Duchess Kate: Kindness ‘is just as important as excelling at maths or sport’

The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of Place2Be, accompanied by The Duke of Cambridge attends ‘The Big Assembly’ by Place2Be hosted at Mitchell Brook Primary School

Here are some photos of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge out and about in London today. They were doing an event for Place2Be, which is one of Kate’s patronages, and it’s one of the charities that falls under the Heads Together umbrella. This is the start of Children’s Mental Health Week, so Will and Kate met with children at the Mitchell Brook Primary School, with the goal of “starting the conversation” with kids about their mental health.

For the event, Kate wore this red suit by Luisa Spagnoli, which she has worn several times over the years. This suit has been in her closet since before she was married! And it still looks good-ish. The peplum drives me up the wall, but I do like Kate in red, and I enjoy it when she chooses a suit with a straight skirt rather than some girlish, full-skirted dress. Still, she knew she was going to be spending time with kids for this event. Did she need to wear heels, just so she could tower over them? Kate also made a little speech or something at this event. Some highlights:

“People often ask me why I am so interested in the mental health of children and young people,” the Duchess of Cambridge began. “The answer is quite simple: it is because I think that every child should have the best possible start in life. When I was growing up I was very lucky. My family was the most important thing to me. They provided me with somewhere safe to grow and learn, and I know I was fortunate not to have been confronted by serious adversity at a young age. For some children, maybe there are some here today; I know that life can sometimes feel difficult and full of challenges.”

“I think that every child should have people around them to show them love, and to show them kindness, and nurture them as they grow. This is what Place2Be is doing so amazingly here in your school. My parents taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect and honesty. I realize how central, values like these have been to me throughout my life. That is why William and I want to teach our little children, George and Charlotte just how important these things are as they grow up. In my view it is just as important as excelling at maths or sport.”

[From People & Evening Standard]

She cares about children’s mental health because she was “lucky” enough to be born into a supportive middle-class family, basically. This is a consistent problem with Kate’s message – she associates mental health with family upbringing, as if the only kids with mental health issues are the ones without supportive families, and if you have a supportive and wealthy family, your mental health will be a lot better overall. I understand the point she’s trying to get to, but Poor Jason and her speechwriters need to get Kate to move off of talking about mental health in terms of her own privileged upbringing. Also: is kindness just as important as math or sports? I’m really asking.

Cambridges Place2Be visit

Cambridges Place2Be visit

Cambridges Place2Be visit

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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87 Responses to “Duchess Kate: Kindness ‘is just as important as excelling at maths or sport’”

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  1. Patricia says:

    “Maths or sport” hahaha the little differences between American and British English give me a chuckle.

    • Tris says:

      I know! I’d say “math and sports”.

      • Citresse says:

        How about math and science in that science can also include social sciences. Being kind is more important than any academic study though we live in a competitive world so sometimes, unfortunately, kindness falls by the wayside.

    • Lex says:

      It always irks me hearing “math” with no s!

  2. Tris says:

    Yes, kindness is just as important as maths and sport.

    • Lyka says:

      Seconded.

      • Marlena says:

        I totally agree. Maybe in a world with rightwing populism on the rise and our economy being rules by predator capitalists, it is more important than ever to teach children to be decent, kind and generous.

      • Aims says:

        Third. How you interact and treat people is way more important than running fast or making a basket .

      • Megan says:

        To quote Ricky Gervais as Derek, “kindness is magic.” I think it is more important than math or sports.

    • MsGoblin says:

      Indeed, yes.

    • original kay says:

      Nah, she is just trolling us :)

      No way can she write the trump/political threads she does and not believe kindness is more important.

    • Hazel says:

      Absolutely, it’s just as important, but how is it measured? How does one kind child receive a trophy and the other kind children not?

    • wolfpup says:

      She needs only to bend over – - -let’s look at her butt! Is that truly what women consist of – pretty thighs, etc. for consumption of men?

