Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Duchess Kate Shares Item That Makes Her Happy During Children's Mental Health Week Visits

In support of Children's Mental Health Week, the Duchess of Cambridge visited two primary schools in London to find out more about the support offered to students, teachers and parents to help with mental wellbeing.


Kate's first port of call was Lavender Primary School in support of her patronage Place2Be. The charity is a leading UK children's mental health charity providing in-school support and expert training to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, teachers and school staff. Place2Be works directly with more than 282 primary and secondary schools across England, Scotland and Wales.


Kate was greeted by a very excited group of singing children.


Kate met Herbie the school dog.


They hit it off very well :)


The Duchess watched students participate in 'The Daily Mile'. For fifteen minutes every day students run or jog at their own pace. Teachers have found it not only improves their fitness, it also benefits their concentration in class.


Kensington Palace said: "One of the Duchess’s key areas of work is child mental health and the importance of support to provide young people with in-school mental health services at the earliest stage possible, to tackle problems before they can escalate."


Last September, it was revealed Kate had convened a steering group in preparation for a project which will support children and enable them to reach their full potential. A royal source told reporter Rebecca English it will be a "lifelong project". During the inaugural Royal Foundation Forum last February, Kate spoke about the "long-lasting resonance" the work of the Foundation should have and discussed plans for the future. "Since our roles are lifetime roles, our commitment to the work we do through the Foundation is genuinely long term. The work we do can and should have a long-lasting resonance. For this reason we're able to support causes we're passionate about for decades into the future. Like the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales we feel strongly we have to take a long-term view that is measured in generations." We expect to see the launch of the initiative at some point this month.


Simon Perry reports:

'Kate has put mental health at the forefront of her public work and recently set up a steering group of academics and experts to help advise her on the best ways forward in tackling the problem.
Her younger brother, James Middleton, recently spoke out about his own battle with depression, revealing: “I know I’m richly blessed and live a privileged life. But it did not make me immune to depression. It is tricky to describe the condition. It is not merely sadness. It is an illness, a cancer of the mind.”
James said he felt compelled to follow the lead of his sister Kate, brother-in-law Prince William and Prince Harry, who have been strong advocates for mental health.
“They believe we can only tackle the stigma associated with mental illness if we have the courage to change the national conversation, to expel its negative associations.”

Place2Be launched the first ever Children’s Mental Health Week in 2015 to shine a spotlight on the importance of children's mental health. Now in its fifth year, they hope to encourage more people than ever to get involved and spread awareness. It's been terrific to see the growth each year and the important themes chosen.


The theme of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is ‘Healthy: Inside and Out’, focusing on the connection between physical and mental health.


More from Place2Be:

"When we think about healthy living, we tend to focus on looking after our bodies – our physical wellbeing – through food, being active and getting enough sleep. However, in order to be healthy overall, it’s important that we look after our minds – our mental wellbeing – too. Our bodies and minds are actually very closely linked, so things that we do to improve our physical wellbeing can help our mental wellbeing as well.
When we take steps to be Healthy: Inside and Out, it helps us to feel better in ourselves, focus on what we want to do and deal with difficult times. We know from our work in schools that children in every class have diagnosable mental health conditions and many more struggle with challenges from bullying to bereavement. Whether you’re someone who works with children, a parent or carer, passionate about spreading the word, or keen to raise vital funds for Place2Be you can get involved and help us reach as many people as possible."

Research by Place2Be found 56% of children said they worry "all the time", while 33% get less than the recommended nine hours of sleep every night. The charity found these children are likely to struggle with their worries more.

The charity has been sharing clips and photos from primary schools all over the country displaying their efforts to mark the week. Christ Church primary decided a warm welcome when you arrive at school is the best way to start the day. Students choose a hug, handshake, high-five or fist pump. What a lovely way to connect! Do watch the video below, I promise it will put a smile on your face.



The Duchess was asked to bring something that made her feel good. The Mail Online reports Kate told the youngsters: "I’ve got something. It’s not very big. Do you want to see it? This is a photograph of my family. These are my children and this is my husband. And my family makes me feel happy. And we like playing outside together and spending lots of time together as a family. And that makes me feel very happy."


William and Kate chose the Autumnal photo for their Christmas card. The image was taken at their country home Anmer Hall by Matt Porteous, it was one of the most candid family shots we've seen of the Cambridges. I thought it their best Christmas card selection thus far; it offered a glimpse into their "off duty" life in Norfolk. 


More from The Telegraph:

'After being greeted by singing children in the playground and dignitaries, where she was also given a posy, she joined Charlotte Monk, a Year 2 teacher, for her ‘Show and Tell’ class, listening to the youngsters talk about objects they had brought in and how they made them feel, from swimming goggles to football stickers. 
Shannon showed her an orange ball and told her: "When I feel stressed at home I take it out and makes me feel a bit happier." "Did you find the ball by yourself or did someone give it to you?" asked Kate.'

The Duchess joined Year 6 pupils for a food diary, which explored the link between food choices and emotions. 


More from the Mail:

‘It’s interesting how food and energy and how you feel work together,’ said Kate, smiling at the children. ‘It’s amazing the connection between physical and mental wellbeing.’
 She also told them them that her three-year-old daughter already enjoyed eating olives. ‘Charlotte loves olives,’ she said, and told the youngsters how she frequently got her children to cook with her - including their favourite ‘cheesy pasta’.
She then moved into a final room to chat to a group of parents about issues affecting them and their children. ‘I’ve just been learning about healthy eating. There’s a very brave teacher who has laid out her weekly menu next door for the children to criticise,’ she told them.'

Kate heard stories from others parents about challenges they faced and how they are keeping their children healthy.


Kate received a posy of flowers from a little boy.


Kate said goodbye to the pupils.


The video below offers a nice roundup of the visit.


From there, Kate visited Alperton Community School to meet the UK’s first winner of the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, Andria Zafirakou.



