Tuesday, 22 September 2020

The Duchess Visits Battersea Park To Support Parent-Powered Programmes

The Duchess of Cambridge today carried out engagements virtually and in person, focused on the importance of parent-powered support programmes.

This morning, the Duchess joined a virtual chat with volunteers and representatives from a number of organisations who run peer-to-peer support programmes. These included Home Start UK, Parents 1st UK, Island House Charity Community, Blackpool Better Start, Applied Research Collaboration, Coram Family and Childcare, and NCT - the UK's leading charity for parents. Kate said to them: "To you and your army of volunteers, a huge well done. Both William and I hear about how vital these relationships are to families – they’re a real lifeline. I like you would love to see it more embedded and celebrated actually in communities and in societies as a whole." Click here to view a snippet. 

Later in the morning, Kate met a group of parents and volunteers in the Old English Garden in Battersea Park in South London to hear about peer support via organisations including several of those mentioned above.

Parents discussed the impact of Covid-19 on that crucial support and how they can all lean on each other during difficult times.

A recent survey conducted by Home Start UK, Best Beginnings and Parent-Infant Foundation during COVID-19 found only around 3 in 10 parents (32%) were confident that they could find help for their mental health if they needed it, and 4 in 10 (38%) pregnant respondents were concerned about getting reliable pregnancy information and advice. Peer support has been cited as "really important" for one in ten women during pregnancy and early motherhood.

The Telegraph reports:

'This morning The Duchess spoke with representatives and volunteers from seven different organisations who run peer-to-peer support programmes. The Duchess asked them: "Does it help emotionally too? You feel less judged? "Everybody needs to have those friendships. It must be difficult to meet up socially-distancing." 
Afterwards Irma, who was referred to Home-Start after her 22-month-old son Emmanuel was diagnosed with Down's syndrome, said: "She said she was passionate about support for single mums through peer support." In conversation with Nalini Sadai and Jessie Brett who provide peer-to-peer mum support for the National Childbirth Trust, the Duchess said: "It's good being able to listen and being listened to while being off guard.'

The Duchess was delighted to meet Morgan Cassius and her six month-old daughter Makena Grace.

Hello! writes:

'Christine Thatai, 37, and Morgan Cassius, 29, told the Duchess they held daily 11am zoom calls with other mums via an app called Mush.
At one point, Kate removed her sunglasses and raised a smile cooing over Morgan's six-month-old daughter Makena-Grace. Morgan said afterwards: "I told her lockdown was difficult because I couldn;t go swimming or meeting friends just stuck inside with the TV." Christine said: "Kate was very interested in how we struck up friendships."
Kensington Palace said: "Today’s engagement follows on from the Duchess’s longstanding work around supporting families, and children in their earliest years. Since lockdown began the Duchess has spoken with organisations supporting vulnerable families, videocalled midwives and nurses, launched the BBC Education initiative Tiny Happy People, and brought British brands together to donate over 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks nationwide."

A video from the engagement with some lovely footage.


Kate chose a very stylish smart casual look for the outing. The Duchess' tailored dusky pink Marks & Spencer suit has proven an excellent purchase and versatile addition to her wardrobe. It proves a suit doesn't need to be designer nor expensive - however it does have to be a good fit. M&S have made great strides in women's tailoring which lends itself to a professional, wearable look.

The Duchess first wore the suit just before the Cambridges decamped to Norfolk during lockdown for a visit to the London Ambulance Service 111 control room in Croydon.

We also saw a photo of Kate discussing the pandemic with Place2Be from Kensington Palace. 

The £59 Wool-Blend, Cropped Trousers feature a zip, hook and bar fastening. Front pintucks and two functional side pockets. The exact pink hue Kate wore is currently out of stock. The slim fit style remains available in multiple other colours on the M&S website.

The Duchess' pretty top is the Lauren Ralph Lauren Nadalia style (with thanks to Heaven QRF). The £99 puff sleeve top is described: "This top from Lauren Ralph Lauren puts a new spin on the jersey top with a ribbed texture. Neat fitting with gentle puff sleeves, the square neckline adds an ultra-feminine twist." It's available at John Lewis and Ralph Lauren.

Kate wore her trusty Superga Cotu sneakers.

Kate accessorised with her Daniella Draper cupid hoop earrings: "These 9ct Gold Mini Cupid Hoop earrings are a definite must-have. Gold hoops are the perfect finishing touch for any occasion."

