Thursday, 23 March 2017

Kate Speaks on Motherhood: "It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together."

Ahead of Mother's Day, the Duchess of Cambridge attended the launch of maternal mental health films with Heads Together charity partner Best Beginnings at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London today.


Following yesterday's horrific terror attack on Westminster, it was very much up in the air until this morning if the engagement would go ahead. Her Majesty postponed plans to open the New Scotland Yard building until a later date. Victoria Arbiter tweeted "Worth noting that the Queen's postponed engagement will not be due to fear but rather a conscious effort to relieve the burden on police". In terms of location there was no reason to cancel Kate's appearance and no doubt after much consideration it was decided not change the schedule.


It is  exactly one month until the Virgin Money 2017 London Marathon, for which Heads Together is the Official Charity of the Year. William, Kate and Harry are very much hoping to make it a 'mental health marathon' and have been carrying out individual and joint engagements ahead of the big event. A key point of these engagements has been to highlight the amazing work being done by the charities involved. Best Beginnings focuses on the period between conception and a child’s third birthday, where the foundations of a healthy and fulfilling life are laid. Founded by Alison Baum in 2006, the organisation aims to ensure that every child has the best start in life by: developing practical, simple, educational and interactive tools to support parents-to-be and new parents. Embedding resources in local health pathways and training professionals to use them in their practice. Raising awareness of the things that can affect new mums, dads, bumps and babies and engaging with government, authorities and society to influence change.


Kate received a warm welcome upon arrival from CEO Alison Baum.


The event, to raise awareness of maternal mental health challenges and start conversations about the wellbeing of parents and their children, was attended by health campaigners, academics and other professionals in the field.


The Duchess watched one of Best Beginnings films. Rebecca English noted Kate was accompanied by Sophie Agnew today, assistant to her private secretary Rebecca Deacon and a likely contender to replace her when she leaves.


The 'Out of the Blue’ film series was created by Best Beginnings to promote mental health for parents and their children. The series explores a range of mental health conditions from low mood and anxiety to more severe forms of depression through stories told by real mothers across the country. The films are also aimed to help fathers, and the wider circle of family and friends to better understand mental health issues and show how to support mothers more effectively. For those interesting in viewing the videos, information on downloading them is available here.


The Duchess appropriately began her speech by sending "thoughts and prayers to all those sadly affected by yesterday's terrible attack in Westminster". I was very much looking forward to hearing Kate speak about motherhood in her speech. Drawing on her own experiences, the Duchess admitted to a lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance as a mother. "It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together.  Your fundamental identity changes overnight.  You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost." Kate's speech was excellent - easily the most personal one she's given discussing the highs and lows of becoming a parent. I imagine these are feeling all parents experience. With the joys come challenges and perhaps it's not always easy for people to discuss those challenges.


The full text of Kate's speech:

'Before I begin, I know you would all want to join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to all those sadly affected by yesterday’s terrible attack in Westminster.  We will be thinking of all the families, as we discuss the important issues we're here to talk about.
I would like to thank Best Beginnings for inviting me here to introduce the 'Out of The Blue' series.  This collection of films highlights how vital it is to be open about our mental health especially in the early years of parenthood.
Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience.  However, at times it has also been a huge challenge- even for me who has support at home that most mothers do not. Nothing can really prepare you for you the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother.  It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together.  Your fundamental identity changes overnight.  You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost.
And yet there is no rule book, no right or wrong - you just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family.  For many mothers, myself included, this can, at times lead to lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance. Sadly, for some mothers, this experience can be made so much harder due to challenges with their own mental health.  Two in ten women will suffer mental health issues that can occur during pregnancy and in the year after birth, often clouding their moments of joy with a real sense of darkness and isolation.  Many of these women also suffer in silence, overwhelmed by negative feelings, but also afraid to admit to the struggles they are facing due to the fear or shame of what others might think if they “aren’t coping”. 
Some of this fear is about the pressure to be a perfect parent; pretending we're all coping perfectly and loving every minute of it.  It's right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains.  It’s ok not to find it easy.  Asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness.
If any of us caught a fever during pregnancy, we would seek advice and support from a doctor.  Getting help with our mental health is no different – our children need us to look after ourselves and get the support we need.
Conversations are crucial for mental wellbeing and they should be part of everyday family life.  Talking about a problem with a friend or another trusted person can be the beginning of getting better. This week, as we look forward to Mother’s Day, I would love to see everyone celebrate and value the fundamental importance that mothers play in family life. Mothers take on an overwhelming responsibility of caring for their families.  Their role is vital in providing unconditional love, care, and support at home, particularly in the early years of a child’s development. We therefore should do everything we can to support and value their hard work. 
The work of Best Beginnings is vital.  By providing tools and resources to help parents establish their own confidence and their own self-awareness, Best Beginnings enables mothers and fathers to do the best they can for their families.
The Out of the Blue films you are about to see are also an amazing example to all parents, that starting conversations and asking for support is a real source of strength.  They have been created with real parents, talking honestly and openly about their own experiences of parenthood. '

A video of Kate's speech.


A view of Kate leaving the auditorium from Richard Palmer.


Kate then joined a parent support group to talk with parents about how becoming a parent affected their mental health and how open and honest conversations with family, friends or other trusted people helped them get through the tough times.


The Duchess talked about how "There's so much support for mothers when they are pregnant but it can be very lonely after your baby is born."


More from the Daily Express:

'Ms Grant said: "I wasn't sleeping,I was unable to feed, I had an infection and was in a bad way physically after I lost three quarters of my blood. I begged for help with what I think was my last vestige of sanity. I just wanted to get my baby someone where safe and was admitted to a special mother and baby unit."
Thanks to the help of a team of 'amazing' professionals, Ms Grant made a good recovery and her 'bright and funny' son, now four and a half, is about to start school, while she is back at work. Kate told her: "I feel very passionately about women - and fathers, getting the help they need at the right time and being able to talk about these issues. "I know if William was here then he would say the same."
She added: "Well done to you all in taking the step to come here and talk about your experiences. Having that conversation is so important."

Kate was delighted to meet two year old Teegan Mia and said to her "You have been so good, sitting there. I know George wouldn't have done the same at your age!"


Daily Mail royal reporter Rebecca English shared a video of Kate talking to one mother about post-partum psychosis.


Before leaving, Kate posed with staff and families she met for photos.


The Duchess brought back her much loved red and white gingham skirt suit from Kensington based bespoke firm Eponine London (named after designer Jet Shenkman's children's favourite Les Miserables character). Kate first wore the chic look almost exactly a year ago for a visit to the XLP Mentoring Programme.


The top features a boat neck and three-quarter sleeves while the skirt is A-line. It originally retailed for £1200. The womenswear brand is "inspired by the elegant lines of the fifties and sixties". Every garment is designed and made in London for women who seek out individuality and who desire to be both chic and contemporary.


Eponine London

Kate's suit is from the Spring/Summer 2016 Collection. 

Eponine London

Kate carried her L.K. Bennett Nina Clutch. The £185 clutch remains available on the U.K. website.

L.K. Bennett

The Duchess chose her Gianvito Rossi '105' pumps in praline. The $675 pumps are described as "Is there anything more chic than a classic pair of suede pumps? We think not - and we simply adore this rosy-nude pair from Gianvito Rossi. Crafted in Italy, they come with a seductive stiletto heel and an elegantly streamlined toe". They are available at My Theresa.

My Theresa

Kate accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Cushion Drop and Morganite earrings.

Kiki McDonough

In a formidable speech this morning, Prime Minister Theresa May said “Beyond these walls today – in scenes repeated in towns and cities across the country – millions of people are going about their days and getting on with their lives. The streets are as busy as ever, the offices full, the coffee shops and cafรฉs bustling. As I speak, millions will be boarding trains and aeroplanes to travel to London and to see from themselves the greatest city on earth. It is in these actions, millions of acts of normality, that we find the best response to terrorism". There's been such a display of unity, courage and strength. From the first responders to the doctors and nurses who ran from St Thomas Hospital to help the injured displaying incredible bravery, to those who walked into the office this morning and went about their routine showing "acts of normalcy" are so important. It was good to see Kate embodying the "keep calm and carry on" spirit so many in London have shown.  I know we all echo Kate's words when we say our thoughts and prayers are with all those who were affected by the senseless act of terror yesterday.

288 comments:

  1. Rebecca - Sweden23 March 2017 at 13:59

    This is such an important engagement! Mental health issues around pregnancy, birth and beginning is so common but also so taboo. There is alot of "shame" associated with feeling these bad feelings at a time when you are "supposed" to feel extra happy. And since having a child is so physically, mentally, hormonally and emotionally strong and changing, it's no shock that it also brings with it alot of issues. So it's extra important to highlight how there is no shame with these issues. It doesn't make you a bad mother and it doesn't make you love your kid less! And even without mental health issues around it, people need support in handling the stress and worry. Especially when having "special" pregnancies. Kate probably knows quite a bit about that and that is why it's perfect that she is at this engagement!

    Great to see her make another speech. She has a much nicer "frequency" with speeches nowdays. Very good, both for us and for her!

    And a great speech! I like that she shared how it personally is hard at times for her. And how she accknowledged her priviledge in having help! Really great! She is growing before our eyes! A great balance between the personal "I get it!" part of the speech without making it sound like she is unaware of her priviledge.
    I must say, her whole speech was very good! I'm impressed!

