Duchess Kate threw a palace party for her mysterious new mental health campaign

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Lavender Primary School

Earlier this week, I wondered aloud about the Duchess of Cambridge’s “keen-baiting” on her alleged big-time children’s mental health initiative, which we’ve been hearing about for months. It’s hard to even keep track of all the claims that were made about this “initiative,” but the basic gist was that Kate is very, very keen to have a solo venture, something big which will focus on lower-income and lower-middle class kids. It’s something about early childhood development and mental health. We knew she had a steering committee and we knew she had been doing a lot of private meetings with very important people. We also knew that whenever anyone was like “wow, Meghan is doing so much so soon,” Kate defenders pointed to this big, mysterious initiative, which everyone said would be launched at any moment. So… what do you make of Katie Nicholl’s exclusive for Vanity Fair this week?

There was no Palace announcement or photo-call, but on Wednesday night, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge hosted a very grown-up dinner party at Buckingham Palace. The guest list comprised a number of experts who have been working with her on her latest campaign focused on the well-being and mental health of schoolchildren in Great Britain. Kate personally secured permission from the Queen to use the monarch’s London residence.

Behind the scenes, Kate has spent the past year working closely with experts and academics to investigate the correlation between vulnerable young children and those who experience mental-health problems, addiction, and anti-social issues in later life. The duchess launched the campaign in September and has since formed a steering group of health-care experts, charity officials, and academics. They are working together to research whether earlier childhood intervention could make a difference to the lives of the population Kate cares about the most. The findings of the study will be revealed later this year.

While Wednesday’s dinner was less high profile, it was equally important to Kate. “It was a dinner for some of the specialists from the steering group meetings the duchess has been organizing, along with some other senior people who have been identified as having potential to make an impact,” says a royal aide. “The night was a great success, and a sign of the gathering momentum of this campaign.”

Kate [came up with] the campaign before she became pregnant with Prince Louis. According to the royal aide, her visits to charities and support organizations like Place2Be helped her realize that many mental-health problems stem from early-childhood trauma. “The duchess has seen how so many problems in adult life can stem from the early years,” the aide said. “She has been working with a group of people and looking at scientific-based evidence that shows that any trauma in the first two years can have a serious, lasting impact in later life.”

Last year, she attended a symposium of leading academics and charities who champion early intervention into the lives of children. Now, she has formed her own committee, which meets once a month and is in the stages of drawing out a long-term plan. “She is really crystallizing her idea, fleshing it out, and drawing on the support of many individuals to make this happen,” said the aide. The aide added that Kate has attended nearly all of the monthly meetings, which have taken place at the Royal Foundation and Kensington Palace.

There is enthusiasm about the idea in the Palace, and Kate is very committed to the work. “The ideas are really developing with the duchess at the helm. People will see a gradual increase in the sort of engagements the duchess has been doing crescendo to more specific events. We are in the process of piecing things together,” the aide said. “This is not a project the duchess is going to dip in and out of, it’s something that will define her over the coming decades. This is very much a personal mission and one Kate wants to drive.”

[From Vanity Fair]

I have a lot of thoughts, obviously. For one, the subject matter: do we really, truly need two full years of “study” and “research” and a group of academics meeting monthly with a duchess to understand some fundamental things, like “early childhood intervention is important” and “when kids go through a trauma, they will be traumatized” and “if traumatized kids don’t receive help, their issues will compound into adolescence and adulthood”? I’m really asking – aren’t these basic things that everyone understands?

Secondly, the shifting timelines and expectations for what will actually be done or announced – is it an initiative or a study or a new program or a charity? Will she actually launch anything or will a study be published in an academic journal? Will this be the excuse given for the rest of 2019, whenever questions are asked about what Kate is doing? Or is this all just some big keen-bait?

Duchess of Cambridge in Lewisham

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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148 Responses to “Duchess Kate threw a palace party for her mysterious new mental health campaign”

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  1. Rapunzel says:

    Is it just me, or is there a little shade in Nicholl’s article? “hosted a very grown-up dinner party”- lol

    • RoyalBlue says:

      They are probably stressing the grown up part because all her events lately have her conversing with children and people are whispering that she would rather deal with kids then adults. This is to show that she can be mature and taken seriously too.

    • Kittycat says:

      Yikes I read that line and cringed.

    • Eliza says:

      I read it as infantilizing. Like the the little girl got to use the big palace room.

    • Himmiefan says:

      Very strange. I don’t know whom it made look worse, Katie Nicholls or Kate.

    • Sparkly says:

      I thought the same thing. Maybe they meant it in relation to being child-focused, but it comes across like a pat on the head.

      And supposedly this big initiative was launched in September?

    • Fallon says:

      Very infantilizing, it was the exact reason I came searching on here for the story – I knew if you didn’t address it, the comments would.

    • TheOriginalMia says:

      I rolled my eyes at that. It infantizes her. Like look at Katie being a big girl and having a dinner by herself! Yes, that was shady but earned.

    • Lady D says:

      I liked the “this isn’t a project she is going to dip in and out of,” unlike every other project she’s ever been involved with. I thought that was pretty shady too, and funny.

    • Ader says:

      I actually thought it was shade at the Sussexes. Katie makes a point to laud Kate for not being public about her project (because royals should be taciturn about the programs they support ?). The whole “no Palace announcement, no photo-call” WAS a backhand dig, at H and M. To me, that felt like she was desperately trying to drag “attention grabbing” Meghan. Now, I do NOT think Meghan is, at all, in any way, purposefully trying to “grab” attention. She’s doing her job as a royal. But those royal reporters, freighted with a lifetime of implicit bias, read it as her being “uppity” and “attention seeking.” Wankers.

      • Mae says:

        I mean Meghan literally worked with the Hubb women for months with no media and no photo ops before launching a finished project. There were no big article in the DM leading up to the announcement of the cookbook (unlike the “fixing children of broken britain” article, that lets face it, was totally sanctioned by their PR team). She did her research and meetings privately and only contacted the media when the cookbook was finished. But okay Katie Nichols, Meghan is attention seeking. Lol.

    • Princessk says:

      This initiative sounds phony to me. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Nothing is really happening, the Palace are trying to backtrack after the stupid announcement last year to deflect attention away from the Hubb book. They are basically saying that this initiative will be a slow burn at first and then develop to a ‘crescendo’ that will totally ‘define’ the Duchess of Cambridge. LMAO 😆.

