Kate and William mark anniversary of crisis text line Shout without original co-founders Meghan and Harry

Prince William and Kate have marked the first anniversary of the crisis helpline they set up - without co-founders Prince Harry and Meghan.

The foursome set up Shout in May 2019, as a venture of the Royal Foundation, which included both couples at the time.

But a year later, the couples have not only got separate organisations, but Harry and Meghan are living some 6,000 miles away in Los Angeles, having stepped back as senior members of the Royal Family.

Shout is a text based service which is the UK’s first 24/7 crisis text line. It’s run by more than 1,800 trained volunteers who respond to people in crisis at any time of the day or night.

William, 37, and Kate, 38, called five Crisis Volunteers and the organisation’s chief executive, Victoria Hornby to see how things had changed over the last 12 months, particularly in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The pair asked if they had seen a difference since lockdown, and if the service was reaching enough people.

The Duke and Duchess have marked the first year of Shout. (Kensington Palace)
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge during the first Royal Foundation Forum in 2018. (PA Images)

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Alexis Caught, one of the volunteers, said: “The unique support that Shout is able to provide to people in crisis is crucial at all times, but now more than ever it can serve as a lifeline to those most in need - whatever they're going through, big or small.

“Without the hundreds of volunteers who give up their time to provide help and reassurance to others, the service simply wouldn’t be able to function. That is why it was so great to hear The Duke and Duchess speak so positively not only about Shout’s work but also encouraging people to get support with their mental health. 

“We want to send a very clear message to anyone who is looking for someone to reach out to – we are here to listen to you anytime, anywhere about any problem.”

On Saturday, Caught, 30, will take over the KensingtonRoyal Instagram account, with question and answer sessions and videos from other volunteers. It’s the first time the royal account has partnered with anyone in this way.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared to make their call at a similar time to Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, called Shout’s sister organisation in the US.

The duke and duchess speaking to volunteers from the service. (Kensington Palace)

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A picture emerged online on Thursday evening of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on a zoom call with staff from Crisis Text Line, which is partnered with the organisation running Shout.

The staff member who shared the image captioned it: “It's not everyday that Meghan and Harry jump into your staff meeting & champion the work you do!

"Blessed to still be working during these crazy times!" 

However he then made his social media profiles private.

Harry and Meghan promised they would maintain a commitment with William and Kate to Shout when they split from the same royal household in June 2019.

All four of them voiced a film called Every Mind Matters in October, part of a mental health campaign with Public Health England and the NHS.

The couples were dubbed the Fab Four in the early stages of their partnership. (Getty Images)

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At the end of the call with volunteers, the duke said: “You guys are the trailblazers, you have been doing a fantastic job keeping Shout moving forward, so well done and thank you for all your hard work; we really appreciate it.”

Shout has had more than 300,000 text conversations with people in need of mental health support since its launch. Of those, 65% of conversations were with people under the age of 25, the service said.

Ms Hornby, who also joined the call said: “In twelve months Shout has become a vital service for thousands of people across the UK who are able to text our volunteers for support, wherever and whenever they need it.

“The fact that Shout has been able to quickly start to help so many people move from a crisis point to a calmer place is down to the skill and dedication of our volunteers and the support we have had from the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and our other partners.

“We have seen during the COVID-19 lockdown how young people find it incredibly useful to have a neutral person to listen confidentially to their worries and give independent support, we now want even more people to text 85258, whatever their crisis.”

The two couples were part of the same household until June 2019. (WireImage)

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Earlier this week, William wrote a letter to the organisation behind The Diana Award, named after his mother, to tell them he and his brother were proud of the work they do.

William wrote: “My brother and I remain ever appreciative of the work you do to foster, develop and support young people, particularly at this time of uncertainty.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have committed themselves to projects linked to supporting good mental health across the UK, particularly for those who are key workers during the pandemic.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have not been able to launch their new organisation, which will be called Archewell, because of the pandemic.