Kate wore a rich blue Max Mara coat for today’s engagements, a vibrant look on a brisk, sunny day. Her first stop: the Emma Bridgewater factory in Staffordshire.
The Duchess was on hand to commemorate the debut of two Emma Bridgewater mugs being sold as a fundraiser for the EACH Nook Appeal, a campaign raising money to build a new children’s hospice in Norfolk.
Below, Kate and Ms. Bridgewater.
Below you see Ms. Bridgewater and her husband Matthew Rice giving the Duchess a tour.
More from Gordon Rayner’s story in The Telegraph:
The Duchess of Cambridge was pronounced “a natural Stokie” as she tried her hand at pottery on a visit to the Emma Bridgewater ceramics factory. She was not afraid to get her hands dirty as she had a go at making a plate from a disc of clay.
Warning on-lookers to “watch out”, the Duchess managed to hit the mark first time as she threw the clay onto a machine, although she remarked “it’s a little lop-sided”.
Kensington Palace shared a brief video of the Duchess trying her hand at decorating some pottery.
The Duchess wasn’t afraid to get messy as she had a go at painting one of the mugs at the Emma Bridgewater factory.
Surrounded by the iconic British earthenware and Union Jacks, Kate smiled and joked as she was shown by a staff member how to make the print.
While at Emma Bridgewater Kate met children and families from the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice.
More on the visit from Hello!
As Kate admired the ladybird-printed crockery, she chatted to staff who worked at the factory as well as volunteers and children from EACH’s local centre the Donna Louise Hospice. The royal was presented with a beautiful gift from one kind teenager Chloe, who gave Kate a painting of the Lake District she had done herself. The sixteen-year-old is just one of the young people being supported by the Donna Louise Hospice.
Below, Chloe with her painting.
The mugs are now available for pre-ordering. There is a Ladybirds Baby Mug (£14.95, with a £5 donation to the Nook appeal) as well as a Ladybirds 1/2 Pint Mug (£19.95, with a £5 donation to the Nook appeal). Additionally, there is a special 2 Mug Set (£39.95, with a £10 donation to the Nook appeal), as shown below.
WKW friend Micki Maynard noted that because she signed up for the Emma Bridgewater mailing list she received a 15% off first-time purchase code, helpful for her order of two mugs, as shipping to the USA ran $30.
As one would expect at Emma Bridgewater, there was a colorful plaque to commemorate today’s Duchess’s visit.
Kate was also given some lovely flowers.
Kate’s second engagement was at Cape Hill Children’s Centre northwest of Birmingham. The charity is part of Action for Children, an organization providing support for the “…most vulnerable and neglected children and young people throughout the UK…”.
Chief executive Tony Hawkhead, our chair of trustees John O’Brien and Operational Director Jan Stoll showed her around the building, then she met with parents who are working with our Sandwell Family Partners project.
For staff at the service, it was a fantastic chance to show the whole of the UK what great work they do.
The Centre offers a variety of programs, everything from adult employment assistance to speech therapy and healthcare assistance. Kate looked very relaxed and eager to listen during her time at the Centre.
Perhaps the highlight of her visit, however, was taking part in a play session with the children and parents who use the Cape Hill Children’s Centre. A young girl grabbed the opportunity to high-five Kate as she sat next to her, while the royal also sang along to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with the group.
ITV has video of the youngster’s celebratory sentiments.
People magazine’s Simon Perry shared several photos on his Instagram feed of Kate and the children.
Sophie Jamieson of the Birmingham Mail posted these pictures of Kate at the Children’s Centre.
Now to what Kate wore.
The Duchess was in a coat by Max Mara. If not identical to the coat seen below, then a cut that is very similar.
Today’s tip of the tiara goes to Carly at Kate Middleton Style, a reader tipped her the coat was from the a/w 2014 Sport Max collection. Irish Sara let us know the style name is Gerbera; she and Carly fiendishly searched and came up with what we think is the coat Kate was wearing today.
If not this precise garment, it is very close.
Matches Fashion describes Sportmax as “the brand’s slick, urban line. Graphic dresses in bold prints, precision tailoring, and crisply cut jackets and trousers amp up city dressing for the fashion conscious.” The company confirmed Kate was wearing their coat on its Facebook page.
The coat features an oversized collar and lapels, princess seaming, on-seam pockets, and a hidden front closure. Ashley Marie reports that she was told by Max Mara the garment is “double-faced wool, sewn by hand, comes with a belt, originally priced at $2490.”
It’s interesting the style name is ‘gerbera,’ as it looks like Kate’s bouquet has a gerbera daisy among the other flowers.
Kate wore her Seraphine Florrie dress.
From the retailer’s ‘Luxe Line’ of maternity wear, the Florrie is a rayon crepe de chine, with a curved empire waistline, short sleeves, and full skirt. The dress is available for pre-ordering, it is expected to start shipping to customers in March ($179/£99).
Kate accessorized with her ‘Frome’ navy clutch from LK Bennett.
And her ‘Georgia’ suede heels from Jimmy Choo.
The Duchess wore her hair partially up, which showed off her sapphire and diamond earrings nicely.
While there are no formal engagements currently on Kate’s calendar at the moment, I expect we will see her carry out a few more appointments prior to her April delivery date.
- Learn more about EACH by visiting the organization’s website here; read about the Nook Appeal here, if interested in volunteering to help with the Nook project, click here
- Visit the Action for Children website here, the Cape Hill Children’s Centre page is here, its Twitter feed can be seen here
- For Kensington Palace’s video of Kate painting on the pottery, click here, Staffordshire Live has a solid video of Kate’s visit you can see here, for a video of Kate singing along at the Cape Hill Children’s Centre click here,
- The Mirror’s live blog coverage is here, (including a 2:30 video video you can watch here), The Daily Mail’s photo laden story is here, the Daily Telegraph story is here, the BBC story is here