      • Nic919 says:

        She’s already given a party and nothing concrete has been done yet for the kids. Tells you who the priorities are at this point. In order to be taken seriously she needs to actually do something and not just convene meetings of experts. It’s been eight years and so little has been done. Getting the media to report what she wants to do instead of actually doing something simply looks like PR to make her look busy. So not much has changed.

  2. Erinn says:

    I have mixed feelings about ‘obvious’ studies. I’m constantly seeing big roll outs in the news like “Don’t let your kids use technology while they eat!” “employees hate meetings!” “climate change leads to very wet, warm year!” “Not sleeping well is bad for your health!”

    I’m just sitting here twiddling my thumbs with a migraine knowing that they can’t even tell me WHY I get migraines because – hey, why push money into studies that affect mainly women? So I’m a bit bitter about that sort of thing, I guess. I suppose at the end of the day, you can make obvious deductions about things, but without the full on study to back it up, there’s no real paperwork or literal ‘proof’.

    The important thing is really more in what can be done to mitigate the things that come up in studies. I guess we’ll see what this turns into – honestly, they’d be wise to be offering more mental health services in schools and to new parents – make things like that readily available and really focus on ending some of the taboo around asking for help. I think this whole thing can either be a HUGE flop, or something that could genuinely make a difference, but so far we don’t have anything to show for it. I will cut her a little slack as she was on mat leave during some of the time – and I’m not going to expect Meghan to be taking meetings while she’s on her leave. Offering women appropriate leave is something I genuinely do think is incredibly important, so anyone who’s given birth will get a pass from me on work. I hope Meghan doesn’t feel pressured to rush back to work unless she TRULY wants to.

    • Muffy says:

      Apparently parents do need to be told their kids should not use technology while they eat. I see it constantly; out at restaurants and in my own family. And I get pushback from my kids that “all their friends get to watch” whatever bullshit is on YouTube while they eat. (Plus YouTube is the worst offender. Do you really need to have your preschooler see some of those creepy videos? I need my kid seeing Elsa from Frozen decapitated by Spider-Man like I need a hole in the head).

      • Erinn says:

        ” “all their friends get to watch” whatever bullshit is on YouTube while they eat.”

        Ahahah, I was just like your kids with my mother. I was born in 1990, so I remember when Youtube had just started, and alllll the kids in jr high had MSN messenger or AIM or whatever. And mom wouldn’t let me install it on the computer because she was convinced I’d talk to strangers (hilarious since I post here all the time) but all I wanted was to chat with a couple of my friends and feel ‘included’. So instead of installing the app I found the web version and she never knew -and I never talked to strangers on there anyway haha. But I was also ‘allowed’ about a half hour of computer time on weeknights max. And it was the first thing taken away if I mouthed off.

        I had to have a talk with my mother in law about youtube. Our niece has been watching youtube videos on her tablet and she wasn’t aware that there’s so much crap out there passing as ‘kids content’ that’s incredibly screwed up. I told her they might want to make some playlists or something to make sure she’s only watching approved stuff. I know my sister in law has the youtube kids setup for her if they’re letting her watch at home – which is better, but it’s still not foolproof. I’ve seen a few of those creepy Elsa ones out there because I was watching a slam piece on the dangers of them. There was a guy who used to do screwed up pranks (Ethan Bradberry I think) who ended up starting a second channel where they all dressed up as Spider-Man and Elsa and the maybe the Hulk or something else? It disturbed ME – I can’t imagine what it’d do to a kid. I will say I get suckered into watching youtube videos while I eat some nights because I can find something fluffy, or a news update or something and just have it as background noise. But at least I’m an adult haha.

        It scares me how much unsupervised time kids have on technology. I’m someone who WORKS in technology, so I think it scares me more than it does a lot of parents because they just don’t realize how easy it is to slip something into a kids ‘next video’ list.

    • Chicken says:

      Yeah, that’s a really good point. Also, if you want to get public or private dollars into systems that address those issues, you have to have a body of proof to back it up. I say this as someone who works for a public-private non-profit and a lot of my job is convincing systems/organizations to invest in certain programs/policies.

    • Carrie says:

      I understand. Kate is on the right track though with this. I’m impressed by the details mentioned. I’ve been interested in and following research on this for decades.

      An expert to recommend is Dr. Gabor Mate. He recently did a podcast interview on Russell Brands show (I know! But it’s really good! And he educates RB about parenting!)
      He’s far better than that show and has books, a website, etc. He’s a master and I have deep respect for him.

      • Nic919 says:

        What details? It’s only been vague comments about helping kids. Where is the mission statement and methodology to obtain the information? Or an actual project timeline ? Or a list of the experts? There have been several meetings and nothing concrete has been set up. Government projects would have something to offer in terms of a plan by now and they aren’t even providing that.

  3. Kaylah says:

    Lordy lord,I really can’t stand when she smiles like that. It just looks so weird and cringe. Also, that Eponine dress is such a godawful shade.

    • Enn says:

      Comments like this are why I rarely smile in pictures.

      • Natalie S says:

        People commenting on celebrities is why you don’t smile in pictures?

        Actually that last picture is not good. There was a trip she took to Belgium where she looked ill and frail and this picture reminds me of how she looked then and it’s not my intent to criticize Kate by saying that.

    • Arunkma says:

      I mean…they don’t necessarily have to use photos that make her look particularly maniacal but photos too are part of one narrative or another.

  4. Enny says:

    It’s so…bizarre. The way the aide describes it, there is no central vision or objective, it shifts around according to what she “learns” from the assembled team; she hasn’t even attended every meeting (and they’re only once a month, at her own residence!); and the only way we’ll know anything is “launching” is by subtle changes in what types of events she’s doing. Like, there will be no announcement for this amorphous undertaking, instead, if we read the tea leaves just right, we’ll see that she’ll start doing more 15-minute appearances with a more curated group of charities already undertaking work on the idea that trauma begets trauma, vulnerable children once traumatized remain traumatized without intervention, and then at some point the palace PR will connect the dots for us: see? See how charities x, y, and z do this work, on this premise? This is because of Kate. You can tell because she’s made a few scattered 15-minute appearances with them. That’s her work, not theirs. Thus Kate will (attempt) to take credit for rescuing a generation of children from childhood trauma.

