The Duchess of Cambridge today officially launched The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. Catherine undertook two engagements today to mark the launch of the milestone of her lifelong project Early Years. The Research Centre is the result of Catherine’s 10 years working with charities, experts and parents whom she met since 2011. The centre is based at Kensington Palace, the London residence of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and will start with dedicated six-strong team members working on three key areas:
- Promoting/commissioning high-quality research
- Collaborating with experts in the public, private and voluntary sectors
- Developing creative campaigns for awareness and action.
Speaking in the launch video The Duchess of Cambridge said,
Working closely with others, the centre hopes to raise awareness of why the first five years of life are just so important for our future life outcomes, and what we can do as a society to embrace this golden opportunity to create a happier, more mentally healthy, more nurturing society. By working together, my hope is that we can change the way we think about early childhood, and transform lives for generations to come. Because I truly believe Big Change starts Small.
The first engagement of the day was a roundtable discussion at the London School of Economics. The London School of Economics collaborated with Harvard University on the first report of the centre – ‘Big Change Starts Small‘ that was released yesterday. The full report can be read here on the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood’s website.
The Duchess of Cambridge wrote the forward of Centre’s first report that read, “Our first five years lay important foundations for our future selves. This period is when we first learn to manage our emotions and impulses, to care and to empathise, and thus ultimately to establish healthy relationships with ourselves and others.“
About the project and the visit, Kensington Palace source said, “For over ten years, the Duchess of Cambridge has seen first-hand how some of today’s hardest social challenges – from addiction and violence to family breakdown and homelessness, so often underpinned by poor mental health – have their roots in the earliest years of life. In that time, the Duchess also convened a steering group of experts to look at how cross-sector collaboration could bring about lasting change and spent time listening to the public about their views on the importance of the early years. As a result, Her Royal Highness is committed to elevating the importance of early childhood and continuing the conversation on this vital issue. The launch of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood is a landmark step in Her Royal Highness’s work and signals her lifelong commitment to improving outcomes across society“.
The launch of the centre is being described equally to The Duke of Cambridge’s Earthshot Prize. From BBC’s report,
An aide said the development would shape her future focus as a senior royal. “The duchess has made the observation that the more you learn about the science of early childhood, whether it’s brain development, social science, what it means for our adult mental health, the more you realise that this is the social equivalent to climate change,” they said. “But it is not discussed with the same seriousness or strategic intent that that issue is.”
Today’s roundtable discussion included many experts – Dr Alain Gregoire, Founder and Honorary President of Maternal Mental Health Alliance; Professor Eamon McCrory, Professor of Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology, University College London; Professor Martin Knapp, Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, Professorial Research Fellow (CPEC), London School of Economics; Dr Guddi Singh, Paediatric Registrar, Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust; and Alison Morton, Executive Director, Institute of Health Visiting.
Many national institutions, charities and organizations have applauded the launch of the Research centre. It has been scientifically proved that ultimately, what shapes our childhood not only shapes us as adults but also the society we want to form. As the Duchess of Cambridge has said, “Change really needs to happen, and the time for action is now“. Check out The Royal Foundation Centre for Early childhood here. The Centre’s official website not only provides amazing facts and figures but also has information about helpful resources that might be what many parents and carers are looking for.
After the discussion, The Duchess of Cambridge came back to Kensington Palace where she met with families at a cafe in Kensington Palace Pavilion to whom she has met over the past decade. Talking and listening to these parents have helped The Duchess of Cambridge understanding the importance of early years and how parental support can change the life of a family and child.
About the launch of the Research Centre, Lord Hague, The Chairperson of the Royal Foundation said, “The launch of the Centre for Early Childhood is a pivotal moment in The Duchess of Cambridge’s work on this critical issue. Her Royal Highness and The Royal Foundation are determined to help bring about lasting change for future generations. The Duchess and the Foundation will aim to bring people together from all corners of the country and all parts of society to help improve early childhoods and ultimately lifelong outcomes. Over the coming years, the Centre will help to create a better understanding of the relevant issues, making it clear why the experiences we have in our earliest years are so important – not just to us as individuals but to society at large“.
Yesterday, Kensington Palace shared a small video featuring the Duchess of Cambridge’s work over the decade. The video shows how The
For the day, The Duchess of Cambridge brought back her Classic Kate style from the early years of her Royal Life. The style was something that we used to see between 2011-2015: Knee-length shift dress, blowdry hairs, high heels. The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing LK Bennett Dee Crepe Shift Dress.
The £225 dress was described as, “A feminine take on a classic style, the Dee shift dress is part of our Royal Ascot x L.K.B collection, and is perfect for long-awaited summer occasions. Crafted from our signature stretch crepe in a pretty iris blue, it has an elegant sweetheart neckline, cap sleeves, a fitted silhouette and a pencil skirt with a back vent.
Catherine paired the dress with her Gianvito Ross praline pumps.
She was wearing Sapphire and Diamond Diana Earrings.
The Duchess accessorised her outfit with Astley Clarke Round Stilla Lapis Lazuli Pendant Necklace and Spells of Love Double Strand Beaded Satellite Chain Necklace.
And her Halcyon Days Gold Plated Maya Torque Bracelet in Aquamarine.
She was also wearing a new face mask from Amaia kids – The Duchess Pink Eloise