Friday, 19 January 2018

The Duchess Gets Stuck in Rush Hour Traffic, a New Heads Together Programme & Vote for Kate's Best Evening Dress of 2017!

The dreaded rush hour traffic! With Prince George attending school at Thomas's Battersea, it is something William and Kate will be accustomed and resigned to at this stage. The Duchess was photographed at the wheel of a Range Rover on King's Road this afternoon, likely en route to collect George. Kate wore her hair up and was wrapped up in a dark jacket. There are a couple of additional photos available on the Mail Online.

It's shaping up to be Kate's busiest January yet with less than two weeks to go until the Cambridges' four-day tour of Sweden and Norway. Before that, Kensington Palace announced three engagements for Kate's Calendar next week. Kate will unveil the next phase of Heads Together on Tuesday, 23 January when she visits Roe Green Junior School. During a speech, Kate will launch a new mental health project for young children, in the latest initiative from the campaign spearheaded by the royal trio. 

Kensington Palace added:

'Building on the success of the Heads Together campaign, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are each driving forward a series of programmes to ensure people can get access to the right help, at the right place and at the right time.
For the Duchess of Cambridge, supporting young people was always at the heart of Heads Together, and is a key focus of Her Royal Highness's work at The Royal Foundation.
One in five children will experience a mental health difficulty at least once before the age of 11, and many adults with mental health issues can trace their symptoms back to childhood. In many cases, it is known that children can wait up to 10 years before effective diagnosis or treatment.
Coordinated and financed by the Royal Foundation, this project has been developed by the youth-focussed charity partners of Heads Together; the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Place2Be and Young Minds. NAHT, the school leaders’ association, has been engaged in developing the initiative with guidance from Centre for Mental Health.'

I'm looking forward to hearing the full details of the programme on Tuesday and to see the direction Heads Together will take for 2018.

On Wednesday, 24 January Kate has two engagements focused on perinatal services and maternal mental health - a key area of focus for her recently. Kate will visit the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute to receive a briefing on its work in perinatal research before meeting with senior academics conducting research in perinatal psychiatry. 

The Duchess will then visit the Mother and Baby Unit at Bethlem Royal Hospital, part of South London Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. The unit specialises in the treatment of antenatal and postnatal mental health illnesses including postnatal depression and post-partum psychosis. Kate will will have the chance to visit the unit's nursery area and meet with several patients who are currently undergoing treatment. The Duchess will also visit the video therapy room where she will be shown videos of mother-baby interactions used as therapeutic tool in the unit.


Best Evening Dress of 2017

Also tonight, we're asking you to vote for Kate's Best Evening Dress of 2017. There's a wide selection of options in the poll, from a flowing off-the-shoulder number to knee-length fit and flare styles.

First up, it's the shimmering Erdem Rhona Dress Kate wore for the UK-India Year of Culture Reception in February. The midi-length dress features a round neckline, long semi-sheer sleeves, pleated bodice, hidden back zip and is made in the UK. The fabric is a metallic lace in silver.

Kate was Paris chic in a bespoke black McQueen dress for a reception at the British Embassy in March.

In April, ahead of Pippa's wedding, William and Kate were photographed arriving at Pippa and James Matthews' Kensington home for dinner with the groom's parents David and Jane Matthews. Kate wore the Somerset by Alice Temperley Peony Off-the-Shoulder dress.

The Duchess attended the opening night of 42nd Street wearing the Marchesa Notte Embellished Tulle Dress. The garment is detailed with tactile lattice and rosette motifs. Partially lined to create a sweetheart neckline, the fit-and-flare design has flexible boning and a defined bead and crystal-embellished waist.

For a visit to the Natural History Museum, Kate chose the lovely Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Everly Dress.

The Duchess donned a decidedly edgy creation by Polish designer Gosia Baczynska for the couple's first evening in Warsaw. The black and white dress features a plunging neckline and leaf embellishment at the waist. It was seen as quite the departure from Kate's usual style; I'll be interested to see how it fares in the poll!

Lady in Red Kate opted for a red McQueen dress for the Queen's Birthday Party in Berlin. Cut from cotton and silk-blend chiffon with a crinkled finish, this vivid red dress is shirred along the off-the-shoulder neckline and waist. The cotton and silk-blend crinkled-chiffon maxi dress was a very fresh choice for Kate.

For a reception in the vintage mirrored hall of Clärchens Ballhaus, Kate selected the 'Wild Sparrow Dress' by German designer Markus Lupfer. Again, a different look for the Duchess which she pulled off with aplomb.