  3. Lainey says:

    I had a great childhood. Loving family,loads of friends, pretty smart and I had everything I needed.- didn’t stop me from developing crippling anxiety and depresssion and spending three years battling suicidal thoughts. The fact that I appeared to have everything made it difficult to talk out – I had everything so how did I have the right to feel like this and yet I did. Someone needs to explain this to the Cambridges. That and talking doesn’t help everybody.

    • Amelia says:

      +1 to all of this.

      A happy, healthy childhood does not preclude the occurrence of mental illness.
      I don’t doubt that there’s correlation between a disruptive/abusive childhood and the diagnosis of mental illness, but it’s worth reiterating that a lot of people become poorly with no obvious reasons or signposts as to *why* they are poorly.
      It just happens, and their treatment and concerns are just as valid as anyone else’s.
      Having a mental illness sans a tragic basckstory is not a sign of weakness or a lack of moral fibre, etc.

      /rant over.
      Not quite sure where I was going with this, but needed to get this off my chest 😊

      I definitely would’ve appreciated someone acknowledging that you can appear to have everything you could ever need or want in the world, and still be depressed, etc. I might not have felt so damn fraudulent otherwise.

      Also, kindness > mathS > sport.
      “Don’t be a dick” ~ Adam Hills.

    • BLewis1776 says:

      I agree completely. One thing she doesn’t and never addresses is children’s and even adult’s access to resources and social stigma (granted she is just very very peripheral spokesman with what I think is limited interest because every speech about this subject she does is the exact same, showing she hasn’t learned or tried to learn much from her visits. There are many complex issues and she is by no means a flag-bearer for change but if she accepted this cause she needs to do a hell of a lot better job). I grew up in a house where mental illness was talked about openly but I know it is still stigmatized for a lot of people. That keeps a lot of people, regardless of situation from seeking help. I don’t know if it is similar in the UK but here in the US I have always had a difficult time finding a psychiatrist when I move and I know this (where I currently live it took me 6 month to find a psychiatrist, three month wait for an appointment and an two hour round trip every time I have to go see them), but someone who is reaching out for the first time might not. They might give up if they have to wait 3 months to get into to see a Dr., can’t afford the medications, can’t afford to even see the Dr., or drive over an hour to see a Dr. The process to get a help is very difficult and unfortunately with the current mental health set-up takes persistence which people who are nervous, unsure, or embarrassed could find very hard.

      Very sad to see that she uses her position and patronage to talk about vague references to love and support and how she had a great childhood but never address the complex social and institutional problems that people with mental health face.

    • Shambles says:

      Absolutely. I had a very safe and loving childhood for the most part, but I struggle with depression and anxiety every day. Like you said, the fact that I lived such a privileged life makes it all the harder to talk about.

      • wolfpup says:

        You, however, my sweet Shambles, will never give up on finding your peace. Your search will bring all that to many others…. Not that you care about them, when all one one wishes in one’s life, is merely sunshine. It’s so difficult to navigate! However, may all the sweetest blessing in my life, find you. Slurppity licks and love, from a wolfpup…

    • notasugarhere says:

      After all the criticism last time, she appears to double down on the “have a happy family, won’t develop mental illness” theme.

    • Llamas says:

      I was just about to say, “tf? My parents provided me with everything a child could want and I still have a plethora of mental illnesses. Like more than 5…” Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. My mom had a horrible childhood filled with abuse and she doesn’t have mental illness so it’s not a “family environment is the root cause of mental illness.” Sometimes you just develop an illness. Of course environment can play a role but fgs having a “perfect family” life is not the determining factor. All she would have to do is go on freaking Wikipedia to figure this out.

      Can we all collectively get her sacked from being an advocate and get someone who actually knows something about mental illness?

      • paddyjr says:

        Yes! Instead of bringing attention to this issue, she is perpetuating a stereo-type and doing more harm than good. Yes, supportive parents and money can help, but they are not the only answer. Mental illnesses don’t discriminate and have more to do with ‘nature” than “nurture.”

