Feb 172016

Today the Duchess of Cambridge launched Young Minds Matter, a significant initiative “…designed to lead the conversation with children about mental and emotional health, so youngsters feel loved, valued and understood.”

Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The initiative was announced in tandem with Kate’s stint as guest editor of the Huffington Post UK.

©Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Apartment 8 at Kensington Palace was turned into a quasi-newsroom to accommodate everyone working on the day’s endeavor. More from AP:

The duchess -the patron of several charities that deal with the issue - spent the day working with Huffington Post staff and mental health campaigners from a temporary newsroom set up in her Kensington Palace home. She wrote that she’s heard “heart-breaking stories about lives that had been torn apart.”

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail and Mail Online

Rebecca English, The Daily Mail and Mail Online

Kate has been working with a variety of journalists and others to create content for the Huffington Post UK site with a focus on young people and mental health issues.

Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal)

Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal)

Plenty of Huffington Post personnel were involved in the project, including founder Arianna Huffington; she dedicated a column to the Young Minds Matter initiative.

Together, we want to open up the conversation around mental health – an issue that’s too often stigmatised and discussed only in whispers, if at all.

The Duchess, as the world knows, is herself the mother of two young children, and knows the importance of shining a light on this issue, especially for the vulnerable and the voiceless.

In her column Ms. Huffington urged readers to get involved and take part in the conversation, using the hashtag #YoungMinds Matter.

Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The Duchess also wrote an editorial for the project,Let’s Make a Real Difference for an Entire Generation of Young Children.”

It became clear to me that many children – even those younger than five – have to deal with complex problems without the emotional resilience, language or confidence to ask for help. And it was also clear that with mental health problems still being such a taboo, many adults are often too afraid to ask for help for the children in their care.

It is time for this to change.

The Huffington Post UK

The Huffington Post UK

One of the most-discussed topics from today’s project is one Kate addresses above; the way many adults feel about getting help for a child coping with psychological issues.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 9.26.29 AM More from Gordon Rayner’s column in The Telegraph:

The Duchess of Cambridge has written a blog in which she says she would not hesitate to seek professional help if Prince George or Princess Charlotte developed mental health problems.

The Duchess said she and the Duke of Cambridge will encourage their children to talk about their feelings because “there is no shame in a young child struggling with their emotions or suffering from a mental illness”.

Kate and a combined team commissioned a series of articles, blogs and videos as part of her today’s HuffPo focus on children’s mental health. Some high-powered people were pulled in to offer their assistance, including Michelle Obama.

Huffington Post UK

Huffington Post UK

The First Lady wrote a guest editorial, Let’s Change the Conversation Around Mental Health:

Sadly, too often, the stigma around mental health prevents people who need help from seeking it. But that simply doesn’t make any sense. Whether an illness affects your heart, your arm or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there shouldn’t be any distinction. We would never tell someone with a broken leg that they should stop wallowing and get it together. We don’t consider taking medication for an ear infection something to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t treat mental health conditions any differently.

This graphic from Change Direction was part of Ms. Obama’s column. Change Direction is a US organization working to improve mental health care and help remove the stigma attached to mental illness.



Kate seemed quite comfortable in the busy environment.

Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal)

Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal)

It was clear she was highly engaged in the project.

The Duchess of Cambridge guest edits The Huffington Post UK

Chris Jackson/WPA-Pool/Splash News

A number of William and Kate’s charities were involved in today’s effort, including The Art Room.

Huffington Post UK

Huffington Post UK

There is also a brief video about The Art Room’s programs, with children speaking about the benefits they receive by taking part in Art Room projects at their school.

The Art Room

The Art Room

Another charity taking part in the day’s endeavor, The Prince’s Trust; the organization posted this graphic on Twitter today.

The Prince's Trust

The Prince’s Trust

The Huffington Post produced a video for the launch of Young Minds Matter, The Real Truth About Mental Health in Children:

The Huffington Post UK You Tube

The Huffington Post UK You Tube

Kate invited the four children featured in the film to visit her at Kensington Palace today.

Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal)

Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal)

They shared their experiences with the Duchess and others. Below, Kate enjoying her chat with Hayden Pearce.

Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Chris Jackson/WPA Rota/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

One of the day’s primary objectives was to create awareness around the topic of young people and mental health, to start a conversation about the issue both online and off. It seems the day’s goal was achieved, there was a significant amount of buzz and chatter on social media throughout the day. If interested in learning more about the topic, or taking part in the online conversation, using the hashtag #YoungMindsMatter on Twitter, Instagram and other social media will bring up stories, articles, blog posts and related material. If there is something you want to share publicly, just tag any post with #YoungMindsMatter.

Moving to what Kate wore for the day’s activities, we begin with her new blouse from a go-to retailer, Reiss. The Duchess was in the Vinnie High Neck Blouse.



The vintage-inspired piece is styled with a high neck topped by a ruffle, 6 rows of sheer vertical insets, and long sleeves, all done in a light chiffon polyester.  It is still available at Reiss in very limited sizing, priced at $230.



As of this writing (midday Wednesday, Feb 17) it appears the Vinnie is still available in several sizes on the Reiss US site. However, it is sold out at John Lewis, where it was priced at£120/$180.

Kate was in another new style, the Bouclé Wool Blend Skirt from Dolce and Gabbana, a brand she is returning to more frequently. Crafted of a wool/acrylic/poly/alpaca blend, the piece has contrasting buttons and yarn trim, with a somewhat higher waist and back zipper.

My Theresa

My Theresa

It was available at online retailer My Theresa, but is now sold out. The skirt was most recently priced at $537, roughly 40% off its original price of $895.

Kate looked crisp and polished in today’s ensemble. It was nice to see her in separates, a welcome departures from her standard dresses. The skirt looked short to me, but there is only the one full length photo I have seen, I will go hunt for some others.  The different textures made for a solid ensemble, the nubby tweedy of the bouclé contrasting nicely against the soft fabric of the blouse. And it was also a treat to see the Duchess without a coat,

I believe Kate accessorized with her trusty Power Pumps by Stuart Weitzman. Below left you see the shoes as worn today, the photo has been digitally treated to lighten the image, displaying a little more detail. There has been discussion that Kate might be in a new pair of heels because the soles of her shoes looked lighter in some images, as seen below right, unlike the standard Stuart Weitzman black soles shown in the center photo below. I don’t think that is the case. The center and right photos show how the black sole can look light in color, depending on how worn it is, the level of dirt on the bottom of the shoes, lighting, and other reasons. At this point I think they are the Power Pumps, but, as always, I could be proven wrong.


Kate also wore familiar jewelry pieces today.

©Pool/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Pool/Nunn Syndication/Polaris

She had on her pearl drop earrings by Annoushka ($490), attached to her Kiki McDonough diamond hoops (£500). Kate sported her Cartier Ballon Bleu watch again.

Kate Jewelry Montage Feb 17 2016 HuffPo Young Minds Annoushka Pearls Kiki Hoop[s Cartier Ballon Bleu

We leave this section with an ODN (On Demand News) video showing some of this morning’s activity at Kensington Palace.


A few quick newsbytes to share, beginning with word that the Duchess has another patronage, she has added the Anna Freud Centre to her list of charities. This dovetails perfectly with Kate’s commitment to mental health issues encountered by children and young people, as it is something the Centre is very much focused on; Below she is seen at the Centre’s Christmas party in December.

Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Nunn Syndication/Polaris

Here you see Kate with a young man she met when visiting the Centre in September.

The Anna Freud Centre

The Anna Freud Centre

Here is more about the announcement from the Centre’s website:

The patronage reflects Her Royal Highness’s continued personal interest in children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, said: “I am honoured that the Duchess of Cambridge has chosen to become a patron of the Anna Freud Centre.