    I have to say, it's such a small thing but super endearing. Right when she was going to start her speech she saw that someone elses paper had fallen down on the floor. She just bent down and picked it up right there on stage. As I said, such a small thing. But it looked so... kind? No airs of grandeur on her!

    My comment is getting to long so I'm gonna split it :P

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    1. A great cause and a very good speech indeed.

      Princess Diana, who experienced postpartum depression and said it wasn't understood within her "environment", must be smiling.

      And I agree, Rebecca. A small thing but it says a lot about Kate.

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    2. Absolutely Rebecca! This speech was a major step forward for Kate I think - it was so much more personal and involved than the more general ones she's given before. This time I felt that she genuinely had some engagement with the subject matter and gave something of herself to it. Wonderful! As you say, she is definitely growing in confidence and it's great to see.

      I'm so glad the engagement went ahead despite yesterday's awful events; this has been one of my favourite appearances of Kate for some time.

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    3. Well said Rebecca. I agree 100%.

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  2. Rebecca - Sweden23 March 2017 at 13:59

    And here is the fashion part:

    I really liked this suit the last time and this time as well. Eponine is a brand I would love to see her more in!

    I do not like the nude pairing, black worked better. But at least these are my favourite of her nude shoes.

    She really is into separates nowdays :)

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    1. Love this repeat and think it is no coincidense that Kate wore a London brand today. Well done Kate

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    2. Black patent perhaps? IMO this outfit is perfect for it, but I think this was a softer look than black suede.

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    3. We're definitely in tune today Rebecca! I agree with your 'fashion part' as well!

      I did a little jig this morning when I saw the first pictures because this is the first and only time I have ever correctly predicted (in my head at least)what she would wear to an event! Woo-hoo!

      I too loved this suit the first time around and am so glad to see it again. It's such a great balance between smart and not too smart - perfect for most of her engagements. If I was her, I think I would take a leaf out of Diana's alterations book and get some sets of buttons in red and white as well as the black ones it comes with, just so that she could change it up a bit each time - and make it even more suitable for the next Canada tour (or maybe the Polish one)!

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    4. Congrats to you Helen for predicting what she would wear!! It is so fun when that happens (or something similar--the dress she wore--to mixed reviews--to the UK-India cultural even is one I had picked for her for her Canada tour!). It definitely is a "yay, wow" moment :-)

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  3. Fantastic speech. She is so very effective and relatable when she speaks from her own personal experience.

    One of my favorite oufits, so happy to see it again.

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    1. I agree about her speech, Erika. Still reading and peeping a lot, but much much better tone, her accent is not that posh as before. One could hear that she put time and effort in it.

      Finally, her PR team made a good speech.

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    2. Absolutely Anett. Obviously, she's been working on her technique and, today, it showed. For me, this was the first speech she has given to which she seemed emotionally
      invested which added such a sense of genuineness. I think advocating for mothers and children in need is her calling as she does it rather well.

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    3. I agree, Erika, she is always in her element when the engagement has anything to do with children or parenting.

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    4. Isn't she, Becca? I think it is a cause that she can relate to and that comes from her heart such as Harry and the veterans.

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    5. I think Kate has improved her delivery quite a bit, and I think it's great as apparently she's terrified of public speaking. But she's powering it through and it shows. It helps that she's talking about something that obviously speaks to her, but successes like these build onto successes when she isn't as invested in the subject matter.

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    6. Agree with everyone, how about that! One of my "complaints" has been when the 3 of them are pushing such an important cause, give a little personal indication telling why it's so important to you, it resonates so much more! So I think, as Erika said, the fact she spoke in a more personal way was fantastic. Anett I agree her tone was softer somehow, more personal and intimate. bluhare is right, she's definitely powering through and getting better. (I remember seeing an outtake from that Bradby engagement interview, as soon as it was over her head fell back and she said "oh I'm awful at this" or words to that effect)
      So I think she did a great job, though I'm an easy audience here, I must admit I have a soft spot for maternal health issues :)

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    7. Rebecca - Sweden24 March 2017 at 15:52

      Exactly, bluhare :)

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  4. Great engagement and lovely repeated ensemble!

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  5. Sarah maryland USA23 March 2017 at 14:12

    I really really loved the suit. I wish she had done something different with her hair this time and we all know how I feel about pointy heels.
    I am glad kate mentioned in her speech that she does have extra help that most others do not because the last time she said how tough motherhood was I was a little but off by that omission.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden23 March 2017 at 14:57

      To be fair, while having help helps (duh!), the worrying and concience etc is still there. And while Kate has great help, one nanny does not fill as much time as some people think.

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    2. To add to Rebecca-Sweden's point, having a highly-trained and competent nanny around can also diminish a new mother's confidence. Why does baby not stop crying when I comfort him/her, but calms down immediately with nanny? Does she/he love nanny more? The new mother is also the nanny's "boss." Suddenly she is responsible for not only her child, but also another adult who may have ideas different from her own ideals.

      We also might wish to remember that in our most recent social evolution mothers have moved into greater isolation than before. Gone are the days when all the mothers in the village sat in a circle nursing and tending to their children together. That can't have helped young mothers with their confidence and mental health.

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    3. Julia from Leominster23 March 2017 at 16:08

      I agree, it's good she mentioned that.

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    4. I agree, Sarah, I thought it was nice of her to add that in. In not ignoring the privilege of her position, I think she made herself more relatable to other moms.

      Philly, really interesting point! I hadn't thought about that. I think that's why it's so important to get conversations flowing, again, about motherhood. Since we as people are so much more spread out and hectic than before, it's no wonder that many moms feel isolated, confused, etc.

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    5. There used to be a wonderful organization called the LA Leche League, I believe. A great help to mothers having difficulty with a first nursing experience. They can start helping soon after birth in hospital with a referral on request. They make home visits in the US. I believe sometimes a midwife or other trained person is available for home visits in the UK and other countries with national health service.The woman-to-woman contact can be comforting. Sometimes Mum isn't the best person to help with this. I had a sister who had five children of her own. She was a wonderful help; but not everyone has family close by to help, as Philly pointed out. I don't know if that organization is still available. Perhaps one of the other commenters knows.

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    6. Zora from Prague23 March 2017 at 21:46

      Very good points, Philly, both about the nanny and the danger of isolation. In the past, the community of women in a village acted as a wider family. They used to support the new mother, advice her and help her cope with her new role. In many countries there also used to be important rituals (e.g. when the new mother first came to church after the first six weeks) which helped the young woman with the transition of becoming a mother. It 's not easy nowadays to find such a support group but luckily there are initiatives like "Mother Centres" etc. For me, attending a Mother Centre was very important and it helped me a great deal when our sons were small.

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    7. Courtney from NC24 March 2017 at 05:39

      You ladies have hit on a very important aspect of motherhood in modern times. It can be so isolating in the beginning. I had support in the beginning but when we moved cross country I had three very young children and no support system, save my husband who was gone more often than he was home. The isolation can be just devastating to a person's psyche and so draining in every way. Modern technology is amazing but it really has made people so much more isolated and self sufficient. Even society's view of being independent and not admitting weakness feeds into the isolation and even postpartum depression. It can feel like you are in a dark room, blindly feeling your way around when you parent without a support system or family nearby. I am so thankful that Kate is bringing pregnancy and the year or so following delivery into their mental health focus. I remember feeling like I should just know what to do when I brought my first son home. That there was supposed to be a motherhood switch that just flicked it self when you gave birth and when that didn't happen I felt like I was drowning. Just the slightest bit of encouragement or company made the world of difference for me. I hope that Kate continues to spotlight maternal mental health issues.

      I also remember my son crying for hours on end, due to ear infections, and my mom showing up and calming him in a matter of minutes and wondering if I just wasn't cut out for motherhood. Or wondering what I was doing wrong. In my mind I knew it was my tension as well as her experience with infants but at those moments I "knew" I was a horrible mother. I can only imagine having a nanny, who has loads more experience with children, and trying to get my feet under me without comparing myself to the nanny or being jealous. Right after birth, and the months following, you aren't exactly thinking completely clearly. Lack of sleep and the loads of hormones still shifting in your body can make you feel like an alien has invaded your body and all rationality has departed the building.

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    8. I also think it was really excellent how Kate said "our children need us to look after ourselves and get the support we need," because a lot of the time the good of the children is the one and only factor that is able to motivate mothers/families to overcome the stigma, their illness, their feelings of being overwhelmed, to seek out help. Kate's speech was overall definitely one of her best yet, I thought. Well done, Kate!

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    9. Very good point Philly, brings back memories I have to say. Definitely smart to mention that.

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    10. Everyone has made some really great points about Motherhood in todays world. It is a very isolated experience for many of us and add to that if you have a less than calm baby without the support of older women with the experience of seeing many a child you tend to blame yourself from the get go. There is also all the parenting and online sites that offer up the perfect answer and leave you feeling even more useless if the tricks do not work for you. (This is similar to the Nanny issue) I did have some other mothers to meet with but everyone always presented things as perfect, they were get togethers in baby groups of people who did not really know each other and all brand new Moms, not the wisdom of those who had been down this round many a time. My Mother was not alive when I had my children and I so missed not having her or any other older Mom to turn to for a some practical feed back and advice.