        My aunt and uncle have three children: their oldest child, the only son, has severe mental issues. He has been homeless, hospitalized and has done harm to himself. The younger two children are extremely well-educated, happily married with 5 children between them. My aunt and uncle could not be more supportive of their children and have given them every opportunity they can. My cousin’s mental problems are especially hard on my aunt because she is the “supermom” who takes care of everything and fixes all the problems, but she can’t help her son get better. They can give him money, work with his doctors and make sure he has a roof over his head and food to eat, but they can’t cure him.

  4. Clare says:

    Hate to be that guy – but I detest when people equate being good at sports with being good at basic subjects like math. Being a good cross country athlete in high school is probably not going to help you keep track of your finances, stress test your mortgage or get a job. It’s a false equivalency.

    I mean, sports can be an absolutely fantastic outlet and experience for some (not all) people, but I think at least intermediate knowledge of basic subjects like Math, English and History are absolutely vital – the two shouldn’t be conflated.

    Math > Sport.

    • Chrissy says:

      I agree, Clare. It’s like she’s say a math genius is as important as a successful athlete. Why she can’t see that she’s comparing apples to oranges is beyond me. In my world, being good in math is far more valuable, practical and useful.

    • Adele Dazeem says:

      Totally agreed. I see some scary parents that probably disagree. The way they scream at their little, little kids at sport practice makes me want to call child protective services.

    • Elle R. says:

      Agreed! I would even say that being kind should be more important than math or sports or any other extracurricular. The problem is you can’t put kindness on a college application or resume, so it’s somehow “less” important.

  5. Ramona says:

    I dont think kindness is as important as Math or Sport, I thinks its more important. Its the one guaranteed way to leave your mark on the world regardless of where you end up. And whatever you end up excelling in, whether Math or Sports, your impact will be louder if you are also kind. People really ride this lady too much.

    • Christina says:

      This comment is absolute perfection, thank you!!

    • Kloops says:

      Absolutely. I’ve just started noticing your comments, but you’re really nailing it in the common sense department.

    • Susannah says:

      I definitely agree with what you’re saying about kindness. What’s that old proverb? I think it’s something like, “Kindness is like snow, it beautifies everything it covers.”
      A little kindness can make a difference in someone’s life. So much of bullying today, especially in the social media age we live in now, where people are constantly trolling, calling people horrible names and just treating people with general disrespect, could be remedied with civility and kindness. If we were all a little kinder to everyone maybe the world would be a slightly better place.

      • Llamas says:

        “beautifies everything like snow…” unless you live in Chicago where it always looks like a pile of dung lmao

    • Nic919 says:

      What does Kate do that is actually kind? She only attends charitable events now because it is part of the job in exchange for living in palaces and wearing designer clothes. And she barely attends for more than an hour at a time. She never did any volunteer work prior to getting married and had years of free time to do it. Simply spouting the word kindness is utterly meaningless if you haven’t lived your life demonstrating that. She is 35 and should have loads of examples of kind actions, except there are none.

  6. Trixie says:

    Math is important for everyone just for basic living. Sport is only important to the people who like sports. Kindness… I’d probably put that above sport since kindness benefits more people than sport does, but it is certainly not more important that math.

  7. Fluffystuff says:

    Kindness is more important that maths or sport. People often underestimate the impact of their behaviour. You’re also statistically more likely to suffer from mental health problems if you come from a poor background. Not that I’m defending Kate at all. It is extremely patronising for someone from a privileged background, who has never had to struggle, to tell these children that she understands. She really has no idea and I doubt she really even tried to comprehend what some of these kids have been through.

  8. Angie says:

    First-time commenter but long-time lurker. Your website has the best comments – a cup of tea and scrolling here is the best part of my morning. You guys always write exactly what I’m thinking!
    Not sure about the importance of kindness in comparison to math and sports, but actively finding ways to be kind to others helped me heal from a severe panic disorder last year. That, plus medication and therapy.

