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It’s Emilia Wickstead for Landmark Speech at Early Childhood Symposium

It’s Emilia Wickstead for Landmark Speech at Early Childhood Symposium

The Princess of Wales chose a familiar Emilia Wickstead look for today’s Shaping Us National Symposium in London. Below, the Princess arriving for the event.

The Royal Foundation’s Centre for Early Childhood hosted the symposium at the Design Museum in Kensington, London. The Centre described the event as bringing together “cross-disciplinary leaders, child and adult specialists, and global thinkers for the first time to consider how we grow, think, and behave throughout life, in order to build resilience for the future.” Last night, Kensington Palace posted a teaser video. 

Below, the Princess with Fearne Cotton, a Shaping Us champion, who hosted today’s event.

More from The Mirror’s piece by Russell Myers and Jennifer Newton. 

Asked by mum-of-two Feane how she was feeling, Kate replied: “Good, but nervous but excited too.” She added: “So nice to see it all coming together and different people along with it. All of us are still learning and sharing experiences with each other.” The pair discussed the fact that guests will join afternoon workshops to discuss findings from her project. Kate said : “I’ve asked everyone to be really honest” and added that there needs to be “tangible action”. 

The Shaping Us project aims to highlight the significance of the formative years of a child’s life. Kensington Palace said the centre has conducted a global listening exercise, involving experts from 21 countries to unite the thinking and agree on the key foundational skills laid in early childhood, but continue to grow beyond it, that help establish happy, healthy adult lives.

The Princess also spoke about Prince Louis and his class while chatting with the TV presenter and author.

The Daily Mail has details in this story

…[she] revealed her five-year-old son has taken part in her study for early years and said: ‘Louis’ class, they came back with a feelings wheel, it’s really good.

‘… These are five or six-year-olds, and going with names or pictures of a colour that represents how they feel that day, so there is a real keenness in school particularly to get involved in conversations.’

A feelings wheel is often a circle that displays colour-coded ‘core’ emotions – ones that are more easily expressed – at the centre, with more complex or ‘secondary’ emotions around these. Children are encouraged to try and pinpoint their feelings. 

The Princess delivered today’s keynote address.

Here is more on her speech from this ITV article

She told a conference on Early Years at the Design Museum in London that we should care about child development as much as we should care about the health of our planet.

The princess said: “Just as we need to restore, protect, and invest in our planet, so we must restore, protect, and invest in our societies, communities, relationships, and ourselves.”

The Telegraph reports, “Christian Guy, director of the centre, said of her speech: “It’s almost a manifesto for social and emotional skills.” More from the address. 

This is not just about the youngest children in our society, who are, by their very nature, vulnerable.

It is also about the many young people and adults who are suffering. We must do more than simply meet the short-term needs of these individuals. We must also look at creating long-term, preventative change.

…why does it so often take individuals to reach breaking point, rock bottom or even a prison sentence to finally find the support they so desperately need?

Here is a clip from the speech. 

And from Victoria Ward’s piece in The Telegraph

The Princess of Wales has said children’s social and emotional skills are just as valuable as reading, writing and maths for children.

She warned that “new thinking and action” is needed at every level in order to strengthen emotional development in both children and adults. 

The symposium included additional speeches, panel discussions, and breakout sessions. Among those taking part, former Prime Minister Tony Blair and Lord Hague.

More from this Telegraph story

Sir Tony joined Lord Hague, the former Conservative leader and chairman of the Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales, at the event at the Design Museum in central London.

He said he agreed with the Princess’s crusade to improve social outcomes by focusing on skills learnt between birth and the age of five, noting that empathy and resilience were key leadership qualities rooted in childhood.

Lord Hague, who was leader of the opposition during Sir Tony’s first four years as prime minister, agreed with his one-time political adversary.

Embed from Getty Images 

The Princess at one of the day’s breakout sessions.

The Royal Foundation also offered this in its piece about the symposium

The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood has conducted a first of its kind global listening exercise, involving experts from 21 countries around the world, to unite the thinking and agree on the key foundational skills we lay in early childhood, but continue to grow beyond it, that help establish happy, healthy adult lives.

This work has been undertaken to agree a set of common core skills that can apply equally to children and adults, so we can bring people together with a united language and vision to drive action at every level. The Shaping Us National Symposium will share the findings from this exercise and focus on the action needed to make social and emotional skills a greater priority.