Kate marked World Mental Health Day in the Temperley London Eclipse Lace Collar Dress. The piece is made from corded lace and has black velvet trims and a pleated skirt spliced with cotton-voile panels. The piece is from the Autumn '17 collection; inspired by Elizabethan and Baroque portraits of ladies wearing high necklines and ruffles.

And for the Kensington Palace staff Christmas party and a festive showing of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House, the Duchess sported the Petal Print McQueen Dress. The $2,045 garment is described as an "oversized mini dress in 100% silk crepe de chine in an all-over petal print. Featuring soft gathering on shoulder, three-quarter length sleeve with ruffled cuff and an asymmetrical ruffle detail on the hem. Finished with keyhole button fastening at the back of the neck".

Kate's Best Evening Dress of 2017 free polls

The results of all the polls will be revealed in our 'Kate Fashion Awards' post later this month. I'm hoping to hold several more polls before then!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Tennis & Hugs: Sporty Kate's Engagement With Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative

Following her engagement with Great Ormond Street Hospital this morning, the Duchess of Cambridge carried out her second appearance of the day, visiting Bond Primary School in Mitcham to see the work of the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative (WJTI).

Pupils excitedly waved flags as the car arrived...

A very warm welcome for the Duchess.

The WJTI is the All England Club’s community tennis programme, promotes the benefits of physical activity for children and young people within the boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth. The AELTC coaching team visit approximately 65 local primary schools each year to offer a free session of tennis coaching, and since it began in 2001, the WJTI has introduced more than 195,000 local children to tennis through its visits. 5000 of these children have been invited to become members of the programme, and receive free weekly tennis coaching.

The programme aims to offer more children the opportunity to experience tennis, as well as showing how participation in sport can develop the life skills and values which tennis encourages, such as teamwork, discipline and fairness. The Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative also helps to equip teachers with the knowledge and skills to deliver exciting and productive school sports lessons, supporting pupils to live healthy and active lifestyles.

Although the pupils were supposed to greet Kate with a handshake, they couldn't resist a hug.

I just love these photos! Someday in the future when Kate is Queen and these children are all grown up, they'll look back on the day she came to their primary school.

The Duchess joined groups of children in the school hall as they took part in a range of tennis-related sessions, including activities to improve hand-eye coordination and footwork. Kate heard from the children and teachers about the impact of the programme, and met a number of the coaches involved in engaging children with tennis in the local community.

Next, it was time to get stuck into tennis exercises.


A video from Victoria Murphy.

The AELTC is a perfect patronage for Kate. She adores tennis and loves nothing more than getting into the swing of activities during visits to schools and workshops. George and Charlotte are said to be learning the game, I'm sure many an afternoon is spent enjoying a set or two with them :)

Kate revealed she's less sporty, now she has "lots of babies".

An example of the impact the initiative can have: Jenna Fontanilla was just five when the AELTC coaching team visited her school, St Teresa’s in Merton, and invited her to join the WJTI. Three years on, Jenna continues to take part in two hours of training a week and is fast-becoming a talented and skilful tennis player. Jenna’s parents say the WJTI has also helped her to overcome shyness, become more independent and able to work better individually at school. “The WJTI has had a clear impact on Jenna's life. It is so much more than a tennis master class," said Liza Fontanilla. "The support, constructive feedback and guidance that Jenna receives from the coaches have greatly improved her confidence. "You can clearly see this by comparing Jenna when she started school to the faster, stronger, more confident Jenna we see today.”

This has got to be a contender for one of the best royal videos ever :)

The Duchess was sporty in the Clarice Jacket by British tennis clothing brand PlayBrave (with thanks to Laura, Ashley and Sara for their work on the ID). The piece is described as "A premium quality track jacket, for active use in all kinds of conditions". It's currently reduced from £119 to £109.

Kate wore the Clarice Jacket in black last October for an engagement with the Lawn Tennis Association.

Kate wore her $345 slim-fit Monreal London Tuxedo pants. They have inbuilt shorts for lift, support and to add layer of opacity. Concealed pockets and side panels are flattering and leg-lengthening, while the elasticated waistband and invisible ankle zips add comfort. They’re made from high-flex luxury performance jersey and feature monochrome panels with a contrast neon yellow waistband.

Monreal London

Kate wore her Nike Women's Air Vapormax Flyknit Running Shoes. They are available in several colours at Nordstrom and Six02.

Kate accessorised with her Annoushka pearls and Kiki hoops from this morning.

If you're just joining us, click here to view our earlier post covering Kate's visit to Great Ormond Street Hospital. Kate, wearing the Boden Lena coat, officially opened the Mittal Children's Medical Centre, met families and patients and said a few words after the unveiling.

A very enjoyable day of events!

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