  9. Mikeyangel says:

    I would have to agree with the general statement that kindness is as important (or even more so than sports) although one may not be as successful if kindness is their main strength. I have three kids six and under and would rather have a kind child than one who is an a$$hole but great at sports. Now combining kindness with other strengths and determination is my goal with my kids. I have to say the day I picked up my daughter from VPK and her teacher told me how she was the only kid who would play with this boy (who no one else would play with that day), it made my heart swell with how loving she is, and so proud. You can teach math, a kid can learn (maybe not always be great) to play sports, but an inherent kindness is a gift in my opinion.

  10. iseepinkelefants says:

    According to people around her she doesn’t posses kindness… Hasn’t she been called a mean girl quite a bit?

    • Clare says:

      Yep – her old ‘friends’ have also claimed that she is a social climber and can be quite ruthless. eep.

    • I’m not convinced she’s a mean girl. There are claims of her being frosty and claims of her being approachable and friendly. No one makes it in the spotlight without people being willing to sell their stories to whichever media outlet wants to shape the narrative. Overall it would seem there are no scathing stories of Kate being a ruthless bitch so…I’m not convinced. Just waiting for someone to mention the tired old roller skating story :/

    • notasugarhere says:

      Yes, just ask all the women she hounded away from William. Or the Yorks and the “tired old roller skating story” of her swearing at much-younger Beatrice in public and the press catching Bea crying in the bathroom. Just because you don’t like the story doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or doesn’t matter.

      Or look at the many staff who have left their employ in the last few years. The Prickly Princess comments came from somewhere. I don’t think either she or William are easy people to be around.

      The times when she’s said to be nice and friendly? Those are often comments from the sales staff at expensive stores who are getting PR and revenue because of their comments.

      • I didn’t say I didn”t like the story. I am just tired of the story. But since we’re chatting about it – Kate did not curse Eugenie out in front of a group of reporters. After Eugenie asked her repeatedly why she wasn’t told about the dress code for the party Kate turned to her and said “F off” At that point a shocked and embarassed Eugenie fled into the bathroom to cry. There was one reporter there when it happened and that is the same reporter who was there as a friend and guest of Eugenie. I trust her version, which is a straightforward, eyewitness account.
        The
        Now making a teenage girl cry is a bitchy thing to do but if the behavior hasn’t been proven to be a part of her character I can not get too worked up about it. Some would say that Bea, Eugenie and Harry mocking Kate’s background and her mother’s former role as a stewardess is quite bitchy as well. Lastly there are plenty of former friends, supervisors, classmates and teachers who have said Kate is lovely. I don’t believe either extreme. I think everyone has a reason to report as they do. I choose to listen to all sides as I have no agenda. I like the fact that you are willing to call the Cambridges out on their indefensible laziness but with all due respect, everyone here is allowed to have his/her own opinions about the royals.

  11. PettyRiperton says:

    I’m not a professional speechwriter but I could’ve wrote something better than the same tired crap they make her utter. She’s nice looking not drop dead gorgeous I mean if she was that would at least make up for her other shortcomings. She can’t dress, she gives half assed speeches and she sometimes shows up for “work” Willam got himself a dud. Well at least she comes with a bonus family for Willy that kisses his ass.

  12. Natalia says:

    I think it is more important. People forget who won awards but everyone remembers how they were treated.

  13. Ollie says:

    Not surprised. That’s some “Cinderella be kind” talk. Kate is a rich girl. It was clear she would marry well and not need a real education to find a job.
    Ex-classmates from St Andrews outed her years ago. She was known to cheat in tests. Copying other peoples answers without asking isn’t kindness either..

    • Chrissy says:

      I wish those people would come out of the woodwork and call out the hypocritical, deep-as-a- puddle Duchess. She and her “work” are the definition of fluff.

    • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

      Its also alleged that she got a LOT of help from tutors to get her onto that course and then to get her through it. Her time at St Andrews has been whitewashed but I do recall reading that one former class mate said that she had her eyes on William from the second she arrived, she was obsessed with him.

      Plus lets not forget the stories of the bullying she and Pippa did throughout the GF years, not only to any woman who dared look at him but to members of his own family (the York Princesses). She is not a nice person.