Zafirakou has spent her 12-year career at Alperton Community secondary school in Brent, teaching some of the most disadvantaged, ethnically diverse children in the country. She suspects most of us couldn’t “have a clue” about the depth of deprivation she sees in her classroom every day. “This is what deprivation looks like. Deprivation is when you have got six or seven separate families living in one house, sleeping one family to a room, sharing one bathroom and rotating the use of the kitchen. I had a girl who was truanting in my class, so I investigated and found it was because she had to go home during the middle of my lesson and cook for her family because that was their slot on the rota.” Children routinely arrive at school hungry and dirty – “I’ve put clothes in the washing machine for the kids, and we provide a free breakfast to every child” – while gang violence haunts the school gates.
These are the very conditions that put so many people off teaching, but when I ask if she wouldn’t rather teach orderly, motivated pupils, she looks amused. “Bor-ing! No, I love trying to figure out: how can I get in to that child? How can I get them to trust me and how can I help them? Trying to figure out, right, OK, that didn’t work, what do I need to try now? I love that.”
“How will those children deal with the mental health issues that they’re going to get from that system? It’s like a conveyor belt of stress,” she challenges. “How are those children going to be able to nourish themselves, and find ways of letting their anxieties out, or just being happy, being creative – socialising and building skills of resilience or perseverance?” 

Kate heard how the school is using art to improve children's confidence.


The Duchess joined a roundtable discussion with teachers about students’ school readiness and teacher welfare. 


Kate joined students taking part in the Random Acts of Kindness Club, which is an extra-curricular club focusing on the wellbeing of the school community.


More from People:

'The Duchess of Cambridge then joined the school’s “Random Acts of Kindness” club, which sees pupils writing inspirational messages to send to staff and prefects to boost morale.
“So much time and effort and energy goes into making these, it must be so appreciated by those who receive them,” she remarked.
“Does it make you happy by making them happy? Does it make you feel good?” she asked. “It goes a long way to making you feel good about yourself.”       

The video below includes a clip of Kate looking at art created by students. She turns to them and jokes "This is what you can do when you don't use social media."


If you would like to support Children's Mental Health Week, donate to Place2Be or find out more please click here.


The Duchess chose a bespoke bright green Eponine London dress for the day. 


A closer look at the fabric and pocket detail.


Kate's piece appears to be a custom version of the Spring/Summer 2018 style shown below in neon pink. It features a round neckline, the classic Eponine retro silhouette and a thick boucle wool fabric.



Kate debuted a new pair of boots - the L.K. Bennett Marissa style. The £295 boots are described as a "classic style featuring four eyelet lacing, an almond shape toe and a high block heel. Marissa is the perfect boot for dressing up the simplest of winter looks." With thanks to Alexandra for the swift ID.


The Duchess accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Lauren earrings.

And carried her black suede Mulberry clutch.


In other news, we have not one but two evening gown events coming up over the next eight days:

Sunday, 10 February - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall. The Duke, President of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), and the Duchess will meet BAFTA representatives and watch the ceremony. William will also present the Fellowship award.
Wednesday, 13 February - The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of 100 Women in Finance's Philanthropic Initiatives, will attend a gala dinner in aid of ‘Mentally Healthy Schools’ at the V&A Museum. Kate will attend a private reception before making a short speech ahead of the dinner. Launched by the Duchess at the beginning of 2018, ‘Mentally Healthy Schools’ is one of the legacy programmes from the Heads Together campaign, which aims to help people of all ages start conversations about their mental health. 

The Palace also announced Kate will attend The Royal Foundation’s ‘Mental Health in Education’ conference on Wednesday 13th February. The conference brings together delegates from health and education to discuss what more can be done to tackle mental health issues in schools in support of both pupils and staff.

152 comments:

  1. I love this look!! 😍

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    1. I think it looks wonderful and appropriate for her age-very cute. Love the boots!

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  2. Zora from Prague5 February 2019 at 12:35

    Kate is so pretty! I really like her boots which are rather unusual for her. Looking forward to the full post!

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    1. Agreed. The boots are different for her. I LOVE this look. Spot on with dress and boots. Love love love the boots.

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  3. Superb! Love it.

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  4. First words when I saw this: oh, another green coat. This is more a very thick dress I suppose. Not wild about this look- it’s a little off-brand for her, but maybe she was feeling out of the box today. The shoes are a bit clunky for me. From the neck up she looks lovely though (don’t get me wrong, she is appropriate, tailored, polished) and love the family pic.

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  5. Wow wow and triple wow!!!! What a fun, striking modern look for the Duchess of Cambridge! Perfect for the day. She really lights up around children. Just beautiful.

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    1. Ditto! I'd love to see more video. Is she really laughing & smiling so much? She seems like such a pleasant person. I need to do that more:)
      PS Love those boots! & dress. Something I'd actually wear.

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    2. I think it is a very modern and cute look. I like the clunky boots as a bit of a change for her. I wish I owned those boots!

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  6. Wonderful! She looks modern and powerful. I feel a lot of positive energy. The green colour and these shoes and tights give her a fantastic look - not only for the future generation, also for me :) - I love it!
    Anne

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  7. I LOVE these boots. I LOVE the dress. I LOVE black tights with boots and a dress in winter. I just don't love these particular boots with this dress.

    That said, it is a bit of a departure for her and I appreciate the "risk." That color green is hard to pull off and she looks nice in it.

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    1. Same! I love them both just not together. Those boots are better suited for cargo pants or skinny jeans.

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  8. Oh nooo, I dislike the boots. But everything else is nice.

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  9. Hmm i love the duchess of Cambridge outfits its looks so warm and i love she brings a picture of her family hmm she loves kids and i love she mother figure to their. Kids looking forward to the rest post

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  10. Sarah from Calif.5 February 2019 at 13:22

    Ohhh love this look! So bright and cheery!

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    1. I love this color on her. Bright and cheerful-perfect meeting young children.

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  11. I'm a fan of everything except the boots. They are ugly and clunky and wouldn't look good with another outfit either.

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    1. The boots are a bit edgier for her-and that's why I like them

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  12. I love the dress but hate the boots. She does look like she has a lot of positive energy, as Anon 12:55 said

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  13. Except of the chunky boots I really love it.

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  14. Great detail on the pocket. Kate is so beautiful!

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    1. oh, those pockets are so interesting, aren't they? can't tell if they're working pockets or just look like pockets, but they're an interesting twist.
      hope at least SHE gets pockets that work

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  15. Green is definitely her color, and the boots are the perfect finishing touch! Regal, polished, perfection!!!

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  16. LOVE the tights and dress. And her hair looks amazing. Not sure about the boots, but I can see what she was going for.

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  17. Love the entire look, from head to toe. The boots are fab! There are few people who can pull off a green like this but she does it with style every time.