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    11. Courtney I experienced those same feelings. I wanted to take some of the nurses home with me from the delivery unit. I was so scared. I didn't even think I had the skills to put his going home outfit on him. I was afraid I might break him or something. I was waiting for that mom switch to turn on also. And I remember others who visited our new baby being able to comfort him so readily with me wondering how they did it. My son didn't sleep much at first and I, during a well baby visit to the pediatrician (the same one who took care of my husband when he was a child), broke down in tears there telling him that I didn't know what I was going to do it if I didn't get some sleep. He just sort of smiled that knowing smile and assured me that when my son reached four months of age he would start sleeping more through the night. I had to believe him. I very much needed a thread of hope. I was nursing him in the beginning and that is a whole other story. lol So, thank you for sharing. Here these many years later that has brought comfort to me. :)
      Also, just to let new moms out there know, there was a church in our area that offered a "Mother's Day Out" program when my son was old enough to go there. That was such a help and such a very good program. He learned socialization skills and many other things. (Like how not to bite other children, lol). So, if you need some time to do errands or just get your hair done, etc. find out if any of your local churches provide a "Mother's Day Out" program. You don't need to belong to that church usually. It really helps. Make sure you find a reputable one. First day I left my son at ours, he cried and I cried (like a baby, btw) and the ladies practically had to push me out the door to go and enjoy my "Mother's Day Out". I stayed in the car the whole time that first day in case he needed me. I got better. I would tell them okay I'm going but I will be outside in the car for at least 15 minutes if you need me. That lasted about four or five days. After that I ventured forth and actually got a lot done during those three hours. :) Hope you find a good one if you need one. They really help. :)

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    12. SG, I think you also illustrated that some experiences in our past remain with us for years, if not forever, complete with feelings---and the fact that you found comfort even now in kind words of strangers. It is not just a matter of getting on and getting over when strong feelings are involed.

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    13. Anonymousa, I agree to some extent. Although, if my feelings had motivated behaviors from me (particularly, repeated behaviors) that were hurtful to others in anyway (they weren't) then I would have sought help in overcoming them. I think everyone has a certain amount of sad memories that vary in degree of sadness. When those memories produce hurtful behavior then those memories need to be addressed by professionals. Otherwise they are within the "normal" range of less than happy memories. And often, if we examine those memories and events and our reactions retrospectively, we can see how they elicited behavior changes along the way that turned out to be good and healthful modifications.
      But if sad memories motivate hurtful and/or repeatedly hurtful behaviors then they need to be addressed by professionals. In my opinion. :)

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    14. My point was that past events that caused strong feelings are not entirely forgotten, even as one continues to function. And that, years later, kindness, even from a stranger, can be moving. Hurtful behavior has a number of interpretations. Sometimes it means getting into fistfights, drug or alcohol use, or saying unkind remarks-sometimes to the point of verbal abuse.---------I have learned through a family member recently that getting help must be motivated from within. If someone else makes the arrangements and forces treatment, the commitment and chance for success is far less. One problem with PPD is that one can't summon the mental and physical energy to seek help. It is a swamp of mire that sucks one in. One can't even realize that things are not normal sometimes until an outside person intervenes. In those instances, I think intervention can be successful. I recall taking my baby to the doctor for a check-up. The doctor took one look at me and the next thing I knew I was in a hospital getting a chest x-ray. I was physically and emotionally depleted to the point I didn't even know I was sick.----One thing that concerns me is the possibility one of the new moms will seek help and be told to cheer up or get over it. Such disregard and ignorance of maternal health can be devastating. Sometimes the mom will not seek help again. For new and experienced moms, if anyone ever downplays feelings and thoughts you are experiencing that are causing you distress, don't go back to that person, but you must not give up. Someone will understand and help. Just keep trying.

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    15. I agree Anonymousa. Keep trying until you get someone who will listen and will help. Thank heaven your baby's pediatrician was paying attention.

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  6. Patrick from Vienna23 March 2017 at 14:26

    Thank you once again for you very fast and detailed post! I really enjoy the Duchess in this Ensemble and one really can see that this is one very important matter for her. Ist great that the Cambridges and Prince Harry are so keen to these matters of mental health, so many people are affected on them and it is still some sort of Stigma in our community nowadays.
    The beginning of the speech was very appropriate and it does sound like the Duchess was very emotional during these words. I just would have liked to see her in a more darker colour or maybe in purple after what happened yesterday. But this is not a real critism, just a humble wish of mine. As i said before, I love this Outfit and hope she will wear it again!

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    1. I agree with you wish to see her in a different color after yesterday events.
      A soft grey or indeed a darker color would have worked better in my opinion.
      I think if you change your speech, you should adjust your clothes, especially if you picked such a nice and springy outfit.
      I really like the outfit (although I don't love the shoecolor) but it would be more fitting a different day.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden23 March 2017 at 15:09

      I think her outfits fit exactly with the generaly mood and actions that London seems to have taken. Just carry on. People were at the pub that evening, the tube was only closed at one station for a few hour. The general consensus seems to be to just go about your buissness and I think wearing something dark would go against that.

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    3. She wore pink at 9/11 Memorial, so I suppose there is nothing wrong with this one here.:)

      I agree Liz about the shoe colour.

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    4. First of all, thoughts and prayers to all those affected by the tragic events of yesterday.The Royal family would have to walk around in perpetual muted shades if they had to continuously acknowledge the constant darkness in our world today. Rather a brighter colour to acknowledge the continuity of life and that terrorism is not getting the better of us.
      Excellent speech by the Duchess in terms of content and she is definitely becoming more assured in her delivery. Also noticed that in her later discussions with parents she seemed to have plenty to say.

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    5. I believe her choice was part of the "keep calm and carry on" formula.

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    6. Courtney from NC24 March 2017 at 05:40

      If it was a vigil or memorial she had been attending I could see the desire for muted colors but the engagement was about such a serious issue that a little color never hurts.

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  7. What a great post -- thank you, Charlotte, for the update. Sending thoughts, prayers, and well wishes from America to everyone affected by the terrible events yesterday. Our hearts are with you all!

    I'm glad Kate went ahead with the engagement. I think it shows solidarity and exudes vibes of tender unity in the aftermath of yesterday's tragedy. The event being such a personal one in nature really allowed Kate to shine, too. She seemed relaxed and truly in her element, sharing honestly about her experiences as a mom. It was lovely of her to acknowledge the extra help she receives due to her position, but also share that despite all that, motherhood can and has been difficult for her, at times, as well. While I don't have kids, yet, I can't help but feel that motherhood transcends status and position and Kate was lovely to emphasize that. For someone like Kate, with her platform, to build a bridge, as it were, to relate with all mothers, it must make those who have struggled or are struggling feel understood and welcome. I think the mental health of new parents is often overlooked, but it's such an important topic to shed light on, especially as it does have an impact on the children! I have several friends who struggled with varying degrees of postpartum depression and I know it helped them and other moms to be open and communicate about those struggles. How great that a helpful and loving community is being fostered among new parents! It gives me hope that I'll be able to share whatever struggles I encounter I have kids.

    I think Kate looks gorgeous today. I loved that skirt suit when she first wore it last year and I think it looks just as good on her today. The color is perfect and it fits her so well. Her hair has some lovely bounce and curl, too. Spot on!

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    1. Becca H, would like to echo your comments if I may.... as an American of predominantly British descent, I'd also like to send my prayers for healing, hope, and strength to everyone in the U.K.

      Kate's speech today was lovely and heartfelt, and delivered with poise and self-confidence. Good for her!

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    2. Agree on all points!

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    3. I think the only consideration for calling it off was that police are already strained just now, and to add another security issue to them so soon may not have been best. But I agree, very good that it could go on.

      What an awful week though. First Martin McGuinness died, which brought back so many dreadful memories and images of a fearful and tense time, and all the controversy and discussion starts up again. And then a reminder of the new "troubles" that face us today, a madman in Westminster. When the primary children from Holy Family walked out I could have burst into tears, how do you even begin to explain this to them. And the people who are going about their normal routines one minute and in a flash everything changes for so many families. Because a human being has a sick desire to hurt and kill other humans. Honestly. Life can change in an absolute instant, never take it for granted.

      So thank you Charlotte for this nice space and for facilitating our always interesting conversations! Have a lovely weekend everyone :)

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  8. Such an important topic and definitely worthy of Kate's advocacy.
    Love the suit, with either the black or nude accessories, and very happy to see it again.

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  9. First of all, kudos to Kate for not changing her schedule because of Westminster. That took courage. Not faulting the Queen at all, she is fearless. I truly believe the cancellation regarding that was due to the reasons they stated. The Queen proved her courage beyond the shadow of a doubt by making that visit to Ireland, and other times also, like during the horse parade, the break-in to her bedroom, her composure during her coronation, etc., etc.

    And, I am more and more convinced as time goes by that Kate's team does read this blog. lol
    She is getting more personal in her speeches.
    Her speech was the very best so far, I agree Charlotte. Kate has to open up. You can't champion a mental health initiative that's built on sharing experiences if you don't genuinely do that also. And she is. I am so proud of her.
    (She kindly, to William's relief no doubt, didn't mention how motherhood is additionally burdened by a dallying husband.)
    When she mentioned exhaustion in her speech it seemed to me, just for a moment, that she might cry. Couldn't blame her in the least. She also acknowledged that she has challenges even with the help that most people don't have. So she is obviously aware of the privilege and of the comparisons that have been made between "ordinary" mom's and her.

    I love this outfit, of course, because it is the 60's simplicity I so love. I love everything about it. The style, the color, the fit, the fabric, the appropriateness to the venue. Her hair looked great with the outfit.