      • Can we please stop using the word bullying unless it really applies. I’ve done anti-bullying research/volunteering and nothing here constitutes bullying. Just spoiled, entitled young people trying to outbitch one another – this goes for every one of them.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Uncle Gary commented that she always had to work a lot harder at things, academics included, but that things came easier for Pippa.

  14. Odette says:

    Kindness is more important. A little more kindness in the country would have saved us from Baby Fists. Besides, not everyone CAN excel academically or athletically (she’s right) — but everyone can practice kindness.

    That said (hypocrisy noted), this is the speech version of that 30 Rock episode, about backdoor bragging…

  15. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    I too had a supportive family who taught me many great things but I was badly bullied throughout my childhood and it left me with anxiety issues – her ‘message’ really really makes my blood boil as it contributes to the stigma of childhood mental health. There is more to childhood mental health than talking about it in a safe place, what about children who have real medical conditions. That only poor family who’s parents have to work produce children with MH issues – take a look in the mirror Waity, your upbringing clearly never prepared you for working life.

    As for the speech – another cut and paste job from her previous speeches and again badly executed. Her tone was patronising and she emphasised the wrong words – words like ‘me’ and ‘fortunate’ made it all about her and her amazing family. She tried to relate but came across as patronising other families.

    When are they going to move forward from ‘starting the conversation’, they’ve been starting it for over a year now!

  16. BearcatLawyer says:

    Some people will never be terribly skilled at math or sports, but everyone can be kind and be taught to consider others’ feelings and desires instead of just one’s own goals. Now whether one actually LEARNS kindness, generosity, and compassion is a totally separate issue (I am side eyeing Emperor Baby Fists and his progeny HARD!!!).

    Aside from this, Kate’s consistent message re: children’s mental health is just inappropriate on so many levels. I was married to a board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist and even worked in his office off and on for many years. While a goodly number of his patients had chronic cases of BPS (“Bad Parent Syndrome,” and no, that diagnosis is not in the DSM-V 😉), the majority had totally loving, supportive, concerned parents who desperately wanted to help their children get better and succeed. Socioeconomic status often had little to do with a patient’s ultimate outcome. Compliance with treatment and the patient’s and his/her family’s attitudes towards psychiatric care seemed to be the two main factors in determining whether someone would respond to treatment.

    Mental illnesses, emotional problems, and developmental delays are complex, multifocal conditions that require a variety of therapeutic approaches to treat and manage. Kate consistently suggests that loving, functional families are the best way that parents can protect their children from psychological issues. Um, NO. I saw plenty of parents who arguably did everything right and possible and good, but their kids ended up struggling with depression, anxiety, and OCD, not to mention more serious conditions like PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.

    And what about the kids whose families are completely dysfunctional or who are in foster care and/or unlikely to be reunited with their families of origin? The kids who are working to overcome major life challenges? Or the kids who have chronic psychiatric conditions that will require lifelong treatment? Kate NEVER mentions how these kids are supposed to cope and function in the world, nor does she ever praise their strength and bravery. I have yet to hear her even suggest the most obvious recommendations: they should try to build their own non-family support networks and seek out people who will help and encourage them.

    Frankly, her message sounds soooo alienating and exclusionary. She is criminally out of touch with her subjects and their daily struggles.

  17. Becks says:

    I just don’t really understand their mental health campaign. It seems more aimed at the student who is “depressed” because they got a bad grade on a midterm, or has a stressful course load or something. (and to clarify, I am not minimizing depression, but only recognizing that the term “depressed” can mean a variety of things and with Will and Kate, it seems to mean the situations I mentioned.)

    It doesn’t seem aimed at people who deal with diseases such as bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, etc. The focus of their campaign seems to be that children should feel comfortable talking to their parents, which I agree is important. But talking to your mother because you are overwhelmed by a research paper is very different than talking to your mother because your anxiety is so bad you can’t leave your bedroom (and that anxiety has nothing to do with schoolwork.)

    Basically I think that they are addressing one very small/narrow portion of mental health issues, and while I think that portion is important, I’m not sure why it gets so much attention as “Will and Kate shedding light on mental health!” I just don’t really think they are doing that, besides that narrow portion.