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    1. Rebecca - Sweden5 February 2019 at 15:24

      The green really looks great on her!

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    2. I am with you. It’s a great look from top to toe. The dress is modern and simple yet elegant. This time the boot look goes with the heavy opaque black tights. It is perfectly put together and altogether NOT frumpy or overly conservative. I think she nailed it. 100% thumbs up.

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  18. I really hate this dress and I don't like the color (she has a green dress with a long zipper in this color that I also don't like), BUT it probably is a perfect choice for the visit. It is bright and a happy color. It is a simple dress (although the pockets look like cat eyes to me). My prejudice is probably because of the color; if I envision the outfit in coral or white or navy, I like it much better. But I definitely appreciate the reason for the visit. I find her focus on mental health to be much clearer and definitely sincere now that we know about her brother's struggles. I imagine a lot of children will end up being helped.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. Rhonda - Wisconsin5 February 2019 at 14:08

    I LOVE everything about this look, the event and what makes her happy! I've always loved her in Green and when I first got a glimpse, I thought that maybe it was a long sweater and leggings, but I love the dress. This is something that I could copy and wear comfortably. Love, love, love!!!

    I'm also loving the events of recent and her platform of mental well being beginning in childhood. This whole Heads Together that William, Kate and Harry started is such a huge thing - especially focusing on mental well being. There is so much more needed - not only in the UK. I really wish that more people would advocate for these things in the U.S.

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  20. Great events at schools that look to be working for the kids! And a little boy gave her flowers instead of a little girl, nice change. I think the clothes look great and I even like the boots with dress and I hate short boots. I thought everyone who complains about her routine shoes would like the boots, too, but I guess not! The video of kids picking the greeting they want is wonderful (seen elsewhere).

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    1. That is one of the idiosyncrasies of royal dressing. Certain things always work - but if you stick to them you are considered “boring”, but most people like it. If you try something different it’s not boring but the same people who called you boring will now be complaining that they don’t like it. You just can’t win.
      Personally I don’t really lile the boots, but I do like the change and I think it makes the look more appropriate for a school visit than her regular pumps.

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    2. I agree, she is trying to break away from her usual coat dress and shoes. I think it works and I love the boots, they add to the outfit . She is still so young and should be experimenting with her fashion. She can really wear anything with her height and slim build so within the constraints of her role, I love to see her try new styles. Sinead

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  21. Catherine looks fantastic. Her sense of style is perfect!

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    1. She looks great. Not too fussy.

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  22. I love the look. With others I think this is a hard green to wear but the black tights and boots I think really help and agree it is a great color for the day and visit. She looks wonderful. I love the boots on their own and with this dress.

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  23. That colour is a bit eye-watering but I'm so glad she's finally wearing booties instead of black pumps!

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  24. this is the coolest look HRH has had in a while. Love it.

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  25. I LOVE this look. Not because it's necessarily the most flattering, but because this is a very appropriate outfit to visit a school. In fact I'm a schoolteacher myself and this is the sort of thing I often wear to school -- sweater dress, black tights, chunky boots. I've been critical about Kate's work ethic in the past but one thing where she has improved in leaps and bounds is her matching of engagement to clothes. She no longer feels the need to look very "princessy" in more casual daytime engagements and that's a good thing. The four inch stilettos, fancy silk coat dresses, and hats are mostly saved for ceremonial occasions. I think when she's visiting schools it's important for her to look like a "royal next door" and that's what this look is about.

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    1. She has never worn fancy silk coat dresses and hats for school visits and such.

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    2. Fancy silk coat dresses and hats have never been her go-to for this type of visit. I will say I rememember in her first year as a Royal she wore a more casual outfit to visit a school in her first year: nice jumper, boots, black jeans. It looked fine and similar to what a lot of teachers wear over here. She certainly didn't look sloppy or anything but you would think she turned up to the school in ripped jeans and a crop top with her bra hanging out the way some people reacted: too informal, lazy, disrespectful to the school and the teachers! It was so ridiculous! I think she was a bit nervous of wearing more casual things after that but I think she's learned to strike a good balance since then.

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  26. I like Kate, but I do not like this outfit at all! The color does not work on her;she's much too pale for it. Also, the dress gives her no shape and the fabric is not attractive at all. I do like the boots, just not with this dress.

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  27. Oh I LOVE those boots!!!!!

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  28. I absolutely LOVE this look from Kate!!! It is fabulous!! The thing I love about Kate's style is when I think I have figured it out, she goes and surprises me. The dress color, fabric, and style is wonderful. The length of it goes perfect with her boots, where are awesome!!

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  29. Oh Wow!!! I love this look on her. Green is a great color for her dark hair. Simply beautiful.

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  30. I absolutely love her total look (dress, boots, ...) but, most of all I love how natural and happy she is with children, totally in her element!

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  31. Rebecca - Sweden5 February 2019 at 15:23

    Such a nice day of engagements! Kate really in her sweet-spot when interacting with kids. And of course her family is what makes her happy! You can really tell that she is comfortable in the role of mother! Struggles and all! Nice to see her visit different schools and ages as well.

    This dress, while I like the general effect, I kind of dislike. Nothing wrong with it, but not to my taste. Which is wierd. Because I love green and I love a bit of Mod-styled clothing. But I think it's the fabric that throws me off. LOVE the shoes though!! And the dress is perfectly suitable. I do like that she's wearing Eponine again, and I hope she keeps buying stuff from them because I love (the majority of..) their stuff!

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  32. Love this look!! The boots are a nice mix-up to her style and appropriate for the occasion; especially seeing words like "playful", "funky", and "youthful" to describe her look today. She does pay attention to her audience. Kensington Palace reports that this year's theme to Children's Mental Health Week is "‘Healthy: Inside and Out’, focusing on the connection between physical and mental health." Kate is an excellent ambassador for her mental health initiative and this is a great kick-off. Also, what a lovely personal touch that Kate shared a picture of her family as her "feel good" moment. Well done Kate, all the way around. cc

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    1. Zora from Prague5 February 2019 at 17:19

      Agreed, CeCe. What a wonderful day! I really appreciate how attentive and engaged Kate is among teachers and children. I also liked how long she talked to the tiny boy who gave her the posy. And how the friendly dog did not seem to surprise her! πŸ˜€ She is a natural with kids.

