Princess of Wales delivers 'biggest speech ever' as blueprint for future work with Prince William emerges

Kate Middleton
Cameron Walker

By Cameron Walker

Published: 15/11/2023

- 13:36

Updated: 15/11/2023

- 13:41

Her Royal Highness was speaking at the start of her Shaping Us National Symposium

The Princess of Wales has delivered what has been dubbed “the biggest speech she has ever delivered” in a passionate address at an event, aiming to spark long-term change across the country.

Fresh from King Charles’ late-night birthday bash, and wearing a striking purple business suit, the future Queen revealed a new strength and confidence as she continued to carve out her role as Princess of Wales.

Princess Catherine said: "It isn’t enough…to simply wish for a better world. We must acknowledge and address the root cause of some of today’s toughest social challenges and work together to find better answers."

Her Royal Highness was speaking at the start of her Shaping Us National Symposium - a series of speeches, discussions, and workshops focused on her campaign to raise awareness about the importance of early childhood development.

Kate Middleton


She said: “When I have asked many individuals, whose lives have reached crisis point; in prison rehabilitation programmes, addiction recovery centres, or those affected by homelessness; what would make the biggest difference in preventing similar pathways for future generations, they often talk about providing; safety, belonging and love in early childhood.”

It is understood the Princess wanted today’s Symposium to help form the blueprint for her and Prince William’s future approach to support those most in need.

The Prince of Wales read an advanced copy of his wife’s landmark speech, which she secretly rehearsed at a Central London venue last night.

The Princess of Wales launched The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood to highlight how the first five years of children’s lives can dramatically influence their future prospects.

Kate Middleton


In January 2023, Her Royal Highness launched her “Shaping Us” campaign, bringing together different experts and influential figures, to help with that awareness.

The Princess delivered her speech at the start of the Shaping Us National Symposium, which is expected to help take her campaign to the next level.

It is about deciding “what skills we need to nurture children for a healthy adult life” and creating a “manifesto of social and emotional skills”, according to Christian Guy, Executive Director of the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.

Royal aides insist the Princess was not there to lobby policy.

Instead, Her Royal Highness wants this to be the start of a global conversation.

WATCH NOW: Princess of Wales gives "the biggest speech she has ever delivered".

The Royal Foundation has tasked experts from 21 countries around the world to agree on a common set of skills to aim for in early childhood, which can “help establish happy, healthy adult lives.”

After her speech, the Princess invited Lord Hague, former Conservative leader and current Chairman of Prince William and Catherine’s Royal Foundation, and former Labour Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to discuss how the issue of Early Childhood is critical and of global importance.


Kate Middleton


After joking about their experience of Prime Minister’s Questions two decades ago, the politicians got serious and united around, what they feel is, a need for a long-term plan to reduce the risk of social problems in adulthood.

Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, told the audience: “Even if you put in the best early childhood plan in the world, it is probably going to be 20 years before you can demonstrate its worth”.

“[Early Childhood Development] needs to be a national priority. It may be adjusted, it may be reformed, but it shouldn’t be abandoned…The children are the future.”

Today’s Shaping Us National Symposium has been described as a “key milestone” in Princess Catherine’s ‘Shaping Us’ campaign by Kensington Palace.

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