    Maybe I’m missing something about it though.

    • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

      Those issues are a bit too complex for our special royal snowflakes, who are not the brightest bulbs in the lamp.

    • Anitas says:

      Yeah, it’s a vague “some kids have it tough” campaign with the proposed solution of “all parents should look up to Kate’s”. They can’t focus on more specific mental health issues because they are clueless about them, and learning would require way more time, effort and reflection than either of them is ready to invest.

  18. Christine says:

    I am an elementary school teacher at a title I school, meaning that 90% of my students are on free and reduced lunch living in poverty. Poverty causes stresses that most of us cannot imagine. It affects brain development and learning. It’s a constant state of flight or fight.

    On top of that, I would say that 80% of my students to have survived trauma by the age of nine. Some of the trauma is ongoing and some happened when they were one or two years old. The trauma that I know about comes from within the family, whether it is physical abuse sexual abuse neglect etc.

    The students I see succeeding despite these challenges are the ones with the more supportive family, meaning a family who provides the bottom rung of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: safety security love kindness. It also means getting kids to the doctor after they have suffered trauma and abuse.

    So let’s not nitpick Kate over this, because she’s got a very valid point.

    • Odette says:

      I agree with what you’ve written. To me, though, what you’re saying and what Kate is conveying are not the same thing. You’re talking about an issue head-on; she bragged about her upbringing. Now, she may be trying to communicate your very valid point, but it’s not working. In fact, your post would have been leagues better than her speech.

      (Now, granted — she was talking to kids, so it had to be a simple speech. But, maybe that’s it; maybe she should do speeches addressing adults, to elevate her level of discourse? Perhaps she wouldn’t come across so condescending? After all, we’re a bunch of adults reading a speech aimed at young kids. Anyway, I digress…..)

    • A says:

      Ooooooh, I see your point. I couldn’t quite place my finger on why I wasn’t feeling ok with what she said, but I think your comment is a lot better at making sense of it. If I’m right, what you’re saying is that she isn’t so much as implying that your upbringing, ie your level of wealth, is what’s important, and that even if you grow up in relative poverty, so long as you have people in your family who care about your well-being and do their best to center your mental health, that is what makes the difference?

    • Chicken says:

      I work in child and family well-being, on the data side of things, and 100% cosign this. Poverty can alter brain development because of exactly what you listed, and I absolutely believe that more supports should be given to children who contend with poverty and all its attendant issues. Obviously, that’s not saying that low-income parents can’t be good parents, and I hate when people try to twist this around to that. Our Division of Family and Children Services is being re-trained right now with a lens toward trauma-informed care, brain development and toxic stress and the link between those things and poverty.

      Now, Kate’s way of talking about it kind of sucks, I wish she would say basically what you said.

    • Nic919 says:

      Kate supposedly comes from a good upbringing and yet has way more issues than your average 35 year old. Her poor speaking skills, crotch clutching, extreme dieting / exercising and hair twirling at her age don’t suggest she is as mentally healthy as she claims to be. So she needs to stop with the good parents equals good kids, because she does not exemplify that at all. In fact just the opposite.

  19. Cerys says:

    Being a kind and decent person is far more important than excelling at something. However like everything Kate says it comes out as patronising and trite.
    This whole obsession with mental health is just a token gesture by the Keenbridges as they have to be seen doing something. They have never gone beyond “starting the conversation” or making banal comments about having a happy upbringing. Mental health is a huge issue with lots of scope for meaningful royal involvement but somehow with those two, I don’t see it happening.
    However, I like her red suit. It might be a bit tight and restricting when bending over to talk to children but at least she is not flashing anyone.
    On a completely trivial note, I have just noticed the size of her hands in the above pictures. They seem huge. Baby Fists will not want to be standing beside her during his state visit. Lol

  20. bitchy says:

    Nope, darling, it is not, and nope, it is not “kindness”.

    Soft skills are important, yes.
    But if you want to go university and especially if you want to go into the professions (law, medicine…) you really do need math much more than soft skills. Judging by the amount of choleric bosses with no soft skills (when dealing with their underlings) you can conclude that it is better to have maths skills.

