The Duchess was in a new Fair Isle sweater as she read a bedtime story to mark the start of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
The Duchess read The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson, with illustrations by Paul Howard.
Publishers Weekly writes about the book in this review:
Howard’s glorious nocturnal illustrations give new life to the late British author’s 1968 tale of an owlet frightened of the night. “The dark is scary,” Plop tells Mommy Barn Owl, who wisely instructs him to learn a bit more about it before passing judgment.
Tomlinson’s reassuring tale is aimed squarely at preschoolers, who will thrill to a familiar scenario played out in an unusual setting. Howard’s expertly shaded pastels evoke the owls’ feather-softness against full-bleed illustrations in glowing, naturalistic colors, which he augments with smaller sepia vignettes.
Children’s Mental Health Week runs from February 7 – 13 this year. The weeklong awareness effort is managed by Place2Be, the children’s mental health charity. The Duchess is Place2Be’s royal patron. This year’s theme for the week is “Growing Together.” More on this via the CMHW site:
Growing Together is about growing emotionally and finding ways to help each other grow. Challenges and setbacks can help us to grow and adapt and trying new things can help us to move beyond our comfort zone into a new realm of possibility and potential. However, emotional growth is often a gradual process that happens over time, and sometimes we might feel a bit ‘stuck’.
Place2Be notes on the Children’s Mental Health Week site that “we will be encouraging children (and adults) to consider how they have grown and how they can help others to grow. ‘
The Duchess helped launch the first Children’s Mental Health Week back in 2015. Below, the Duchess in a video shot for that very first awareness week back in 2015.
She has been involved with the annual effort ever since. I will post a link to the bedtime story video as soon as one is posted; if possible, I will post the entire video here.
UPDATE: Here is a brief video of the Duchess speaking about the story; it is not the full reading of the story.
Unfortunately, I am not able to view or embed the full story being read because of my location. That will be the case for those outside the UK. Here is the message at iPlayer, where the story is available to watch for those able to access iPlayer.
UPDATE #2 FEBRUARY 18: With thanks to Beth for her Facebook tip, you can now view the full video on YouTube or here on the site.
Now for a quick look at what Kate wore in the video.
She appears to be wearing the Fairisle Knit Sweater in cream (£179, roughly $240 at today’s exchange rates) by Holland Cooper.
The piece is described as being made from an “extra-soft yarn,” a blend of nylon, alpaca, and wool. It has ribbing at the extended cuffs, hem, rolled neck, and lots of Holland Cooper buttons at the cuff and shoulder.
The piece is also offered in grey and black.
Also today, several updates to Kate’s Calendar.
- Tuesday/Wednesday, February 22/23: The Duchess will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark. This is described as a working visit with the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. She will be received by the nation’s monarch Queen Margrethe II on the 23rdand spend time with Crown Princess Mary. They will “visit a project which works to protect vulnerable women and children from domestic violence and use the trip as a fact-finding mission for her Royal Foundation for Early Childhood,” per the NZ Herald.
A Kensington Palace news release notes:
This is the first time The Duchess will be bringing the work of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood to the international stage. The Centre aims to drive awareness of and action on the extraordinary impact of the early years. On this trip, it will learn from Denmark’s example as a country widely recognised as a world leader in its approach and investment in early childhood development.
The visit will also pay tribute to the historic ties Britain shares with Denmark and will celebrate the joint Jubilees taking place in each country this year: The Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, marking seventy years on the British throne, and The Golden Jubilee of Margrethe II, making fifty years on the Danish throne.
This is not the first time the Duchess will be spending time with Crown Princess Mary. Below, the Duke and Duchess with Crown Princess Mary and Prince Frederik at a 2011 UNICEF engagement in Denmark.
More recently, the Danish royals attended Royal Ascot in June 2016. Below, Princess Mary and Sophie, Countess of Wessex at Ascot.
- Wednesday, March 2: The annual diplomatic reception has been rescheduled at Windsor Castle for this date. There is no confirmation the Duke and Duchess will attend, nor do we know if it will be white-tie.
- Monday, March 14: This is Commonwealth Day, and the annual Commonwealth Service will take place at Westminster Abbey. We have no confirmation the Duke and Duchess will be in attendance, but it has become a yearly engagement for the couple.
- Tuesday, March 29: Today is the Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of The Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey. Again, there is no confirmation the Duke and Duchess will attend this event. More about this event and the Duke’s history with Westminster Abbey from the Abbey’s site:
The Duke of Edinburgh, who died in April last year, had a long association with Westminster Abbey. On 20th November 1947, he married HRH Princess Elizabeth here (she became Queen in 1952), and they celebrated anniversaries including their Silver, Golden and Diamond Wedding anniversaries with services in the Abbey.
In 1956 he set up the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the 60th anniversary of which was celebrated at a special service in November 2016. He was also President and Chairman of the Westminster Abbey Trust, set up in 1973, to raise funds for the restoration of the exterior of the Abbey.
For many years, His Royal Highness attended the annual Opening of the Field of Remembrance. Organised each year by The Poppy Factory, the Field of Remembrance sees thousands of poppies on wooden crosses and memorials, each representing a serviceman or servicewoman who has died in conflict, planted in the grounds of the Abbey.
He also attended a great many other services and events at the Abbey over the years.