Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Duchess Kate Hears About Exciting Natural History Museum Project

The Duchess of Cambridge visited her patronage the National History Museum this afternoon to hear how communities across the UK will benefit from its Urban Nature Project, which will be launched in the coming months.

Kate was welcomed by Museum Director, Dr Doug Gurr. Speaking about the visit Dr Gurr said, "I’m delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness here today as we share some of the work the Urban Nature Project is doing to engage young people with the nature on their doorsteps. Biodiversity, especially in urban settings, is under threat like never before. To survive, it needs young people to grow up with a desire to protect it. But without feeling excited by and engaged with the green spaces around them, this is in jeopardy. That is why this project is crucial for our urban green spaces and all the species who call it home."

The ethos of the project is very much in keeping with Kate's passion on the importance of connecting with nature. Kensington Palace said, "As part of her longstanding work on early childhood, the Duchess of Cambridge believes that spending time outdoors plays a pivotal role in children’s future health and happiness, building foundations that last through childhood and over a lifetime. Through her Back to Nature gardens, which were displayed in 2019 at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, and the subsequent installation of the Back to Nature play garden at RHS Wisley, Her Royal Highness aimed to highlight how spending time outdoors can enrich a child’s early development by providing an environment that encourages active exploration and the opportunity to form and strengthen positive relationships."

The appearance follows the launch of the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. In its inaugural report, Big Change Starts Small, one recommendation specified "the need for society as a whole to come together to create safe, healthy and nurturing environments and experiences for children, including the provision of easy access to nature and outdoor space".

The NHM's Urban Nature Project will see the Museum's five-acre South Kensington site transformed into a "biologically diverse green space" in the heart of the capital. One particularly exciting aspect is plans for outdoor exhibitions and galleries offering visitors the opportunity to learn about wildlife and nature. 

The Museum will expand their schools programme to ensure as many children as possible can enjoy the project. Activities related to biodiversity, natural crafts and self-guided experiences will form an integral part of family friendly plans.

Below, plans for the Learning and Activity Centre.

The plan has received the backing of Sir David Attenborough: "Unless children have access to nature and experience, understand and nurture wildlife, we know they might never feel connected to nature and could grow up with no interest in protecting the natural world around them. The Urban Nature Project opens the door for young people to fall in love with the nature on their doorsteps and develop a lifelong concern for the world's wild places. Nature isn't just nice to have - it's the linchpin of our very existence, and ventures like the Urban Nature Project help the next generation develop the strong connection with nature that is needed to protect it." In her role as patron, Kate has crossed paths with the national treasure on multiple occasions. Below, Sir David visiting KP last year. 


Sustainability is a key element of the design, which aims to deliver a project removing more carbon from the atmosphere than it contributes. The gardens will be zero-waste ensuring no waste from construction goes to landfills with the use of 100% renewable energy during construction and beyond. Below, plans for the expansion of the Wildlife Garden.

More from the NHM:

'The Urban Nature Project will develop new scientific tools and skills urgently needed to monitor, understand and protect urban nature.

Understanding how wildlife is responding to change requires large volumes of data. The Museum will take the lead in convening a national partnership of urban nature professionals, including academic researchers and conservation practitioners.

The gardens will become a hub for urban nature identification and field survey skills. We will pilot a range of technologies for monitoring change in urban environments, including eDNA and acoustic monitoring, and will share these with our partners alongside a DNA library and teaching collection.  A series of workshops on how to best monitor and manage urban nature will be run in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust.
Up to five new long-term urban wildlife study and engagement sites across the UK will also be established to act as test beds for how best to manage urban spaces for wildlife.'

The Duchess listened to the Museum's plans.

The Natural History Museum is the most visited museum of its kind in Europe - meaning the new plans will be enjoyed by visitors from all over the world.

Kate fixed an acoustic monitoring device to a cherry tree in the Wildlife Garden, which records ambient sound to help Museum scientists investigate patterns of bird, mammal and insect activity within the garden. The data collected will be used by the UNP National Schools Programme.

The Duchess joined children for a spider-making exercise and interactive storytelling.

After celebrating Father's Day and William's birthday in Norfolk over the weekend, Kate brought homemade honey from Anmer Hall for the children to try.