    • Kaiser says:

      This comment is a work of art.

    • Becks1 says:

      This basically describes my view on it. It’s just bizarre. And needlessly so. I feel like this could have been handled much better by KP in terms of how it is being presented.

    • Joro says:

      *Applause* You comment sums up everything we understand about Kate’s charity and goals.

    • Royalwatcher says:

      +1 the way it was described both by the aide and the author was like there is just no there there. It just felt like weird circular talk that wasn’t actually saying anything. Like stupid corporate speak “we’re going to strategize the synergy for optimal results and increased output, while utilizing the blahblahblah” …whaaaa?!

      I don’t get why Kate didn’t do something similar to Meghan and the Hubb Kitchen cookbook. Instead of telling us all how keen you are, just DO the work – meetings, research, connections, etc. – and then present your finished initiative when it’s ready to go. This makes me feel like the real initiative/project/whatever it is will never actually get off the ground and we’ll be in this same place 2 years from now. And this is why Kate continually needs everyone to know how keen she is and how this project will be something she’s working on for the next few decades.

    • Sharon Lea says:

      Spot on post.

    • Natalie S says:

      They don’t trust her to follow through.

  5. Tangie says:

    I was on Royal Dish the other day (I know I know I shouldn’t have) and one of the posters predicted something and I believe this is true: there is a pattern to Kate’s pregnancies and she’s going to announce another one in June. Be sick because of HG, then late summer break (with the rest of the royals) a rush to get numbers up at the end of the year and ghosted for most of 2020. I believe it. We are getting played. But hey, there will be another cute baby which is fine by me as long as William shuts his mouth about population control and having less kids!

    • Princessk says:

      So many people are saying that she will have number four. Crazy but maybe it is true.

    • notasugarhere says:

      I think a fourth is possible but not so soon. Maybe spring/summer 2020 announcement, which keeps her away from royal “work” until the end of 2021.

  6. Vv says:

    I’m confused about the project like you – is it going to be an active campaign or a study after which the results will be used to make change?

    Not mad at the idea of a study. To get studies with good dependable results you can base change on you have to have long running studies with a large population that can look into follow-up, the children over the years etc., so the 2 years seems reasonable.
    And then a strong study can be used to make change at higher levels like parliament and not just through individual organisations.
    If the idea is to make change on a national level, then yes, a study has to be done to show there is a reason for investment.

    • Its Ok says:

      I actually do think that Kate is aiming higher than people realize. I doubt she is pushing for legislation changes, but she’s probably looking for government support. I think her aim is something similar to the Prince’s Trust and the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. So, I genuinely hope she succeeds. The once a month meetings make perfect sense to me since they are probably status updates and such. More meetings isn’t going to get anything done faster.

      • Pandy says:

        Agree. Adn Katie Nicholl likely isn’t being briefed on this initiative … so maybe has no clue what is really happening and so just reports it as “happening eventually” … so she can say she said it when something is launched or revealed? God, you can’t win. Anyway, this IS an important initiative so I wish her all the luck with it.

      • Tina says:

        The Prince’s Trust and DoE awards are tangible awards that help young adults. What is she pushing for here? We already have health visitors. We already have Sure Start/Early Years. These are good projects that need more funding. We don’t need yet another project that will be launched with great fanfare and then systematically underfunded until it fails.

      • Natalie S says:

        I don’t understand why Kate has to start a new initiative instead of just joining in with what’s there. Why over-complicate things?

    • Mae says:

      Same. I’m confused to what is Kate actually going to be DOING? Is she funding these studies? Are they then going to give her these data and what? She’s going to read the data that other people are collecting and that other people are doing the work in? And in the meanwhile what is she going to be doing? SO the next two years Kate will be very busy waiting for other people while THEY do the research and while they collect the data. And at the end of the 2 years (in which she does minimum engagement because she is so busy waiting), she will present these data to the public and viola! Her first major project Accomplished!

  7. Louise says:

    Gosh this site really is pro-Meghan. From the way the articles are written to the comments. I dont like either women but the obvious bias is a little too much sometimes.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      I didn’t realize valid questioning or criticism of a vaguely defined “campaign” equated to this site being “pro Meghan”. I’ve read this site for years and the criticism of Kate (and William) has nothing to do with Meghan.

      • Louise says:

        So there’s no bias?

      • Becks1 says:

        I think there is some bias, but part of the reason many of us like Meghan so much is because of Kate – its a nice change of pace. I know that I have been reading this site since long before Harry and Meghan got engaged and others have been here longer. An article like this about Kate would have been written the same 3 years ago.

      • Beach Dreams says:

        Again, please tell me how valid observations of a reluctance to work are biased. Doing the bare minimum for years isn’t going to escape everyone’s attention or be excused.

      • Pandy says:

        I don’t believe Katie Nicholl is in the loop about the initiative, hence HER vague wording, as she’s making up a story. So, yes, some bias.

    • Jessica says:

      If you go to any Meghan thread there is plenty of racist dog whistling.

    • Himmiefan says:

      Maybe Meghan’s just very likable.

    • Royalwatcher says:

      I actually think it’s because William and Kate have shown their hands after so many years. It’s been years of “being keen, will start soon” on Kate’s part and William ducking his royal duties…so then this is what you get. It’s hard to take someone at their word when they never follow through. That why I was saying in my other comment that Kate just needs to DO IT and stop talking about how keen she is to do it.

      I also agree with Jessica about the comments in the Meghan threads and would add that people also trash Harry pretty regularly about his working numbers.

    • notasugarhere says:

      The critical articles about Kate, William, their laziness, and their being KEEN to work? That’s been discussed on here for years, long before Meghan showed up.

    • Franny Days says:

      I typically agree but was kinda happy to see that commenters were saying the people article was over the top, which it was. But I feel like kate has gotten a hard time on here way before Meghan showed up so not really so much to do with her. I kind of have a different view of how hard they work because William is third in line right now and once he is king he will have to work a lot harder, do a lot more. So it’s kind of like these are their “retirement” years because when William is king he will be older and they won’t have as much downtime. Also I don’t blame her for spending time with her kids. I was watching a doc about the queen and it was saying she went on tour for four months and the kids stayed behind. I don’t think that’s admirable I think it is kind of sad. And yes the queen worked when she was young but that was due to her becoming the actual queen at a young age

      • notasugarhere says:

        If these are their retirement years, they should be paying every penny of their 4 million a year (plus security) expenses themselves. Princess Elizabeth worked before she even married. No other royals took years off to not work and raise kids while taking royal perks.