Among those speaking today, Harvard Professor Jack Shonkoff, whom the Princess met when visiting Boston last year. 

In his People magazine story, Simon Perry offers additional information on today’s symposium. 

Princess Kate’s foundation instituted new research involving 21 countries around the world. The director of the Centre of Early Childhood called the report “a manifesto for social-emotional skills.”

It also marked her first time working with global leaders in this area and is her “signaling” that she wants this to be worldwide, those close to her say.

Below, a panel discusses the new research.

The Princess watching one of the discussions. On her left is Christian Guy, the Director of the Royal Foundation’s Centre for Early Childhood, and on her right is Professor Eamon McCrory, an advisor to the Early Childhood Centre.

Mr. Perry also reports, “Among the audience were representatives from Kate’s mental health and well-being charities like Place2Be, which was one of her first patronages and helped instill in her the need for early intervention.”

The workshops at the event were designed to “look at what action can be taken at every level to protect and strengthen these skills for current and future generations across disciplines and across sectors.”

The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood posted on social media after the event wrapped up. 

And Kensington Palace posted a 1-minute video about the symposium.

Now for our look at what Kate wore.

She was in pieces by Emilia Wickstead, done in a custom color. The Dida Wool Flannel Jacket (most recently priced at $430 on sale, sold out) is 100% wool and described as being made of a midweight flannel. The double-breasted silhouette is a classic cut, with flap pockets, peak lapels, and self-covered buttons on the front and at the wrist. The trousers are a version of the Gus style ($1030), a slim cut with a high waist and tapered legs.

The Gus trouser is available in different fabrics; the current style does not have a cuff. Below, a closer look at some of the jacket details. 

The separates were first worn in September 2021 when the Cambridges were in Northern Ireland

Thoughts on today’s look from British Vogue

This time she put a royal spin on her tailoring via a vibrant shade of purple (that is remarkably similar to a Quality Street wrapper). This bold hue has famously been associated with royalty since ancient times, with natural purple dye historically among the most expensive.

In the 16th century, Elizabeth I refused to allow anyone except her innermost circle to wear purple and it has continued to play an important role in coronations and celebrations with pomp and ceremony ever since. British Vogue’s November 2022 cover featured this deep purple, in tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, which mirrored the March 1952 issue which commemorated the passing of King George VI.

A trouser suit is an ideal choice for a modern-day princess: it’s polished, practical and also reinforces the message that The Firm is working hard. Given that she was speaking about her future plans and focuses, it figures that she would decide to stick to traditional codes of executive dressing, and continue to dress like a “corpcore” princess in a commanding trouser suit.

I have added some options for these pieces to the RepliKate Suits page

The Princess accessorized with her Gianvito 105 pumps in navy suede, a point-toe style with a 4.1″ heel.

The shoes are available in limited sizes at Cettire (on sale for $452 – $489), at 24S ($795), at My Theresa ($795), and at Gianvito Rossi ($795). I added some more wallet-friendly options to the RepliKate Footwear page.)   

The Princess wore her hair down today.

And the sapphire cabochon cluster earrings that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales. 

In this image, you see the late Princess of Wales wearing them at a White House ball hosted by President and Mrs. Reagan in 1985. 
Embed from Getty Images 


Last night the Princess rehearsed her speech and attended a reception ahead of today’s symposium.

This event was also at the Design Museum. 

The Princess with Archbishop Justin Welby. 

She spent some time rehearsing her remarks.

We quickly look at last night’s ensemble, beginning with the Roland Mouret separates. Here you see the maroon Cady Blazer ($1100) and Stretch Cady Flared Pants ($650), both done in an acetate/polyester blend. The blazer features a fitted, single-breasted silhouette with peak lapels, angled flap pockets, a self-covered front button, and four buttons at the sleeve hem. The trousers are also made of acetate/polyester with a wide leg and side zipper.

The jacket is available in just two sizes at Baltini ($608), a mix of sizes at Roland Mouret ($1100), limited sizes at Net-a-Porter ($1100), and in mixed sizes at Farfetch ($1568). The trousers are in stock at Roland Mouret ($650), and in small sizes at Net-a-Porter ($650). This is the third time we have seen the suit. It was first worn in Boston last December, and again in January 2023.

