The Duchess of Cambridge visited two schools today in support of Children’s Mental Health Week – Alperton Community School and Lavender Primary School. The engagements complement Kate’s focus on early intervention and children’s issues, while her presence today was in her capacity as patron of Place2Be. The theme of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is ‘Healthy: Inside and Out’, focusing on the connection between physical and mental health.
Kate participated in a round of show-and-tell in which students were asked to share an object that makes them happy by bringing along a photograph of her with the Duke of Cambridge and their three children. She said:
“This is a photograph of my family. These are my children and this is my husband. And my family makes me feel happy. And we like playing outside together and spending lots of time together as a family. And that makes me feel very happy.”
The photo is a familiar one to the public as it was released as the family’s Christmas card last year.
During her visit she engaged in a few classroom activities using tools to help children process and think about their emotions, including a food diary and a mood meter that illustrates the link between food choices and emotion and supports children in articulating their feelings respectively.
During an aside with students, Kate noted that Princess Charlotte loves olives and that she frequently has her and Prince George help in meal preparation, including their favorite “cheesy pasta.”
One teacher told reporters:
“She was so engaging and was interested in how Place2Be fitted into the whole school community. She was wonderful with the children and was keen to speak to the parents about the whole helps with their mental wellbeing too.
“I introduced Place2Be to the school because I realised the important of counselling and mental wellbeing but didn’t have the wherewithal to do it myself. The Duchess was really interested in how it worked, how Place2Be worked in a school environment and how it helps all children, not just those specifically having dealings with them day to day.
“She was very interested in our discussion about how food can change moods. She was telling us how much her children love cooking and how they cook for her.”
At Alperton, Kate also sat in on a round table discussion of which Kensington Palace shared a brief video:
There, Kate also met Andria Zafirakou the UK’s first winner of the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize. The award is presented each year to a teacher who has made an “outstanding contribution.”
On the fashion front, Kate wore a new green dress by Eponine London, a woman-owned brand that she has featured a few times over the year. Paired with black tights, she moved away from her typical court shoes for a slightly edgier pair of black L.K. Bennett ankle boots.
At first glance I wasn’t too moved by this ensemble, but it’s grown on me as I’ve looked through the photos. The buttons on the dress are a little off-putting (they look like eyes!), but I love slightly retro and wintry silhouette, and I love the pairing with the boots that keep this a little younger and more casual – fitting for a day spent with kids.
After the day’s close, KP announced a new engagement for the Duchess – on Feb. 13th she will attend a mental health in education conference. It’s been widely reported that William and Kate are confirmed guests at the BAFTAs on the 10th, as well, but I’ve yet to see KP make any announcement so I’m holding off on posting it to Kate’s schedule.