Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Princes William and Harry joined forces to launch text service Shout in 2019, but it’s one of the many projects the Sussexes had to leave behind when they quit the royal family, The Duchess of Cambridge celebrated the incredible work of mental health service Shout, which she set up with husband Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan, with a solo visit to its headquarters to meet volunteers.
The text service for people struggling with their mental health was the Fab Four’s first major project together back in 2019, and something they were all extremely passionate about. However Kate’s visit yesterday showed just how much things have changed in recent years, and it would have been a very different occasion if Harry and Meghan hadn’t quit the royal family, a royal expert has claimed.
Royal biographer Robert Jobson tells The Mirror that even when they couples launched the service, there were already tensions brewing behind the scenes. 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.”
Despite the day highlighting the changes within The Firm, Robert, who attended the event, says Kate handled the engagement perfectly. 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.”