Also today, another engagement for Kate’s Calendar:

  • Wednesday, February 24: The Countess of Strathearn (as Kate is titled when in Scotland) will make multiple visits to see school-based charities in action in Edinburgh. In the morning she will visit 2 patronages which have a Scottish presence:Place2Be and The Art Room. In the afternoon Kate will take part in a program trying to boost tennis popularity and participation at a grassroots level, the “Tennis on the Road” coaching clinic will be hosted by Judy Murray, Andy Murray’s mother.  Below, Ms. Murray with some young students.
Tennis on the Road Facebook

Tennis on the Road Facebook

We will see you tomorrow for William and Kate’s return to Anglesey and RAF Valley, where they will attend the Search and Rescue Force Disbandment Parade. (The SAR operations are being privatized.)


  49 Responses to “Kate in Reiss, Dolce & Gabbana for Young Minds Matter Launch & Huffington Post Guest Editor Role”

  1. What a curious ensemble to greet the eye. Initially I was repelled by huge buttons on her slender frame but decided it’s actually a nice outfit with not great hair. It’s that awful midi length with midi fringe and it looks untidy. The black tights and heels are cute and sexy. Wouldn’t have necessarily picked these jaded Weitzmans (and they are) but tights and little skirt drown out worn/faded elements of these shoes.

  2. I love how the Duchess has started to expand her reach with charities for children. Mental illnesses go hand-in-hand with so many things like hospices, exercise and art therapy, things she is a patron of all ready. I myself deal with mental illness and I love how she is standing up and saying, “It is not a bad thing to have these. It’s bad to not get treated because you don’t wish to be stigmatized.”

    I love her outfit, personally. However, I am with many readers and wish she had worn a nude or even white camisole under her shirt. Had she been in a position other than a duchess, the semi-sheerness would have been fine. She is both a duchess and in a business environment; she should wear something under it to preserve a sense of modesty and a sense of decorum to her title.

  3. I love this blouse, but I think the skirt is ugly. I also think it’s a bit short and it reminds me of “Clueless”, somehow.

  4. I am absolutely thrilled that the Duchess of Cambridge is supporting the cause of children’s mental health. It is such an important thing, and an increase in awareness holds the possibility of lessening suffering in so many lives — not just among the children who are experiencing this type of health problem, but among their siblings, their parents and their communities. I could go on!

    I loved the look in general. I admire white shirts and blouses, and cannot wear them myself without looking like I’ve been recently exhumed.

    This particular blouse, though, leaves me cold. The shape is blocky and entirely flattening, which I don’t like. And the thought of being trapped in a polyester blouse, particularly one with a high collar, is about as attractive as the idea of being trapped in a dry-cleaning bag. I am not convinced that anyone who lived through the 1970s would ever willingly embrace a polyester blouse — or anyone wearing one for that matter, sweating in polyester being what it is!

  5. Loooooove her ensemble here!!!

    This Reiss blouse is an example of something Catherine has worn that I myself would never have considered or thought would look nice on someone until after she’s tried and tested it. The modern take on the Victorian design makes me wonder if this will look too stuffy or even costume-y in retrospect, but I think the simplicity of it helps to make it more timeless, which is an interesting feat given the contrast. After “rationalizing” this to myself, I purchased that Reiss blouse without blinking and only wish that I could somehow track down her D&G skirt, too. Loved that one at first sight! I think it works and as great as a black turtleneck would’ve looked with it, I’m glad she didn’t play it so typically safe and tried a fancier blouse. I hope to see more of her take on office style for personal inspiration.

    Everything about her look (hair, earrings, complexion, and all) is just polished in the best way that’s flattering for her age (embrace it while you can, Kate!). She looks comfortable and joyful in this outfit. I find that all of the comments regarding her skirt length or the non-matching-ness of her top and bottom only make it more “Kate-special” to me :)

  6. I thought I was totally alone in not digging the blouse! Don’t get me wrong, she looks absolutely lovely, but there’s just something about the blouse that looks- off. I don’t know. I still miss her slightly longer hair, but she looks like she is comfortable and confident and at a wonderful place in her life, so who am I to criticize? :) You go, Duchess!

    Great post, as always!

