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Prince William and Kate apologise to schoolboy as they turn down his invite

The Prince and Princess of Wales are huge advocates of mental health

Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
10 October 2023
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The Prince and Princess of Wales had to sadly decline an invitation from a young schoolboy in the West Midlands to join him as a VIP guest at his school event. 

William and Kate, who are huge advocates of mental health and kicked off World Mental Health Day on an official visit to Birmingham on Tuesday, were invited to visit St Michael's Church of England High School in Rowley Regis by pupil Freddie Hadley. 

Freddie's letter addressed to Prince William was shared on the school's Twitter account and explained that a group of 11 to 14-year-old schoolboys, who form The Matrix Project, meet weekly to discuss the importance of mental health. 

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"We are contacting you in the hope that you will support our campaign #AmIManlyEnough? which aims to tackle the stigma that 'girls cry and boys get mad,'" Freddie wrote. "Through our work, we discovered that suicide is the biggest killer in young males and that won't change until people start the conversation. 

"Our passion for mental health has given us opportunities to organise and lead community events, present at national conferences, take part in radio interviews and even gain celebrity endorsement." 

Freddie went on to say that the Matrix Project would be holding a soft launch of their awareness campaign on Tuesday 10 October, as part of World Mental Health Day. "We would love you to join us as a VIP," he wrote, while also sharing details of what the morning would entail. 

Princess Kate encourages children to talk about their feelings:

The future King was clearly touched by the invite, as he personally tweeted a response to the school signing 'W' at the end of his post.

"Good afternoon Freddie, I'm so sorry Catherine and I can't be with you and the rest of the students at St Michael's today," William wrote. "Tackling mental health challenges and stigmas head on is so important, please keep up this important work. W." 

The Prince of Wales has been committed to supporting men's mental health and suicide prevention for years. 

Prince William meets workers during a visit to a construction site© Getty
Prince William meets workers during a visit to a construction site to mark World Suicide Prevention Day

Just last month, William marked World Suicide Prevention Day by visiting a construction site in west London to discuss the prevalence of suicide in the construction industry. Workers in construction are at some of the highest risk of suicide in the country, with rates in the industry over three times higher than the national average. 

The father-of-three spoke with construction workers who talked about their experiences and some of the challenges they and their colleagues have faced. 

Last year, William also spoke with suicide support charity James' Place at the unveiling of their new London location, and told the parents of a young man who took his own life: "We are not really tackling the problem as fast as we need to." 

In an impromptu speech during the unveiling of a plaque to mark the opening of the space, William said: "The one takeaway thing for me today particularly, is the idea that there is a solution, there's always a solution. I think that's the thing the team have impressed on me. 

"Despite anyone feeling like this is the last thing in the world they can do and taking their own life – is realising that there is a solution, I think that's really important. 

"I think men sometimes get so in the detail we forget about the bigger picture and being able to have that bit of support that can move them forward, and there is hope and a brighter future beyond that."

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