    I was a little disappointed that Sophie Agnew is most likely replacing Rebecca. Sophie, a St. Andrew's graduate, is no doubt capable and a nice person. I was so wanting Natasha to be the one though in hopes that they would then hire a real, trained stylist. I understand that that usually only happens with the title Princess of Wales and that she will then be technically allowed a "dresser", but one can hope.

    The "Out of the Blue" campaign is long overdue in my opinion, no fault to the Cambridges of course. That they are involving Ob/Gyn's is most excellent.

    Kate's speech, and her "new" candor is a benchmark of new things for Kate. I am so happy about that that I could hug her. :) She is a true gem. I am sure that sharing like that wasn't easy for her. She's a private person, AND, she knows how the media can be and how fickle public opinion can be also. That took courage and many kudos to her.

    I did have to laugh though at the lady in green, the esteemed founder of "Out of the Blue", whose slightly bending over stance coupled with the v-neck of her dress during the greeting, may have been a little more of a greeting than Kate had bargained for. oops.

    Thank you Charlotte for getting the photos and information to us so quickly as usual. :)

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    1. surfer girl, I had to chuckle at your comment about the CEO's greeting, I quite liked her teal dress & shoes. Her background story is amazing, she seems a lovely lady.

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    2. I needed that laugh surfer girl ;) Oops indeed!

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    3. Yes, she does Kiwi Gal. I liked her outfit also.
      I hope her Best Beginnings Initiatives go worldwide. A Nobel Peace Prize worthy endeavor for sure, in my opinion. She seems like a very giving and approachable person.

      Delete
    4. Regarding a royal dresser. You are wrong. Kate turned down the offer of a royal dresser to do it herself. Eventually Natasha stepped in, but only to help out at first until that became a full time job.

      People imagining that she or william have to wait until they are POW to step up or to work more or to hire the right support staff -even if that means outside non royal staff - are projecting their own imaginings of what goes on in the Palace.

      Delete
    5. As for me, 22:51, someone "corrected" me here on the blog when I was saying for the umpteenth time that I wanted Kate to re-assign Natasha to other duties and hire a real, trained stylist. That person told us that Kate would have to wait to get the budgeting for a "dresser" until she became Princess of Wales.
      How do you know Kate turned down a dresser? btw.

      Delete
    6. 22:51, unless you're an insider, aren't you doing some projecting of your own? As SG asked, HOW do you know?

      Delete
  10. Great speech by the Duchess today!! So moving!

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  11. Lovely speech and she looks wonderful. I like both the nude and black with the suit but I think the nude worked better for this engagement, time of day and season.

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  12. Bravo to Kate for supporting such an important cause. So many women are impacted by mental health issues post pregnancy. Her speech was lovely and appropriate for the day after horrible things happened in London. Her out fit was just right for the occasion.

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  13. Julia from Leominster23 March 2017 at 16:07

    Such a good engagement just before Mother's Day. How heart-breaking a mum going to collect her children was killed on the school run yesterday. Sending the greatest sympathy to those injured or to the families of those killed. That wicked man seems to have targeted school children and tourists.

    A great engagement for Kate. When the mental health scheme was first announced, I wondered that it didn't seem to include women and am glad that the scope has been broadened. Postpartum depression is such a huge problem and affects so many - the worst thing in the world at a time when happiness is expected. Diana is known to have suffered from it. It was a very good speech for Kate, quite personal. I wish they could be more specific - the term mental health is thrown about so loosely - but I suppose they feel they must be general to cover everyone.

    I might have chosen a quieter colour but she looked fine - although that material does crease. I do like that suit and it works well whilst speaking. The boxy style reminds me of Jackie Kennedy - I would love to see Kate shorten her hair more like Jackie wore it after the White House - just below shoulder length and framing her face (Penelope Cruz is wearing it that way) but the important thing is the engagement.

    Didn't expect she would cancel - the queen only did because she was to visit the police and it was obviously not a good time for that with the London force so stretched.

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    1. I believe they don't want to give the impression of leaving anyone out and instead use the overarching "mental health." I imagine it's to keep it all tied into the Heads Together campagin, as well?

      You're so right about the Jackie Kennedy feel of the suit, but I have to disagree with you on Kate's hair. I've personally never liked it as much when she cuts it. I've always loved her long curls. It will be interesting to see how she handles her hair, though, as she continues to age.

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    2. Julia, I am so proud to be British today. A horrible thing happened yesterday and we mourn while everyone gets on with life. I can think of nothing better.

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    3. Julia, I too like Kate in this style. It works quite well on women with her build. Jackie Kennedy, Doris Day, etc.

      And you KNOW that I agree regarding a shorter haircut. :-) I truly believe it would give her a lift. What looks great at 20-something may not be the best look 10-15 years later. IMO, this is an example of a shorter style that is still youthful, fun and sexy...

      http://www4.pictures.stylebistro.com/fp/Penelope+Cruz+Shoulder+Length+Hairstyles+Mid+M32BwiaDEcyx.jpg

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  14. I sort of like this outfit, sort of don't. But Kate does looks good in it! I did like it better with black shoes, however I noticed the model was wearing brown shoes. Now I am wondering if the buttons are actually a deep brown instead of black, in which case, chocolate brown shoes and clutch would go better than the nude color.
    Mental health is in many ways a broken system in the States too. SO many people fall through the cracks and just cannot get access to mental health care, for a variety of reasons, mostly related to a lack of money, insurance, or both. Certainly don't expect the new administration to do anything about it (oops I hope I'm not getting too "political")

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    1. Agree about her gorgeous chocolate brown shoes and clutch. I believe she wore them with one of her shamrock outfits. I think the question of the exact color came up last wearing. Is it red or orange? If more orange, I think the brown accessories would suit. I really don't like this outfit at all. I keep thinking of The Mod Squad. She only needs a beret and white go-go boots. She looked very nice and appropriately dressed for the environment and occasion,however.Just a quirk of mine. Not a judgment.

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  15. Great, heartfelt speech! Easily her best yet and more personal than the others. She still fidgets slightly with the notes but her voice didn't waver and she had excellent delivery. Also, a stunning outfit!

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden23 March 2017 at 17:53

      I agree. You can see a clear improvement in her speaking and speaches, and that is all one can wish :)

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  16. Great engagement. This topic comes up a lot with my friends-how some people are very open about their struggles, while others still deny or only whisper about issues, as if there is something to be ashamed about. Social media can be both good and bad - bad because we always compare the thoughts inside our heads verses the photoshopped images we see in Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest/ etc. BUT I have also see a lot of blogs and posts about the ugly reality of parenting and the struggles people are having. More discussion in a public area would be great!

    And I love this outfit. I loved it the first time, and love it just as much this time around. I am fine with both shoes so today's shoes were good for me.

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  17. So happy she talks more of her own experiences, it makes her so much more human and likeable. The other day i justed cringed when her most notable remark of the day was something like 'having a child is a lifechanging event'...


    I listen with double interest since i am expecting our baby boy this summer! On the 22th of july actually,thats georges birthday i believe!

    Speech was very well delivered, so nice she is improving! Go kate!

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    1. It was the most notable remark of the day because it was the most noted remark by the media---click magnet.It was the partial quote in some headlines, Daan. One really needs to read that remark in context. I cringed when I read that remark because I knew some sites would seize on that to make her seem shallow. Far from it. Just as in today's speech-some headlines featured her remarks that the newborn time was challenging for her--- EVEN THOUGH SHE HAD HELP at home that others don't was the part left out by some. Some sites have highlighted that remark, while others chose not to discuss it. I think it was one of the most important parts of the speech. ANYONE can feel inadequate as a mother.

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    2. Important point about "even though she had help"

      Having help - whether paid for or through family and friends does not mean a mother abdicates her responsibilities for her child/children.

      In the UK many mothers go to work and pay for child minders or their families help out so this must strike a cord with many mothers.

      What is also forgotten is that Catherine did not immediately take on a nanny when George was born. I think she does understand the pressures.

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    3. Kate did leave the nest at Bucklebury to go to Wales. I think she did experience challenges then and now having two very young children changes the challenges and dynamics even more. William.

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    4. Re: your last sentence-anon 01:10-I had forgotten about that. Thank you for the reminder.That was during the time that they were off in Wales and William was working long hours in air rescue. She has referred to this time before.Her Mum stayed awhile, but Kate did have to manage without help for a time. And having had family assist me, I know the heaviest load falls on the new Mum, especially if she is nursing the baby, which Kate was. William's old nanny was a help at some point , but I think just before or after they moved back to London. I'm sure Kate understands quite well from experience-which she so effectively related in her talk.

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  18. Kate looks lovely but in light of the horrific events of yesterday it seems she should've selected a more somber color to wear.

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  19. Lovely engagement, and a very good speech. My son was born three months early and is 22 months old and medically complex and I am still dealing with the emotions surrounding his Nicu stay and diagnoses. I'm lucky to have a supportive family and the ability to work with my doctors and therapist to help me feel better.

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    1. Katie - I am glad you have a good support network. My 10 month old is also medically complex (he has seizures) and I was previously unaware of this term! Being able to talk to family/friends along with support from our church has been so dealing with the emotional side of our new reality. Have you read the book Hope Heals (it's an amazing story of a young couple who tell their story of overcoming an almost impossible to believe medical diagnosis).

