PRINCE WILLIAM was in stitches after being presented with an adorable gift for Princess Charlotte. The Duke of Cambridge was left amused after receiving a present for his children during an engagement on his second day in Scotland. Prince William, president of the Football Association and a keen fan of the sport, visited the Heart of Midlothian Football Club in Edinburgh.
During a meeting with the team’s Chief Executive Andrew McKinlay and Chair Ann Budge, he was presented with three Heart of Midlothian football shirts, each presenting the name of his children. Holding up a tiny shirt bearing Princess Charlotte’s name, the Duke was photographed laughing. The seven-year-old child has been spotted playing football in the past alongside her elder brother Prince George.
Earlier this week, royal commentator Jennie Bond claimed to OK! magazine that Charlotte is quite a keen football player. She said: “She’s not an overly girlie girl. She’s quite full-on – she’ll give her brother George a run for his money on the football pitch and she’s quite sporty in general, like her mother. “So I don’t know if it’s a conscious gender-neutral statement, but I think probably she’s just not a girl who would appreciate pink.”
Prince William headed to the football club to learn more about a programme called ‘The Changing Room’. Launched by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) in 2018, this initiative aims at promoting mental health and wellbeing among men in their middle years. It consists of a 12-week programme, which uses football to bring men together not just to speak about the sport but also to feel comfortable enough to open up about any struggle they may be experiencing.
The Changing Room project is now delivered to football clubs throughout Scotland. In 2020, the Duke of Cambridge spearheaded a similar initiative, HeadsUp, involving Premier League clubs with the aim to get people to talk about mental health as easily as they discuss football. William’s visit comes as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are undertaking engagements focused on mental wellbeing as part of their long-term effort to break the stigma surrounding it.
On Wednesday, May 11, they took part in activities organised by Action for Children, of which Kate is the patron, at St John’s Primary School in Port Glasgow, where children and parents can learn about emotional empathy. During their day in Glasgow the Cambridges also met people helped by the housing, care and property management group the Wheatley Group at one of the organisation’s sites in the Kennishead area of the city.
The Cambridges are marking Mental Health Awareness Week also by taking part in the Mental Health Minute, a minute-long message tackling mental health themes, on Friday, May 13. For the fifth year, the Duke and Duchess will take over more than 500 radio stations and reach some 200 million listeners to raise awareness of mental health. This year’s theme is loneliness, a topic which gained particular prominence during the coronavirus pandemic.
For the first time since they joined the initiative, Kate and William will be the only two people delivering the minute-long message. Mental wellbeing has been pivotal in the work carried out by the Cambridges over the past several years. Alongside Prince Harry, in 2016 they launched Heads Together, which fought to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health and make it easier for people to speak up about their issues.