Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, have attended their first official royal engagement together since the duchess returned to royal duties last week after six months of maternity leave. The couple chose a worthy cause to invest their time in: The inaugural Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit.
According to People, the event is being co-hosted by the British government and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), with the purpose of helping countries understand how best to deal with mental health concerns. The meeting sought to “unite politics, academics, and health policy-makers.”
The duke and duchess have been heavily involved in mental health discussions, and launched their own campaign on the issue, Heads Together, along with Prince Harry. Last month, William also launched another campaign of his own, Mental Health At Work, and spoke about the traumatic effect his job as an air ambulance pilot has had on his life. Just last week, when Catherine attended her first engagement after her maternity leave, she spoke about the importance of outdoor play for young children in giving them a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Now they are taking their fight to abolish the stigma surrounding mental health onto a world stage.
The #GlobalMHSummit is hosting a showcase of different mental health organisations, such as @TTCGlobal_ where The Duke and Duchess met global anti-stigma champions Victor, Samuel and Sanchana. pic.twitter.com/QzoGWcMZGF— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 9, 2018
At the event, which was hosted at County Hall, the couple watched two presentations from active mental health programs in the U.S. and in Slovenia, in which case studies were presented. They also interacted with Colombian artist Dairo Vargas, who was creating an artwork with the intention of capturing the gravity of the summit. He invited both the duke and duchess to add strokes of their own to the piece, which William joked was “how you probably ruin a picture.”
While his wife graciously added her dollop of paint, William seemed far less certain of himself when handed the brush.
Watch: Kate & William join Columbian artist Dario Vargas, who’s painting an artwork inspired by the #GlobalMHSummit, and add a little of their own brushwork @people #royal #princesskate #katemiddleton #princewilliam pic.twitter.com/MnsNv2Fxwm— Simon Perry (@SPerryPeoplemag) October 9, 2018
William and Catherine also saw a “friendship bench,” which is part of an initiative in Zimbabwe that seeks to teach elderly women the “skills to become city lay health workers.” Another exhibition afforded them the opportunity to meet with representatives from a myriad of different mental health care initiatives.
For the occasion, the duchess chose to recycle her lilac Emilia Wickstead dress that she wore in 2017 when she took a family trip to Germany. The long-sleeved dress features a high neckline and a knee-length skirt. She accessorized with a pair of drop earrings and a matching pendant necklace, and wore her signature pointed nude pumps.