  7. Kate looks beautiful in almost everything she wears, and this outfit is no exception. The skirt’s a bit short and the blouse is too stuffy, but overall Kate looks lovely.

    I was surprised to see how straight laced and traditional Kate’s meeting room at Kensington Palace is. Aside from the two somewhat contemporary black metal lamps, the rest of the room could have been plucked from Jackie Kennedy’s White House Tour over half a century ago. No wonder Kate prefers to live in her up-to-date and relaxed country house, Anmer Hall.

    • This ‘newsroom’ at KP isn’t part of William and Kate’s quarters – she wouldn’t have had any role in decorating it. I’d imagine their own apartment is more to their taste.

      • Yes. I see now that you’re absolutely right. Kate and William live in Apartment 1A, and the event was held in Apartment 8, which was one of the two apartments that Charles and Diana used to live in. That would explain the room’s somewhat old fashioned, formal look.

  8. I like this. I think. It’s fashion-y, and a bit of a risk, but I think it works in that doesn’t-quite-go-together way. I love the skirt, actually, and I think that length is absolutely fine with dark tights.

  9. I love the skirt. Love the length too. The shirt is something I would NEVER buy (and for that price it’s poly? Ewww) and it’s kinda ugly. Her hair, while I’m still not a fan of the length, looks bouncy and very pretty.

  10. I admire both the blouse and skirt but not together. However her beautiful beaming smile is the best fashion choice. She looks genuinely happy and it comes through with that smile.

  11. The blouse looks great on her and I love the cut and length of the skirt. Not a fan of the trim though. She looks outstanding as always, regardless.

  12. I love this outfit. It’s very office appropriate.

  13. I think this is a nice, polished outfit – head-to-toe. I really like the shorter skirt; it looks much more youthful, and she should wear shorter pieces more often!

  14. I like that she’s wearing separates! That said, these two pieces don’t go together…at all. The buttons on the skirt and the fabric on the side combined with a short hem look very high school. But then the shirt looks like something my mom would wear! I feel like I’m looking at two different outfits; it’s confusing. I can see the effect she was going for (and I like it the idea – one of my favorite work outfits in my wardrobe is a twead skirt and a white silk top!). But I’m sad to say, these two pieces here just don’t work together :(

  15. It was so refreshing to see her in separates, I almost didn’t mind that the two pieces didn’t QUITE go together.

  16. It’s different. The blouse is quite romantic while the skirt is sort of …unexpected. I wish it were just a straight simple tweed skirt instead for a more polished look.

  17. Love the outfit. Very 1990′s in a good way! Also, an excellent cause for the Duchess to take on and one that needs so much work. Hopefully she will also tackle on the stigma and misinformation around ADHD.

    Note about the shoes. It looks to me like she has had toe tips put on her pumps. It can be done easily by a shoe repair place and is a small piece of rubber which replaces the the last centimeter or so of the sole. It is great for when the shoes have been worn a lot and the toe is starting to show wear.

  18. Love the combination of prim and sporty! It’s a business casual in a creative environment, much like how I dress in the non-tropics.

    Must check out that Huff Post section.

    • You nailed it TravelingBlush! That’s exactly what it is – business casual in a creative environment. She looks fantastic from head to toe.

  19. Love this look of modern professionalism. The blouse is beautiful, and the skirt is unique. Pearl earrings make the outfit a bit dressier. Just lovely.

    Some people were skeptical about the editor idea, but this was carried out beautifully, and all in the interest of a very important cause.

  20. I am quite fond of this blouse. It’s pretty, gently formal and a nice take on the classic white shirt. Also, big thumbs up to Kate for lending hefty support to children’s mental health issues. I wish there had been someone like her around when I was a child. :)

  21. Long time reader (and admirer) of this page, this time I decided to post a comment for the first time. As a Colour Me Beautiful style consultant from Europe, I must say I very much admire the Duchess’ style, to say the least. She manages at the same time to look perfectly appropriate for a royal role she has while still looking great and current for a young attractive mother that she is. I can’t say for sure but given the colour choices that she makes, I’m almost sure that she had her colours done because there is never a fail as far as choosing the right shades for her natural colouring goes.
    This particular outfit is again perfect for her colour-wise, but I’m not a huge fan of this skirt’s style and cut. I think that something hitting the knee and a narrower cut would look much better, and if she wanted to play with contrasting textures I would perhaps choose a skirt in jacquard fabric. Nevertheless, she looks happy, radiant and simply good.