    As for sport: isn’t sport still some kind of prerogative of the British upper classes? Especially with all the funding for school sports being cut and the funding for charitable sports clubs being culled …
    Sport does give you a better posture and therefore a better habitus and better body language and some very good management skills and some “killer instinct” that helps you see through a project (and more).
    It is quite amusing that you, dear waity Katie, do consider sport to be less important than soft skills, because habitus and body language ARE PART OF SOFT SKILLS. No soft skills without habitus and body language.
    it is also amusing that you consider sport to be not so important because apparently:
    a) you are abusing sport to starve you body
    b) you used sports to snare William.
    do you have any idea how embarassing it is for pupils from the lower income layers of society to not be able to play tennis or ski when asked or invited???

    Dear kate,

    you are completely out of touch with British citizens and I sincerely hope that the monarchy will end soon.

    • A says:

      I’m in university, and I’m an engineer. It’s a field that’s enormously heavy on math and physics especially, and I can guarantee that the bit about how universities need “math much more than soft skills” is what gives rise to a group of people who treat everyone around them like garbage. The stereotype about IT professionals and people in the STEM field being horrendous at people skills isn’t as much of a stereotype when you’re faced with it on a daily basis. And the utter contempt and disdain and lack of kindness with which so many of these individuals treat other people–either at their work places, or in their homes, or in general–is absolutely appalling.

      To give one anecdote–the best engineer I know is someone who was, in reality, fairly poor at math in high school. He made up for it by working on his skills consistently, because he was aware and humble enough to know his failings and work harder. He was motivated by kindness and sincerity, and it was these qualities that got him a good job after graduation–because his professors (who provide your references btw), noticed the way in which he treated people was something that stood out. Compare this to the other folks in the department–people who were consistently rude in lecture, during the labs, during group projects for instance–these people are still struggling to find work after having been graduated for over a year by this point. These are all people who have mastered math and the so-called “soft skills” but that’s not what determines if people want to work with you every day of the week–it’s entirely in how you treat others with kindness, and if you’re not able to muster up that, well, good luck with the unemployment.

  21. Adele Dazeem says:

    This comment is going to come across as terribly catty-sounding, and it really isn’t meant with malintent…but she implies she’s so ‘mentally healthy’ because she’s ‘lucky’ to have grown up in her family….but looking at her fake smiles, hunched shoulders and anxious fidget…I’m just not convinced she’s making a good argument for her case.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Does she equate co-dependent with happy/secure?

    • Chrissy says:

      Maybe she doesn’t see the fact that it is strange and rather unhealthy to be a 35 year old married mother of two who is so utterly dependent on her mother for everything. Never mind leaning on her family to keep her hubby in line. I’m thinking that Cannot lives in a glass house and needs to get her own sh*t together before preaching to others even less fortunate than themselves. She is no authority on mental health or anything else.

  22. Deedee says:

    Kindness is stopping by your charities more than once every two years or so.

  23. PHAKSI says:

    I know she’s trying to connect to kids with the maths/sports/kindness comparison, but it sounds ridiculous. Unless it turns out that she is getting help for her own issues, Im not buying this mental health thing from her. Will does child bereavement cos he has experianced losing a parent, Harry does veterens issues cos he’s seen action. Whats her connection to mental health?

    • Chrissy says:

      Even William should not be seen as an authority on Child Bereavement issues as he has clearly not dealt with his own feeling about his mother’s death. Sure he can empathize with others about the problem but IMO, he hasn’t sought any/enough help for his own issues to be any type of authority in the field. OTOH, Harry is the perfect person to deal with Veterans charities as you said.

  24. Hannah F says:

    But wait, growing up I had an attorney dad and a SAHM–how did I end up being bipolar???