        All the other royals worked while also raising their kids, and all are lower in the succession. Sophie worked more engagements per year – when she wasn’t even an official working royal – than Kate has ever done in a single year.

        Andrew, Anne, Edward, Duke of Kent, Duke of Gloucester and all their spouses. They are all far far down the list in the line of succession and all work harder than William and Kate. And several of those are pushing 80.

        Just how long are these excuses for the lazy 30-something third couple of the land going to continue?

  8. Flying fish says:

    Yet another attempt at hiding Kate’s laziness.
    Baby number 4 may be announced later this year!!!

    • notasugarhere says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened. We’d get loads of articles about how Kate is feeling broody because of Harry and Meghan’s baby, Louis is growing so fast. Voila, another pregnancy in Spring/Summer 2020 and Kate not working for at least another year or two.

      • Olenna says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised either, and not a word or phrase will be uttered or written by her fans or the tabloid media about her aging eggs.

  9. Morgan says:

    Maybe Kate should just write inspirational messages on fruit and just call it a day.

    • Bren says:

      Don’t knock it. At least it’s an action that goes one step beyond being keen.

    • Royalwatcher says:

      You’re acting as if writing the compassionate comments is all Meghan has done as a royal. She’s been out there doing royal work since her engagement – at greater numbers than “future queen” Kate did to this point. So…yeah, miss me with that one.

    • Natalie S says:

      If your point is that the banana messaging was pointless and insulting, Kate should write that she’s so keen on the bananas.

  10. AprilMay says:

    She’s so dedicated and passionate and hard working that she can’t even be bothered to go ONE meeting a month for her own project. Says everything really.

  11. Cee says:

    I loved how the aide felt s/he had to point out Kate attended almost every monthly meeting.
    My God, the bar is really set too low with Kate. I keep hoping she’ll do better, but no.

    • Lexa says:

      This is giving her the benefit of the doubt, but I assumed the few meetings she missed her right after and right before she gave birth.

      • Cee says:

        Yes, could be. However, KP has no problem using her role as mother to justify her lack of work commitments (no shade here). If it were so, I’m sure they would have specified that in the comment.

  12. Beach Dreams says:

    So, more keeness to “learn”, then? How predictable.

    • PlainJane says:

      As Elvis says, “A little less conversation, a little more action, please.”

      • Tourmaline says:

        A little more bite and a little less bark

      • PlainJane says:

        @ Tourmaline LOL! Exactly!

        I’ve know a few alcoholics in my day, and they talk like this. It’s all smoke and mirrors, and things are always just about to happen. Except nothing ever does.

  13. Becks1 says:

    I find this whole thing very odd for some reason and I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe the vagueness of it all? Maybe the secrecy, with just enough information being leaked at key moments?

    I think the study itself has merit, but I’m not sure how an 18 month study to track the effects of childhood trauma throughout someone’s life is going to be all that helpful. That seems like the kind of study that would take years. My mom ran research studies for her career and just getting a study off the ground could take a long time.

    I’m hesitant to criticize this because it sounds like it could be an interesting and worthwhile venture for her, but something about it is just odd to me.

    • Becks1 says:

      Okay I reread it. It seems like she created a committee of sorts to study childhood trauma, and that committee meets once a month at KP and Kate goes….most of the time. Then reading between the lines, this committee will give her more specific ideas about which charities to focus on and Kate will visit those?

      So it doesnt seem like a “campaign” so much as a way for Kate to have people come to her once a month and teach her.

    • zikifly says:

      The reason I find it odd is, the point of being a royal isn’t that you become some expert on issues. I am not saying Kate is stupid, but there is nothing she could tell experts, who have spent or are spending their lives and careers on understanding these issues, that they don’t already know. Maybe they could educate her a little, but this kind of thing takes years of study, not a monthly meeting. What I’m saying is, she doesn’t need to become an expert or start some new initiative. There are already very worthy initiatives. She could show up, start fundraising, raise awareness, make some kids feel better. Over many years, this could be an opportunity to learn more about the actual issues. Deep ‘behind the scenes’ involvement is not what people typically need from celebrities – it’s, well, celebrity. Making things known, getting people to be sympathetic, perhaps erasing stigma and RAISING MONEY.

      • PrincessK says:

        Exactly she just needs to concentrate on raising money and attracting people who can really help, and stop trying to become an expert at something she can never put into practice. I do feel sorry for her and her advisers as it seems that they have really found it so difficult to find something for her to latch on to. With Diana she quit effortlessly fitted into so many charity roles and was able to garner worldwide attention for many of them, and she left school with basically no qualifications. So it really leads me to believe that you don’t need to be highly educated but just really passionate at whatever you set your mind to.

    • Nic919 says:

      There are already studies out there that track the effect of childhood trauma. There isn’t a need to do another one. There is a need to figure what systems need to be in place to help those children. Is she doing that ? Who knows? It’s all being unveiled third hand without any specifics. Why can’t she talk to the press about her initiative?

  14. Enn says:

    One of my best friends is a licensed social worker whose clients are children with trauma related mental health issues (and often their families). She always maintains anonymity, but has described some situations in broad strokes. The therapeutic approaches vary so much from child to child, and she’s always learning new modalities and updates. Honestly, she’s my hero.

    So yes, it’s fairly easy to say “early intervention is best” but the way in which each situation is approached is really nuanced. Is there PTSD from domestic abuse? Is there dissociation from sexual trauma? Is it something like BPD that has no situational cause? Etc. I think Kate is smart to bring in people who know this stuff and not just dive in with what she thinks is best.

    • Anya says:

      That’s a very fair point. You should know what you are doing before diving in. But, going along with Becks1 comment above, it seems like she’s had a year-worth of monthly classes about what charities to support. Just seems lazy.

