This morning the Duchess of Cambridge visited the Reach Academy Feltham, a London school working with one of her charities, Place2Be. It marks her first engagement of 2018 and comes just one day after her 36th birthday. In addition to meeting schoolchildren who lined up outside (in the cold, no less) to greet her, Kate was given a tour of the school, met with staff and parents, sat in on an art class and took part in informal discussions with students participating in the program.
The school is but one of 282 schools in the UK who work with the organization, which offers mental health support for students, and Kate’s presence today highlights her focus on childhood development and early intervention.
The engagement kicked off with students performing Nina Simone’s, “I Wish I Knew How It Felt to Be Free,” to which Kate noted that, “I wish every morning could start off like that.”
She also commented during the visit that based on what she, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have been learning through their work with the Heads Together campaign the prevalence of social media can be “addictive” and a potent factor in the mental health of children and adolescents.
The Academy also houses its own small farm on which students raise chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs, and are training a service dog who goes by the name of Bear. Back at Kensington Palace, of course, the Cambridges not only have a black cocker spaniel named Lupo, but it was revealed a couple years ago that they also have a guinea pig by the name of Marvin. Needless to say, a highlight of today’s excursion was Kate meeting Bear.
The engagement comes on the heels of a busy few days for the Duchess. Over the weekend she reportedly celebrated her birthday with family at Anmer Hall, while Monday saw Princess Charlotte’s first day of nursery school and Prince George apparently started back at Thomas’s Battersea yesterday.
Today Kate recycled a blue floral Séraphine dress that she wore twice before during her pregnancy with Charlotte in the winter of 2015. She paired it with a new double-breasted navy blue coat from Hobbs, featuring pewter buttons and a (very) slightly flared skirt. Her heels, also navy, are from Jimmy Choo.
I had a feeling that we were going to get a recycle today and one option that jumped out at me was definitely this Séraphine number – I am rarely if ever successful when it comes to guessing Kate’s apparel so I’m taking this moment as a personal victory(!) Historically the dress hasn’t been a favorite of mine, but I actually really liked it today and love the detailing on the new coat. I’m going to classify this a win!
We are next due to see Kate on Tuesday when she and William carry out a handful of engagements in Coventry, while it was announced earlier this week that she will add two more to her schedule on Wednesday, the 17th. It’s unclear whether we’ll see her the week of the 22nd, but the month wraps up with the Cambridges’ tour of Stockholm and Oslo, which should be exciting!