Kate's new necklace is the Double Strand Beaded Satellite Necklace by Welsh brand Spells of Love (with thanks to Middleton Maven).

A closer look at Kate's G, C and L charm necklace.

Kate wore her Halycon Days Maya bangle.

Kate's Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.

The look was completed with Ray-Ban Youngster sunglasses.


As the UK faces a new wave of restrictions and a very challenging winter ahead, I do hope so many of the amazing organisations like Home Start can continue to provide virtual support for parents. The charitable sector has adapted with admirable determination and dedication, and I have no doubt they will continue to do so as we navigate these turbulent times.

Before I sign off, I have a request from a talented producer who is making a documentary entitled When Will and Kate Got Married which will be broadcast next spring to coincide with the Cambridges' 10th wedding anniversary. Lesley Shields tells me the programme will "be warm and nostalgic, simply letting people who were directly involved in the event in some way, tell their personal stories. We would also love to include some home video or phone footage in the programme, from people who were in the watching crowds and perhaps captured something special or funny or unusual". If you would like to participate in the documentary please email lesley@finestripe.com

52 comments:

  1. Those pants look like they could be from the suit she wore earlier this year.

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  2. Why don’t they consistently wear masks? I just don’t understand. I know this is everyone’s least favorite topic but I’m sorry I can’t take it anymore. Goodwill building and national unity means NOTHING in the face of mixed messages from the government and national figures regarding the practical steps we need to take to confront this pandemic. I’m British, I’m a Cambridge fan. But COVID is about to spin out of control in the UK again. Nothing else matters other than getting it under control and protecting the health of our most vulnerable. The Royal family could be such an instrument to deliver this message and it never seems to gain traction. I’m so disappointed.

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    1. Where we are, which is one of the strictest parts of Canada with masks, it has huge amounts to do with whether or not we'll be able to keep the 6 foot distance. Might be worth taking note of, if that's what's going on here.
      A huge downside to masks, it makes it difficult to hear and understand what people are saying. We're finding out how much we lip read these days when we cant see each others mouths.

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    2. They are however very consistent with keeping to outdoor engagements and at least 6 foot distance. So the chance of actual infection is very low. But I agree with you that Kate (and the rest ofnthe BRF) wearing a mask constantly will go a very long way with normalizing the wearing of masks.

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  3. Love her style! Today I'm dresses almost like her!!!
    Federica

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  4. This Duchess is perfection personified - our future Princess of Wales!

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  5. I thought the trousers looked familiar, but I remembered them as being much shorter. That shows what a difference heels vs flats makes!

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  6. Nice easy dressing for Dss Kate. Always nice to see her at work.

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  7. The Duchess looks simply perfect. Her attire is professional, relatable, and affordable. Her focus on the early years is the perfect fit for her and you can see her joy when children are involved.

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  8. So glad that she didn't have to wear a mask!

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    1. Why? Masks are a great way of staying safe and protecting others as well.

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    2. Me too, Rachel. It's totally acceptable where social distancing is available. I'm sure there is strict protocol to protect the royals AND the public.

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    3. I agree, HRH Duchess Catherine always follows royal protocol and public health advisories. She is an intelligent and always wears a mask when the situation warrants wearing one. Cheers!

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  9. Love Kate's hair. I know she's tried various versions of this style, but this long blow out with the side part is perfection ! She looks youthful and relaxed and in her element ! Good on her for wearing and re-wearing affordable and relatable items ! Bel

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    1. If she went a bit darker again I would wholeheartedly agree. She looks fantastic with those big curls at the end. It‘s kind of her signature look.
      The outfit is a nice repeat. And I am very happy she ditched those wide legged pants (in the worst cases culottes) in favour of a more slim cut. They not only flatter her figure more, they also look extremely stylish yet polished and respectable.
      C.

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    2. I agree Anon 19:01, this look, particularly with the side part is perfect!! She looks fresh and casual, yet professional. Love how Kate is so attentive in listening to the mothers!

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    3. Love this hair on her! Reminiscent of her early years:)

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    4. I agree about loving Kate’s hair done in this style. There are so many of her hairstyles that I enjoy seeing, from casual to the wonderful, intricate updos she often wears on more formal occasions. She has a lovely, long and graceful neck which helps a lot!

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  10. This is a great, casual but smart outfit. The Duchess still manages to look elegant. The outfit looks terrific with sneakers. What I really love is the subtle pieces of jewellery, beautiful delicate necklaces and lovely bracelet.