    • Ahoyoy says:

      My best friend is a psychologist with a specialty in addiction. This kind of shit drives her nuts. Yes, some mental health challenges are caused by childhood trauma, but some are genetic, some are caused by tbi, some are caused by prenatal damage, some are caused by poor nutrition, some are caused by long term drug abuse, etc. Kate needs to get out of the middle of this issue. Shes not qualified to handle it just because she is a mom. Start showing up to the non profits and read to or hug the kids with these issues, as advised by the professionals and leave the research to the academics.

  15. Tina says:

    “People will see a gradual increase in the sort of engagements the duchess has been doing crescendo to more specific events.” It’s the usual “Kate is keen to work” nonsense. There will be no gradual increase, or if so, it will be 10 or so additional engagements per year. In ten years’ time, she might, might work as hard as Camilla. No promises though.

    • Nic919 says:

      She is keen to be keen and to be seen as keen. Same as it ever was.

    • Natalie S says:

      That crescendo line was ridiculous.

      The whole thing sounds like a kid who hasn’t started her term paper. She’s crystallizing and piercing the concept etc. You wouldn’t need such verbal nonsense if there was any actual work done.

      It’s not a bad thing to gather together a committee and go about things in a structured and organized way, and it’s not a bad thing to shine a light on usage of textiles in the UK but for some reason they always sell what happens around her as being about her and her learning about things. They need to stop overselling it and just focus on the work.

      • Vi says:

        The overselling what they do,on social media or elsewhere,isn’t only a Kate issue,it’s really what their PR people do with 99% of what they ALL do. And the reason is clear. There’s very little substance in most of their ”engagements”,which is one of the reasons that makes all the biased discussion that I see often here about “who is hard-working more” ridiculous. How do you sell the “shaking hands, collecting flowers and repeating empty platitudes” routine? Two recent examples come to mind: William and Kate talking with the Michelin factory workers and M&H’s last joint visits to charities that probably they will not visit anymore. Those workers may have appreciated that W&K talked with them,but what did happen in the end? Nothing. Do we need to see Meghan wondering around the Old Vic Theater repeating obvious things like the creative arts are great as children’s activies? Or Harry declaring that yes,sport is a good way to invest childs’ energy? In the end we got nice photo-ops and that’s all. Even after a few days of banana gate,what remains is just a series of memes on Instagram.

      • Bren says:

        @Vi said: “Even after a few days of banana gate,what remains is just a series of memes on Instagram.”

        Actually, the charity One25 received their first International donations and their website received a surge in visits, with thousands more logging on to read about their work thanks to Meghan’s visit and the increased media coverage due to her simple act of kindness that went viral.

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/02/09/duchess-sussex-visit-leads-first-international-donations-sex/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

      • VI says:

        It’s temporary visibility that is not related to any concrete planned efforts,and even that temporary publicity is just an exception. A few hours later people were already posting and reposting memes,and nobody remembered why and where she wrote “empowering messages” on bananas.. I don’t even remember what they did in Birkenhead on their other visit,or why they went there in the first place.

      • Tina says:

        There’s very little substance in what Kate does in terms of engagements, but that cannot be said for “99%” of them. In terms of the younger ones, Meghan’s Hubb work and Harry’s Invictus Games work are tangible projects that make an actual difference. Charles’s Prince’s Trust has helped thousands of young people (in an actual, tangible way). And even the bread and butter appearance work that people here make fun of (and again, if it wasn’t real work, William and Kate wouldn’t be so allergic to it) makes a difference to people. Having a royal at your annual event often means the difference between continued existence and closing for these smaller charities.

    • Tourmaline says:

      It will all keenly crescendo in due time…

      Seriously the wording around the Cambridges’ initiatives, if you can call them that, is always so funny.

      I like the puffery about Kate’s project being something she will be working on for decades. I think that gives all the cover KP thinks she needs to faff about inefficiently for years, they can always say oh Kate is playing the long game, she is going to slowly build this project over decades, don’t rush her.

  16. Who ARE These People? says:

    Any excuse for a party!

  17. Lisa says:

    I will be very surprised if anything concrete is accomplished.

  18. Sharon Lea says:

    One other big issue is how much work do these professionals have to take out of their busy schedule for this “serious topic that Kate is launching”? Most professionals do not have extra hours to devote to writing proposals, agendas, driving across town etc for trivial things. Sure they must be flattered to be included, but most people desire to be in true service, and not used to boost someone’s personal PR.

  19. CHATNUH says:

    This is my interpretation of what “Kate’s Big Initiative” ……………………..(which, hint-hint, was first announced to the public in a tease by KP late last year which, the perspicacious amongst us will recognize as coming on the heels of Duchess Meghan’s ‘hit-the-ground-running,’ approach to her job, what with her highly successful initiative with the Women of the Hub Kitchen/the CookBk production and launch and shortly thereafter, the announcements about her patronages and personal-interest charities, e;g with dogs and with helping women regain their confidence and etc) ………………….is really about:

    ….its about KP and other formal and informal supporters of the Queen Consort-in-waiting feeling panicky that she should NOT BE UPSTAGED BY THE NEW DUCHESS-OF-THE-’MINOR-ROYAL’!!!

    Meghan has obviously studied what the parameters of the role of Duchess are; defined her interests within the context of those parameters, which she aligned with her genuine, personal interests, and therefore, “hit-the-ground-running” was in fact a carefully planned start to her J.O.B.

    Meghan’s approach to her JOB as Duchess so far, is making Duchess Kate look bad/lazy/under-achieving in the eyes of onlookers, given the length of time she’s been a Duchess.

    KP cant allow such a perception to take root going forward!! However, this search to find a BIG, Multi-Faceted, Multi-Year, Signature Undertaking by Duchess Kate makes them look like theyre flailing around, trying to pull this all together, even as they try not to make it look as if theyre trying to reinvent the wheel.

    I hope they succeed in gelling this all together for Kate so she can look like she knows what she’s doing. Otherwise, the attacks on Meghan (by a complicit KP, as well as so-called royal reporters, and of course nasty racist, misogynistic trolls) will only increase.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      Yep. And that’s how I know KP is at war with itself and why the sudden reaction to separate the two duchesses.