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    2. You are so right Zora, there are so many moments with this engagement that just brings a smile to your face!! Kate is a natural with kids, there is an honest sincerity that shines through. cc

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    3. Kids and dogs. You can't fool them. Both children and dogs will shy away from
      the insincere strangers. Kate and that pooch were nose to nose
      A long, busy, packed day. I have a feeling both Catherine and the children went home with happy thoughts and memories of the day.

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  33. SierrafromMontana5 February 2019 at 15:24

    Such a cute event. The kids and the pupster are pretty darn cute. I really like this outfit including the shoes. It's nice to see our Duchess step out of her box. I note the buttons on the dress match the eyelets on the boots.

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  34. I posted earlier. I don’t see it so I’ll repost. I like the Duchess of Cambridge looking youthful and relaxed yet appropriately dressed today. Looking out for the best interest of children is always a good thing and the Duchess is doing just that. Christ Church Primary School is awesome with their “greeting” and acknowledging the freedom to choose. Thanks, Charlotte.

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  35. What a fantastic cause! The stories the teacher told of students are heartbreaking. So wonderful that Kate is shining a light on this cause. She looks so pretty! The boots are terrific, so out of the box for Kate. Not keen on the shape of the dress for her but like the fabric & color.

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  36. First, the outfit. I really like the dress and that she wore ankle boots instead of her Tod’s pumps. I like the boots, but I don’t really like them with this outfit. I think a boot without the ties would have worked better here.
    Now, the engagement. I’ll admit that I’m not much of a child person, but the video of the kiddies choosing their greeting going into school made my withered old soul happy. Also, reading what Andria Zafirakou said about the students in her school resonated with me. As others have pointed out, now knowing what her brother has gone through, as well as her husband, Kate’s focus on mental heath and youth is very apt. I hope these programs work and these kids see the benefit somehow. I’m ready for the launch of the initiative.

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  37. I also think Kate looks fantastic from head to toe The chunky boots are great and a change from the “ norm” for Kate which I think is great that she feels she can mix things up and still look fab

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  38. Happy to see Kate in a more modern look today. I love the dress and the boots but, not together.

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  39. Kate looks better in the olive greens she has worn recently, but this is a bright and comfortable look for a schools visit. She is in her element with children. The story of the girl who lives one family to a room, and misses school when it is her turn to cook for her family, illustrates so poignantly the problems of urban crowding. It has to have a strong effect on children’s health, including their mental health.

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  40. A WOW!for me. I agree with Ivy that it's the perfect look all-around for a school visit (retired teacher here). I was happy to see the greeter and greeting choices, although I hope the greeter job is a voluntary one. While some may call it pro forma, I found it wonderful to see the choices made, especially one little boy who seemed uncomfortable with a hug,yet chose it anyhow. Of course the camera made some shyer than a normal day, I am sure. Eye contact can always use a bit more work. Looks like a fantastic school, and the patronage of the Duchess with her warmth and sincerity made it a day the kids will never forget!

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  41. I just love this whole look on Kate. Just one question - why is this dress bespoke? It looks identical to the pink sample, other than the color. Is it the color that makes it bespoke?

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    1. Yes, since the brand didn’t produce the dress in this colour they made it specially for her.

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    2. Kate's sleeves are also full-length; the sample has 3/4-length sleeves.

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    3. Isn't the sample A-line or trapeze shape while Kate's is more straight-cut?

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  42. A great outfit for the occasion and such a wonderful cause she has connected herself to. Something about which she clearly feels passionate and her connection with children is plain to see.

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  43. Kate's dress is lovely but what stole the show for me was the hug / handshake / high five / fist bump video. So sweet!

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    1. Zora from Prague5 February 2019 at 17:14

      I agree, Heather! So sweet and such a good idea!! I love that the kids have a choice and one can see they are used to this ritual. Precious!

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    2. The video is supercute!!!Good for Kate to carry off the dress, it looked like a Christmas tree to me :-) Can't wait for the gown appearances tomorrow!!XOXO
      Siddhii

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  44. Silvia from Tuscany5 February 2019 at 16:27

    She looks lovely! And so appropriate! Nice dress in shape and fabric, nice colour on her. And the boots are fantastic, much better than the usual stilettos. She looks warm and involved as usual. I really like her!

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  45. Oh so thrilled with this look! So cheery and fun for a day at the schools. She looks comfortable and relatable while also looking like every bit the duchess that she is. I couldn't be happier with all of the elements and love that it is a young and hip look while also looking professional and polished and beautifully finished in every element.
    AnneHH

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  46. Love everything about her look today, this is something I would wear!!! Love her boots and the dog!

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  47. What important issues. The way Kate was able to engage with the children and adults was very good to see and productive. I think Kate has chosen such a key issue, and it should have a profound and cumulative effect on how to provide better schooling. Her choice of outfits and shoes is sport on- a comfy and unrestricting dress that allows her to bend over, or squat, and comfortable boots and tights for a trendy look. Love the boucle fabric and the pockets on the dress.

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  48. I appreciate the initiative supporting "Healthy body, healthy mind."Kate lives this as a part of her daily life. She can support physical activity and be believed. This is a recurring theme in a number of her efforts, including the tennis programs she has been working with. She is not just repeating empty slogans and aphorisms.
    Also, maintaining a healthy mind can contribute to a healthy body. A high percentage of illnesses are psychsomatic, The list is growing through research studies of the mind-body connection.

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  49. She looks so happy and healthy.

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  50. I think the ONLY thing Kate has to be mindful of when she visits schools is bringing pictures of her own family. I'm sure her intentions were good, but as a teacher I have taught students who crumple into tears when I show them pictures of my family, because it reminds them of broken homes, lost family members, trauma at home, etc. When Kate showed the post-card perfect picture of her husband and kids SOME kids might have thought "oh she has such a perfect life" which I don't think was Kate's intention.

    Again, I'm not bashing Kate, I think the intention was good. I just have worked with too many kids from broken homes to know that sometimes showing them pictures of happy families can make them extremely sad.

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    1. Yeah, you make a good point. I’m sure that wasn’t her intention, but if some of those kids have a bad home life it could make them sad.

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    2. Your point is very accurate, unfortunately.

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    3. Hi Ivy, sadly, you might have a point, it can be tricky. I would never have thought about that I have to admit.
      Tidefi

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    4. You make a good point Ivy Lin. I too work with kids and have witnessed the long term sadness that accompanies the break up of their families. But I believe Kate brought what makes her happiest in life( her family) and that is heartwarming to me.
      I am slightly in the minority here tho as I do like her outfit.

