The Duchess of Cambridge attended the launch of the ‘Taking Action on Addiction’ campaign through her patronage of Forward Trust at BAFTA headquarters in Piccadilly. Action on Addiction was one of Catherine’s earliest patronages that merged with the Forward Trust last year and The Duchess of Cambridge became the patron of The Forward Trust in June this year.
‘Taking Action on Addiction’ is a long-term campaign that will work to improve awareness and understanding of addiction, its causes, and its scale in society, to enable more people to ask for and receive help. The launch of the campaign coincides with Addiction Awareness Week, running from 18-24 October, which aims to provide a platform to highlight the challenges of addiction, engage with people and families affected, and raise public awareness.
A decade ago, when the Duchess chose addiction as one of the focuses of her public role, it was a taboo topic for a new royal. But over the decade, Catherine has worked to bring the issue to the limelight, linked it to her mental health projects, and visited various events. I still remember her 2013 speech in which she passionately spoke about the impacts of addictions on families and society as a whole.
“Those who are addicted are not the only victims. I have been struck by the profound and deeply damaging impact it has on the children of affected parents” – The Duchess of Cambridge in 2013 at Action on Addiction
The Duchess of Cambridge was joined by the UK’s TV Presenter duo, Ant and Dec. Ant shared his own journey and how he recovered from addiction. Talking about it Ant told Catherine, “By the time I asked for help, it was bad, but as soon as you opened up to people, problems have got to disappear. It gets better and help is there.”
About today’s event, Kensington Palace said, “Over the last ten years the Duchess’s experience working with addiction charities has helped lay the groundwork for her understanding of the complexities of mental health and has informed much of her work on the early years. Experiences in early childhood, before the age of five, are proven to have a significant impact on adult lives, including resilience and the ability to cope with adversity. The Forward Trust has been helping people break the destructive cycle of addiction and build positive and productive futures since 1991. Delivering a large and diverse range of addiction, employment, and mental health services nationally, Forward Trust believes that anyone is capable of lasting change.“
The event screened a short film challenging misunderstandings about addiction and was closed by Tom Walker, who gave a special performance of his worldwide hit (about addiction) “Leave A Light On.”How much work Catherine put behind her public role is shown in her today’s discussion with guests. From BBC report,
The Duchess also spoke about how the Covid-19 crisis had affected addiction rates, saying some 1.5 million more people were facing problems with alcohol, with almost one million young people experiencing an increase in addictive behavior. She said: “Around two million individuals who were identified as being in recovery may have experienced a relapse over the past 18 months. we can all play our part” in helping people with addiction “by understanding, by listening, by connecting”.
The Duchess of Cambridge gave a passionate keynote speech at the event. The full text of the speech is:
Thank you Ant and Dec and to the Forward Trust for bringing us all here together this morning. I am so pleased to be joining you to launch The ‘Taking Action on Addiction’ campaign, and I am grateful to those of you who have shared your experiences of addiction with me here today.
“Addiction is not a choice. No one chooses to become an addict. But it can happen to any one of us. None of us are immune” – The Duchess of Cambridge
Yet it’s all too rarely discussed as a serious mental health condition. And seldom do we take the time to uncover and fully understand its fundamental root causes.
The journey towards addiction is often multi-layered and complex. But, by recognizing what lies beneath addiction, we can help remove the taboo and shame that sadly surrounds it. As a society, we need to start from a position of compassion and empathy. Where we nurture those around us, understand their journey, and what has come before them. We need to value and prioritize care and support, helping to restore and connect individuals who are clearly suffering, to the people around them.
That is why I am so passionate about the work of The Forward Trust, an organization I am so proud to be the patron of. This is the work that you, and many other charities, provide day in, day out. And it is needed now, more than ever.
The pandemic has had a devastating impact on addiction rates. And families and children are having to cope with addiction in greater numbers than ever before. We know that over one and a half million people across the UK who did not have substance misuse prior to lockdown may now be experiencing problems associated with increased alcohol consumption.
Around 2 million individuals who were identified as being in recovery, may have experienced a relapse over the past 18 months. And almost one million young people and children are showing an increase in addictive behavior since the pandemic began.
Yet, there is hope. Over the last ten years, I have had the privilege of meeting many incredible people who have lived through the harsh realities of addiction. Through their own hard work, and with the help from communities and charities, such as The Forward Trust, lives really are being turned around. These are stories of healing, of hope and recovery, that can inspire us all.
I fully support The ‘Taking Action on Addiction’ campaign to improve awareness and understanding of addiction. The campaign will show us that, not only do many people recover from addiction, they can go on to prosper. We can all play our part in helping this work. By understanding, by listening, by connecting. So that together we can build a happier, healthier, and more nurturing society.
Now to The Duchess of Cambridge style – Catherine was looking absolutely gorgeous in an overall red outfit.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore Polo Ralph Lauren Cashmere Highneck Sweater. Thanks to Chrissy via Middleton Maven for the id. Cut for a slim, streamlined fit from washable cashmere, the $248 sweater is available in all sizes on Ralph Lauren online store.
The Duchess paired the sweater with a matching toned Christopher Kane Cysteral-embellished pleated skirt. Thanks to DataDuchess2 on Twitter for the id and Caroline Parr for the brand confirmation. The Duchess had the embellishment removed from her skirt.
The $995 skirt is described as, “Welcome (back) to the roaring 1920s! Channel your inner flapper girl and dance the night away in this red crystal-embellished pleated skirt from Christopher Kane. Go ahead, paint the town red. Featuring a fitted waist, a long length, a pleated design, crystal embellishments, and fringe details”. It’s currently available on Farfetch.
The Duchess of Cambridge teamed up the outfit with her Ralph Lauren Celia Calfskin Pumps.
She was carrying her DeMillier London The Montreal Nano bag.
Her Asos Twisted hoops were complimenting the look.
I will leave you with this beautiful picture of The Duchess Palace shared.