Royals

Duchess Kate comforts brave mum at awards ceremony

The Duchess of Cambridge stepped in to help a struggling parent at Place2Be charity award ceremony
Kate Middleton

The 34-year-old royal attended an awards ceremony for the non-profit children’s mental health program Place2Be, in London, on Tuesday evening.

Catherine, who has been a patron for the organisation since 2013, helped celebrate kids who have been inspiring examples of positive mental health in their schools.

While the night was about the children, it was one mother that moved Catherine to break royal protocol and embrace her.

Kate gave Ceri Knapton a cuddle after her son, Ethan, 13, told the royal how he used his struggle with Autism and Asperger Syndrome as a way to raise awareness of the condition, ultimately helping others.

Ethan’s proud mum gushed, “I vowed that I wouldn’t cry but was just overcome listening to Ethan. The Duchess just leaned over and said to me ‘I’ve got to give you a hug as a mum.'”

Adding, “I couldn’t believe it. It was such a kind gesture.”

Catherine was touched by both Ethan and Ceri’s bravery.

The 13-year-old bravely told Prince George’s mum about how he was bullied during primary school because of his undiagnosed conditions.

“It was a very difficult time but my diagnosis helped me to cope with what I was experiencing. I decided that I wanted to speak out about it.There is no point in sitting back. I’d rather stand up and make a difference.”

Ceri added, “It’s not been an easy few years but he makes me feel so proud. His Autism and Asperger aren’t labels but an explanation of what makes Ethan the boy he is. The fact that he wants to use that to benefit others less able to speak out is just amazing.”

The mum-of-two is very passionate about mental well-being.

Catherine, William and Harry have set up their Heads Together campaign to end the stigma surrounding mental health that stops people getting the help that they need.

On behalf of the charity, that works with more than 282 primary and secondary schools across Wales, Scotland and England, Catherine made a speech, praising the evening’s nominees.

“Tonight, we are celebrating the truly remarkable work taking place across Place2Be schools in support of children’s mental health,” she began.

“Without many of the inspiring people gathered here this evening, countless children would not receive such transformational support in their schools. It is because of so many of you, that in their time of need, children have the help, care and attention that will get them through tough times in their lives.”

“‘I am a firm believer that it is absolutely crucial to confront problems as early as possible, to prevent them from escalating into even greater issues later in life. This is why Place2Be’s work – prioritizing children’s emotional wellbeing from the outset – is so important.”

Before concluding, “Our young Champion finalists here tonight are extraordinary. You have not only faced challenges but have had the resilience to overcome them. You have also, in your willingness to have open conversations, become young mental health pioneers.”

The Duchess of Cambridge wore her beloved Preen “Finella” dress in black, with a sparkly belt. She first wore the design in red, during her 2016 Canada tour.

Earlier that day, the mum-of-two attended a children’s tea party at the Natural History Museum.

The tea party was held in honour of Dippy the Diplodocus, an enormous plaster-cast skeleton and one of the museum’s most famous exhibits.

Next year they’ll bid Dippy farewell, with the dinosaur set to go on a nationwide tour in January 2017.

And he’ll have one royal fan that will miss him terribly… Little Prince George!

Prince George loves T-Rex because it is “the noisiest and scariest” of the Jurassic creatures!

dinosaurs and volcanoes” and that T-Rex is his favourite because it is “the noisiest and scariest” of the Jurassic creatures, adding that he is currently studying them at school.

The museum’s director Sir Michael Dixon also revealed, “George is very keen on dinosaurs – apparently he would have loved to come today.”

“[Catherine] did remark on the fact that as her children get older she is going to have to mug up on the names of dinosaurs.”

While there’s no word on Charlotte’s favourite Jurassic creature, Kate did say that her little munchkin has become “extremely chatty” and “always wants to have a play date” with her big brother.

Little Charlotte adores spending time with her big brother!

This story originally appeared on Woman’s Day Australia

Get Woman’s Day home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 29% on a magazine subscription.

Related stories