Wednesday, 19 January 2022

The Cambridges Learn About Britain's Care Sector During Foundling Museum Visit

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Foundling Museum to learn more about the care sector this morning.

The visit marks Kate's first official public engagement since she hosted a special Christmas carol concert at Westminster six weeks ago. The Duchess resumed her focus on early years yesterday with a private meeting recorded in the Court Circular. The Cambridge family spent Christmas and the New Year at their country home, Anmer Hall, where Kate celebrated her 40th birthday. Plans for a party were postponed due to the pandemic -- with reports the Cambridges will hold a joint bash over the summer. George and Charlotte have been back at school since last week, and 'Baby Cambridge' Louis will be joining them in September. He's currently attending nursery in London. Looking to the year ahead, expect to see a focus on the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in the coming months.

The Duchess became patron of the Foundling Museum in 2019. You might remember Kate paid her first official visit after an engagement with the Queen, sporting her grey Catherine Walker dress.

To coincide with the patronage announcement, Kensington Palace said, "The Duchess has a longstanding interest in both the arts and supporting vulnerable families, and this patronage will further highlight the beneficial impact that art and creativity has on emotional wellbeing. Larissa Joy, Chair of Trustees – Foundling Museum, said, ‘We are delighted and honoured that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has become Patron of the Foundling Museum. We could not imagine a more perfect Patron. We look forward to working with her as we fulfil our mission to inspire people to make positive impact on society through the arts."

During a speech upon becoming patron, Kate said, "I am passionate about improving children’s life chances and giving them opportunities, so that they can look forward to the best possible futures, fulfil their whole potential, and have the freedom to explore their creativity. I have always believed in the power of art, not only to unlock that creativity, but also to bring us joy, and to inspire, challenge and positively change our lives. Your Museum here powerfully links these two forces for good. By weaving together the moving stories of looked after children, with art and artists of all genres, you create meaningful learning experiences which will have a lasting, and often transformational, impact on young lives."

The Foundling Museum tells the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and public art gallery. The museum works with contemporary artists, writers and musicians to develop learning programmes that are meaningful for young people, especially those who are looked after and care-experienced, to help them see the world differently and imagine new possibilities for themselves.

Today, the Duke and Duchess joined a roundtable discussion with experts and stakeholders to discuss the 'landscape of care' across the UK. Topics covered a range of areas including mental health, housing, education and addiction.

More from the Mail:

'Kate said she was concerned that without providing stable homes for children they risk being moved around and having to 'tell their story again and again.'

William said: 'That may become emotionally exhausting to tell the story again and again. We've had that in the mental health side of things, people end up on the street, go through hoops and hurdles, tell so many people in authority and nothing changes. 

'You have to get to them a lot earlier so they don't have to keep doing this.' The couple were said they also worried about the 'consistency in care:'

Olympic athlete Kris Akabusi, poet Lemn Sissay, and Allan Jenkins, editor of Observer Food Monthly, told the Duke and Duchess their experiences of growing up in care. Akabusi said: 'I enjoyed the stability. It was a saviour for me'. He said leaving care aged 16-years-old was 'very traumatic'.

Kate replied: 'You are petrified leaving for independence'.

Kensington Palace added: "Through her work over the past decade the Duchess of Cambridge, who became patron of the Foundling Museum in 2019, has seen first-hand how some of today’s hardest social challenges have their roots in the earliest years of a person’s life. The Duchess is committed to raising awareness of the importance of early childhood experiences and of collaborative action in order to improve outcomes across society."


The Palace shared more background on personal stories the couple heard, too: "Their Royal Highnesses will then spent time with individuals who have lived experience of the care system and learn about their stories. These will include author and poet Lemn Sissay, former track and field athlete Kriss Akabusi, and writer Allan Jenkins. The Duke and Duchess will also meet a group of young care leavers to hear about some of the challenges they have encountered, and the impact of the support and training they are receiving through the Foundling Museum’s Tracing Our Tales programme. Launched in October 2017, Tracing Our Tales is a unique programme which has been developed to equip care-experienced young adults from London boroughs with the skills to devise and deliver workshops at the Museum for family groups. The programme provides paid employment and valuable life skills, including public speaking, critical and creative thinking, and people management, as well as skills in art and creative expression. The Duchess of Cambridge previously visited the programme in 2017 and 2019."


'The couple joined them for an 'ice breaker' session armed with three-foot long pencils. They drew on a canvas what they could see in front of them without looking down at the floor.

Kate, who studied art history at the University of St Andrew's, giggled as she struggled with the artwork which had the look of a vast doodle when it was finished.

William laughed and said of his three children: "The kids would really enjoy that."

A closer look at the artistic activity.

As you can imagine, it was very much in Kate's wheelhouse.

An interesting video wrapping up the visit.

Now, a look at Kate's understated professional look today.

Kate debuted the longline, petrol blue coat for a visit to Stockwell Nursery two years ago. To the best of my knowledge, it was never definitively identified. There are unconfirmed reports suggesting it's a past season Jigsaw piece.

It looks like Kate's sweater is the Hobbs Lara Rollneck style (with thanks to Sisi). The fine-gauge knit piece features gold button detailing on the sleeves and is crafted from merino wool certified by the Responsible Wool Standard. It's currently available in various colours at Hobbs London and Bloomingdales.

Kate owns the Lara in pink, too.

