The Duchess of Cambridge delivered a speech at The Royal Foundation’s forum on the early years on Friday via video link. During her talk, the Duchess released the findings from her “5 Big Questions” survey which focused on the early years sector and under 5-year-olds.
Royal commentator and journalist, Camilla Tominey, said the event showed how the Duchess has found her “legacy project”.
Writing in The Telegraph she said: “For having entered royal life in her husband’s shadow almost a decade ago, the 38-year-old quickly realised that she both wanted and needed a “legacy” project of her own.
“Determined to do something by herself, in the vein of Diana, Princess of Wales’s work on AIDS and Prince Charles’s environmentalism, Kate quickly found that her passion lay in finding out the reasons for adult trauma.”
The Cambridge’s charity collected views from half a million people in the UK for the study about raising children under the age of five.
The findings showed parents are increasingly worried about feeling cut off from support, especially in more deprived parts of the country.
It also revealed that loneliness among parents of young children has “dramatically increased” during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a press release, the report was labelled “a milestone moment” for the Duchess’ “work on the importance of early childhood in shaping the rest of our lives and broader societal outcomes”.
To deliver her speech, the Duchess wore a pink suit from Marks and Spencer.
She wore the same suit back in March during a visit to the London Ambulance Service 111 control room with her husband Prince William.
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During the speech, the Duchess said: “Over the last nine months, the pandemic has been a worrying time for us all. We have experienced isolation, loss, and uncertainty.
“But in the midst of this crisis, we have also seen huge acts of kindness, generosity and empathy.”
She added: “Over the last decade I, like many of you, have met people from all walks of life.
“I have seen that experiences such as homelessness, addiction, and poor mental health are often grounded in a difficult childhood.
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“But I have also seen, how positive protective factors in the early years can play a critical role in shaping our futures too.
“And I care hugely about this.”
Ms Tominey said the release of the study marked a significant moment in the Duchess’ “royal career”.
She wrote in the Telegraph: “The culmination of almost a decade’s work, the publication of The Royal Foundation’s landmark research is not only a significant step in the understanding of public attitudes to early childhood – but also in Kate’s royal career.”
Ms Tominey also said the speech showed the Duchess’ growth in confidence.
She wrote: “As her keynote speech proves, the former Marlborough College schoolgirl has grown in confidence as she has adapted her royal role from “plus one” to future Princess of Wales.
“Having initially been a nervous orator, Kate has found her voice, partly because she is speaking about something she passionately believes in, but also as she has become hugely knowledgeable about her chosen specialist subject.”
A source close to the Cambridges told The Telegraph: “She is impressively well briefed.
“This isn’t a figurehead thing – she is across all the latest data, reading all the reports and, having studied the issues for nine years now, she is genuinely well informed.”