Today the Duchess had an engagement “celebrating the work of foster carers,” especially those offering support for young people.
The event was hosted by the Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity. The Duchess arriving at the Islington Council in north London, where today’s function was held. Many readers will recognize her Hobbs Animal Print dress.
Kate took part in a roundtable discussion with those offering foster care and teens who have been, or are in, foster care, described by the Fostering Network as “…a private discussion about the issues that they feel are most pertinent in foster care today.”
The Daily Mirror’s coverage explains the acute need for foster care in the UK:
These children have often experienced neglect and abuse, or have witnessed domestic violence or substance misuse.
Right now there’s a need for at least 8,600 new foster families across the UK, particularly to offer homes to teenagers, disabled children and groups of brothers and sisters.
One of the Fostering Network’s suggestions for those in foster care is that they keep a memory box; today Kate was given her own memory box.
…one like so many children in foster care carry with them. It was full of stories and poems from young people in foster care, and the children of foster carers, and I hope that we managed to provide some more memories of fostering that she can carry with her.”
More from the Fostering Network news release about today’s event: “Following this, The Duchess attended a tea party with foster carers, the children in their care and care experienced young people – as well as social workers from Islington Council.” And from The Daily Mail’s coverage:
…Kate was noticeably moved by the stories she heard.
Many of the families she met have fostered children for many years looking after a range of ages, with some staying a few days while others many years – effectively becoming members of the family.
Back to the Daily Mail story:
..there were lighter moments during the event, which was held at the offices of Islington Fostering Services, including one which saw the Duchess become instantly smitten with one particularly adorable baby.
The Duchess smiled at the gurgling rosy-cheeked girl Naya and compared the six-month-old to her own son Prince George, telling Naya’s foster mother, ‘She’s chubbier than George’. Noticing that Naya’s hair was tied up in little bunches with coloured bands, a smiling Duchess then moved closer and said, ‘Sweetie pie, I love your hair!’
Baby Naya was being carried in the arms of single mother Tigest Tesfamichael, from Islington who has been looking after the little girl for the last four months.
You can see little Naya in the turquoise dress.
Kate is not involved with the Fostering Network in a formal capacity at this point; she is not its patron, nor does she volunteer with the group to the best of our knowledge. However, it is an organization doing work that dovetails nicely with the themes running through her official patronages: care for children and help for at-risk youth.
Below, Kate chatting with a woman named Molly.
The director of development for the Fostering Network, Lucy Peake, noted that “A visit from The Duchess helps to shine a spotlight on fostering and the need for more foster carers, particularly to look after teenagers, disabled children and groups of brothers and sisters.”
Kate wore the Hobbs Animal Print Dress, a silk shirtdress we have seen previously. There’s good news for anyone interested in purchasing the piece: it’s on sale for just $95 on the Hobbs US site and still available in limited sizes, although it does appear to be sold out on the UK site.
Kate accessorized with her Mulberry Bayswater clutch.
She also wore her Stuart Weitzman ‘Power’ pumps in black suede.The shoe is available in all sizes at Stuart Weitzman ($355).
We saw Kate wear a new pair of earrings today. The pair is by Mirabelle Jewelry, there’s just a little confusion as to whether the Duchess is wearing the Lolita style, or the Gina. Both pair are gold plated and Fair Trade, as are many of Mirabelle’s products.
The Lolita is a smaller pair, measuring 4cm in length, while the Gina measures 6cm. Additionally the Gina circles are hammered (textured) metal all over, while the Lolita only has that effect on a portion of the circles. According to the company’s website Kate is wearing the Gina, shown below right. The Lolita style is £30 and the Gina earrings are £35.
But on Mirabelle’s Instagram page they show and say that Kate is wearing the Lolita.
The Gina is also available at Amulet.
A Tip of the Tiara to Kate Middleton Style blog reader Marianna Bozzoli who alerted Carly that she thought Kate was wearing the earrings, as well as Books, Birkins & Beauty who posted the earrings on the WKW Facebook page, along with Anna of My Small Obsessions who has been corresponding with Mirabelle. Once we get the specific style sorted out we will update the post.
As always, the Duchess enjoyed speaking with the children gathered for the event.
The Duchess as she is leaving today’s engagement.
One other quick update today, this one about Kate’s Madderson London dress worn yesterday: the company says they will be re-issuing the frock.
Our thanks to Ashley Marie for the tip about this.
We will see you on Monday for the three engagements Kate has in Kensington.
- Learn more about the Fostering Network by visiting the group’s website here, or its Facebook page here, or following them on Twitter here
- The Fostering Network has a fairly easy way for those in the UK to donate £5: just text ‘Care00 £5’ to 70070; otherwise, this page offers a more standard online donation process
- The Daily Mail’s photo-rich story is here,