Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, kicked off a new challenge associated with her Shaping Us campaign on Feb. 4 when she shared the ultimate throwback photo to The Royal Foundation Centre For Early Childhood’s Instagram page. The photo features a baby Kate reaching out to touch her father Michael Middleton’s face.
In the photo, tiny Kate is wearing an adorable white outfit trimmed in lace and dotted with what appears to be small yellow flowers, proving she was a style icon right from the start. Meanwhile, her father, Michael, can be seen grinning at his young daughter as she reaches for his face with her little hands. The sweet picture was taken by the princess’s mother, Carole Middleton.
“‘Faces are a baby’s best toy,” Kate captioned the photo before sharing more details about #ShapingUs. “On Tuesday we launched #ShapingUs to raise awareness of the vital role our early years play in shaping the rest of our lives. This weekend, we’d love for you all to spend time with your friends, families, colleagues and communities talking about your early childhoods and how they’ve shaped your lives. I hope you’ll also consider joining me in sharing a picture of yourselves before your fifth birthday to help with those conversations and to share some smiles and memories too.”
Kate created The Royal Foundation Centre For Early Childhood in 2021 as a part of the Royal Foundation, through which she and her husband, Prince William, do much of their charity work. For the Princess of Wales, The Royal Foundation Centre For Early Childhood allows her to focus on the early years of a child’s life, which can be the key to setting them up for lives as happy and healthy adults.
The princess shared more details about the center’s mission in a video she posted to launch the new Instagram. “Our early childhood, the time from pregnancy to the age of five, fundamentally shapes the rest of our lives,” she said. “But as a society, we currently spend much more of our time and energy on later life. Today, the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood is launching a new campaign, Shaping Us, to raise awareness of the life-changing impact we can have when we build a supportive, nurturing world around children and those who care for them.”
In 2015, Kate spoke at the Head Teacher School Conference in London, where she gave a speech revealing why she’s passionate about advocating for the mental health of children. “I often get asked why I decided to spend time highlighting the mental health of children,” said Kate. “My answer might be similar to many of yours.”
“I was lucky,” she said. “My parents and teachers provided me with a wonderful and secure childhood where I always knew I was loved, valued and listened to. But of course many children are not so lucky. Since beginning my work in areas like addiction, for example, I have seen time and time again that the roots of poor mental health in adulthood are almost always present in unresolved childhood challenges.”