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    5. Those same children from broken, unhappy homes---I have both taught them in classroom and visited them in their own homes as a social worker--those same children love the story of Cinderella and all things princessy or superheroes with superpowers. They enjoy them although the characters' lives may not resemble their own lives. When dreams cease so does hope.
      Kate's photo was brought following a request that she bring something that makes her happy. Family is one thing that makes her happy. She could have said, "World Peace," or some other apt reply. Her response wasn't fancy but it was honest. I think the children understood this. She didn't just whip out the photo out of context. It was part of an exercise the children were taking part in.
      Kate's family offers an ideal--something to aspire to. One does not need to be a princess to have a happy family. One day these children will form their own families.

      I hope this isn't what internet chatter has come up with to prove Kate can do something that is a mistake though well-intentioned; if so, the chatterers need to think again.

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    6. I'd be surprised if the students didn't know she's got a prince for a husband and some kids.

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    7. I don’t believe either that Kate made a mistake. Like Anon 19:20 mentioned; it is good for children and young people to see that stable, loving families are possible.
      What I think is important to remember for those like me who was raised in a loving, Christian home; that this is not everyone’s experience and because of that to show empathy. Kate is doing just that with her Mental Health work.

      Delete
    8. Also as a public figure Kate had to bring something already public and true or risk untold abuse and critique-she dare not mention much else without prompting loyal fans to begin bringing it to every walkabout and detailed analysis. Or commercial entities trying to profit from her disclosure. It was a very wise choice. If currently having an intact healthy family is a social liability, that is sad. Could not a wise teacher simply say, does seeing your mother make you happy? Who is the person who makes you happy? Is there someone in your family that makes you happy? Is there a person who is even better than family in your life? She said her family made her happy, which is the lesson on the table. One child said an orange ball made her happy. Let’s not overthink this public display.

      Delete
    9. I think children have the right to be sad. And to say that they are sad and why. It may be seeing an happy family, a dog, a colour, a scent. They remember they are sad and need to utter it. What makes them sad is not the picture of the happy family but what has happened in their own lives. I think it was a deliberate gesture of Kate, and probably decided with the association, to trigger conversation about family and love.
      The aim of the campaign is speaking about one's feelings, after all...

      Delete
    10. Oh Annonymous I can't believe you words. Followers replies to an extent are made with love. Most likely from people who work with children on a daily basis in many situations. They are sincere. Please do not misunderstand them with a negative spin. So exhausting at times.

      Delete
    11. USA Granny, I'm afraid I agree with you. When I was a child, I saw my cousins and their happy facsimiles, so I decided that their families were bad. I made up all kinds of reasons why their mother, for example, was a bad mother, because I already felt bad enough and didn't want further proof of what a disaster my parents were. Talking about sadness cannot be done during a visit -- it's too strong an emotion. But I'm sure Kate had every god intention. However, that photo is a bit too much wonderfulness -- three happy healthy children, two beautiful happy parents, a wonderful home life. Hard to relateto.

      Delete
    12. I see your point, but also disagree. I have also worked with some kids with similar experiences and sometimes anything will make them cry, a meal that was a favorite before someone passed, a favorite book, etc. Harsh as it sounds, you cannot dumb down or mute your own experiences on the off chance someone will get upset. Kate’s passion is mental health, which includes talking kids through the tough emotions.

      Besides, she’s Kate. Anything she brought was going to attract attention. Much better that it’s something that all the press has seen, at least some of the kids have seen and is fairly neutral, as opposed to a new picture or a book/movie/etc that could attract a ton of attention and distract from the engagement.

      Delete
    13. But isn't the point of such a mental health exercise, to have participants learn to tell the truth about their feelings and their lives and hear others tell the truth? The point of such an exercise is to express personal feelings, and I am sure kids with in-tact families share how hard their lives actually are, (I assure you, I worked with kids and some of the most perfect looking families were absolutely horrible. My parents were together, but life was full of abuse for me. One teacher figured part of it out and her acceptance of me was the best experience I had in school) Also, a teacher could encourage a hurting child, with the training and back-up they are being given. That is what these programs are for! Censoring, and not telling the truth will not help anyone's mental health, or emotional growth. It is about learning to say what you feel, what you need and working through it, in this case, in the school community. Who says the picture shows wonderfulness? As an adult, I think it shows much more than that, and I don't see any reason any of us could relate to royalty. I am not sure any actual children were harmed today by her picture, maybe children will talk about it tomorrow with their teacher or parents or caregiver if they were, which is the point of all these mental health initiatives. How would such an initiative work if people can't share from their actual situation?

      Delete
    14. Kids have a right to feel sad but not while all the cameras were rolling and it was a media mob. For a more in depth conversation Kate could have asked for a closed door visit as that could have allowed for more genuine emotions. I'm sure because the cameras were there the kids felt pressure to act perfectly. This is where I think the format of a royal visit needs to be rethought. The flowers, the greetings, the cameras and a brief visit is the potted formula. But in order for these visits to make an impact I really believe the kids need to see Kate as not "the princess with a fairy tale life" but a real person and that requires rethinking the royal engagement format.

      Delete
    15. That is why royals make the private visits. For just such moments without publicity. Also, there is no "media mob" for these sorts of engagements inside a children's facility. Sometimes there are a few photographers chosen on a rota basis.
      The cameras we see outside which include pap photographers do not necessarily follow inside, any more than the crowds lining the street follow a royal in. Sometimes engagements are embargoed due to the sensitive nature of the engagement--to avoid some of the crowds. I remember a visit to a call-in facility in a deprived area of London several years ago that was thought to be embargoed to protect the privacy of the clients and volunteers.
      Kate has been criticised for making private visits because they do not overtly publicise the organisation. During public visits Kate has asked the press to turn their cameras off during a particularly sensitive moment of an engagement. I believe one was during a visit to a children's' hospice. There have likely been other such moments. She could have done so during this visit.
      The royals have a number of options to use in order to protect privacy during sensitive engagements.

