Kate brought back a favorite piece for today’s engagement at the Anna Freud Centre.
The Centre specializes in children’s mental health. Here is more info from the Centre’s website:
…The Anna Freud Centre is working to reduce the burden of mental health difficulties of children and young people. The Centre provides a range of clinical services, specialist teaching and training for practitioners and pursues a programme of cutting edge research.
Some may recall Kate’s first solo engagement after Charlotte’s birth was at the Centre’s Family School in mid-September.
Today’s activities were more lighthearted as Kate took part in the Centre’s annual Christmas party. The fun included a session on the bongo drums. From Rebecca English’s Daily Mail story:
The future Queen, hilariously, played Queen, tapping out the band’s anthem We Will Rock You during a session on West African goatskin Djembe drums at the Anna Freud Centre in Islington, North London.
But there can be bongo drum issues when wearing a dress; more from Gordon Rayner’s story in The Telegraph:
Holding a bongo drum between your legs is all but impossible in an Alexander McQueen dress, so the Duchess of Cambridge invented her own “sidesaddle” technique as she joined children at a Christmas party today.
Capone Duggan-Samuels, 12, who sat to her left, said: “Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy for her to hold the drum properly because she was in a dress. She was holding it by her side. But she was making the right sounds.”
At the engagement Kate chatted with a young man about favorite football teams. The Daily Mail story reveals he learned something interesting during that conversation:
The Duchess is not thought to be a keen football fan but when she visited the same pupils in September, some of the pupils came away with the impression she followed the same team as her husband, Prince William: Aston Villa.
But when Rjay Bryan, eight, chatted with her today about William’s support for Villa, the Premier League’s basement team, he then asked which team Kate favoured.
‘We high fived because she supports Chelsea and I support Chelsea. I love people who support Chelsea,’ he said.
Kate also worked with the children on making paper hands. The hands were used to make a Christmas tree collage on the wall.
This was one of those engagements where Kate very much in her element, relaxed and enjoying herself.
As it came time for Kate to leave one young man shared a hug.
More on the visit from The Daily Mail:
Kate, who has launched a crusade to improve children’s mental health with early intervention from experts, praised the children for their achievements while at the school.
‘Thank you everyone. It’s been so fantastic to see you all again doing amazing things. Keep it up and have a really happy Christmas,’ she told them before she left.
The dress is a custom version of this style by Alexander McQueen.
Some may recall several celebrities wore the off the rack dress style, including Kim Kardashian and pop star Tulisa.
The festive red was the perfect color for today’s engagement.
Kate accessorized with her trusty ‘Power’ pumps from Stuart Weitzman. While the black suede version is no longer available in the US, Russell and Bromley still carries the style, it is called the Plunge (£185, about $275 at today’s exchange rates). The info about R&B still carrying the shoe comes via a comment on FB message, I apologize for not remembering just who shared that information.
UPDATE Dec 23: We have heard from another reader that the Plunge is *not* the same as the Power pump, it is actually a style created jointly by Stuart Weitzman and Russell & Bromley. The shoe is priced much lower than the Power was: it is £185 versus £235 for the Power. Our reader also notes there are clear quality distinctions: the Plunge sole is synthetic leather as opposed to the real leather used for the Power sole. One other note: our reader says the plunge is a great repliKate with differences that wouldn’t be visible when the show is worn.
The Duchess wore her Kiki McDonough ‘Lauren’ earrings.
With apologies for the brevity of the post, I am racing out the door and will update with more photos and info this evening. We leave you video of the event , it even includes the bongo drumming!
- Visit the Anna Freud Centre website here, view its Facebook page here, or follow the group on Twitter here
- The Daily Mail’s story is here, The Telegraph story is here, The Express story is here, a
- Hello! magazine’s story is here PopSugar’s gallery of large images is here
- ITN’s 1:45 video story is here