Duchess Kate makes her second stop in Cardiff to launch her Early Years survey

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I’m not so critical of the Duchess of Cambridge to think that she threw together a “whirlwind 24-hour launch” of her Early Years project at the last minute, as a way to distract from the Sussexit fallout. It’s likely – more than likely – that the plan involved a January launch anyway, and maybe the exact timing was affected by Sussexit, or maybe not. Historically, January has been a quiet month for Kate – and the rest of the royal family – so it is surprising that she would choose to launch Early Years right at this moment, after about 16 months of hype and PR stories about how keen she is about early childhood development and how this is some kind of massive undertaking which has absorbed YEARS of on-the-ground duchessing. And in the end, it’s a five-question survey and only after she’s accumulated the data will she know how to proceed? We’re not supposed to question it, I guess.

So here’s Kate’s second appearance around the Early Years launch. Her first was in Birmingham on Tuesday, with no press and just photos published after the fact. The second event is in Cardiff, Wales and as you can see, Kate was dressed appropriately and conservatively for the appearance. A black turtleneck and an ugly camel coat, frankly. The skirt was cute though – mid-length animal-print.

— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) January 22, 2020

I also wanted to point out some interesting talking points which have been all over the coverage of this launch:

Run by the Royal Foundation that Kate heads along with husband Prince William, and conducted by Ipsos MORI, the new survey aims to spark what Kate’s office calls a “national conversation on the early years.” She hopes that the results will also guide her future work as she strives to give children the tools and foundations to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

It is the latest development in eight years of work by Princess Kate. In that time she has immersed herself in hearing real-life experiences of children and carers and learning how experiences in early childhood can lie at the root of many of the toughest social challenges people face.

[From People]

She hopes to start a “national conversation”… with a five-question survey. Hours and days and weeks and months and EIGHT YEARS of private meetings have led to this, a crowdsource survey on subjects to which, frankly, most child development experts already know the answers. And now she’s claiming that she spent eight years on this? AND that the results of the survey “will also guide her future work.” Which would be… interesting enough on its own, but here’s the language the Royal Foundation used when describing the Early Years project just three months ago:

Her Royal Highness and The Royal Foundation have brought academics, practitioners and charities together to form a steering group to develop a significant new body of work that will ultimately support all efforts to provide children with the best possible start in life. This has been a major body of work and will be unveiled later this year.

[Via archived CB post]

“This has been a major body of work” and “a significant new body of work.” I mean… why couldn’t they just say “Kate was keen on doing some photo-ops with kids”? Again, I don’t doubt that Kate cares about early childhood development and kids’ mental health and well-being. I know she cares. What I doubt is that Kate was actually paying attention in all of those meetings she allegedly had with experts for eight years.

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Photos courtesy of Getty.

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