      Otherwise, the children would have been primed for the cameras, both at school and at home. Some parents would prepare a child with a special outfit or an extra scrub behind the ears. Or a caution to not do anything embarrassing--" don't pick your nose, Johnnie." ;) Some of their parents might have said, "You're going to meet a princess" After all-isn't that the reason why the media are drawn to cover the event? A princess will be there.
      If this had taken place in the 1950's the presence of cameras may have been more of a concern. Even then, we used to have open houses at school where we had a demonstration of a "typical" classroom lesson for the parents gathered. The children knew the difference between real and pretend and how to react accordingly.

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    16. As a teacher I think that children should accept differences in family(perfect , happy..) or finance. That's life and everyone have his share of difficulties and sadness.Kate always avoid controversies and non scripted act .She seems very careful and mindful especially after being a mom.

      Delete
    17. A pair of running shoes, a ball, a toy, a picture of a beach, or an already official photo of a family. She is invited as a figure head, and not as an expert on mental health.

      She could've been more inventive, but is probably advised on the matter.

      Delete
  51. I love this dress on her, green and pink! But I don’t like these boots with this dress. The clutch has to go also. The clutch doesn’t project playful or edgy to me. There’s always something off when she does edgy and/or modern. I do like that she’s been going out of her box with her fashion choices.

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    Replies
    1. The Duchess' clutch bag is perfection and is the perfect finishing touch to this classy and regal outfit!

      Delete
  52. She always looks stunning in green!! Love the boots! She is just absolutely beautiful! Thank you Charlotte, brilliant work as always!!

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  53. I loved the little boy in the class greeting video who wore the cape to school. Kate looked wonderful as always.
    I didn't love the lace up boots though.
    Mel

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  54. Sandrine (France)5 February 2019 at 19:07

    I love her dress, I love her boots… I wish I had the same one day !!! Kate is so beautiful, and so wonderful with the kids !!! And what wonderful commitments, what a beautiful cause that mental health in children!!!

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  55. Ivy Lin. There is a positive side to showing photographs of strong families -- such photos shown with genuine love and supporting stories let children know such happiness is possible. Prince William is a prime example of experiencing great loss and rebounding. All families experience loss, disease and more. Knowing that something better is possible provides youth with a goal. It might also be followed up with a discussion that families don't have to be blood relatives. It was one photograph used in an appropriate manner; the activity was to bring something to school that made you happy. Sometimes as adults we try to "shelter" youth. Tears aren't a bad thing, they are a release! My daughter was 5 when I was diagnosed with cancer. We told her the truth in ways she might understand and had specific actions she might take to help me. Kids recognize and respect truth. Kate's importance of family is truth. Perhaps she will inspire one child of a broken home to build and protect his/her future family.

    Love the entire look - energetic, approachable, relaxed. Except for the "gown" events, Kate's fashion takes a backseat to her work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon 19:08--Are you my secret sister? Maybe sister of the heart.
      And...as you point out- Tears aren't a bad thing. In fact, mental health professionals encourage the release and expression of pent-up feelings. (19:21)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous first of all I'm so happy for you that you are recovering from cancer. And that you were able to communicate this to your 5 year old daughter in a positive way about what must have been very difficult news. I guess my thing is rapport. If Kate has enough rapport with the kids she can show them a family picture and the kids will understand that it;s coming from a good place. However I have seen this sort of thing backfire big time when working with kids. I once showed a kid a picture of my dog. The girl tearfully recalled how when her parents divorced her mother made her give up the dog because her father had bought it for her as a puppy. It brought back a lot of sad memories.

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    3. Ivy lin, it was a good thing for this child to be able to say that to you, to feel she could share her sadness with you.

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    4. Anon 19:08 and Annonymous 19:21, you must be secret sisters, practically the same comments at the same time!! Completely agree with both of you. Kate's sharing her picture of her family was a sincere gesture, something that I think children can relate to. My take away from this was very positive and her focus on family an honest response to a question and meant in the best possible way. It also was a chance to start a dialogue, another aspect of her initiative which is for children to start talking about their feelings, good or bad. I am sure Kate gave great consideration and care when choosing what to take to the engagement. cc

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    5. Ivy Lin, I can see your point, but as you are pointing out yourself, anything Kate brought could trigger a sad response in one of the children. I think this photo was a fairly save option. The kids have all seen it and they are probably facinated with her kids.

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    6. Ivy Lin-i think your story with the dog picture does not mean you have to shelter kids and be super cautious about every action,but it does mean one has to be prepared to talk through any unexpected and strong reaction that might come. I have a feeling that with her own 3 kids and long lasting interest in emotional wellbeing,esp children, Catherine is well prepared,also she's not alone on these interactions and some grown ups who know children well are always present to lend support,if needed.

      Delete
    7. Anon I agree with you, we seems to shelter our children a little too much from bad experiences nowadays imo. They are intelligent and with the right words they can elaborate the truth and be able to talk about their emotions even if I understand Ivy Lin perspective too and I value very much her expertise as a teacher.
      Thank you for sharing with us a bit of your life.

      Silvia

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    8. Zora from Prague6 February 2019 at 11:28

      Anon 19:08, thank you for putting it so beautifully!
      I can see one more good thing in showing the photo to the kids. Some of them may realise: this lady told us her kids make her happy. Perhaps I make my parents/Mum/Dad happy too! Even a young kid from an incomplete family is capable of such reasoning.
      And I strongly agree with what you said about the truth. She was truthful in saying and showing this to them and they could feel it. It was simple and real.

      Delete
  56. I like the style, but somehow I also dont. The boots are great, but somehow they dont suit her. The dress is nice, but a bit boxy and bulky, reminding me of her early-pregancy dresses. But I agree with what many others have already said, for the engagement, it was a extremely nice choice!

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  57. This is really great, my favorite look of hers since almost forever. Those boots! Love the dress too. I'd like one in every color. The simple lines of the dress make the boots work, as they would with any number of current styles. I agree that the clutch might be exchanged for a handbag with a more style of the moment, but it's a minor quibble.

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  58. Today’s look is a typical Kate look in that I don’t really like the colour or the boots, but I still love the overall picture.
    But Katie, Katie, Katie, you could not throw us a bone and at least bring an unseen photo to show-and-tell? πŸ˜‰

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  59. Love the look, Catherine always looks great in green, those boots are amazing, my kind of style and she looks relaxed, happy and always has a good time with the kids. Great course and Catherine always keeps it simple and focus on the work and event she is attending. Looking forward to the upcoming events.

