Royal House of Windsor on Netflix. Puts each of these folks in a different perspective. Starting to wonder if they are really passionate about the charities or just want to keep at it for the “survival” of their dynasty. Why should the tax payer even pay for their daily living? Don’t they already have trust funds to live off of for generations to come? Are they waking up everyday at 4:00 AM in the morning to work with the charities? Does she even know what it is to have HG and raise other kids and work and take care of home without help?

    It just amazes me how much they can get away with!!!

    1. They should be linking what they receive in direct relation to what they give back. To let Kate spend 200k yearly on clothing for very few appearances is excessive waste. She already has enough clothing for several lifetimes.

      1. I agree. May be that way it would be more transparent and folks wouldn’t feel so resentful. I feel that more of the millennials don’t even care about W&K or the Windsors (Mountbatten-Windsors 😉 ). If the amount of spending is tied directly to the amount of work done, it would be a great way to keep the spending in check. Why would anyone want to spend $2K per outfit to show up for 2 hrs in that outfit? Especially when not paying for it out of pocket. Would these outfits be donated or auctioned off to raise money? It would a good way to do it. All the proceedings can help the charities they work with. It just gives me mental stress to think that my hard earned income taxes are going for some lazy folks outfits. Sigh!

    2. Watching it on Netflix, too. Really makes you feel that survival of the monarchy is their only goal. Except, perhaps, for Prince Charles, who fought a lot of static from BP to start the Prince’s Trust, which I hope his feckless sons don’t let wither away.

      Reading Ma’am, Darling about the myriad ways Princess Margaret could be rude, so I may be a little cranky about the whole royal family.

  8. Who thinks Kate will come out of hiding tomorrow? It will be interesting to see how she looks. I hope she and baby are well, but if she has suffered HG I think it will be very apparent…that is said as a genuine HG sufferer.

    1. I still think that her bad spell aligns with when non HG sufferers have morning sickness. She looked fine in the later trimesters for both George and Charlotte and even did unnecessary travel.

    2. It will be interesting to find out. Part of me thinks that she will make a short appearance and everyone will applaud her courage and will be sympathetic that she must leave and rest. Part of me thinks, why should she work when she has a pregnancy to fall back on.

      At any rate, I wish her and the baby well, too. But, it is hard to believe that she is so very, very ill.

      1. Hi Jenny, I agree with your first line of thought, she’ll show up for a brief appearance and everyone will “ooh and aah” over her courage and strength. Sigh….

    3. I’m 50/50 at the moment. Half of me thinks Kate will go because Emily Andrews tweeted that Kate was over her morning sickness, but half of me thinks Kate will pull out last minute due to being too sick to attend. I could see it going either way.

      1. I thought the entire point of HG was that you are never “over” the morning sickness until the child is born. I don’t know who is telling Emily Andrews that Kate is “over” her morning sickness, but if it’s someone from KP, then they are contradicting the actual HG symptoms.

          1. Nevermind, just read the KP announcement for this pregnancy and they did say she had HG.

            Nic919, yeah I’ve also heard that with HG suffers can lose significant amounts of weight and that it does last longer than regular morning sickness.

        1. HG is different for everybody. In some cases, you never get over the morning sickness until birth. In other cases, the morning sickness gets better or disappears after a few months (different timeframe for every woman and every pregnancy). This is a very individual and hormonal thing that differs greatly, so I don’t think that you can say in general that it always lasts until bith 🙂

          1. In my personal experience, HG increases with each pregnancy. 1st pregnancy okay. 2nd bad. 3rd worst kinda thing. But yes, weight loss is a very common noticeable side effect. Oh my, I was losing weight without even trying! But of course, it varies by individual. Probably she will hide till she looks okay.

        2. Kate’s HG just conveniently disappears so she can go on holidays. 😉 Or when she’s so, so sick she has to go to hospital she drives herself from Berkshire to London!

          She looks hale and hearty today at the HT event.

          1. If I wanted to I could share pictures of me pregnant. I looked so, so gaunt. It was horrific (and as I’ve said my doctor didn’t even diagnose me with HG, I just was throwing up constantly and could only keep down certain things like baked potatoes, chicken, and I lived off Coke as it helped and all the drugs did nada!). This is one reason I have very few pictures of me pregnant. Even at nine months I had a belly and the rest of me looked so under-nourished. It’s scary to look at honestly.

