Looking radiant in a light blue Temperley London lace outfit, Kate Middleton made her first public appearance Tuesday since announcing her third pregnancy early last month.
The expecting Duchess, together with husband Prince William and brother-in-law Prince Harry, hosted the Heads Together Mental Health Charity reception at Buckingham Palace to mark the World Mental Health Day 2017.
Before this, Kate was last seen in public on August 30 at the White Gardens to honor the 20th death anniversary of mother-in-law Lady Diana, who died in a horrific car crash in Paris in August 1997.
The reason for her prolonged absence from the public eye has been attributed to Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a type of severe morning sickness that the Duchess of Cambridge suffers from. In fact, the condition has been so severe over the past month that it even caused her to miss an important event like her son Prince George‘s first day of school.
“The Duchess’ condition is improving but she’s still suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum,” a royal aide said. “She’s delighted to be here tonight.”
The Duchess and the Prince brothers are reported to have entered the august gathering by way of a concealed door in the palace’s white drawing room to welcome guests, including former UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, model Adwoa Aboah, and Mind president and comic Stephen Fry as well as representatives from the mental health sector.
A Writer and an avid mental health campaigner, Stephen Fry addressed the gathering in a short speech commending the young royal trio’s attitude towards mental health, calling Heads Together an “incredible achievement.”
“I do understand she’s been having this problem more severely than many pregnant mothers,” Fry said about Middleton’s morning sickness, “and so we’re very grateful [she’s here].”
Speaking at an earlier reception at St. James’ Palace, Prince William praised his wife for having been the motivating force behind Heads Together and that they were “proud to have played a part in this.”
“It was Catherine who first realized that all three of us were working on mental health in our individual areas of focus,” the older Prince said. “She had seen that at the core of adult issues like addiction and family breakdown, unresolved childhood mental health issues were often part of the problem.”
The younger Prince was also “incredibly grateful” to all those who supported Heads Together adding that there was still work to be done.
“All of you contributed to the first truly national conversation on mental health,” he said. “All of you helped change the language around this issue, shifting away from fear and shame, to a more open and optimistic sense about what we can achieve when we simply start talking. All of you showed what is possible when we get our Heads Together.”
The three royals are extremely passionate about their pet project and have been active crusaders against the stigma attached to mental health issues. They have been campaigning hard for Heads Together the entire year.
Their royal efforts include an animated film created by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families that focuses on the subject; handing out headbands at the Royal Marathon; and featuring in a video where the three have a personal discussion about mental health, in addition to many other initiatives Kate, William and Harry have taken to forward the cause of Heads Together.