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    Replies
    1. Kate seems to say through her look "Simplicity is the key". One photo shows us Kate in the school with this message on the wall: "Simplicity is the key". That's her message too.
      The commentaries here reflect this. I noticed sometimes the description "simple":
      the "simple A-line cut of the skirt", "the simple lines of the dress" (Greybird K). "Catherine always keeps it simple" (Abbey). For me a important comment. Kate loves simplicity. That's her. The photos demonstrate that she feels comfortable in this "simplicity" and that she wants to "focus on the work" (Abbey).
      Go on, Kate.
      Anne

      Delete
  60. Becca H in Colorado5 February 2019 at 21:00

    What a lovely engagement, just right up Kate's alley! She looked very comfortable and happy interacting with all the kids. I'm intrigued as to what her new project could be.

    It's not surprising at all that she said her family is what makes her happy. I always like seeing her work more, but it's nice to hear the small tidbits of home life that Kate shares, such as George & Charlotte helping her to make cheesy pasta.

    A+ to her for choosing these boots! I don't tend to wear heels, myself, since my boyfriend is barely taller than me LOL but these are much more fashion-forward than the regular pumps she usually chooses. Good choice! And I like the cut and color of the dress -- the pocket detail is so cute! I don't like the fabric much...there's something that just kind of bugs me about the whole look and I think that's it. It reminds me of a felt board, and that the children could run up and stick felt figures on her haha

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  61. Becca H in Colorado5 February 2019 at 21:00

    Oh, also! 2 evening gown appearances soon!!! That is all.

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  62. A wonderful event. I wish there was more emphasis on mental health programs for children around the world. Kate, along with William and Harry, certainly started the ball rolling, and bravo to them.
    I loved the video of the children being greeted at the beginning of their day, just precious.
    Molly, the Beagle loved seeing Herbie. What a sweet dog. The whole day was filled with special moments, and Kate showing the youngsters a picture of her family, and how happy it makes her was a standout for me.
    As far as her outfit, I love the dress and boots. She looked chic and beautiful.

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  63. Jessica in Los Angeles5 February 2019 at 21:05

    I love her outfit and the fun new boots. But I especially love this outing!!

    My brother and I have both started to process some of the toxic things that happened in our upbringing. It’s hard to be in your 30s and realize you don’t know how to even process your feelings or cope in a healthy way. So I definitely support her focus on mental health for children!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessica, I am sure I'm not alone in expressing support for you in your personal journey. I hope you have - or will find - the right people and experiences to help you gain peace and strength along the way.

      Delete
    2. Zora from Prague6 February 2019 at 10:11

      Jessica, you are brave to recognise those bad things and work with them. I know people in their 50s or 60s who still drag the burden of their past, like a ball and chain. I believe you will find the way and wish you and your brother patience, courage and perseverance.

      Delete
  64. I think the Fab Four are all individually supporting causes that they are personally interested in and can relate to as patrons under the umbrella of their Royal Foundation. In the development of the charitable causes under the Foundation originally founded by William and Harry, I can see the continuation of both Charles and Diana's legacies both in the concerns and how they went about their charitable work, and venturing beyond them. In their choice of wives, they have each chosen a woman who can flesh out the Foundations work further because of the personal interests they bring. I'm very impressed with how the princes have conceived their charitable roles, and I think that they have both acknowledged that they also owe both their parents for laying the foundation and providing the role models for their work.

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  65. Andrea in London5 February 2019 at 22:40

    What a brilliant day of visits. Great video summarising the activities. She is so wonderful at putting people at ease, asking open questions and not letting anyone sit in an awkward silence. I wonder if she's had some training at this, because her questions are so great at getting people to chat. Other than that, I love her outfit ... Fab colour (taking a leaf out of HM The Queen's fashion book by wearing something bright so she's easy to spot), simple lines, and a quirky retro feel that perfectly suits today's events.

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  66. I love everything about this outfit and the styling. So cheerful and accessible for an event with children. Now, this may sound strange but what put the dress over the top for me was a photo not on this posting. It was a straight on shot. The pockets looked like frog eyes and with the green I immediately thought of you of Kermit the Frog. For children who follow the Muppets, it would be a subliminal hug. It made me love the dress choice even more.

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  67. Hasn't any one noticed the wonderful cat-eye pockets? There are memes all over the Internet that are really funny. It is being called an angry dress! I think Kate noticed the pockets and chose it on purpose. It's really very cute.

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    Replies
    1. The eye pockets are watching us all. I thought the posckets were a cute design feature for visiting children. They make the dress more fun!

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    2. Hee Hee, the pockets do look like eyes.

      Delete
  68. When I first saw photos of the dress I had thoughts of Kermit the frog! But I love the dress it's fun and I love the boots but her best accessory is her smile and interactions with the children.

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  69. Love Herbie the dog. A pet always livens things and helps people relax. I love Kate's look with the boots. They look familiar, though. Did Meghan wear something similar in Australia? Those block heels and large eyelets ring a bell.

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  70. What a great day! Kate is in her element with the kiddos. She looked great. I loved the dress! The shoes, I appreciate her effort to spice things up. I don’t hate them, but don’t like them with this dress. I think the boots she wore in NYC would have been great!

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  71. I'm the "Kate looks adorable" camp. I like the 60's style dress, the fabric, the lines, the top stitching, and pockets. It's cute with the tights and lace up boots. It's 60's in a modern way given the boots. Would have more adorable if she had worn her hair in a ponytail - with that black JCrew bow.

    I like the neon pink as well. That's another color that Kate can wear well. Excited about the upcoming gown events. Will we see the black strapless McQueen this time? Hope so.

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  72. I don't like anything she's worn from Eponine, but she is so, so pretty

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  73. First time commenter here... I enjoy checking in on this blog (and Mad About Meghan) for eye candy and inspiration. Thank you for all the work you do to create a platform for entertainment and conversation, Charlotte. I love this look on Kate. I would bet in person this dress color is, yes, a bright green, but with lots of blue-gray tones in it (the photo on the left side where two photos are side-by-side in this post). I wonder, living in America, if black tights and black heels/boots are an English thing? I feel, especially with a dress of a different color, the look chops a person in two. I would LOVE to see Kate in this dress with brown tights/short boots (no laces) or brown tall boots. The color of her hair is gorgeous and deserves to be repeated in her shoes; I think repeating hair color in footwear grounds a look and makes it flow. Thank you all for your comments which I also enjoy reading! Carly in Colorado

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  74. The Duchess is so kind and genuine; people just seem to be naturally drawn to her for her warmth and patient and understanding nature.