    • PrincessK says:

      @CHATNUH…Of course this is what it is all about. The press and the people behind the Cambridges are terribly worried about the fact that the Sussexes are more popular in Britain and around the world than they are. They have tried to rein Meghan and Harry in and it seems to have failed. I actually think that the Queen and Charles have told the Cambridge camp to lay off and allow Meghan to do what she wants in terms of public engagements. The popularity of the Sussexes is going to go higher and so there may be further trouble ahead.

      My advice is that Willnot and Kanot just have to accept that they do not have the charisma to match the other two, and instead of fighting it they should embrace the situation. If I was in charge I would say more joint engagements of the Fabulous Four pretending to get along like a house on fire. The public will like the idea of the Fabulous Four, the Fabulous Cambridges cannot do it alone, unless they start parading around with their kids to try to get more popularity.

  20. Lexa says:

    I’m guessing the point of this article is to say without saying that it’s going to take more time than they originally thought to go out with a concrete plan of action that comes from the studies the committee commissioned—meaning it won’t be announced this month/early in the year as originally said but a bit later into spring? I’d rather they take a little more time with this so whatever they do end up doing won’t fall on its face, half-formed. My other read on the article is that her plan is to keep doing visits like the ones she made to the schools this week and then shift into events announcing partnerships and programs as the committee decides how best to use their findings.

    I think it’s interesting they had a big BP dinner though—I would have thought that would be reserved for just before they were going to announce something, but maybe some or all of the research came in, and that’s the milestone?

    • Vi says:

      “My other read on the article is that her plan is to keep doing visits like the ones she made to the schools this week and then shift into events announcing partnerships and programs as the committee decides how best to use their findings”
      This Nicholl’s article is very vague because I don’t think she has all the info. And she’s not pretending to leak any announcement either.
      It’s like the first report months ago that I think was published when the initiative started to take form.
      It wasn’t a formal announcement, so I don’t get the whole “but they announced this and that” criticism,because it was very vague behind-the-scenes bits and pieces.
      I don’t want to jump to conclusions and declare that Kate will be waiting at home until she can take credit for others’ work. If it’s true, I also understand why she has been working on it since last April before putting together a team of persons who may help her. Kate is not an expert,and it’s not easy to understand how to move,who may really help her and what she wants to do,when the issue has endless layers.
      Their approach to mental health topics has always seemed quite superficial to me. If Kate is actually using a team of people who know what they are doing and she’s sponsoring their work via the royal foundation,and we know how academic research has trouble in being funded,it’s a much better way to do things.
      If what you suggest is what they want to do,so being helped to choose where to focus,and above all what should be actually funded,it’s
      fine. Simply “highlighting”,talking publicly about the topic in general terms as they have always done with Heads Together was not enough.

  21. Anya says:

    Wait. After a year of monthly meetings, the committee is just now “in the stages of drawing out a long-term plan”. What the heck were they doing for the last year if they didn’t have a plan? My boss would not be pleased if he/she realized that I was spending time on a YEAR LONG project without a F*ING PLAN! This is just a ruse designed to allow her to flounder for another few years.

    • Natalie S says:

      Results of findings were originally supposed to be published in the new year. So, turns out there was nothing?

    • V says:

      No,the committee was created last September. I think it was when the daily mail reported about the initiative.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Three days before Meghan’s real, physical project of the cookbook dropped we got the DF leak from the Middleton camp about this initiative. No confirmation from any palace, just an exclusive leak direct to the DF.

        What interesting timing. That leak was just as fuzzy as this latest piece — all talk, a handful of meetings, and Kate still doing nothing.

  22. CHATNUH says:

    ^ LOL c’moooooooooooon, its been Eight Years Of Duchessing.
    That “plan” shoulda been a cake by now, dontya think?

  23. lillibet says:

    This whole thing is dumb because they are building it up or have been building up some big, huge initiative for her for months. Maybe it will eventually come to that but it sounds like it’s a long way off. The initial press at the end of 2018 was she’d be announcing it early this year. It seems like with Kate they immediately announce and blow way out of proportion what she’s doing instead of having her and her team do actual work and then actually announce an initiative or plan and have something to show. It’s bizarre and makes her look ridiculous. This is just embarrassing. Do the work, then announce a fully formed initiative.

    • Bren says:

      Kate’s initiative was leaked prematurely in an effort to overshadow Meghan’s project. The timing of the first article was shady and the continued vague updates is a disservice to Kate.

      Meanwhile, the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen continue to receive praise and recognition for the cookbook and host events for people that want to learn more and give support months after the initial reveal.

      • Some chick says:

        That reminds me, I should order a copy!

      • PrincessK says:

        I also noticed that the main press like the Mail, Express etc did not even bother to report that the Grenfell Cookbook won a book award. I really do think that they are desperate to play down Meghan’s achievements for fear of showing just how little impact Kate has had.

  24. Fluffy Princess says:

    I like Kate and look forward to her outings, etc., but she is so lazy as compared to the other Senior Royals. All this “This year is the YEAR!!!!!!!!!!” She’s got all this stuff planned and it’s going to be amazing!!!!!!! And then, crickets and no work scheduled for months…???

    I get that she would just like to be a stay at home mom with alllllllllll the perks, but damn girl–how long do you expect to grift the nation with your promises and then do nothing about it. . .???

    • Natalie S says:

      She’ll always get away with though. I don’t see a significant backlash ever happening.

      • Bohemian Angel says:

        This is why I think she may as well do what she wants and stay home and look after William and the kids. She doesn’t seem to have the passion to really help those in need and is only interested in her family. Everyone makes excuses for her anyway so she can enjoy the perks without putting in the graft. No matter what she does she will be ‘Queen consort’ as we are always being reminded, as long as William keeps her, so what is the point…
        And I really hope there is NOT another Cambridge baby to pay for!

      • RoyalBlue says:

        I think when she married she thought she would be a lady who lunches. Her time would be spent planning tea parties and running the household and hosting dinners and going to the gym. Pretty much what Pippa does and also without the obligation to do charitable works. She loves William and wanted to be a mother but never wanted to spend her life in charity and it shows. I don’t think they should force her if she doesn’t want it. I think she will pop out another baby or two and announce her retirement from public service so she can focus on her children.

      • Tina says:

        @RoyalBlue, that’s not what she said in the engagement interview. At the time, she knew what being a royal meant. I have no interest in supporting freeloaders.

      • Tourmaline says:

        I agree that Pippa’s lifestyle is Kate’s ideal. And I would bet money that Kate is going to have at least one more baby.

