The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will show their support for runners at the London Marathon come race day, by standing along the route and cheering on participants. It will mark a first for the Duchess of Cambridge, who has never watched the marathon in public in her capacity as a royal. Harry, who is Patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, regularly attends the sporting event to hand out medals to the winners.
William, Kate and Harry's mental health campaign Heads Together has been named this year's charity of the year for the marathon. The royals are hoping that 2017's event will be recognized as 'the mental health marathon' that gets the country talking about the issue. Harry has recorded a special video message for all 39,000 Virgin Money London Marathon runners, letting them know that they will be given a special Heads Together headband which they can wear on race day to be part of the national movement to end the stigma around mental health.
"You've been training for months and the start line for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon is finally within sight," said Harry. "I'm sure it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. William, Catherine and I will be there to cheer you all on. We want to use this moment to help end the stigma that stops people talking and change the conversation about mental health for good. You can make it the mental health marathon.
"We know that many of you will be running for some incredible charities because you have been directly affected by life-changing issues. You'll recognise the emotional impact these can have, and how talking about it openly can help. We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. You can all play your part in the biggest ever movement for mental health. Whatever cause you are running for, wear your vest with pride, and please wear your Heads Together headband too. Together we'll get the whole country talking about mental health. Good luck and see you at the finish line."
In the lead-up to race day, William, Kate and Harry will attend various events related to the marathon. On Wednesday 19 April, Prince George and Princess Charlotte's mum will host Team Heads Together runners at Kensington Palace.