Kate Middleton Makes Key Speech for Her Work with Children: 'It Isn't Enough to Simply Wish for a Better World'
2023/11/15

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is taking the next step in her campaign for kids and their families.

The Princess of Wales, 41, brought together experts from across the world to a conference held by her at the Design Museum in central London on Wednesday morning.

"It is time we understood that building a healthier world means nurturing the foundations that support our children — everything from the systems that govern early care through to our attitudes to those raising the next generation, and the support they receive," Princess Kate said at the Shaping Us National Symposium.

"Because if we can create a society which sees the child within every adult — and the adult within every child — we will finally start to change it for the better," she added.

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She reiterated her belief that "early childhood fundamentally shapes the adults we become." She also remarked how "trauma, stress and adverse experiences in their childhood have caused fundamental harm that [children] have carried for years."

The Princess of Wales — who wore an eye-catching purple Emilia Wickstead pantsuit paired with sapphire and diamond earrings that belonged to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana — gathered key specialists in the field of child development, psychologists, mental health leaders and academics as part of her Shaping Us

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. The campaign built on a decade of work around improving the mental and physical outcomes of children in the first five years of their lives, known to be one of Kate's passion projects.

The royal — who had celebrated the on Tuesday evening — continued, "I care deeply about making a positive difference, in helping the most vulnerable and supporting those who are most in need. 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."

Princess Kate addressed the disconnect between someone's needs for safety, belonging and love and and society.

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"It isn’t enough therefore to simply wish for a better world," she said. "We must acknowledge and address the root cause of some of today’s toughest social challenges and work together to find better answers. Because ultimately, we are all part of a delicate, interconnected ecosystem and 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."

She added, "Despite the fact that each and every one of us, has had our own childhoods, few people understand the true impact our formative years have had on shaping who we are today. That is why I decided to launch the Shaping Us campaign — to raise awareness of, and action on the importance of this critical time."

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Princess Kate’s foundation instituted new research involving 21 countries around the world. The director of the 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.

Others giving talks at the symposium include Prof. Jack Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. He met when she and her husband visited the Boston area.

Shonkoff outlined the science behind the importance of the developing years and told the crowd that even "people with all the resources have a really hard job raising their kids. It is not completely easy."

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"Reducing adversity as opposed to helping bolster the ability to cope with them" was important, he said. Turning to Princess Kate in the front row, he added, “Thank you very much for the honor of being part of this symposium and this wonderful campaign."

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.

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