  25. HoustonGrl says:

    Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. You can have a peachy-rosy childhood (like her apparently) and still suffer. Why emphasize the opposite? I think it sends a really terrible message to say “mental illness isn’t anything to be ashamed of, BUT in case your were wondering, I’m SO normal!” Just makes the stigma worse. In all the speeches she’s made, this is what she emphasizes. Plus, we know it’s not even true, something has been up with her for a while now. It’s strange to constantly emphasize her childhood, her upbringing, her family. That’s normal for someone 20-21, at the latest. But she’s a grown woman.

  26. A says:

    “Is kindness as important as maths or sport”–as someone who was short on kindness for a great many years, but good at maths, who knows people today who are still short on kindness as adults, I can guarantee that it is in fact, much more important. I’ll never remember the name of all the people I knew who were good at math, but I’ll always remember the folks who were kind to me.

    The speech is an improvement. I definitely agree that there are issues with it, but there are issues all around with even the way Harry approaches mental health in his speeches (specifically depression in men). I don’t think Poor Jason would be much help in this department–they need to liaise with the folks over at the charities that they’re representing about what they think is the best way to speak about the issue. And the folks at the charities who review the speeches should, for their part, also pipe up when this sort of phrasing is in their speeches and offer some alternatives. But overall, I thought it was good. Not too self-aggrandizing on Kate’s part, and it tried to focus on the people she was speaking too and it finished with a decent message at the end at least.

  27. Anitas says:

    That suit looks very much like the one Theresa May wore to a meeting with Trump. (Actually, hers was less frumpy.) It looked fine on a 60 year old May but dowdy on Kate who is almost half her age.

    Otherwise, I agree that kindness is super important. Her delivery is predictably clumsy and self-centered, but I think she’s getting a little better. I just don’t understand why they insist on making this their flagship cause when it’s just too sensitive for their perfunctory approach. Kate and William would have to get properly into it to understand the complexities and not sound tone-deaf and offensive when they posh-splain the kids that they’re depressed because their working class parents didn’t teach them about kindness, respect and honesty.

    • notasugarhere says:

      It is also similar to a bright yellow one Diana wore.

    • MinnFinn says:

      Self-centered is my main takeaway from her speech. Her own loving childhood is irrelevant to her message.

      She has to remind us that she had a nice childhood because she’s fears we’ll think she supports child mental health issues because her childhood was not so good. And that is self-centered thinking as well.

      Posh-splain is the perfect word for her speeches on said matter.

  28. ruth says:

    yes, Kindness is as important as any other skillset. Compassion and empathy and generally “not being a dick” is crucially overlooked in our modern society. It is just as important as anything else we learn.

  29. Citresse says:

    Yes, red is a nice colour on Kate but the seams in the skirt portion of the suit looks unusual and bulges a little as seen on last photo. I thought at first Kate was mic’ed up to give a little public speaking and the pack was stuffed there but then she usually speaks at a podium.

  30. msthang says:

    My own personal take, I think the kindness thing was in reference to herself, in that people are really not very nice to her, on line or in newspapers, and the truth is she brought that on herself, she wants to be adored like Diana but doesn’t want to do the work !!!

  31. carolind says:

    I think kindness and being a nice person are much more important than talents. I also personally know someone who spent a weekend with the York Princesses last summer. Without actually saying she did not think much of them, that was the impression. This woman is of highest integrity.

  32. detritus says:

    I think probably kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I’ll put it before any of the things like courage or bravery or generosity or anything else.
    - Roald Dahl

    I’m with Roald.
    Being smart is genetics and luck of parents, being good at sports is genetics and luck of coaching, being kind is harder than both.

    To finish,
    Interviewer: Or brains even?

    Roald Dahl -Oh gosh, yes, brains is one of the least. You can be a lovely person without brains, absolutely lovely. Kindness – that simple word. To be kind – it covers everything, to my mind.
    If you’re kind that’s it.”

  33. Starlight says:

    Kindness compassion but if anything stands in your way of what you want in life make sure your determined, patient, devious and available. ” I am trying to figure out how someone who has never worked in the real world can identify with these young people with mental health issues. Surely she could have come up with better lines than how wonderful and loving her family were, I mean William must pinch himself he has come out of his childhood without issues after that effort of a speech by his wife.