  22. I’m thrilled the Duchess picked children’s mental health as one of her causes. Mental health issues are so stigmatized to begin with, and rarely thought of vis a vis children. She looks like she’s having a blast, especially with the kids.

    Since this is ‘what kate wore’ I’ll say this about the outfit – I don’t like it. She rarely wears separates and seems to have a hard time pulling outfits together. The Hobbs peplum top and Jenny Packham skirt being another notable example. This is so Victorian on the top and busy on the bottom.

    • Agreed. I very much like the pieces separately and think they suit her and scream, ‘Kate!’ However together they just seem mismatched to me. The skirt needed a simpler top I feel, not a buttoned up blouse. The tights and heels look great with the skirt though. Side note: how quickly does her hair grow?!

      • I would love to see this shirt with some pants and a more interesting shoe. Dare to dream!
        Her hair is ridiculous. If it’s supplements, I want to know which ones!

  23. I love this look- the feminine, yet modest blouse and the skirt together are a funky little combo, but she pulls it off. I hope we see more separates in the future! Maybe even trousers???

    I’m so happy to see a role model to young ladies dressing appropriately. We are so overexposed to mid-drifts and thigh gaps that we forget this is how people are expected to present themselves in the workplace.

  24. I love this outfit. It strikes the perfect business and “at home” balance. And the combination of the light and airy blouse with a short, tweedy skirt and tights is perfect. (To the person who feared we were seeing her bra through the sheerness: if you look at the photos toward the top of the post, it’s clear she’s wearing a cami; the varying colors seen through the sheer insets are different – the topmost are her skin, those toward her waist a flesh-toned camisole.)

    The photos of her facing the camera and laughing with the four kids are the essence of 21st century royalty.

  25. Separates – of course, that’s what they are, thanks, I hadn’t thought of that. A small departure for Kate but I’m afraid the result looks like an attempt at business-dress by someone who’s never really had to do the nine-to-five routine. The shots of Kate from the shoulders up look truly lovely, her top is in a canny shade of flattering off-white. But overall I’d say that blouse was too dressy, better suited to evening wear, or maybe even another candidate for her next trip to the rodeo.

    With the textured stripe of the blouse, which seems to have a sort of compressed ruffle as the texture between the stripes, and the little stand-up frill collar (a Princess Di throwback?) there’s already enough detail going on for me.

    By the time we take the skirt into account I’m in visual overload. The busy flecked boucle plus fringed opening — and then buttons on top of all that – naah, doesn’t work for me. The skirt is too short for dignity and Kate slim legs look even more bony in dark tights. It could be a fun skirt, but I thought the studio shots worn with a plain black top suited it better.

  26. Thrilled that the Duchess is bringing attention to such an important cause. I think she looked poised, put together, and fantastic in those separates. Well done on the outfit, but more importantly well done on the work she’s done to help create awareness of and to de-stigmatize mental health illnesses.

  27. I literally said “I love this!” out loud when I saw these photos. I didn’t even care that it was short — you can wear a shorter skirt when you pair it with tights, in my opinion. She looked like the young, vibrant young mother and woman that I am sure she is in real life. It was age appropriate when lately I feel she tends to dress too “old.” However, I recognize that most of her choices are out of respect for the royal family and her position in it. Good job today, Catherine!

  28. This was an absolutely perfect look…head to toe flawless for the occasion. I really admire they the way Duchess puts her own spin on classic dressing; the skirt is business-like but fresh and new and the blouse is lady-like without being too stiff or too frilly. Well done on all levels, especially the cause that she has embraced with such knowledge!

