Kate Middleton’s visit to mental health service Shout, which she established with husband Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, shed light as to how things have changed over the years.
Royal biographer Robert Jobson told The Mirror that tensions between the two couples were already brewing before the launch of the mental health text service. He explains: “It was one the first mental health initiatives that the so-called royal “Fab Four” championed together.
“Long before the anyone knew that there were tensions between them, the two couples – William and Kate and Harry and Meghan – backed the 24/7 text messaging mental action group, Shout, with £3 million hard cash from their then joint Foundation. “But those close to the royals knew that discontent it was simmering below the surface.
“Back in November 2018 Meghan and Harry made a surprise visit to meet a group of Shout’s trained volunteers – offering a free, anonymous service connects people experiencing a ‘tough moment’. “Together the four of them invested £3 million from their then joint Foundation to launch it.
“A lot has happened since then, much of it irreparable. “Meghan and Harry accused the Royal Family of harbouring a racist, but chose not to identify them, Meghan, in the same Oprah Winfrey interview Stated being a working royal had made her feel suicidal tour.”
However, Kate’s visit made it apparent that she and Prince William were now taking care of the service. He said: “When Kate turned up at Shout’s Notting Hill office on Wednesday to mark their millionth text, she was relaxed and very well informed.
“She put everyone she met at ease, asked all the right questions, talked about difficult issues such as people struggling with family relationships, and depression and suicide, without turning the entire visit gloomy. “She seemed genuinely surprised when Mark Ungless, 49, a digital analyst, told her that 8 per cent of the texters with suicidal thoughts came from children as young as 13 or younger between 10pm and midnight.
“He explained that 35 per of suicidal texters under 18s and most of the contacts coming between 10pm and midnight. “The fact that Shout is available 24/7 was crucial Kate noted, because it gave young people in particular a chance to reach out anonymously and were provided with instant support.
“When she met volunteers, the duchess was warm and encouraging. She has easy, natural style, but was clearly well-read and well-briefed too on the success of the initiative, now supported by William and Kate’s foundation, not by the Californian-based “H” and Duchess Meg.
“‘I’ll have to become a volunteer’, she joked, knowing that her hard work and influence and money had made it possible for this essential free service to continue. “If could have been a ‘Fab Four’ day out if things had been different – but that ship has long sailed.”