Aside from Sunday's church appearance at Crathie Kirk during the Cambridges' visit to the Queen and Prince Philip at Balmoral, it is the first time we've seen the Duchess publicly since she and William supported the America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth in late July. Today's engagement marks the beginning of a gradual return to public duties, with a number of events planned for autumn.
A smiling Kate received a warm welcome upon arrival from Michael Samuels, Chair of the Trustees.
Our knowledgeable reader Skippyboo quickly recognised Mr Samuels as Julia Samuels, husband. Julia is Prince George's godmother and was one of the late Princess Diana's closest friends.
Speaking to People ahead of the visit, CEO Professor Fonagy praised the Duchess:
'In bringing attention to child mental health she is doing one of the most important things she can do for this country, "Most of it starts in childhood. If she is going to lead the way, particularly in an area that is stigmatized, she couldn’t do better than bring attention to the needs of children and young people with mental health problems," Fonagy adds.
Anna Freud Centre is "delighted" to be hosting her, but Fonagy also hopes to learn from Kate. "She sees things in that job, that role that probably I will not see and draws my attention to things I would not normally think about. So I look forward to hearing from her," Fonagy adds. "We have a common language.'
The Palace said Kate's visit would enable her to "see how the charity is working to lead a step change in children's mental health care". An area the Duchess is passionate about, it is understood she will make a series of visits across the country during the remainder of the year to learn more about children's mental health issues.
At the Anna Freud Centre the focus is entirely placed on reducing the burden of mental health difficulties carried by children and young people, using neuroscience and social science research to pioneer new ways of working in the area, while placing the children and their families at the centre of their own care.
The centre's namesake Anna Freud (daughter of Sigmund Freud) who was one of the founders of child psychoanalyis and her work has profoundly influenced thinking in regard to child development. Among her achievements, she set up the the Hampstead War Nurseries in 1941 in response to the social and emotional upheaval faced by the children of wartime Europe. The Nurseries provided refuge for 100 children made homeless by bombing.
|Anna Freud Centre|
Kate visited the site the site of a planned centre of excellence near Kings Cross, which will bring together the best people and organisations in neuroscience, mental health and education to work with children and their families.
The total cost of the centre's completion project is £25 million, with the centre contributing almost £17 million of this; a further £5 million will need to be raised before they reach their goal. If you're interested in finding out more about the Anna Freud Centre or wish to donate please click here.
Below, a look at the proposed centre when completed.
|Anna Freud Centre|
Her Royal Highness then visited the centre's Family School, which provides alternative education for children with serious emotional and behavioural issues and their families.
The school brings together families facing similar issues and offers education alongside therapeutic support for both children and parents.
The Duchess had the opportunity to see and participate in a range of activities which are part of the usual Family School day, including the 'SmartGym' programme that combines technology and sports psychology. It aims to build resilience, develop emotional skills and improve academic performance in children with emotional and behavioural problems.
Kate met a boy named Capote who described her as "down to earth" and "cool, chill", you can view his interview here :)
Kate wore 3D glasses as she tested her concentration in an interactive games used by pupils at the centre.
Kate selected the chic Ralph Lauren Silk Austin Shirtdress for the days events. Described as "the quintessential shirtdress", the houndstooth-patterned silk style flares at the skirt for a flattering fit. It comes with a patent leather belt that accentuates the waist. The garment retails for $1595 on the Ralph Lauren website. It's also available at Neiman Marcus and FarFetch.
More details on the dress from the product description:
- Point collar. Concealed buttoned placket. Genuine mother-of-pearl buttons.
- Long sleeves with buttoned barrel cuffs.
- Belt loops. Patent leather belt at the waist.
- Lined at the flared skirt.
- Falls 24" from the natural waist. Shell and lining: 100% silk. Belt: 100% leather. Dry clean. Made in Italy.
The dress is from the brand's Black Label line.
Ashley Marie quickly noted the Duchess wore her Stuart Weizman 'Power' pumps in black suede. They are available in taupe and black patent at Nordstrom for $355.
Kate accessorised with her black suede Mulberry Bayswater clutch and Annoushka pearls.
And completed the look with her Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.
We saw Kate's much talked-about fringe properly today and having seen it in photos and videos I have to say I'm not a fan. One imagines it's quite difficult to manage and it doesn't fare very well in windy conditions. Of course, it's always important to try new things and freshen up one's look. Overall I thought Kate looked radiant, refreshed and happy. What is your take on Kate's look today?
You can view a video showing Kate's arrival at Sky News and watch a very good video from the engagement at ITN Source.
Kate waving goodbye as she made her departure with Rebecca Deacon.
It was wonderful to see Kate today, and I look forward to seeing Kate continue to support children's mental health in her royal role, as it's an area in desperate need of awareness and increased fundraising. Mental health accounts for 23% of the health burden in the UK and early intervention is key.
We have one other topic to share with you today. Yesterday Kensington Palace announced the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will be attending the world premiere of the latest James Bond movie Spectre on 26 October at the Royal Albert Hall.
Spectre will screen as the annual Royal Film Performance in aid of the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund. It promises to be a glittering evening with the movie's stars in attendance, including Mr 007 himself, Daniel Craig and co-stars Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci and Léa Seydoux. The royals will meet the cast and crew before watching the movie. We can expect to see the Duchess in a gown (and perhaps dazzling jewels) for the event. It should be a very exciting night indeed!
We'll see you tomorrow evening when William, Kate and Harry attend the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony in Twickenham. Televised coverage begins in the UK on ITV at 6.45 pm.