      2. Nope, HG does not necessarily last longer than regular ole morning sickness. It certainly can, and quite often does, but my GP told me that most cases of HG dissipate by about 21 weeks and that most all of her patients have felt well by 18.

    4. Baby? According to this week’s New Idea… it’s babies. Yep – from their confidential source (not Jessica Hay this time) Kate is pregnant with twins.

      1. Yes, well, I can just imagine! Two for the price of one for Will and Kate!
        Oh, gosh, she will never be able to work again! Really, do you think it is twins?
        I’ve been thinking this “baby” is a girl. Now, I’m having to imagine what the second one will be. Part of me thinks, they are so lucky they will have a boy and a girl. But, another part of me says, if there are twins, they will both be girls. George and William will become closer than ever. They will need to stick together like glue with so much female energy in their Royal House.

        Oh, after typing the last prediction, I am thinking it will be a boy and girl twins. Then, Kate won’t have to get pregnant again. Nor, will she have to work! Four kids, come on! Give her a break, all! (To quote our dear Queen Lauri, “Sigh”)!

        1. The tabs have been reporting Kate is expecting twins for at least a full yr. The next part of the story is usually that one will be named “Diana.” Do twins run in her family? I don’t believe twins have been born in the BRF for centuries.

  9. In the beginning of the year, PW had a conversation with Stefani Germanotta online about mental health. At the time, the news outlets wrote “The Duke and Lady Gaga also made plans to meet in the UK in October to discuss how they can work together and do more to tackle stigma on mental health with Lady Gaga saying ‘we have to make the strongest, most relentless attempt we can to normalise mental health issues.’”

    Will Lady Gaga be at the receptions tomorrow?

    1. Well after reading…

      The Duchess of Cambridge’s former private secretary Rebecca Priestley, née Deacon is to be honoured next week, most likely by the Queen. Rebecca will be given the Royal Victoria Order at a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony on Wednesday 11 October. The honour is given to people who have served Her Majesty or the monarchy personally.

      Rebecca was a member of the royal household for ten years. She started working specifically as Kate’s right-hand woman in 2012, one year after the Duchess married Prince William. Often seen by Kate’s side at events, Rebecca’s duties included organising official programmes and engagements and ensuring Kate was briefed on who she was meeting.

      1. Rebecca certainly worked for it there is no denying that. But considering Kate still doesn’t have a family order or anything really, shows a bit what the Queen thinks of her work ethic. Sophie got a family order within 5 years of marriage and she had young kids and almost died giving birth to one of them. And Sophie also received a Royal Victorian Order a few years after that.

        1. I don’t think it has anything to do with her work ethic. Sophie is married to the son of the Queen; Catherine is married to the grandson.

    2. Isn’t unusual for people who worked for the households for some time like Rebecca did to be honored with the RVO. It’s what they do as a sort of ‘thank you for your service’.God knows that woman probably put up with so much garbage!!

      1. I don’t think Rebecca earned this. How much work did she really do? Putting up with Kate’s laziness? Where was the actual research that needed to be done for all Kate’s appearances? Or, did Rebecca do it and Kate just refused to look at it? Yes, I do recall William admitting he didn’t read briefs. I’m sure Kate doesn’t either.

        Rebecca’s sloppiness in appearance and her inability to persuade Her Laziness to at least make efforts during her appearances — at least in the early years of employment — don’t add up to a Royal Order to me.

        It is rather telling, though, that Rebecca receives such an Honor before Kate does.

        And, what is the B on her necklace? “B” for Bex? Becky? Or, am I missing something?

        1. It’s not her problem that Kate is lazy, petulant, and arrogant just like her husband. I think anyone who deals with these two for years (and before that, William himself!) deserves some recompense considering the pay is horrendous!

          I am sure Rebecca did her job. Not her fault Kate doesn’t read or prepare herself, nor does William; there are very detailed briefings that go into these events, and William’s proud to laugh it off and mock all that work because he’s too cool for it.

  10. I’ve just been on the iPhone App Store and the leading item is a mental health app, ‘about it and where to get help’. It’s launched by Stephen Fry so.. Looks like HT failed to get their HT in time and have been beaten to it by one of the UK’s most loved ‘luvvies’. (I hate his politics but love him for Jeeves & Wooster and QI, the guy is a comic genius..) What does this mean for the HT app I wonder?

    Disclaimer: I’ve not downloaded it, he may sing their praises but I’m doubtful . If anyone does download it you can let us know!

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