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British RoyalsCoronavirusThe Cambridges

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit east London school to support mental health initiatives


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have undertaken their first joint in-person engagement of 2021 , visiting School21 in east London in support of Mentally Healthy Schools.

During their visit, on March 11, William and Kate spoke with students who were outside playing. Kate was seen at a sandbox asking a little boy if he’d found any treasure while William helped a little girl build a wall at the construction area, telling people that he was just “doing what I was told.”

Kensington Palace noted in a press release that William and Kate’s visit coincided with the launch of Mentally Healthy Schools resources for secondary schools and FE colleges and that they spoke to teachers to hear about how the programme is helping them to place mental health at the forefront of their school’s curriculum.

“We’ve had some very positive feedback from parents,” Andrea Silvain, the deputy head of middle school at School21, told William and Kate about Mentally Healthy Schools. She told the royals that during the lockdowns, teachers and parents were closely linked in teaching the students and that families had appreciated the online resource.

“It’s a really useful tool,” William agreed.

Kate helped launch Mentally Healthy Schools three years ago for primary schools. The online programme provides access to hundreds of mental health resources for teachers and other staff to use in lesson plans, guidance sessions, or assemblies. Since its launch, the resources have been accessed over 1 million times.

The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, of which Kate is patron, has taken over the programme, which started as a legacy project of Heads Together in partnership with Place2Be and Young Minds.

The palace shared images of William and Kate’s visit, which also coincided with the reopening of schools earlier this week, with the message, “As schools reopen across the UK, we want to say a big thank you to all the teachers and pupils for the amazing work you’ve done as you reunite with one another in your classrooms.

“But returning to school won’t be easy for everyone, and for many, the last year will have taken its toll. No one should feel alone and that’s why from today all schools across the UK can get free expert information about mental health, courtesy of Mentally Healthy Schools.”

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.