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    2. Katie, as the mother of a boy born at 26 weeks who has now been through 25 years of caring for him and his complex needs, let me tell you it is ALL worth every moment. You will gain strength along the way to meet every challenge. Make sure you take care of yourself and ask for all the help you need. I am so glad you have support. One thing I had to learn to say to others in a polite way was that parenting a medically complex child is not anything like parenting a child with normal health. Praying for you and your little one!

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    3. To all here in need of a hug, a big hug.I have one for you. Moms so need to support each other. My sincere and fervent prayers to each of you who shared your challenges. Prayer changes things. HUGS. ❤ ๐Ÿ’ :)

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    4. Thank you Kara and Marci! :) It's definitely a different world but it is worth every second, I totally agree. He's my little sweetheart :)

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  20. Gorgeous outfit and hair it looks to me like she had a haircut it suits her perfectly! Thanks Charlotte for another great post.

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  21. I really, really, really do not like the praline version of these shoes. I MISS THE SLEDGES! BRING BACK THE SLEDGES!!! Black worked so much better - really made the outfit pop, IMHO.

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    1. If I may ask, are you really from Luxembourg? I ask because someone mentioned that Catherine will visit there April/May. Likely involving Brexit in some way. I actually like the sledges, too.

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  22. Theresa - Austin, Texas23 March 2017 at 17:25

    This was such a wonderful engagement. Kate's public speaking skills have grown by leaps and bounds. She looked and spoke with such confidence and conviction. Way to go, Kate! She looked lovely today. The entire outfit was so pretty and her hair looked amazing. It looks a lot like it used to....bouncy and full of body. Something's different......

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    1. Probably her hair extensions are back on.

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    2. Hahaha, Anett. I saw a photo today where it looked fairly obvious. Maybe it was lighting, but I wouldn't bet against a wiglet!

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    3. Can't imagine she needs anymore volume to her hair. She has more than enough.

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    4. I'll risk the ire of some to agree with the two of you. When her hair looks this great there is some enhancement going on. At the very least I would bet that the person who did Kate's hair for the Jan? or was it Feb? Heads Together speech with William and Harry ( where she wore the gorgeous Erdem dress) did her hair for this event as well.

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    5. I fully agree Erika, just the same look!

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    6. Yes:) and perhaps she had her make up done professionally too? It looks different in a better way here as it did for the Heads Together launch. Maybe for important speeches she is going to a salon prior?

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    7. I do not care if she has extensions or not, why do some of you??? I do not think she does but I find these comments about extensions asinine.

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  23. I truly appreciated Kate's mentioning that there is usually a lot of support available when you are pregnant and how it can, by comparison, be quite lonely after the baby is born, particularly if you are living in the country, etc., as Kate was in Wales. And, good that she was in Bucklebury the few weeks after George's birth. She learned from the best. :)
    Kate is one in a million, William.

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    1. I, too, was happy that she had the opportunity to go to Bucklebury after George was born. And may I add that this was an unprecedented scenario that was made possible by her hubby? ;-)

      Delete
    2. :), yes, William is also a rescue helicopter pilot, a and philanthropist. Doesn't change the fact of Spain or Verbier. (or his behaviors during courtship. But we won't count that.) Compartmentalism doesn't good morals make, in my opinion. No offense.

      Delete
  24. Pam from Boston23 March 2017 at 17:56

    to my British co-commenters: I'm so sorry about the horrific attack on your country yesterday, a country that I have loved so much from the time I was a young child, before I ever went there. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, the victims and all of their families. The next time I go to London I will fearlessly walk across Westminster Bridge and pay my respects to all of you.

    To talk about what Kate wore seems so trivial today. But I am glad this event went on as scheduled. As the mother of 4, the message is so important.

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  25. What a lovely speech and I'm so glad she brought this suit back, I absolutely adore it!

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  26. Well done Kate on many levels! First that the engagement carried on sends a great message in and of itself. Second excellent speech with an even greater message. The extension of her mental health awareness campaign to include post partum depression is extremely important. As a past Board member of a local mental health agency and as having served in the mental health medical community,it cannot be stressed enough the importance of opening the communication and breaking down the stigma wrongfully associated with mental health. Post partum mental and physical complications are very near and dear to my heart. Kate did an excellent job.

    As for the fashion portion, the color, the style of the dress was very work day appropriate. I think the repeat style was a good solid choice, that coupled with the nude shoes (which toned it down for me)helped leave the focus on her face and not her clothes IMO. Her look was poised, professional and very simple (not fussy). I also like it when she parts her hair a little further on the side.

    My thoughts are with Britain today and with those who tragically lost loved ones yesterday. May we all find peace in strength and unity. cc

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  27. Yes, it was heartbreaking that one of those killed was a mom on her way to school to pick up her children. Really brings the horror home. I am glad that Kate went to the event as scheduled. I wonder if she was in London yesterday or up at Anmer. I am sure she gave her children an extra squeeze last night. I hope those French schoolchildren are recovering, their parents must be so worried! As I watched the moms picking up their children this afternoon, I couldn't help blessing each and every one with safety.

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  28. Bravo Kate! What a personal and moving speech. She is leading by example. In light of yesterday's awful events, it was even more important to talk about seeking help and to talk about emotions and feelings of isolation that can effect mental well being.

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  29. We sometimes forget that Kate is a mother of two small children, and seems to be a devoted mom as well. Of course she looks great as always, and I admire her for giving of herself to help others. Prayers to the victims and families of yesterday's tragedy. So impressed that Kate mentioned it in opening her speech. Thanks for the great pictures and comments.

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  30. Sending my love and prayers to all the wonderful people of London. You will never be diminished.

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  31. First, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families of the senseless violence yesterday. I hope the UK readers of the blog, families and friends are safe. It seems this time last year we were saying the same prayers and well wishes after the awful attack in a Brussels.

    I am so glad Kate kept calm and carried on with her engagement today. It was wonderful. This was an important cause to highlight. I second the other commenters that this speech was fantastic. She did a great job delivering it and adding personal touches. I hope she gets to the point that she uses her notes less and engages with the audience more but she has grown leaps and bounds from her first speech at EACH. I feel like she is really starting to find her groove and come into her own as a senior royal and duchess.

    I am so happy she highlighted this cause so close to the U.K. Mothers Day. It seems that this is often a neglected population and a lot of unfair expectations are placed. The quotes from the engagement were much meatier and were some of the best I've seen from her engagements. An all around great day.

    I love this outfit and the change in accessories. I think I might like the black better with it. I like her hair so much better today than last year. It looks healthier and fuller.

    Charlotte- MSN had an article about a possible visit to Luxembourg in April/May. I hope that turns out to be true as a solo tour for Kate.

    https://www.msn.com/en-my/news/other/duchess-catherine-to-visit-luxembourg/ar-BByCFRG

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  32. Catherine your speech has lightened my mothering mood this morning! In Australia thank you. We are not alone -
    No one is immune to feeling small & alone as a mum.
    Theresa
    QLD

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  33. Good on, Kate! I'm so glad this engagement wasn't cancelled after the horrific events of yesterday. I was very impressed with Kate's speech, it makes such a difference when she is more personal with her words & shares her own experience with others. I get the feeling this particular charity has a special place in her heart, as she was so open about her struggles with being a new parent, even with the help/support that she has. I think the image of being the "perfect mother/parent" is what puts a lot of pressure and strain on new parents, when you are finding your way & there's so many mixed emotions, as Kate so wonderfully put. Kate was in her element here, so happy to see her growing & developing into her royal role, she definitely has more confidence now when she delivers speeches.
    I never get tired of this Eponine suit, it's so lovely & fresh, a very 'spring-time' look. The nude accessories are softer than the black, which I think was a good choice. Her hair is back to its lustrous self!

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  34. Fantastic speech from Kate and I think it's amazing that she is raising awareness and breaking the stigma maternal mental health. It takes some real courage to stand up in front of the world and talk about the vulnerabilities of becoming a parent and recognising that others have it tougher than her. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

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    1. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘, I join you in congratulating Kate, Sara. :)

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  35. A man from my home town was killed by that terrorist on Westminster Bridge--he and his wife were in London celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, and the wife is still in hospital there. It is such an awful thing. Kudos to London for carrying on.

    Kate's speech was great. Her ability certainly has grown and is becoming impressive. She included the right amount of personal experience with well-chosen statistics and research into the issue. A nice, smooth delivery. Well done.

    I was particularly struck by Philly's thoughtful comment above that mothers are more isolated by society than ever before. At least here online, we can be supportive. Mothers reading this comment: I support the vital work you do.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden23 March 2017 at 22:00

      Online does help with supporting, but it also is one of the more judgemental parts of the internet. Parenting forums etc are extremely catty and competetive. There is alot of judgement around parenting and nothing a parent does is enough. Add to that the "from within" guilt that alot of parents feel and I'm not surprised that parents are overwhelmed. And that is even without adding the lack of sleep and general stress.

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    2. The sad thing about our modern lives is how isolated we are becoming. There is just less and less community things happening and probably will increase as the trend of working from home that technology allows. So getting the conversation happening is important.

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    3. Marci, thanks for sharing. How incredibly sad.
      What can we do for that widow? The children whose mother won't be there for them? We can add them and the others to our prayer list in our daily devotions. Prayer prayed in faith is powerful. ๐ŸŒท

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    4. Tammy from California25 March 2017 at 05:02

      Surfer girl, I want to echo what you said. Marci, what can we do for these parents?