      • Royalblue says:

        Tina I thought in the interview she came across as super shy and said that she will let William teach her what being a royal is about. I seriously think she didn’t know it would be so much work expected of her. She should have aimed to be a viscountess or some other status that does not come with the public expectations.

      • Tina says:

        @Royalblue, Kate said, “I’m willing to learn quickly and work hard,” and “I really hope I can make a difference, even in the smallest way. I am looking forward to helping as much as I can.” And honestly, the majority of viscountesses are asset-rich and cash poor and have to hustle to keep the stately piles still standing. Most viscounts are not terribly moderately wealthy.

      • Nic919 says:

        The phrase “hit the ground running” comes from the PR at Kate’s engagement because she was a university grad and the most educated fiancée ever. It became a joke because then the work was dialled back significantly. Besides she grew up in the era of Diana in the UK where there was no secret that charity work was an important part of being royal. So she can’t pretend she didn’t know what the expectations were. Maybe William told her she didn’t have to do much of anything. But he’s not much of a worker either.

      • notasugarhere says:

        The outtakes from the engagement interview show she isn’t shy, plus all of her behavior during the 10 years of waiting doesn’t indicate shyness. Both she and William are lazy, but the clear expectation that they would get to work existed. Part of why William dragged his feet for so long – because he knew marriage would bring expectations from his family that he stop playing around and get to work. He’s still managed to dodge that for almost 8 years.

      • Royalblue says:

        Notasugarhere this is off topic but when I look at her engagement interview I see a very nervous young lady. Especially when I compare it to Harry and Meghan’s interview. Kate’s appearance is one of deference to William compared to Megan and Harry where they come across as partners, as equals. I wonder if Diana had not died if William would not have been so work shy. I think they coddled him so damn much because he was a child without a mother and as a result he was never pushed as hard.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I see a pampered woman who has always gotten what she wanted without lifting a finger, other than having to cling endlessly to William for a decade. She was known for being harsh to other women, cutting them off and not allowing any woman near her catch. William danced on a table screaming Free at Last after one of their many breakups and his friends leaked stories about how she was so controlling.

        She isn’t some ingenue incapable of doing the job. She’s a lazy woman who does less than the bare minimum because she gets away with it. Is she unprofessional, yes, but not some nervous little girl. Her fans constantly infantilise her as part of their excuses about her, so I’m not surprised.

      • A says:

        @Natalie S, there won’t be any significant backlash because she’s eventually going to be Queen, and that’s the real endgame.

        What’s going to happen is that she is going to waffle around for another decade and a half, doing very little, but she’s going to become a fixture of British life by that point that people will be entirely willing to whitewash her existence and her early years and gush at length about how much of an icon she always was.

    • VI says:

      Kate has all the interest in being seen out in the public,and it looks to me that it’s what she wants to do. I agree with the general feeling that she’s very competitive. Who knows, I may very well be wrong but I can’t see Kate avoiding the spotlight.

      “but she is so lazy as compared to the other Senior Royals”
      Are the senior royals are persons like Anne and her high number of monthly “engagements”?
      No,because if these senior royals are Meghan and Harry.. please. None of them is out in the public every day..not even three days a week. Since the beginning of the year,all their schedules are incredibly similar,not only in terms of “numbers”.
      There’s an “engagement” followed by another week of deserved breaks from the spotlight. If they are out for two days in a row,the break becomes 10/15 days.
      Probably the one who is doing more is William.
      This hard work and incredible work ethic talk pushed by the diehard fans that shifts from “Meghan and Harry are incredibly hard working behind the scenes” to “Harry and Meghan are rolling up the sleeves even when they write on bananas” – the same Harry who is even more workshy than his brother-
      Is frankly ludicrous.
      It’s even more surreal when these engagements,for all of them,include 30-minutes visits, galas,awards,Cirque du Soleil shows.

      • Tina says:

        Of the younger ones, William does the most. It is still ludicrous because he is behind Charles, Anne, Andrew, Edward, the Queen, Sophie, and the Duke of Gloucester (who is 74). All of the younger ones are lazy (I’m reserving judgment on Meghan because she’s new), including Harry.

      • notasugarhere says:

        William is only starting to increase his work more now, after 8+ years of dodging royal work via his marriage. After years of Throne Idle articles proving he was neither working at EAAA nor working royal engagements. What has he achieved in his royal work? Nothing. Charles had Prince’s Trust at age 28, Harry co-founded Sentebale at 19. The only charity William always show up for is Jecca’s. No surprise.

        Edward and Sophie, the Gloucesters? Those couples routinely do 400+ engagements a year.

  25. Digital Unicorn says:

    She brings nothing new to the table with this, early intervention has been a thing for a LOOONG time and the palace spin that Kate ‘discovered’ and then ‘spearheaded’ this is just spin to make it look like she’s doing something when she only created an umbrella organisation where she turns up for a PR op when she feels like it.

    Its pretty well known that trauma creates trauma which follows people throughout their lives even if they get help. Studies on peoples of all ages etc.. have been around for years that prove this – its not new. But again KP PR spin is making it look like it is.

  26. YogiZekie says:

    Kate has done 4 or 5 events just dealing with this since the beginning of 2019, so I’m not sure why you are confused about this? It’ more than meghan has done for any one initiative. Such nastiness over kate.

    • CHATNUH says:

      LOL @ ‘YogiZekie”
      Such nastiness over the Duchess of Sussex!

      BTW, FYI a true yogi is all about kindness. See: Duchess of Sussex.

    • Tina says:

      Kate has had 5 engagements total listed in the Court Circular in 2019: this dinner, the visit to the primary school earlier in the week, a meeting with the head of the WKHM foundation (not Heads Together), a launch of Family Line, and the visit to the Islington community garden.

      • goofpuff says:

        wow very low bar set for Kate. I expect way more of her since she is not pregnant and has been a duchess for many years. This amount of work is pretty bad. the other royals do far more. it is more work than she’s done in previous years but still not up to par for what it costs to keep her lifestyle funded. i have always thought (pre meghan) that kate was exceptionally lazy. i don’t know why it’s suddenly not okay to keep thinking that after meghan?

      • Tina says:

        Not sure what was biased or hypocritical about my comment as it was a simple statement of fact.

