Following this afternoon's Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, it was a glittering evening event in support of Place2Be for the Duchess of Cambridge.
The reception in celebration of Place2Be’s 25th anniversary was held at Buckingham Palace. If I recall correctly, this is Kate's first solo formal evening event at BP. We've seen several events with William and other royals such as the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange with the Countess of Wessex, but I believe this is the first time Kate hosted alone. We usually see Kensington Palace chosen for these events - it will be interesting to see if a mixture of both becomes common practice moving forward.
Since Kate became patron in 2013, she has been heavily involved with Place2Be. They've been involved in several initiatives and were chosen as one of the charities highlighted during the Heads Together campaign. They've been central to Kate's early years work and most recently benefited from the King's Cup regatta held in August. They are also charity partners for Mentally Healthy Schools and Shout.
Kensington Palace said: "Set up in 1994 by Dame Benny Refson DBE, Place2Be provides emotional support at an early age and believes that no child should face mental health difficulties alone. Over the past 25 years, more than 250,000 children and their families have been directly supported by Place2Be, which currently works with 639 schools across the UK. Children’s mental health has long been a priority for The Duchess. Over the last eight years she has explored how experiences in early childhood often lie at the root of the hardest social challenges the country faces today. What we experience in the earliest years – from in the womb to the age of five – is instrumental in shaping our future lives. Last month the Duchess launched the survey ‘5 Big Questions on the Under-Fives’, which aimed to spark the biggest ever conversation on early childhood that will ultimately help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come."
Founder Dame Benny Refson revealed the inspiration behind creating the charity. "When I worked as a counsellor with young people it seemed that much of their unhappiness lay in their early childhood".
The Duchess met two school choirs who performed at the event.
More from the Mail Online:
'During the reception the Duchess of Cambridge met two school choirs who performed at the event, as well as Place2Be supporters.
Pupils from New North Academy and Salusbury School teamed up with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to write and compose an original song about self-esteem, creativity and their wellbeing.
Speaking to the children about their performance, the duchess said: 'You've written it especially for tonight? Thank you so much. What a treat for me.'
During a very nice speech the Duchess praised the work of Place2Be and reflected on her own journey with them. "You taught me, right from the start, that the children in your schools are only as happy and emotionally strong as the adults in their care. That is why you take such great pride in the work you do with your teachers and your parents. You taught me the importance of creating safe and nurturing environments within schools, embracing a holistic view of emotional well-being which permeates through the whole school system. You also taught me that it's the simplest things that make a difference to children. It's the quality time that is spent with them."
More from People:
'I have listened to experts, academics, practitioners and service providers who work every day to make our families and communities stronger,” she said upon launching the survey. “I wanted to dig deeper to understand issues we face and how best to tackle them together.'
A portion of Kate's speech (I'll add a full video once it's available).
🎂 Happy 25th Birthday @Place2Be — here’s to many more!— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 9, 2020
No child or young person should have to face mental health problems alone — and that has been the founding mission of Place2Be #25YearsofPlace2Be pic.twitter.com/m68zJ7pVtX
The Duchess posed with students.
When we do our 'Styling Kate' series in August, there's a handful of gowns many of you adore and would love to see again. Tonight, your wish was granted (Now, it's not the strapless velvet McQueen but it's very close).
The Duchess brought back the beautiful sapphire blue Jenny Packham gown she first wore for a Bollywood Gala in India in 2016. The dress features intricate beading and a train. It's a design which highlights why the designer is admired all over the world for her evening wear.
Kate carried the matching clutch once again.
Kate's new statement earrings are by Erdem (with thanks to aceasisi). The Floral Cluster Earrings are described as: "Gold-tone brass earrings with a jeweled floral vine, a single pearl embellishment and blue crystal stud."
Kate completed the look with her Jimmy Choo 'Romy 100' Silver Glitter Dégradé pumps.
Wishing Place2Be a very happy 25th Birthday!