There are some options for copying this look on the RepliKate Suits page

It looked like the Princess paired the suit with her Holland Cooper Bodysuit (£149).

From what I could see, the Princess appeared to wear her black suede Gianvito 105 Pumps. UPDATE 8 PM: A friend points out that in the video teasing the sym[osium, you can just see a pineapple on the bottom of one sole, so these are more likely the Aquazzura Purist, shown here as worn Saturday night for the Festival of Rermembrance.

There are some similar but much lower-priced designs I added to the RepliKate Footwear page.   

She also wore her Shyla London Chunky Knot Baroque Pearl Style Earrings (£72).


The Princess was busy yesterday. It looks like she attended a formal celebration of the King’s 75th birthday after the reception at the Design Museum. I am not able to license photos, but several sites have images and stories.  

More from Danielle Stacey’s story for Hello

The King was joined by some of his closest friends and family members for his private birthday dinner at Clarence House.

Pictured leaving Charles’s London residence on Tuesday evening were the Prince and Princess of Wales, Princess Beatrice and Zara and Mike Tindall, who all put on a glamorous display. 

Multiple reports say the Princess was in a gown by Needle and Thread, the brand’s Alicia Sequin Scallop Gown (now sold out) in emerald green. From what I can see, the Princess’s dress very much looks like the Alica, but the shoulders look different. Of course, it’s possible the Princess had her gown modified.

Needle and Thread currently offer the dress in white and pink ($1089).  

Sue asked in a comment if the Princess had a similar dress in red, and ElizaMo graciously responded, telling her it was the ‘Aurora’ dress worn for a January 2020 reception at Buckingham Palace

The Aurora Ballerina Dress ($719) is still carried at Needle and Thread.


Here is the Princess’s full speech. 

 The Royal Family Channel has almost four minutes of coverage in this video.


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Monday 20th of November 2023

The princess of wales was on Children in Need last Friday night in a prerecorded video. I do not see it anywhere on here


Monday 20th of November 2023

Hi Vanessa, You will see that coverage in tomorrow’s first post. ☺️


Monday 20th of November 2023

I’m sure everyone is looking forward to tomorrow’s events,I know I am! I’ve looked at the flag of South Korea,out of interest, and to make some predictions about color choices for the Queen and the Princess of Wales.I think the Queen will wear either her favorite blue,or possibly white, and the Princess of Wales will wear red,for the state banquet.I’m easily amused! On a more serious note, I think that these state visits are more important than ever,and I hope it’s very successful 😊


Sunday 19th of November 2023

absolutely love love love this shade of purple, Kate looks professional and in control as always. Hope to see this particular suit in the future!

Anita B.

Saturday 18th of November 2023

I thought the outfit was very well suited (pun intended) for the occasion. The purple is a lovely choice when referencing children. It is bright and hopeful, while still giving that air of formality. I have also noticed the imbalance of suits to dresses since September and wonder if it has anything to do with the mark of one year after the Queen’s passing. Perhaps the PoW wore more dresses out of respect for the queen, and now, with a new King and time passed, the clothing criteria has shifted. Though I would love to see more dresses, I enjoy knowing “whatkatewore” anyway. Thanks for such an informative post.


Sunday 19th of November 2023

@Anita B.,

That's such an interesting theory you mentioned, that Catherine may have always had a strong preference for trouser suits, perhaps! It's possible, even though we can't know for sure!

If so, it would make a lot of sense that, in the past, Catherine, out of understandable respect and courtesy to the Queen, deferred on wearing trouser suits to the extent that she now wears them, knowing the Queen's likely preferences for how the female members of her family would dress. This really would make so much sense If true.

However, even if true, it doesn't mean that the Princess of Wales will not also enjoy wearing dresses and skirts when she would like to/or the event is appropriate.

I miss all the lovely dresses, but I think it's a safe bet that the Princess of Wales will definitely be wearing them again. I'm guessing she would want to, but also that her position requires it, but perhaps not to the extent that we might have thought it did. This isn't the 1950s. Women can wear trousers as the norm, these days, including the very modern Princess of Wales (but oh, what Lovely dresses they had in the 1950s and early 60s)!

Anita B., you just might be onto something here!


Saturday 18th of November 2023

Skinny pants and high stilletoes a pretty dated look. Maybe better if the pants were cropped or just a wider leg. Little old fashioned.

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