Kate Returns From Maternity Leave [UPDATED]

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The Duchess of Cambridge is officially back from maternity leave and carrying out engagements! Though she made appearances throughout the summer for Trooping the Colour, Wimbledon, Prince Louis’s christening and a Royal Air Force ceremony at Westminster Abbey, it’s been over six months since we’ve seen her out and about on behalf of her patronages. It’s been a busy several months for the Royal Family thanks to the welcome addition of the Duchess of Sussex, but it’s good to have Kate back in the mix.

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Today’s engagement took place in Paddington, London at the Sayers Croft Forest School and Wildlife Garden, which gave Kate the opportunity to interact with children outdoors. Peak Kate, if you will.

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The organization seeks to provide inner-city children with the opportunity to play in and explore nature. As such, Kate was not only given a tour of the grounds, but played with children as they made flower crowns and searched for bugs in the garden. Kate noted in an aside that the latter endeavor isn’t new ground for her – she apparently spends “hours” on spider hunts with Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

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As you can tell from the photos, Kate has gotten a haircut since we last saw her wear her hair down in July. The length is more akin to what it was earlier this year during her pregnancy, but she’s still showing off the volume for which her hair is famous. It’s a nice compromise for those who want Kate to keep her 2011/2012 style forever, and those who think it’s time for a refresh.

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Style-wise, it was a casual return to the fashion stakes. Her boots are Penelope Chivers, which she’s owned for years, while the Zara skinny jeans were first debuted in 2016 during her tour of India and Bhutan. I’ve not seen a definite ID of her grey sweater, but the blouse underneath it is Joseph and the jacket on top is from the Swedish brand Fjällräven. [Update: The sweater has been ID’d as Fjällräven.]

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It’s all very in line with Kate’s “casual” uniform for public appearances and given how long it’s been since we’ve seen her out and about, a welcome sight IMHO.

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As of right now, the next time we’ll see Kate is at Princess Eugenie’s wedding on the 12th, but as ever, it’s entirely likely another engagement or two will be added to the docket in coming days. In the meantime, we’ll reconvene tomorrow when the Sussexes visit, er, Sussex(!)

[Update: Since I posted Kensington Palace announced that Kate and the Duke of Cambridge will attend the first Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit on Tuesday, October 9, so there you go!]