Kate Middleton has always been a picture-perfect version of what it means to be a modern royal. She is always dressed perfectly, even while balancing her daughter on one arm and holding the hand of her young son. In fact, she looked perfect even as she came out of the hospital after giving birth to both her babies.
Despite her many humanitarian efforts and being captured in candid moments of interacting with her fans, she has somehow always seemed too perfect to be real. Recently though, she has been taking strides to opening up about her own problems, allowing women all over the UK to relate to her and if we wonder if her soon-to-be sister-in-law and American actress Meghan Markle has had any influence in the matter.
The 36-year-old, who has always been a soft figure that projects compassion and benevolence, spoke about her own experience with post-partum depression during one of her interviews last week. It is a rarity for the Royals to discuss mental health issues, but that is exactly what the soon-to-be mother-of-three did while highlighting the need for children’s mental health support.
Kate visited the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, where she learned about solutions to mental health problems, including the usage of online Avatars to help schizophrenic mothers. "They create their own avatar, and they turn to their avatar and say, ‘Stop pestering me,’ and the voices go away," Ian Everall, dean of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, told the Duchess of Cambridge.
The royal also learned from Carmine Pariante, who specializes in biological psychiatry, that "Children born from mothers who were depressed during pregnancy were two to three times more likely to become depressed themselves when they become adolescents." In the context of motherhood, Kate opened up about her own struggles as a new mother.
The Duchess of Cambridge, who is a mother to Prince George and Princess Charlotte, revealed in a speech that new mothers are expected to be happy and cheerful, but the fact the remains that "one in four of us aren't." "Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience," she said. "However, at times it has also been a huge challenge. Even for me who has support at home that most mothers do not."
Kate further added, "Nothing can really prepare you for the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together." She further spoke about a woman losing her fundamental identity and going from "thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost."
It is pretty amazing to watch a member of the royal family be open and raw about their innate emotions and fears about motherhood, which is reserved to be a photogenic event than a topic of discussion at a mental health panel. Here is why we think Meghan may deserve a little bit of the credit for this.
Meghan, whose mother is a therapist, has maintained a very open-minded attitude to mental health, often posting empowering messages about mental health on Instagram. She once posted, "In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act."
In April 2017, even Prince Harry revealed, for the first time, that he was very close to a "complete breakdown on numerous occasions" after his mother's death. Following the death of Princess Diana, who tragically died of a car crash in 1997, he understandably struggled quite a bit to come to terms with reality and was even on the verge of punching someone during the height of his mental health trauma.
He also spoke about shutting down all emotions for nearly 20 years after the event before receiving treatment, during his interview with The Telegraph's Mad World podcast, which came as a huge shock to the British public. However, the open nature of the Royals could now become a norm thanks to the addition of Meghan.
We can’t wait to see the two royal daughters-in-law get candid with the citizens about things that unite all of humanity. Kate seems to have already gotten started on the mission, by not only opening up about mental health but also by donating a generous and a sincerely personal gift to a children's charity.
She gifted her own beautiful long, brunette hair to children suffering from hair loss after cancer treatment. As a royal source points out, "It’s lovely to think somewhere a little girl is happily wearing a wig made from a real princess’s hair. It’s a very heartwarming thing for Kate to have done, and very thoughtful to use hair that would have otherwise just been thrown away."
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