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  36. I invite you to watch this video regardless of the fact most will understand the language. Why? Pay attention who accompanies HRH as personal assistant. It is NOT Rebecca D but her possible replacement June onwards.
    http://www.bunte.de/royals/britisches-koenigshaus/herzogin-kate-troestendes-laecheln-liebevolle-worte-hier-macht-sie-den-briten-mut.html#

    Starchild

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    1. As it turns out it is Sophie Agnew, already a member of her team.

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    2. Sophie was hired as an assistant to Natasha and Amanda as I understood it. That's why I thought Natasha could and would be promoted before Sophie.

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  37. Zora from Prague23 March 2017 at 21:33

    Thank you, Charlotte, for the lovely post. I was so glad the engagement wasn't cancelled and Kate visibly joined all those who went on, working as usual. I've always admired Britons for their bravery and composure, even in times of great trouble. I loved Kate's speech - very personal, well-balanced and factual. I also appreciated the way it was delivered. Well done! Once or twice I had a feeling she was getting quite emotional (who could't blame her??) but she managed to brace herself and continue.
    As the world recovers from yet another shock I hope and pray that we can spread love and goodwill instead of hatred, especially by small simple acts. I was very moved by today's suggestion of the London police: "if you meet one of us today, simply smile". What an inspiration.

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    1. Well said, Zora. I so agree in that I also have always admired Britons for their bravery and composure in times of trouble. And, as a side note, I think this blog is a wonderful example of that--in how Charlotte is able to "keep calm and carry on" even when (in the past) the conversation on the blog has gotten a little bit feisty!! Hats off to you, Charlotte.

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  38. Anonymous in Colorado23 March 2017 at 21:47

    Brava, Duchess, brava! As a Type A "perfectionist" who experienced post-partum anxiety & has generalized anxiety, this speech really struck a chord with me. Mothers out there: you are not alone, you are doing the best you can & that is enough. One day at a time. I am just so grateful to Kate for doing this engagement.

    My heart goes out to the incredible people of London. Strength & love to you all.

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  39. As I've mentioned before, I've struggled with PPD and am so thrilled to see Kate champion the cause of parents - particularly mothers - who need help. I really enjoyed her speech; it was well-balanced between the personal and professional, and very self-aware. She did a great job.

    On top of that, I'm so glad she brought this outfit out again! It is one of my favorites and I wouldn't at all mind seeing it a few more times!

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  40. After learning about yesterday's tragedy in London, I was reminded of a quote by Fred Rogers (from the educational children's television program "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood"). He said, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"
    And then I paid attention to the images of all of those individuals (many who were strangers to the victims) who knelt down to offer aid, comfort, and a calming touch. In a world that seems to be falling apart in so many ways, it was heartening to see strangers care for one another. My thoughts and prayers are indeed with all of the victims, those injured, and their families. My gratitude is most definitely for all of the helpers.

    "Look for the helpers." I think this quote also ties into Kate's visit today. While William, Kate, and Harry are not trained mental health clinicians or therapists, they are helpers in the fight to break through and eliminate the stigma attached to mental health. I am proud of the work they are doing and their passion and energy obviously comes from a personal place. William and Harry have struggled with an abundance of grief in the 20 years since their mother's death. Kate dealt with being bullied as a child and she's opened up about her own challenges with motherhood. They are wounded healers, just as so many of us are or could be. Out of their own difficult experiences, they are helping others who are hurting.
    In his children's program, Fred Rogers always spoke about the value of expressing feelings. He told children that it was okay to be mad or sad or scared, but that it was important to talk about those feelings before they got too overwhelming to handle. As a child struggling with trauma and depression, I remember actually talking to Mister Rogers in front of the television. Even though he couldn't hear me, see me, or respond to me, he was the only adult I felt safe enough with to share my feelings. He was a helper, just like William, Kate, and Harry. I wish that the US and the UK could join forces in the Heads Together campaign, and it would be even better if Heads Together was a global effort to break down stigma and raise awareness about mental health. I wish I was in a position to make that happen, because the outreach effort is more than important; it is vital. And, we need all the helpers we can find.

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    1. Zora from Prague23 March 2017 at 23:01

      Lovely comment, Sarah. Thank you!

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    2. Awh, thank you for sharing Sarah. Glad Mr. Rogers saw you through your childhood. It would be so sweet if the U.S. and England could share that initiative, then every other willing country also. It is doable.

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    3. Beautifully said, Sarah. Look for the helpers. Fred Rogers was a calming voice in a children's tv world filled with cartoons, clowns, and cowboys and super heroes. None of them realistic role models. Another thought-there are those who build up and those who tear down. Look for the builders.

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    4. Thank you for this wonderful comment! Looking for helpers and talking about your feelings before they get out of hand is a wonderful advice that I will pass on to my children.

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    5. Excellent suggestion and help in coping.

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    6. Tammy from California25 March 2017 at 05:04

      Sarah, what a wise mother you have. Thank you for the comment! So true, one person hurts but so many help. I am going to pass this on to my little boy who always has such deep questions for his little age! XXXXXOOO

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    7. It is a "lovely day in the neighborhood" here at DKB, as Mr.Roger's would say. Thanks Charlotte for this awesome blog. :)

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    8. In 1974 Marina Abramovich was in Neaples, Italy. Her performance Rhythm 0 was terrifying. You can read about it (Wikipedia): "The work involved Abramoviฤ‡ standing still while the audience was invited to do to her whatever they wished, using one of 72 objects she had placed on a table. These included a rose, feather, perfume, honey, bread, grapes, wine, scissors, a scalpel, nails, a metal bar, and a gun loaded with one bullet". Here you can read the testimony of a witness: "It began tamely. Someone turned her around. Someone thrust her arms into the air. Someone touched her somewhat intimately. The Neapolitan night began to heat up. In the third hour all her clothes were cut from her with razor blades. In the fourth hour the same blades began to explore her skin. Her throat was slashed so someone could suck her blood. Various minor sexual assaults were carried out on her body. She was so committed to the piece that she would not have resisted rape or murder. Faced with her abdication of will, with its implied collapse of human psychology, a protective group began to define itself in the audience. When a loaded gun was thrust to Marina's head and her own finger was being worked around the trigger, a fight broke out between the audience factions." As you can see, this terrific experiment shows what the human beings are: we can be murders or healers. Marina survived, however, because someone saved her from the murderous instinct. There is some hope, after all, that good will prevail against evil. Or so we do hope.

      Delete
    9. Sarah, it's so funny--the same quote "look for the helpers" was written on a whiteboard, along with a lot of other quotes, at a London tube station. I only know that because I happened to be looking at the blog What Kate Wore (which I rarely do, btw), but at the end of the latest post are pictures of some of the quotes from a tube station, and that is one of them. So great minds think alike!!!

      Delete
    10. Wow, Paola, that is very fascinating, though also very frightening. I am glad that Marina was saved by the protective faction, but the whole thing definitely does NOT inspire my confidence in the human race generally :-( A sort of frightening species, really. It makes me think of the (I think) Faustian idea about how good and evil are continually in a heated battle, and good is only ever winning by a hair's breadth. ... Although I guess one could also argue that Marina was being quite provocative in setting the whole thing up the way she did. Still, that does not excuse or justify any of the immoral behavior... I guess it is up to each individual to make a personal choice to believe in and focus on the good.

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  41. Thank you Charlotte for the imformative post.
    An important engagement and pleased that Kate carried on her day as planned regardless of yesterday's horrors.
    Kate did well with her speech and is improving all the time. She is growing in her role and making a difference. Well done.
    Every facet of mental health needs highlighting so it is great when another facet is added to the heads together mix.
    The eponine suit is one of my favourites. She looked lovely. And for today's event I prefer the neutral accessories. I personally wouldn't have liked black with discussions around post partum depression and yesterday's events. However from a purely fashion perspective regardless of the event the black does work.
    My thoughts and prayers are with all people affected by yesterday's awful events.

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  42. Very good speech and well delivered. She's improved so much giving speeches which I think must be a sign of growing confidence.

    Big ❤️ to London today and always. I love that city and yesterday's scenes were heartbreaking.

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  43. ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ’, Here is your KTSS award, Paola. :)
    It was on another page. Don't know if you received it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Surfer Girl! In fact, I can only see two small squares and I don't think it is my award :) could you put a link or describe it so that I can enjoy your present?

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    2. Sure, KTSS. It is a round, gold medal pendant suspended on a red, white and blue ribbon and then there is a separate bouquet of red, yellow and pink flowers to go with your medal. :)

      Delete
    3. P.S. Paola, they are two emojis from the IPhone emojis page, if that helps.

      Delete
    4. Wow Surfer Girl, what an amazing description! I am very proud of my golden medal. SuperSleuth reporting for duty!

      Delete
    5. Hey, Surfer Girl, I found your emojis, beautiful!

      Delete
    6. I am jealous, Paola!! :-) Surfer girl, you can always consider giving out other small awards, not as fancy as Paola's, in the future :-)

      Delete
    7. Love to. Service to the DKB community should not go unnoticed. lol And, I love using emojis in case no one has noticed. lol

      Delete
  44. I don't understand the criticism in her choice of color. The suit & her being there today was perfectly acceptable. I did prefer the suit with the black accessories, though.

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  45. Wonderful speech. Her best yet. She was passionate and informed. And much less awkward than past speeches. She has clearly been working on this and I'm thrilled.

