The Princess of Wales caused a stir in style in a red pantsuit as she launched the next leg of her campaign to highlight the crucial ‘early years’ of childhood.
She kicked off her new ‘Shaping Us’ initiative tonight – which will see an ambitious publicity blitz in cinemas and on billboards across the country – with a glitzy reception at the BAFTA in London.
It brought together newly appointed ‘champions’ from the worlds of music, science, sport, celebrities and academia, including presenter Rochelle Humes, England women’s football captain Leah Williamson and broadcaster Fearne Cotton.
Kate, 41, who was accompanied by her proud husband Prince William, looked effortlessly elegant in her Studio 54-inspired costume with flared trousers, sky-high heels and chandelier-style earrings.
The Princess of Wales (pictured) looked confident as she headed to the event at BAFTA this evening accompanied by her husband the Prince of Wales
Host Kate Silverton, the TV presenter who turned child therapist, praised the princess for her “ardent dedication” and advocacy for the issue.
Presenter Rochelle Humes revealed that she brought her daughter, Alaia, to the event “on a school night”.
‘There’s only one reason she’s here,’ she teased, looking at the princess, ‘and…it’s your hair. She has the most beautiful hair, mom!
In a speech, Kate explained why she thinks it’s as important to focus on children’s social and emotional needs as on their physical and cognitive needs, saying: “The campaign is fundamentally about highlighting the importance crucial role of early childhood and how it shapes the adults we become.
As well as being led by the princess (pictured), Shaping Us enjoys the support of many personalities from the worlds of media, music, science and sport.
“During this time, we are laying the foundations and building blocks of life. And that’s when we learn to understand ourselves, to understand others, and to understand the world in which we live.
“That’s why it’s critical not only to understand the unique importance of our early years, but also to know what we can all do to help raise future generations of happy, healthy adults.”
“Those involved in raising children today need the best information and support to help accomplish this mission – and this campaign aims to achieve that, too.”
“By building a supportive and nurturing world around children and those who care for them, we can make a huge difference for generations to come. Because fundamentally healthy and happy children shape a healthy and happy future.
Kate (pictured arriving at the event) explained why she thinks focusing on children’s social and emotional needs is as important as their physical and cognitive needs when giving a speech
The campaign, which the royal has described as her “life’s work”, aims to increase public understanding of the crucial importance of the first five years of a child’s life.
Run by the Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood, the campaign aims to “transform the issue from scientific interest to one of the most strategically important topics of our time”.
As well as being led by the Princess, Shaping Us enjoys the support of an array of high-profile figures from the worlds of media, music, science and sport.
Tonight’s event, which was hosted by Kate Silverton, featured short speeches from the Princess of Wales, Amanda Berry, Chief Executive of the Royal Foundation, and campaign champion Rochelle Humes.
The campaign kicked off with the release of a short film, highlighting how babies and children develop in response to their first experiences.
The screening was followed by a Q&A session between Eamon McCrory, Professor of Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology, University College London and Dr Guddi Singh, Pediatrician and Health Campaigner.
After the speeches, the Prince and Princess of Wales enjoyed an aperitif with campaign stakeholders, including members of the Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood advisory group and representatives from the early years sector.
The Princess spoke about the campaign in an open letter published in the Mail yesterday Sunday, in which she set out her plan to ‘shape us’.
She wrote the impassioned plea on her laptop as she prepared for the campaign launch, which begins with a week-long advertising blitz, including tonight’s event at BAFTA.
Kate gave an overview of the Shaping Us campaign – which a spokesperson described as “her life’s work” – with a short video on social media.
In the 50-second film, his hands are seen opening a photo album with a blank cover.
Inside, next to a photo of a grown man, she writes the question: “What shapes us? On other pages we see family photos, an ultrasound and a pregnant woman.
When Kate removes a photo of a little girl from the scrapbook, it reveals the words: ‘Our early childhood shapes the adults we become.’
It’s the start of what Kensington Palace hopes will be a huge multimedia push to raise awareness of how our early years shape our lives.
The campaign is a bold and more public direction for the Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood, which was established by the Princess, then Duchess of Cambridge, in June 2021.
Reports produced by the center have revealed that the first five years shape future well-being more than any other developmental stage, with our brains developing faster than at any other time. However, many people ignore this fact.
Today, the center offers its work to the general public. He also hopes to “break the cycle” for parents who themselves had difficult childhoods.
Palace aides say the idea for the project began even before Kate became a mother.
The Princess explains in today’s letter that ‘as a society we are currently devoting much more time and energy to the future life’.
“I’m absolutely determined that this long-term campaign is going to change that.”
Princess of Wales’ Shaping Us launch speech in full
Good evening. Thank you, Amanda and Lokki once again for this wonderful performance.
This week sees the launch of our new awareness campaign, Shaping Us.
The campaign essentially aims to highlight the crucial importance of early childhood and how it shapes the adults we become.
During this time, we lay the foundations and building blocks for life.
It is when we learn to understand ourselves, to understand others and to understand the world in which we live.
That’s why it’s essential not only to understand the unique importance of our early years, but also to know what we can all do to help raise future generations of happy, healthy adults.
Shaping us is a long-term campaign, and we begin by highlighting how we develop during infancy and why these years are so important in shaping who we become.
As the campaign progresses, we will explore in greater depth the importance of a child’s social and emotional world, the importance of relationships, and the impact of the environment and experiences a child is exposed to during those formative years.
Together they play a key role in shaping our future lives. Yet they rarely receive as much attention as our physical health and cognitive development.
And of course, by understanding our own childhood – what shaped our own beliefs, relationships, behaviors and feelings – we, as adults, are better placed to play our part in positively shaping future generations.
Those involved in raising children today need the best information and support to help accomplish this mission – and this campaign aims to achieve that too.
I want to say a huge and sincere thank you to so many of you in this room for your continued work in this area.
Thank you for the years of dedication and your unwavering determination to defend and improve the lives of the youngest members of our society.
And thank you also to many of you in this room tonight, for your personal support which has helped me develop my thinking and my work on this issue over the years.
As you all know, by creating a supportive and nurturing world around children and those who care for them, we can make a huge difference for generations to come.
Because fundamentally healthy and happy children shape a healthy and happy future.