A video from the day.

The Duchess was in a stylish casual ensemble for the day.

Kate's striking blazer is by Chloé. The Cinched Safari-Inspired wool jacket in light grain de poudre features an elastic waistband and front horn buttons.

It's available in limited sizing for £1,700 at 24S.com and SSENSE.

It appears Kate wore her & Other Stories Favorite Cut Jeans. The light blue pair are created from organic cotton and feature comfort stretch, a high waist and slim leg.




Kate wore her VEJA Esplar sneakers.

The Duchess accessorised with her Orelia London Huggie Hoop earrings. 

Kate completed the look with her Daniella Draper pendant and Spells of Love necklace.

Finally, to mark Children's Hospice Week, the Duchess shared a letter of support for her patronage East Anglia's Children's Hospices describing their work as a "lifeline". "The last year has been a difficult one for everyone, and especially tough and frightening for families with seriously ill children. I hope you will join me in thanking the UK's 54 children's hospices and their incredible staff for the life-changing care they provide."

36 comments:

  1. I will never look that good in jeans.

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  2. Finally a different pair of jeans (I hope she never wears those black leggings-like jeans). I love Veja sneakers and the jacket is so unexpected and has interesting cut, casual yet elegant. She looks amazing, great colours.

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  3. What a wonderful outing and absolutely awesome outfit. Catherine has nailed her outfit today I love it.

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  4. Valerie in Arizona22 June 2021 at 17:11

    This was such a lovely outing but I have to say what I am most amazed at is how she could sit crosslegged with such ease. Sorry if that sounds petty but at my age I am totally envious!

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  5. Tammy from California22 June 2021 at 17:30

    LOVE this! LOVE that she brought honey to the kids from Anmer Hall!

    In fashion, this is my least favorite outfit Kate has ever worn. This jacket just isn't my taste, but it is well suited for the event.

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  6. Love Kate looking "real". Caught the untied sneaker look that many are wearing with casual attire. Yup, "real life" from head to toe.

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  7. Additional thought, if you have the opportunity to enjoy fresh honey guaranteed you will never go back to store bought. It is heaven and a teaspoon full great for a tickle in your throat or cough.

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  8. The jacket looks so much better on Kate than on the model! I like it a lot.

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  9. What a lovely engagement. It really fits like a T for Kate. I think she looks lovely. While the mum jeans cut is definitely not for me, it’s a current trend. Stil would have preferred a more skinny cut. Absolutely love the blazer. Very flattering colour. That’s a great outfit. Extremely relatable and easy to replicate.
    It’s nice that she sent a letter, but I would wish to see her do more engagements around hospice work. It’s such a painful topic and is often overlooked because it makes people uncomfortable. I really hope she can draw more funds and support to it.
    C.

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    1. It’s possible that visitors are not allowed in hospices at the moment

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  10. What a great place to visit alone or with family.Dss Kate keep up the good work. Love this blazer and the color.

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  11. She looks so stylish. I could adopt this jean style; not true "mom jeans." Very cool idea. But groan on the organic cotton for the jeans. Despite popular belief, it isn't more sustainable. I guess she isn't perfect.

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    1. All it states about the jeans is that they are organic cotton. No claim to sustainability.

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    2. I am with you azaluckyj on the look, I like these jeans, they've got a twist to them that is likeable and looks stylish. Also, not bothered that she isn't perfect, that just adds to her appeal; that she, like some of us who think we are doing the right thing by buying organic have room to grow and learn! :)

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  12. Great outing and Catherine's clothes looked just right. Professional but with a pop of color and an interesting twist on the jacket cut/shape. I am not a big fan of the color of the jacket but it works on her. Lovely to bring the honey, the kids will remember that.

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  13. Charlotte I'm pretty sure she is wearing the cropped version of these jeans.

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  14. Just curious, but on the Royal Family Channel, why is she referred to as Kate Middleton in the caption and not her title?

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    Replies
    1. Very good question! I have wondered this myself!

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    2. I have wondered the same thing!

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  15. I love this blazer. The color and style look great on her. I also think it looks better on her than the model. A look that seems so easily put together, and very classy…even with the sneakers. Well done 👍🏻

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    1. I agree, the blazer color especially is lovely on her, and I think the entire outfit is perfect for interacting with the children and getting up and down from the floor! Sweet, polished and classy, as usual.

