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Princess Kate 'excited' as new update on major early years project is announced

The Princess of Wales launched her Business Taskforce in March 2023

Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
May 21, 2024
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The Princess of Wales is "excited" after being briefed on a new report by her Business Taskforce on early childhood.

Prioritising early childhood for a happier, healthier society has been produced by Deloitte on behalf of the Taskforce. It sets out how a greater focus on early childhood would create a happier and more productive workforce today, and transform the health and wellbeing of the UK economy and society for generations to come. 

HELLO! understands that Kate, 42, who is currently recovering from cancer treatment, has been kept fully updated about the Taskforce's work and has seen the report.

Christian Guy, Executive Director of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, said: "I know, having briefed The Princess on this, that she is enormously grateful to the members of the Taskforce who have made such fantastic progress on this work over the past year. 

"She feels passionately about the transformational impact of getting this right together, both for the current generation and for many more to come. I know that she is keen to encourage all businesses, no matter what their size or purpose, to join us on this journey and is looking forward to seeing momentum grow in the coming months."

The report details how investing in early childhood could generate at least £45.5 billion in value added for the national economy each year. It focuses on five areas in which businesses of all sizes can have the opportunity to make the greatest  impact for children under five, the adults around them, the economy and wider society.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, delivers a speech at the inaugural meeting of new Business Taskforce for Early Childhood at International HQ of Natwest and RBS© Getty
Kate speaking at the inaugural meeting of her Business Taskforce in March 2023

This includes building a culture that prioritises early childhood within businesses, communities and wider society, helping families facing the greatest challenges to access the basic support and essentials they need, offering parents and carers greater support and flexibility with their work, prioritising and nurturing social and emotional skills in young children and adults in their lives and increasing access to affordable childhood education and care.

Kate Middleton wearing cream blazer and top© Getty
Kate launched her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in 2021

Christian added of Kate: "She's excited by it. Shaping Us was about awareness but also for her, what's so important is action, so to have eight of the most significant businesses in Britain come forward and make the case to their fellow business leaders is vital. It's exciting for her and it's a priority going forward for our Centre's work. And when she launched it, she really challenged businesses to go beyond the usual thinking."

Kate Middleton smiles during speech at Shaping Us National Symposium © Getty
Kate delivered a keynote speech at the Shaping Us National Symposium last November

The Taskforce was established in March 2023 by The Princess of Wales to galvanise business action on early childhood. Since then, Taskforce members Aviva, The Co operative Group, Deloitte, Iceland Foods, IKEA UK and Ireland, The LEGO Group, NatWest Group and Unilever UK, have worked together to identify the scale of the opportunity and the role that business can play.

Kate Middleton wearing blue coat on Christmas Day© Getty
Kate, who last seen publicly on Christmas Day with the royals, has seen the report from her Business Taskforce

Writing in FT Weekend at the time, the mother-of-three said investing in early childhood is "a down payment for our collective future". The initiative followed the launch of the Princess's Shaping Us project in January 2023, described as her "life's work" and aimed at raising the profile of youngsters' early years development.

A Kensington Palace spokesman stressed the launch did not signal Kate "returning to work" and said "…early childhood is a huge priority for the Princess of Wales, and she has been kept fully up to date throughout the process and the development of the task force’s work and she has seen the report…"

Kate's health

The Princess of Wales announced in March that she is undergoing preventative chemotherapy following a cancer diagnosis, which was discovered in post-operative tests after she underwent abdominal surgery in January.

In the moving video message, Kate appealed for time, space and privacy as she continues her treatment.

The Princess of Wales© BBC Studios
The Princess delivered the announcement via a video message

She has not been seen publicly since the announcement, but the Prince of Wales shared during his trip to Cornwall earlier this month that his wife is "doing well".

Kate also took the official photographs of her children, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, to mark their respective eighth and fifth birthdays just a few weeks ago.

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Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

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