The Duchess sported her Jigsaw navy £130 High Waisted Sport Luxe Trousers.

And her Emmy London Josie block heel shoes.

Kate completed the look with a pair of £2 earrings from Accessorize. The Mini Hammered Doorknocker earrings are currently out of stock.

I'm always fascinated to hear about the work of the Foundling Museum. A very nice engagement to kick off 2022!

31 comments:

  1. Love this couple! They’re such a great team. She looks beautiful and I love her darker hair.
    Focusing on mental health issues is so important especially during these difficult times.

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  2. What a wonderful engagement. Love Catherine’s outfit. It’s a very stylish professional outfit. I adore the jacket is beautiful.
    DD

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  3. She owns the Lara in PINK not red :)

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  4. A wonderful engagement for both William & Catherine. She looks so beautiful from her gorgeous, freshly cut & coloured hair, stunning, modestly priced earrings & her exquisitely lovely, repeat looks, styled in a different way, that suits her perfectly, from head to toe. I love everything about this look! What a great start to Her Majesty’s Jubilee Year. 💕

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    1. Ditto Dee!!! Love the look, nice new cut, and a great start to a wonderful year in honor of HMTQ! Handsome, happy couple!

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  5. She nailed the wide trousers today. Normally I don't like them, but this was perfection.

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  6. Wonderful engagement and she looks great. Lovely look. Is it possible her earrings are a more expensive pair and the Amazon ones are an inexpensive knock off?

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  7. She spook good in a paper bag but still Ugg I hate those style of pants!

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  8. I love the look of today and her hair looks darker and a bit shorter

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  9. Tammy from California19 January 2022 at 17:28

    NAILED the look today!!

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  10. Kate's coat game is enviable!!! She looks fantastic and very professional, forty suits Kate! She and William are truly in sync with each other and look good together! Every time I see them I am reminded of the lyrics to a song "you look so good in love..." Nice engagement to start the year off!!

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  11. Great outfit. I am not sure if the trousers and sweater are black or blue. In many pictures these clothes look black. The shoes could also be the black Rossi Piper pumps.Is there any proof it is navy blue?

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  12. Love this look on Kate! So so much more modern than the coat dresses of the past yet stylish and beautiful.

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  13. I clicked on this post immediately to see the source of the earrings because they caught my eye - I did not expect them to be $2!

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  14. It is great to see them again. Glad they are free of covid. Dss Kate looks great, very nice outfit and lovely color coat. She looks good in blue. Also a very happy 40st Birthday. I must say one thing, she is 40 has 3 children and has a super figure. Yes hm I am older have kids, but do not wear a size 0-2, well one can't have everything. But all the best to them and glad they are back to work.

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    1. You also have to keep in mind that a camera always makes persons seem to have five kilograms more than in reality... Please don't compare your body with Kate's. Aside from different genetic preconditions, your everyday life will differ a lot from hers. Probably you don't have a high profile personal trainer and so much support with the children and your job. It takes a lot of time and money to keep this shape at her age. There might even be some public pressure to have it, and that wouldn't make you and me happy.

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  15. She looks lovely. Her hair is nice, shorter isn't it?
    I prefer her in dresses, but the coat is a nice colour. I hope this trousers open coat trend doesn't last...

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  16. Does Kate’s hair appear darker to you? Maybe it’s the lighting?

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  17. Her sweater is past season Zara, not the Hobbs one. The Hobbs one doesn't flare at the cuffs like that

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  18. The Duchess looked beautiful today. Both look very happy and having a good time. I really like the colour of her coat. I think it looks better with a dark colour underneath. Does anyone know, is that called a petrol blue?. S. ☺

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  19. CanadianDuchess1419 January 2022 at 22:46

    Hi - I think the jumper is Zara. The split on the sleeve doesn't match the Hobbs and the Granita Pink one didn't split like that when she wore it.

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  20. Goodness, they are both gorgeous today. I'm completely inspired to buy a black roll-neck jumper now! What a lovely engagement.

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  21. Very very pretty look! And her hair certainly looks darker, which is SO attractive.

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  22. Thank you dear Charlotte for this lovely post. Kate looks elegant and this was a great event. It is so nice to see some positive news after the news about disgusting Prince Andrew glad the Queen has stripped him of his HRH and royal patronages. I hope he loses his tax payer funded security protection as well.

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  23. Lovely to see them both back to work. I prefer this outfit with the coat, as opposed to the previous wear. Also, I like the length and color of her hair. More importantly, what an amazing place & organization- incredible place to visit. I always learn so much from your blogs- thank you! It’s a perfect fit for the work of both William and Catherine!

    I tried to post twice on the birthday photos but they didn’t go through for some reason. Loved the red dress and thought the pose of her hand with the delicate ribbon in the side portrait drew my eye. In that photo the ring and earring really stood out. It was a nice touch to have William and the children pick their favorite. Sue

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  24. I like her hair today. I love the coat and much prefer it with dark clothes underneath rather that the white or cream frilly top she wore it with before). I work with children who have left care so I'm really pleased to see her getting involved in this area and would love to see her take it on more. I'm really hoping we'll see a flurry of activity now as she's had a decent break for Christmas and her birthday.

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  25. Thank you NORA. I also like the way you think.

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  26. Kate looks fantastic in this such a classic combination that never goes out of style.

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  27. the duchess looks fantastic i love her outfit the looks that they are syncing some grear and positive view to the queen who been a lot lately

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