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  16. A very interesting project. I used to live across the street from that museum - many, many years ago - and would have been thrilled to be able to walk over and explore those gardens.

    Re: Kate’s outfit today. When I saw the initial photo, I wondered why she was being so, so casual in a visit to a museum but given the activity, the jeans and trainers make sense. The jacket is 1,700GBP? I never begrudge Kate her fabulous wardrobe budget, and It’s not so much that I don’t care for the design or color (both are fine), but it boggles my mind that anyone would spend that much money on an item of clothing like that.

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  17. Kate's jeans were too casual. Everyone else was dressed in business casual attire not jeans, even the kids wore their uniforms. I like this look especially that the jeans were not skin tight but it didn't fit the occasion.

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    1. Kate really looks quite good in everything, but the same thought flashed through my mind when I saw how the others were dressed. It absolutely works while she is sitting with the children, but I felt she should be dressed one notch above everybody else. But it was a flash thought because in the end she really does make it about the event.

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    2. True, but then everybody else is not sitting on the ground and on working level with the kids, so she's ok.

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  18. the duchess of cambridge surely enjoyed every minute of her visit she in her element more than that I love the her outfit today what a surprise

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    1. Zora from Prague23 June 2021 at 17:38

      Ditto Bluefire! 😁

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  19. I think it is great that she is dressed casually entirely in accord with the occasion. She immediately puts the children at their ease by sitting on the ground and listening so intently with them. Its great that all the previous royal rules are being discarded.
    Eg.there is no formal dress with prescribed hem length, no hat or gloves or handbag and no cripplingly high shoes. I can't imagine in a hundred years the Queen sitting cross legged on the ground and looking so much at ease with the children. I love our monarch but things have to change if the monarchy is to survive. Catherine and William are breaking through the stiff formality and this is vitally important for their future. I am sure that on some occasions we will see the more formal outfits, uniforms and beautiful dresses with decorations and tiaras, but it is important to stress that they are down to earth people who can relate to the ordinary public.

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    1. I think you make a very interesting and valid point Kiwi Fan. The Cambridge approach is less formal and genuinely quite relatable and brings a balance that is important going forward. However, you are also right that there will be other occasions where the formal and traditional aspects will take place and be recognized and honored. Also, I believe that William and Catherine's approach and focus on their charities and areas of interest also touches the lives of all people, regardless of ethnicity, social status, or financial categories, i.e. early childhood years, mental health, and the environment. If the pandemic taught us anything, it showed us that there was no discrimination and that we are truly all members of the same human race who are fighting the same demons at times, and our unity is what is our best weapon.

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  20. Caroline in Montana23 June 2021 at 19:19

    I really like most of this look. In the pro category are the shoes, top, earings and her fabulous hair! Wish these jeans were not so high wasted (it looks uncomfortable to me, if you know what i mean) and i wish the jeans were about 3 inches longer. I am on the fence about this jacket, it looks way better on her than it does on the model. the contrast ribbing on the wrist is interesting and it looks better on then alone in the photo. it is a good color for her but would have a hard time paying that price for that garment.

    Writing before i read so will be interested to hear others thoughts on fashion today.

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    1. Agree with you Caroline. The jacket looks much better on her than on the model. And alone on the photo it isn't attractive at all. Not at all a garment I would wish to buy. But she somehow makes it work.

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  21. Cannot get over the cost of that blazer. I mean, it's not to my taste so perhaps thats colouring my view, but wow.

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  22. Susan in Florida23 June 2021 at 21:15

    Nice outfit. I didn’t care for the blazer at first , but with more photos it I decided like it. I also like that this project ties in with her Early Years projects.

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  23. I just love this whole look, absolutely fabulous. Plus, perfect for the occasion, and being with the children.
    I know that honey was yummy.

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  24. I think she is dressed perfectly for the occasion. I wasn't too sure about the jacket but it has such a nice color and looks so good on her, I thought why not? I was completely shocked by the price; it looked like something from The Gap or other low-cost outlet. However, we know she will be able to wear it forever, and it looks perfect for home use, in the garden, running errands, doing stuff with the kids.

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