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  11. Guys this is HUGE. For the first time maybe EVER Kate has not worn pantyhose with sneakers. I always found that the strangest look of all -- her shiny tan pantyhose under trousers and with the running shoes. It looks like Kate is either barefoot or wearing trainer socks. As I said, this is HUGE. I guess quarantine Kate has stopped thinking that she literally can't step outside the house without pantyhose. I also like the pants she's wearing with flat shoes better because they look too short with heels. Great casual look overall.

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    1. Caroline in montana22 September 2020 at 21:44

      You have said this before so I’m doubting this is the first time.

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    2. Lol, Caroline! I thought the same thing.

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    3. I don't think it's the first time either. BTW, I don't think Kate was wearing pantyhose with the last engagement. It's funny what each of us notice.

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    4. And I have said before that there is no way to know if someone is wearing pantyhose if the person is fully clothed. I have also said that there are ny!on stockings/socks type footwear in ankle and knee kength, neither of which are "pantyhose." I wonder if Ivy Lin is using the term " pantyhose" for any stocking that is transparent versus opaque, no matter the length? Pantyhose actually are attached to a panty. How would someone observing a person be able to arbitrarily state the person is wear pantyhose?
      What would the problem be if she were wearing pantyhosw? Never mind.

      I find speculating about Kate's undergarments somewhat creepy. That is why I could not just ignore this comment. Which I probably should have. I put it in the same category as mask wearing- with regulations not standardized, and arguments about Kate's weight. Pointless.

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    5. +1 Caroline :)

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    6. Haha I thought the same Ivy Lin! Loved this look on her, perfect blend of casual and professional. The rest of you guys need to lighten up a bit and dial down the passive aggression.

      Olivia

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    7. I meant "tights." The shiny tan things. No idea if they're knee highs or not. But my point was Kate always wore them with sneakers and I found it to be the oddest look.
      This is what I mean.
      https://media.vanityfair.com/photos/5e56ab1cbefdc7000842c06e/master/w_2560%2Cc_limit/kate-middleton-sporty-look-lede.jpg
      Hose with pumps, flats, loafers -- appropriate and elegant. Hose with sneakers -- no.

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  12. Two tiny remarks: It's not often that we see someone near Kate who is taller than her - here it was refreshing to see her shorter than the other lady; the fact that she wasn't wearing heels probably helped :). And the gentleman who saw her out was clearly taken with her, I think! :) She looks so youthful... amazing!
    Thank you so much, Charlotte. With the numbers going a lot higher than in the spring here, I needed something to cheer me up today!

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  13. the last time i wrote that i'm not a fan of Kate's love for midi dresses and voila i love her natural sporty style. so modern so fresh I wish very much that she shows this style more on more formal occasions. maybe just in modern clothes. she looks so wonderful today

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  14. So glad to see Kate at an engagement. I think she is not wearing a mask since the event is outside and socially distancing can easily be maintained. I like this business casual look -- very simple. Love her necklace with the three charms. A cute pair of flats would have worked as well.

    Hope from USA

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  15. Unusual to see her wear both a necklace and bracelet for a non evening event. Those accessories added some interest to an otherwise simple color palette. I would have liked to see her wear a belt with the pants.

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    1. First thing I notice, no belt. I was very happy to see this. Kate seems to have a major love affair with belts even when out of place. Wish pants were slimmer and up to date.

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  16. Kate looks gorgeous. I absolutely love this outfit.
    Regarding the masks, no one was wearing one, and while they maintained a safe distance, plus it was outdoors, the hosts seemed to want to be right up close to her. Kate has to be careful too, she has three children and a husband at home.

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  17. I like that Kate is bringing a little bit of her “off duty” style to her engagements it is a nice way of putting who she visits at ease I think. I really like the pants they are a good fit on her and I love her necklace with the children’s initials. I think the BRF have been appropriate in the wearing of masks as in wearing or not wearing them as each occasion has required I think they are trying to keep a level of common sense about it which has sadly been a little lost. 😊

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  18. She’s in her element with the children. I do like that she is wearing a more affordable line of clothing, just so the rest of us could think about having the exact look. I don’t understand the US fans freaking out over whether or not the Duchess wears a mask. We can be sure she follows the rules made in the UK for contact during an engagement. Most scientists and disease control centers state that masks are not needed outdoors if social distancing can be kept. I have written the whole reopening plan for my home owners association and have researched this ad nauseum .