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  46. thank you for the wonderful post hmm sending all my prayers such horrible and heartbreaking scenes in London yesterday hmm good thing the duchess not cancel the engagement hmm such lovely speech form her great impact supporting mental health and all mothers a round the world she very inspiring woman she is become better and better with her speech and being comfortable and relax and personal she been a great mother of two she good ahead of mother day

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  47. Oh Kate, please please donate that dress to the nearest charity! You do look beautiful, though tired and no doubt stressed from the events of the previous day. But that dress just doesn't do you justice.

    I have yet to read all of this post and the comments, but I have to say I admire Kate for her spunk in going out to her engagement and making it important. All the changes a woman goes through during pregnancy and after childbirth can be such a whirlwind, and so difficult at a time when a new life needs absolute support. Good for Kate!

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  48. I am in awe of the Duchess. I have so much admiration and respect for her lately. Not that I didn't before, but I feel she has really, really been showing such a commitment to use her power and influence in such a positive way. Anyone who wants to really bring attention and change to an issue...has to show vulnerability and honesty about it themselves. The words she spoke have transformed her into a truly serious, committed and credible global leader. Silvia

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    Replies
    1. This was a benchmark speech for her for sure.

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    2. I agree with both of you--Kate's speech showed her to be serious and committed to her work and to changing things positively for new mothers. Serious and warm and personal at the same time. A speech that will be remembered and returned to many times, I bet, both privately and by public media and organizations. Well done, Kate!

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  49. London, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I loved the engagement as whole. This is definitely a cause that I can see Kate branching out to in the future. I have a question regarding Kate's appointment as a member of the Order of Tuvalu. Someone pls explain me what it is. I googled but did not find any information.

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  50. This speech -in my opinion- really shows how much she's grown. So we'll written and delivered. TRH are really helping to create millions of conversations around mental health.

    Also I think that keeping the scheduled event right after the Westminster attack really shows that the British Royal Family intention is to keep working in favour of its patronages no matter what.
    On a fashion note, she looks absolutely beautiful and young and comfortable in her position,

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  51. Kate is offering something substantial here - perspective - which is a step up and really good.

    The suit/dress is a becoming choice today; she looks a bit like a Mad Men secretary, large curlers an clutch at the ready, but hey, I've decided to be kind today ;-), and instead celebrate London!

    Heidi

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  52. Not to be rude, but I just can't get over how posh her voice is now. My mother & I watched her speech on the news & she said to me, "she sounds more posh than the royals do!". & I agree, not even William or Harry talk in such an affected manner as Kate, I'm really confused. Did she pick it up at Marlborough college? I remember watching a video of her talking at a fair before she got engaged, her accent didn't sound like it does now.

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    1. No idea, have not heard her in earlier talks but a couple of thoughts. I know when my kids were learning to give more proper speeches they really focused on slowing down and their pronunciation. Perhaps that along with the group of people she has been most around for the last several years has impacted her speech. I know when friends of mine lived in the South of the US during or after college many of them developed a bit of a Southern accent, and were not even aware of it.

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    2. I agree it has changed. It gets on my nerves, lol. I hate to hear her sound so untouchable when she seems to actually be very down-to-earth. It would be okay if she had always spoken this way but she hasn't.

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    3. Perhaps playing Eliza Doolittle in her school plays left an subconscious stigma about anything less than a very posh accent.

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    4. It grates on my nerves, too, to be completely honest. I thought she was a down-to-earth, middle-class country girl, so I'm confused as to where her accent has come from. Maybe it's just when she's nervous (ie. public speaking & interviews), as she doesn't sound as posh when she chats with people on walkabouts, or maybe it's just my imagination! LOL Not a critique, just genuinely curious.

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    5. surfer girl, she did a pretty good impression of a Cockney accent! ;) Maybe it is a subconscious or self-conscious thing.

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    6. (Regarding my previous comment about Kate playing Eliza Doolittle). In that she might never have questioned her natural accent, but during the play she might have realized that accents make a huge difference in some societies, particularly in the nobility, perhaps. So she learned how to speak more poshly when she thinks it is expected. Just a guess.

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    7. Kiwi Gal, That was so funny hearing Kate with a pre-teens rendition of a Cockney accent. She did a good job of it.

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  53. Prayers for all involved in the senseless attacks. I think Kate acknowledged it well. Her speech was very thoughtful and relate-able. She has absolutely improved on her public speaking abilities and did a great job here.

    As for her outfit, I think it looks great on her! I'm a fan of this suit and was happy to see it again.

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  54. It is in the news today that Prince George will be attending Thomas' Battersea school and not the one William and Harry attended. It is about a 28 minute drive from Kensington Palace apparently. It is coed.
    The other school was not. I think that might help George get more away from some of that male exclusivity the Royal family has had in the past. William said, after having Princess Charlotte, that he was experiencing some challenges with the presence of a little girl as he and Harry had not grown up with sisters. He had commented that Princess Charlotte "talks all the time". Men love that, lol. Coed education will probably help George learn how to be an even better brother. Not that he is a bad one now. It will enhance his life in many ways, I think.

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    Replies
    1. Makes me smile and wonder how many mothers of daughters may be wondering if their little girl will be the next Kate. At some point down the road of course! :-)

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    2. Let's hope George's apple falls a little bit further from the tree at this point. And little girls' mommies say Amen. lol. They perhaps want a little more respect to be their daughters. Not repeated public humiliation. No offense.

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    3. Didn't mean to sound rude or anything royal fan. I just am so hoping that Charle's behavior and William's behavior regarding not embarrassing their wives and children regarding other women will not be repeated with George. You know what I mean?

      Also, I thought Guy Pelly had been named as one of George's or Charlotte's god parent. I am SO happy to apologize for mentioning that he was. He is not. Whew. I am so happy about that. lol There was an article that said he surely would be and I had read it that he was.

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    4. I kind of hope, his future bride to be does not build her life around her prince but be a strong, independent woman. That never hurts nowadays!

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    5. Thomas's Battersea is such an interesting choice of school! I think it fits in perfectly with the Cambridge's values. Here is an interesting quotation from the headmaster, Ben Thomas, about the school:

      "Whilst we are proud of our record of senior school entrance and scholarship successes, we place a greater emphasis on a set of core values, which include kindness, courtesy, confidence, humility and learning to be givers, not takers. We hope that our pupils will leave this school with a strong sense of social responsibility, set on a path to become net contributors to society and to flourish as conscientious and caring citizens of the world."

      This definitely fits in perfectly with the idea that Kate has expressed that she believes learning kindness and respect for others is as important as being good at maths and sports. Or something like that--I can't find the exact quote right now. But it seems to me that Thomas's Battersea was chosen very much for the reasons above. And, from what I understand, it is known to be a feeder to Eton, Radley, Westminster, etc., so not like it is too "off the beaten path," so to speak.

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    6. I very much agree Pink Panther.
      And I think Kate might grow into becoming that way. It will take effort but I, for one, think that William's recent dalliance was a true wake up call for Kate. I personally think that her emotiveness and candor were in some part related to that wake up call. Just my opinion.

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    7. I think it's a great choice because it's co-ed, so George and Charlotte can go to the same school!

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    8. No worries, SG. :-) But please forgive ME if I'd rather not go there.

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  55. I like this skirt suit, but I’m not sure I love it with the praline heels. I also would have liked to see different earrings on her, perhaps a pair of pearl drops (she has many options there) or perhaps rose gold earrings.

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  56. According to Vanity Fair, Meghan flew to London this weekend and is staying at Not Cot. Apparently, Harry
    took her on a private tour of the Natural History Museum Sunday night. It is reported that she will start filming "Suits" in April. She recently contributed to a cover article in "Allure" magazine on "Women of Color".

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  57. People just had a report saying George will be attending the Thomas Battersea School (not sure I have spelling) which is about a 30 minute drive from KP according to People.

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    Replies
    1. Sarah Maryland USA24 March 2017 at 22:47

      30 minutes without traffic which makes it an odd choice because that commute would suck

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    2. Sarah I wondered about that also. I commented elsewhere that I can guess what the thinking is but
      I put commute time near the top of my list for school choice, assuming you are not stuck with only two extreme choices, super bad school and super good school. I hope it works out smoothly.

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    3. Well George will have outriders to help with the traffic, so there's that. If I were a parent in that school I'd want to get behind his car and take advantage!

      Delete
  58. I just read an article that said that Princess Charlotte received, at her birth, a $37,410 white gold gem-studded baby rattle, a gift from The North American Sapphire Company. There has to be some way to incorporate that as a fashionable accessory when she gets older. :)

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  59. Meh. Still not impressed. "Moms need help" - can't get any more simplistic than that.
    Whose going to argue with it? "Mother's Day is coming up, so let's honor Moms!" (What else were folks getting up to that day?)

    It's great Best Beginnings made the videos and nice that Kate is helping promote them. Hope all you Moms out there get the proper thanks from your kids this Mother's Day for all your hard work!

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    Replies
    1. No offense Moxie, but I found your evaluation rather offensive to the Best Beginnings initiative and the things that were presented during Kate's visit. This initiative helps hurting people. I don't know that you have experienced the challenges of motherhood but if you have, surely your comments can't be seriously made. Moxie, we know how you like to stir things up, but this is just plain rude, I think. No offense.

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    2. P.S. Btw, just to clarify, I usually find your "stirring things up" amusing, if not endearing, and often thought provoking and often funny. But not today. ๐Ÿ‘’

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    3. surfer girl, if you review Kate's speech, which is what I commented on, you will find that it is not enlightening in the least. And I'm all for seeking help should you need it and Best Beginnings has done something useful with their video series -- A series which Kate did not participate in - either in research or the making of with her stories, skills, and experiences.