  29. Love, love this outfit. I’m sure some people will complain about the skirt length, but I think it’s very appropriate and a nice change from her recent longer hemlines. Very fresh and polished. More importantly, she’s calling attention to a very important issue. Well done, Kate!

  30. I love both of these pieces, but don’t like them together. The lines of the shirt seem to clash with the print and line of the skirt.

    Great cause for the Duchess to take on. Mental illness is something dear to my heart. As an educator, I see the first-hand impact that this can have in our young people’s lives. Kudos to her for raising awareness.

  31. The last time I remember seeing Kate in a skirt, Harry Styles was congratulating her and she had a “bump”.

  32. She looks great and love the “high-energy-level” we see on her on the pictures in the HP editorial room. I admittedly love this site for insights on KM’s style and therefore somehow promote what is actually a shame, which is reducing the duchess on her looks and clothes. It is kind of a shame that even in 2016, royal wives must not hace a “real” job. She looks like she enjoys herself (also in this banker raffle couple of months ago). Would love it if royals, especially women, could show more of their “brainy” or “business” side, though I also know how contradictory this might also be. I hope she gets more engaged in her charities where she can surely make a difference thanks to her status.

  33. Hello from England! I’m a first-time poster but a long-time follower and really love this website. I thought I would comment today as I think the Duchess looks as if she’s really enjoying herself in these images and seems to be revelling in her role as a champion for children’s mental health issues. Although I agree with your comment about the skirt being a bit on the short side I really like this outfit which I think manages to look both professional and young at the same time.

  34. I forgot to say 2 things in my first comment:
    1. Her outfit struck me as “cute” because I was amused that she is playing editor with her clothing choice. It’s a very “editor” kind of outfit ;)
    2. About the Dolce & Gabbana bit
    “Dolce and Gabbana, a brand she is returning to more frequently.”
    I wonder whether she bought a group of things from the label specifically to use for events. I would imagine this is an easier way for her to shop, maybe her assistant shows her some things in the privacy of her home and they pick out some stuff?

  35. The general effect of this outfit is nice,however is that her bra I see?!Is she wearing a camisole underneath?It looks inappropriate.
    I like her new pair of black,pointy Gianvito Rossi pumps.

    • I would like to add that the outfit could easily have worked for a ‘work party’.I’m rather dissapointed by her interpretition of business attire.

  36. The Duchess looks gorgeous in this ensemble! To my mind a perfect outfit for the occasion. She looks fresh, young, delicate and very beautiful! And I like the fact that she cares about children. Indeed she is emplied in very noble activities.The first photo of her and the children is really nice! Good luck, Catherine!

  37. I love the cause/new initiative. I love the outfit. The kids look chilly in that first photo!

    The shorter skirt is nice on her, very youthful. She balances it out well by covering up in a long sleeve, high neckline blouse and black tights.

    The blouse would be perfect, IMO, if it were silk. Lovely look all around!

  38. I have a close relative who’s a professional in this area — she wrote her thesis on resilience in child victims of trauma and abuse — so I appreciate the good long post on the Duchess’s activities. I’ll send it along.

    Otherwise, I shall confine myself to commenting on the Duchess’s clothing. I have to admit that the rather prim, Victorian-looking high neck on the blouse doesn’t hugely appeal to me, though I’ve always liked insets like that — they add much visual interest. The blouse does look nice on the Duchess, and the pearl earrings are just right with it.

    I love the skirt fabric and aspects of its design — the buttons and trim — very much, but I really wish it were longer and had a slim, pencil-skirt cut. It would look far more elegant and sophisticated, more polished. As is, it suggests something more suitable for a teenager.

    I can imagine this outfit worn with the Duchess’s black Ralph Lauren jacket, which I think would work quite well with it. All in all, it’s a reasonably good look, despite my various quibbles.

    I really do like her shorter hair these days. It looks significantly more adult.

    • Your last comment made me laugh Lili. My first thought when I saw these photos was, “Uh oh, that hair is getting long again!”

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