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  19. Young, new, fresh? My age is showing, these trousers are giving me flashbacks to the matronly polyester double knit trousers my teachers wore back in the 1970's. I know it's that sewn tuck down the front of the leg, but AGGH! I just can't. Want to see what I'm talking about? google vintage polyester 1970's pants and see what happens, there is even a pair the exact same dusty rose color. I know the waist is different but the resemblance is there. Okay, I will ignore what Catherine is wearing and calm down now. I love what she's doing; love that they met outside so they could meet without masks. It makes me so happy that Catherine is bringing attention to the issues of babies and toddlers. We need someone in the USA to make bring awareness to the problem of mental health issues that start before school age.

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    1. We're SO on the same page here ;-) ... I have to convince myself that I probably haven't a clue, and therefore not qualified to utter a single opinion on this look :-D

      But, here goes. Because I think the pants with the prom curls tick off every matronly box there is. I can hear the trousers sparkle, the colour reminds me of tasteless fruit soup (so 70ies ) and loafers would at least work.

      Oh, well. Good to see a kind smile. The best accessory ever!

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    2. I'm old enough to remember those trousers too! So I will have to put this outfit on the miss category. I know styles recycle but having lived through that style era seeing them makes me cringe a little. Too soo haha! Of course the clothes are the least important thing here. The way she interacts with parents/children especially is so touching.

      Lucie

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    3. I am thrilled she did not match her earrings (pink) to her slacks as she usually does. The little gold hoops are spot on. The charm neckless is great and would have made a better statement worn solo. Less is more!

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  20. She just glows! Love seeing her with kids, every time she's around little ones, she shows a true mother's heart. And I love this combination of clothing. It's comfortable and fresh for late summer/early autumn, and shows her lovely figure while still being casual. I've seen quite a bit of sneakers/trainers paired with dresses and nicer trousers lately, so I think she's right on track, fashion wise. Lovely to see her! She just looks so happy and content that she makes me smile. Oh...and fabulous hair today!

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  21. the duchess is being good even its lockdown the smart and casual look was great too she being careful she has a husband and children on her plate so she being careful

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  22. Her hair is fab! 😍

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  23. Can’t wait for the doco next year! :) Can’t believe it’ll be 10 years!! 😱

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    1. I can't believe it either, Kiwi Gal... but then I look at George and the other kids, and hey presto! - that's where the years have gone!

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  24. She looks gorgeous. I will pass on the pants. Agree with the comments about looking like matronly poly pants. I thought they worked much better as part of a suit even though I do not like that dusty rose color.

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    1. Ali, I agree with you about the poly looking pants and the rose color. Sometimes, I wonder if Kate does what some models do, and wear items that are not that attractive, but since she is so beautiful she can get away with the look.

      I do like that during this difficult year, Kate has made many affordable clothing and accessory choices. Financial issues have hit many in the U.S. That being said, I do look forward to the glamour of gowns and tiara sightings in the years to come.

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  25. Caroline in Montana23 September 2020 at 17:25

    I like this look for the most part. These pants look way better with the superga's, really didnt like them with the heels - they looked so short. they are still short which would be ok but the combo of the high waist and short ankle doesnt do much for me. like the color and i like the top. think her hair looks completely fabulous and i love all her accessories, that necklace is awesome! agree with whomever said unusual to have the watch bracelet and necklaces all at once, does seem she is ramping it up a bit and taking this casual outfit up a notch. so glad to see her and i hope she has more engagements soon. I am sure she is being careful and following mask/social distancing protocols and rules, im not sure why folks think she isnt/wont/didnt, maybe they just need something to grouse about during these interesting times?!?

    anyone thinking of buying a pair of those superga's i can tell you they are wonderfully comfortable right out of the box! i only have 2 "repli Kates" and the superga's are one of them!!

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  26. PLEASE serve as an example and put on your mask regardless of the distance between you. It is so easy and you could save a life.

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  27. Off topic, but Eugenie and Jack! I bet Sarah is in serious Grandma mode. I doubt Bea.is far behind.

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  28. USA Granny I am having trouble posting. Earlier you mentioned liking the "no belt" with the pants. I am fine
    with or without belts but I do not like pants or skirts that have loops being worn without a belt. Just a particular issue for me. So if she is going beltless I would prefer she wear pants or skirts designed without
    loops. :)

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  29. I just love the work that she's doing. She is exemplary in her life, her role as a royal, a wife, mother, daughter. And......she looks fantastic.

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