      Meanwhile, here in the US, there is a strange culture of mothers wanting to be praised for taking care of their responsibilities that they brought into the world. Who do they want or expect it from? A mother's relationship is between her and her children and has nothing to do with the rest of us. It's not my job or place to validate another's role as mother.

      So if I offer a critical evaluation of what Kate is offering the world and you find offense with that - I'm okay with it. I separate my emotions from my analysis, most find that difficult to do. And Kate is trading on folk's emotions here - without actually contributing to the solution. IMO.

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    4. There can never be too much emphasis on mental health. And, it is so important to see new mother's now included under that umbrella.

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    5. Moxie, I hear what you are saying. uh. I really don't know what to say to that. Except it reminds me when I go on certain websites and they have that little box that they want you to check that says check here if you are not a robot. Then you check that little box and a series of photos appear and they instruct you to click on only the photos that are of a storefront for example. If you do that you have passed the test that you are not a robot. That's what this feels like to me somehow. No offense. Moxie, would please identify the images that are not numbers?

      4 8 3 ๐ŸŒด 8 7 2 5 3 ๐Ÿณ 5 3 2 8 ⛵️4 8 3 ☀️ 9 4 5

      lol. All in good fun Moxie. No offense, truly. :)
      I like you Moxie, although I often do not agree with your opinion, just as you most often don't with mine.

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    6. Courtney from NC26 March 2017 at 06:58

      I think that Kate is contributing. She is using her name, or brand rec5, to draw attention to these videos and mental health as a whole. The mental health and well-being of new mums is one area where she can use her experience and thoughts. Heads Together is using the royal trio to bring awareness to mental health and spotlight organizations that the public may not be aware of otherwise.

      Belittling and minimizing mental health in new mums is exactly the reason Kate needs to bring awareness to the issue. It isn't new moms, or mom's in general, needing a pat on the back or recognition for mothering their children, it is hearing you arent alone. That it is okay to not feel happy, that it is okay to feel adrift and that there are others who feel and have felt that way. That there is help out there, places to seek out where you can be heard and helped. Not be judged for being honest. Usually, Moxie, I can read your posts and take them for what they are but I think you are doing Kate, Heads Together, these videos, and any mother struggling with PPD or motherhood in general a huge disservice. You can have an opinion without minimizing a very real and serious issue. Divorce your emotions all you want but don't act as if you are above those who cannot in this instance for this subject. It is a further disservice to anyone who has felt the way described in the videos or who related to Kate's speech. Speeches like hers can be a lifeline, a tiny speck of light at the end of the tunnel, for someone who needed it at that moment. Don't marginalize that.

      Delete
    7. Tammy from California26 March 2017 at 16:49

      You must not be a mother.

      Delete
    8. I don't think Moxie minimized issues new mothers have. She did minimize Kate's role in helping them. I can see that, and I can also see why going there to give a speech does bring attention to those organizations who do real work to help mothers; new mothers in particular in this case. But Kate herself doesn't do a lot; she visited, made a speech and talked to a few people. I bet the people really appreciated her visit; don't get me wrong, but I don't see a couple of hours as really putting a dent in solving those issues. Only a public campaign of some duration could help there, and I hope Kate is committed enough that she participates in something like that.

      Delete
  60. The speech's message was wonderful but I would have hoped that Kate's delivery would have improved more than it has over the last six years. She does need to get rid of the posh accent that she has adopted because it sometimes is hard to understand. If you go back and read the text of the speech, you'll see several places where an effective speaker would have paused for effect or enunciated certain words for emphasis. Kate missed those opportunities.

    Perhaps she should study videos of Queen Rania and Queen Letizia giving speeches. They are effective and moving, especially some that Rania has given. I know that they are older than Kate, but they have clearly put the work in to become good at what they do. This is a part of Kate's "job" and she would benefit greatly if she made the same commitment to improving how she speaks in public as she does to working out. She could become a very powerful voice for the causes that she advocates for if she did.

    I also cringed over some of the shallow remarks she made while in France which makes me wonder just how much help she had writing this speech in light of the much improved message..

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    Replies
    1. Interesting comments anonymous @ 3:20. Would enjoy them more if you put a name to your points of view. Charlotte has suggested that also. :)

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    2. Well, Letizia has been a royal for 13 years and Rania for 24. No need to cringe if we consider the facts.

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    3. Letizia is a journalist, a tv reporter.....

      Anon2


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    4. Tammy from California26 March 2017 at 16:47

      Wow Anon @ 3:20: if only we ALL could be so perfect.

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  61. I am so incredibly proud of the beautiful job that Catherine did with her speech. Her words were deep and meaningful, emotive and real, and truly from her heart. The emotion and rythym of her speaking was perfect, and it shows her growing confidence in her role. She is truly at her best with these causes, and bought tears to my eyes with her speech. She looked elegant, and beautiful. Her beautiful suit looked gorgeous on her, her new makeup with less eyeliner on her lower lids and soft winged look on her eyes is stunning. It is softer and looks stunning on her, and wow, her hair today is just gorgeous! A total win for me, her speech, her makeup, her outfit, jewellery and accessories! It feels like she is glowing ... like she's truly accepting now of her role, and really enjoying it. Her patronages have been perfectly chosen (either by her or her advisers), and we truly have seen her blossom into her role, with her engaging and beautiful smile to go with it. 2017 has been great for her so far ... and I've loved seeing her grow in confidence. This speech to me was truly from her heart, and you could see how much she was enjoying this engagement. Congratulations Catherine ... you are doing a beautiful job in supporting her majesty and the royal family. Well done ❤

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    Replies
    1. AMEN, Dee.

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    2. Lovely comment, Dee. I've read that Kate selects her own charity interests, after a number of contacts, visits, and private research. Her patronages are appointed, I think officially by the Queen, but they often are chosen from programs for which she has already shown interest. By the way, I hope you were not affected by the recent bush fires.

      Delete
  62. Tammy from California25 March 2017 at 05:13

    My heart and prayers to all in London, my favorite city in all the world (Well, next to La Verne, California ;). Keep calm and carry on.

    I feel like Kate looked and sounded close to tears in parts of her speech. The opening, and then another part about motherhood. Maybe she was just a teensy bit nervous? Anyway, loved her hair today. Lots of admiration for her carrying on with her planned appearance.

    Love that the queen didn't make an appearance so as not to be more of a burden on the already overwhelmed police. Exactly what I would expect from her. Dutiful, steady queen, looking out for her departments and people.

    I am not sure if this has already been a topic here, but is anyone watching the PBS series, Victoria? The queen's actions reminded me of one of the episodes where Queen Victoria has to go out in public after an attempted assassination. It makes you realize that the monarch has to carry on whether he/she is terrified or not. Lots of admiration there.

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  63. Tammy, I went to 7th and 8th grade in LaVerne at Roynon Elementary. Bonita High School was right up the street from us. (Go Bearcats). Wore my first heels at a dance at David and Margaret. My mom got my birthday cakes with little ballerinas on them at Griswolds on Foothill Blvd. Their hot apple pie with warm rum sauce was the best. And, we used to go up to Mt. Baldy to enjoy the snow. Used to go to the fairgrounds nearby for various events. I understand Griswold's closed some time ago. We were there for a visit a couple of years ago and the place has really grown but is somehow still very quaint. Greetings from San Diego. :)

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    Replies
    1. Tammy from California26 March 2017 at 16:41

      GET OUTTA HERE! WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?! Well, now I feel so connected to you! I went to LV Heights (1976-1980), Ramona (1980-1984) and Bonita (1984-1988). I now teach at Oak Mesa Elementary. My family never left, we have always loved it here so much! Hubby went too. We La Vernians are always La Vernians. LOVE YOU LA VERNIAN!
      WHAT A PLEASURE!!!!!!

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    2. I had a friend who lived in Ramona! Nice part of the world.

      Delete
  64. P.S. Tammy, I love, love, love the "Victoria" series on PBS and highly recommend it. I remember that scene, Tammy, and loved how impressed Albert was by that decision of hers. That was so sweet. Daisy, who created the series, researched Queen Victoria and her peers extensively. Queen Victoria kept a very detailed daily journal and had accumulated 65+ volumes of those notes. I researched the content of the the series as I watched it (no surprise, lol) and she really stayed factual. The acting is superlative, the sets and costumes stunning, the screenplay excellent and the acting superb. The thing I noticed was that if you look at the scenes, taking the video frame by frame, each one could be an old master's painting. That's how they designed it with the positioning of the actors and the lighting.
    Queen Victoria lived through 6 attempts on her life.
    As Daisy said she did also, I used to think of Queen Victoria as a boring and lazy Queen. But the research and the resulting documentary series show otherwise.
    (my apologies Queen Victoria).

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    Replies
    1. Tammy from California26 March 2017 at 16:45

      Funny, I saw that there are diaries also. I actually went on Amazon and you can purchase some book that has them. Not sure if all, but I want to buy it. I read a book on her a few years back, her and Albert's love story. Very strong woman! I am loving the series. I honestly like it better than the Crown at this point (sorry readers!). I agree, the sets and costumes are absolutely amazing. You're right they DO look like straight out of a master's painting.

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    2. I usually love period drama, but I tried Victoria and just couldn't get into it. I was really disappointed with it.

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  65. Wonder when we will see new pictures of the kids?

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  66. Happy mother's day, UK mums!!

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