Prince William rushed to help a man who fell over waiting to greet him and Princess Kate as the royal couple arrived at a school event in Harlow, Essex, this morning.
Jonathan Douglas-Hughes, the 77-year-old Vice Lord Lieutenant of Essex and the Queen’s representative in Essex, fell backwards on the pavement and was quickly helped up by the Duke of Cambridge. Douglas-Hughes appeared to be uninjured after the fall.
William and Kate visited Stewards Academy in Harlow, Essex, about an hour outside of London, to highlight the challenges young people face as they head back to school. William, 34, admitted it was “terrifying” to go back to school
“Catherine, Harry and I have decided that we can use our positions to make a difference on the subject of mental health,” Prince William told kids and teachers at the school, referring to his wife and younger brother. “It should not be a taboo subject in the year 2016.”
Before the school visit, William published a blog post on the website of Heads Together, the mental health awareness campaign he created with Harry and Kate, saying he hoped his own children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, feel support as well.
“Catherine and I have young children who will be going through this themselves in a short period of time,” he wrote. “And like all parents, we will want to make sure that our children are not just able to achieve their academic potential at a school but are also happy and emotionally supported.”
Prince George, 3, currently attends school around three days per week at Westacre Montessori near the family’s country home in Norfolk.
“The truth is, for many young people, the changing schools or starting a new academic year is really difficult to deal with … All of us who are adults remember how daunting it was,” Prince William wrote. “But we sometimes take it for granted that children will be able to cope with the change.”
Prince William and Kate spoke with students at Stewards Academy today about how perfectly normal it is to feel overwhelmed.
“Talking can make us realize that we’re not alone,” William told the students. “The opposite of talking is isolation and fear. Sometimes getting something off your chest is an important step in coping with a situation, so you know that you’re not alone. You’re not failing, and that it is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed or sad at times. Everybody does.”
For the meeting with the students, Kate dressed casually in a sky blue $2,500 Altuzarra Aimee dress.
William, Kate and Harry created the Heads Together campaign to promote a sense of acceptance and safety for children struggling with psychological issues and for those who are not to make sure all kids realize it is OK to ask for help.
“By encouraging children to talk and to get support we could stop these feelings developing into more serious problems that continue into adulthood,” William said. “We all need someone to turn to at some point in our lives, even if it’s an anonymous phone line or web chat service, or a friend, teacher or family member. Someone who we can trust.”
“That’s what Catherine, Harry and I are working towards,” he said. “We know it’s a big ambition, but we think it’s important.”
William said Heads Together has also published tips for parents on how to speak with their children.
“I should probably read it myself,” he joked.