      • Bohemian Angel says:

        FERNANDA’S comment is exactly what I mean, excuses ALWAYS made for Kate. If she was out there more she would be praised more, all she has really done in her 8 years as a royal is pop out kids and look pretty. And no she is not the only royal that has mean comments said about her! IT’S OK TO LIKE HER BUT PLEASE STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR HER DOING NOTHING!!!

    • notasugarhere says:

      More excuses for Kate. She’s been at this for almost 8 years, during which time she has constantly failed to work anywhere near what she should. Her bothering to show up to “work” 5 times in the last 6 weeks doesn’t whitewash away the last 8 years of laziness. This umbrella campaign is another pathetic attempt of making it look like she does anything at all.

  27. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    It’s obvious she doesn’t like working. William doesn’t want to work either. Perhaps everyone should stop pretending, and let them both do what they enjoy and are good at (William = vacations; Kate = brushing her hair and starving herself), and just chalk it up to the price of having a monarchy?

  28. Unenthused says:

    First time poster here – as someone who has devoted her career to children’s mental health and substance use disorders, I’m appalled that so much money is being wasted by starting some new research study to verify what everyone with half a brain already knows, instead of investing in a gap analysis to determine how to leverage funds to ADDRESS the issues and create or reinforce the existing system of care. Personally, I do not live in the U.K. But would bet that the same issues with access to wrap-around services exist there. Focus on the caretakers AND the kiddos and you’ll see real results. I’ll get off my soapbox now and hope that this mystery project ends up sparking more than just a change to the image of one priveledged person.

    • notasugarhere says:

      It is a good soapbox and you should stay on it. More resources being used, not for the kids, but to better this lazy woman’s PR image. Wasting the time of the professionals involved too.

  29. Murphy says:

    This is all just made up fluff to make it look like she does things.

  30. Shadylady says:

    I bet it’ll be like Pippa tips, except mental health wise 🤦🏽‍♀️.

  31. Jaded says:

    Just go to fucking work Kate. Get out there, fund-raise, start programs NOW that will help mentally and emotionally disadvantaged kids.

  32. A says:

    The tone of this article makes it sound like she’s stalling or not entirely sincere in her efforts with this initiative, if you ask me. They meet once a month? She’s been conceiving of this from before she got pregnant with Prince Louis? She went to a conference for this topic? And they’re so vague about the stuff they discussed at this party too, but somehow it’s supposed to be substantial and very informative and whatever? And this is going to define her work going forward, but we hear about it every couple of weeks or about once a month at most, and there’s just no sense of urgency or definitive timeline for it at all. It’s all very confusing and muddled and it feels to me like they’re just waffling around because someone on some level is just not committed or there’s not much of a clear vision for it and so they don’t know when it’ll even be an actual thing.

    • paddingtonjr says:

      I think you’re right: from what I can gather, there is a very broad idea of what she wants to do, but no specific plan, program or timeline. She would do well to do something small and focused, like Camilla’s wash kits for sexual assault victims or Meghan’s cookbook and then build on that. I get that she wants to have a “signature platform” and that’s good. Philip (and now Edward) has DOE Scheme, Charles has Duchy Originals/Prince’s Trust, Harry has Sentable/IG, and Anne, who has many other patronages and engagements, is closely identified with Save the Children. Without a clear plan and with vague phrases about meetings and children and trauma, it just sounds like the same old talk we’ve been hearing for eight years.

      • Lorelei says:

        @A and @PaddingtonJr ITA with everything you both said. But Kate seems to want to dedicate herself only to huge, serious, “important” projects when the truth is she isn’t, IMO, that substantive or serious of a person and she should stick with what she’s good at — casual events with kids, particularly those involving sports or other outdoorsy activities like the ones she’s done with the scouts. Or doing arts & crafts with kids. I don’t think she’s stupid or ill-intentioned, but I also don’t think she necessarily recognizes her own strengths and limitations.

        She definitely wants her own “Prince’s Trust”-type legacy, but I seriously doubt she has the drive and commitment to make something on that scale happen for her. I would like to be proven wrong, but can you imagine her sticking with anything for *decades*? And I also think there will be a fourth baby.

        Your comment reminded me of a running gag on some tv show (blanking on which one) where there was a chronically unemployed character. He would always say he was “holding out for a management position” even though he was completely unqualified for any such thing. Kate’s always holding out for management, lol.

      • A says:

        I will say that things like the Prince’s Trust and the DoE scheme take a while to get up and running, and it’s not as if Charles and Philip didn’t struggle with establishing their flagship projects at the very beginning. It’s tough to carve out a clear sense of what you want to accomplish, even if you are exceptionally focused and driven and committed to making a difference, because the struggle is figuring out how you want to make that difference.

        But that’s where I feel like Charles and Philip could really come in with their experience. They’ve done this type of stuff before. Kate, if she were receptive to it, would really benefit from sitting down and looking at where they succeeded and where they failed and what she wants to emulate and what she wants to do differently.

        But it’s like I said–I don’t think she’s all that into it. I think she’s sort of hoping that this stuff will just coalesce somehow into something worthwhile, and it very well might. But it’s aggravating to watch this stuff just float through the ether until it just works. And it’s so much worse to get the same press release every couple of months about how Kate has big plan for the future for this children’s mental health thing. We’ve been hearing about it for almost half a year and it’s ALWAYS the same thing. It’s really frustrating and it reflects poorly n everyone involved.

  33. paddingtonjr says:

    So eight years after she was “going to hit the ground running”, she’s finally at the point where she’s keen to meet with experts to decide what might possibly be the best agencies for her to consider supporting and/or working with. Way to move the ball forward, Kate!

  34. Mego says:

    I wonder if part of Her problem other than no passion or interest really is that she doesn’t want to spend time with people who are struggle, preferring to meet with experts and other higher class people. There is something really classist about these meetings and then a party at BP of all places! Why not KP? Not big enough? Spend time with expert AND the people you are trying to help. Don’t pretend “we all share the same struggles” get out there and find out No, actually we don’t. 🙄. I am tired of her bs and the bs reporting around her activities.

  35. Weaver says:

    It’s hilarious reading the press releases for Kate’s initiatives. That poor writer does a heck of a job combining various word salad to create the impression that something is actually happening.