Today’s engagements on behalf of Nursing Now 2020 and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have been on the books for a while now, but it wasn’t until this morning that Kensington Palace announced that the Duchess of Cambridge would formally become patron of each. It’s a big deal when members of the Royal Family officially take on new patronages in general, but especially when it’s one of the younger set (at least in my opinion). The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have both candidly expressed that their approach to monarchy is quality over quantity, thus when either they or Kate take on a new cause or project it’s a safe bet that it means something to them personally.
It’s not hard to see why these organizations appealed to Kate, particularly given her recent interest in maternal mental health. Her work on behalf of children and her own experiences as a mother make both a no-brainer.
Today began with a visit to RCOG where Kate learned about the education and training programs in place and then participated in a roundtable discussion on maternal mental health and the stigma associated with women’s health in general. Following that, Kate was presented with a certificate commemorating her patronage by RCOG President Lesley Regan.
Notably, Regan said:
“On behalf of everyone here present, I would like to extend our very best wishes for the birth of your third child. I’m confident that you will receive excellent care from the wonderful team at my own hospital, as indeed you received for the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte. We look forward to a very long and fruitful relationship with you and your family.”
Many are reading this as acknowledgement that Kate will give birth at hospital instead of at home. It does sound that way and I certainly hope so, but time will tell.
The next stop of the day was St Thomas’ Hospital where the Duchess was on hand to help launch a new initiative, Nursing Now 2020. The campaign’s focus is on raising awareness about the role of nurses in general, and facilitating their participation in healthcare policy decisions.
The afternoon included a tour of the facility where Kate met staff and patients.
Kate also met with nurses from around the world who are at different points in their career to learn more about the profession and how an initiative like Nursing Now 2020 can help.
Finally, Kate gave a speech to officially launch the campaign, which as you know by now, is always a bit of a to-do in Cambridge World!
On hand was one of the midwives who assisted in the delivery of Princess Charlotte in 2015:
I was really pleased by today. Both of these patronages complement Kate’s work and they are the type of substantive engagements that I think go a long way in developing her royal career. I know I was a bit wary at the end of last year over how she and KP would handle these final months before her maternity leave, but I think she’s done a stellar job of setting the tone for the next phase of her public life and it’s days like today that have done so.
As for fashion, Kate chose a bespoke Jenny Packham maternity ensemble. As you may have noticed, HRH is not a big fan of maternity clothing and it generally isn’t until the home stretch that she concedes regular clothing in larger sizes just isn’t going to cut it. She followed a similar pattern this pregnancy, oscillating between tried and true brands that can account for her changing shape and stubbornly sticking to the cuts she normally prefers.
So, today’s get up is notable in that Kate has opted for a custom-made outfit clearly meant to accommodate her pregnancy. The coat appears to be made out of some sort of raw silk and features white piping. All in all, while Kate looked more comfortable than she did wrapped up in last week’s unfortunate Dolce & Gabbana coat, the material of this made it a miss in my book.
It feels too much like a uniform for me, though I think the dress underneath is probably salvageable.
Anyway, Kate paired this look with blue suede Jimmy Choo heels and a Stuart Weitzman for Russell and Bromley clutch.
We’ll see Kate twice tomorrow. She’s due to join William, Harry and Meghan for the first Royal Foundation forum – indeed, this will be the first engagement the four of them undertake together. She’s also expected to attend an exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. We’ll cover both here, so I’ll see you then!
Oh, and anecdote of the day: