On Wednesday, the Prince and Princess of Wales continued their engagements for the second day, showing their support for World Mental Health Day. During the day, Kate expressed her enthusiasm for the idea of returning to her student days, having learned about the mental health support initiatives undertaken by two universities in Nottingham. The Princess engaged in conversations with students at Nottingham Trent University, while Prince William interacted with emergency responders at the Milton Keynes Blue Light Hub. She fondly recalled her time at St Andrews, where she first met her future husband, emphasizing that university provided excellent opportunities to explore new hobbies. You can view the finest photographs from their royal engagements below.
Although the trouser suit has been a consistent choice in recent times for the royal, Kate appeared graceful during her university visit in a cream knitted jumper and a midi skirt from the brand Sezane.
The Princess made an impromptu visit to a Freshers Fayre to gain insight into how students are providing mutual support through peer-to-peer monitoring.
Participating in a Step In Circle session as part of NTU's Welcome Workshop, an initiative aimed at encouraging students to share their experiences for the purpose of boosting their confidence and well-being, Kate emphasized the significance of embracing new experiences. She recalled how her university days provided her with a remarkable opportunity to explore fresh interests and how this openness to trying new things has persisted in her life. Kate expressed her enthusiasm for the diverse range of activities she engaged in during her time at university, including sports, music, and art, and how this has influenced her approach to raising her children. She also shared how her university experience was pivotal in nurturing her willingness to experiment due to the abundance of options available. Kate particularly enjoyed participating in various sports clubs, such as hockey and tennis, during her university years. Additionally, she highlighted her involvement in the university's photography club, which not only allowed her to make new friends but also became a lasting source of joy in her life. Overall, Kate conveyed that university presented an excellent opportunity to explore new interests and is something she continues to value.
The princess received teddy bears crafted by students from NTU and a bunch of flowers before meeting with individuals who had come to offer their good wishes before she left.
After the visit, Anna O'Hara, who serves as the president of Nottingham Trent Students' Union, expressed her thoughts, saying, “The experience was truly extraordinary, and it has instilled in me a deep sense of pride in being part of NTU, to be able to showcase all the initiatives we are implementing for the students. It was a remarkable occasion. Kate's visit has significantly broadened the possibilities for open discussions about mental health. It empowers students to believe that it's perfectly acceptable to discuss mental health matters and seek support when needed. Though it was extremely nerve-wracking, this opportunity was truly exceptional. It was simply fantastic.”
Before her engagement, Kensington Palace stated, “The Princess is deeply committed to ensuring that young individuals have the necessary resources to prioritize their mental well-being, with a particular focus on comprehending and regulating their own emotions. She also places emphasis on inspiring young people to develop crucial protective elements like nurturing healthy relationships and fostering supportive communities around them, which will aid in establishing a solid base as they progress through life.”
On Tuesday, William and Kate participated in a youth forum in Birmingham, where the Princess delivered a fervent address, elucidating the mission of the royal couple.
Her statement conveyed, “William and I are of the opinion that it is imperative for our society to make every effort in assisting young individuals in acquiring the emotional and social skills necessary for maintaining good mental health and prospering in their environment. The process of gaining knowledge about the world and the process of learning how to lead a happy and flourishing life should be interconnected.”
At the Milton Keynes Blue Light Hub, William, aged 41, engaged with a gathering of young individuals who have recently embarked on their careers in the service and listened to the difficulties they encounter in the initial stages of their professional journeys. This issue holds personal significance for William, as he has firsthand knowledge of the challenges that emergency responders confront daily from his previous roles as a pilot with RAF search and rescue and the East Anglian Air Ambulance. While reflecting on his time in that role from 2015 to 2017, the Prince expressed his nostalgia for it but also voiced concerns about individuals retiring from emotionally taxing professions.
Discussing his previous position, he mentioned, “I was responsible for managing every aspect and handling all the tasks. On a few occasions, I had to maintain a defensive front. I carried the stress home, and it began from that point.”
He expressed that he didn't fully grasp the significant impact of resigning until it occurred.
“Life tends to catch up with you once you've departed,” he remarked. “This can be quite a lonely and isolating experience.”
“At that moment, I didn't perceive it unfolding. Later on, you come to understand that it's not a typical occurrence.”
“I do have concerns about individuals retiring. We need to improve our ability to handle long-term health.”