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  75. A wonderful pair of engagements. I love that all this ties in with things Kate has been advocating since the beginiing especailly the importance of art and importance of physical activity for children. It was also fun to see a Royal lady open her purse and take something out as that so rarely happens!

    I can't think of the last outfit Kate wore that was this divisive. People seem to love it or hate it! I think it was a good outfit for the engagements and the weather today. It's comfortable, warm and allows her to sit and squat with ease. However, I don't like the material as it creases and as Becca H in Colorado said above it reimnds me of felt. I feel like the colour is a bit too bright green and in a more softer shade she would get more wear out of this outfit. I love and adore the boots! Her boot game lately is making me so happy! I rememeber Kate used to wear ankle boots a lot and I've been hoping to see her wear them again so I was overjoyed today. I hope we see these repeated lots and lots!

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  76. I love her outfit and the way she interacted with the children. I just have one nit with the coverage though. She's giving great publicity to these programmes and hopefully that will lead to more funding. But it's not really accurate to say she's doing work in these areas. The people she visits - extremely hard working and low paid - are the ones doing the work. I'm not taking anything away from her contribution but it's just the terminology really. Also, convening experts to advise her on how to tackle these issues sounds strange. She's not "doing" anything, she's raising awareness of work done by others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judith, you raise a valid point about the language used, but then Kate’s “job” is to raise awareness, convene experts and be the public face. Just like work doesn’t always mean manual labour, it also does not always mean being in the trenches.
      Don’t get met wrong I am not suggesting that Kate is puting in 40 hour work weeks. (Her main job is to be a mommy) But that does not mean that she is not “working” in these areas.

      Delete
    2. I pass. Please, please my fellow commenters, let's not get started on another round of "work" discussions. I am still exhausted from the last one--a few days ago?. ;) I haven't seen your name around for awhile that I recall. Perhaps you missed this recent discussion. I appreciate your opinion and will add it to the rest.

      Really! What is left to be said on this subject that has not been said many times on this blog. It is a known divisive subject with polarized opinions that dampen the spirit of community. No one here has altered an opinion on this subject in the 6-7 years I have been reading, as far as I can see.

      I almost decided to ignore the above comment but the thought we would have to endure another round of this subject was too much for me. I believe in reading comments even from those whose ideas I usually don't agree with. There is always hope for a commonality. Sometimes discussion here leads me to see an issue from another angle. For example, at first, I had mis-givings about Meghan based on the totality of information available about her when she first became known as Harry's girlfriend. This information was in her own words not tabloid gossip and based upon her many television and magazine interviews as well as her social media content. We did not have that information about Kate. Catherine was already dating/married to William during the time Meghan was active-once Meg started dating Harry she, too ,abstained.
      I have consciously decided to draw a line between Meghan's earlier days before her connection to Harry was public and how she has represented herself and her new country since her involvement with Harry. The reason for this decision is I think it is the fair thing to do. I think some of the commenters have been unable to make this choice and have chosen to bow out of the comments.

      There is a promising, hopeful spirit of good will and friendliness in this international forum but it is fragile, as it is in many forums. That spirit must be coddled and encouraged to grow and continue. This effort goes a step beyond the outward display of kindness and consideration Hello magazine has advocated. This may sound a bit dramatic-I think this conscious effort to find and emphacise commonalities is necessary to survive as a species. We are killing each other, both physically and spiritually.

      Delete
  77. Excellent choice of colour as green is associated with Mental Health. Shining a light on the home conditions these children experience is important as it impacts their world. The quote did this nicely.

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  78. In my book, it’s official. Kate has lost her way in the style department. Each of her pieces alone (earrings, dress, handbag, and boot) are spectacular, but together they are not. The styles contrast one another, and there is no common thread to tie them together to a point where they aesthetically make sense.

    Of course, her radiant smile and very clear sincerity in her work is what matters. But for this style blog, I’ve got to share that her outfit was a resounding dud. :(

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    Replies
    1. When she does have that common thread to tie them together it is called "matchy-matchy." On someone else the look might be called "imaginative, , eclectic, and taking a chance."

      Fashion designers can't even agree on what works.

      I don't think Kate has a particular style. Being fashionable doesn't seem to be a priority for her. She dresses for the occasion. I doubt we would see this outfit at a cathedral or 100 Women functions. Shoot, I think she might ask Princess Charlotte's opinion, if Kate wanted something to appeal to children.

      Delete
  79. Could it be that she wore the dress as a maternity dress last year and had it altered? The style is spring 2018 and seems to have been more trapeze. Just the kind of dress she wore when pregnant. What do you think?

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    1. Good point! I think it's definitely a possibility.

      Delete
    2. Maybe, but that doesn’t mean she should keep it if it is I’ll-fitting. The length is awkward as well. Ugh! It keeps getting worse every time I look at more photos!

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    3. The idea of the dress is good, but the fit is really bad. Maybe it was previously supposed to be an early pregnancy dress, who knows.

      Delete
    4. Interesting, I think the fit is good.

      Delete
  80. I love this new confident Kate. Modern and trendy yet still appropriate. A great colour to wear with kids around.

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  81. Catherine looks brighty and shiny today, love all her look. The green is wonderful :)

    Silvia

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  82. I loved the dress and the boots--and Kate looked like she was having a wonderful time!

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  83. I am not a fan of this shapeless bright green dress

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  84. According to the CC Catherine had an engagement last night--she hosted a dinner at Buckingham Palace.

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    Replies
    1. Anon 16:31 thanks you for the update:).

      Delete
    2. You're welcome, ali. I always appreciate it when someone gives this information when an event is an unannounced, behind the scenes one. No photos. Although it was posted in the CC, I don't think KP covered it. The dinner meeting was with her project steering committee. This was an evening one away from KP and the children. She also has an evening event Sunday with William, in addition to the two Wednesday engagements next week. I think one of those is evening, as well. William was busy giving awards and investitures at BP but the day before, I think. The Queen is back in London from Sandringham but I think William, Charles, and Anne are doing most of the awards-type activities.

      Delete
    3. Correction to 17:17- HM is still at Sandringham. According to "Royal Central," she generally travels back around February 7 but will delay her return this year until early next week. However, those three senior royals have been doing most of those types of engagements for some time now.

      Delete

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