The Duchess returned from maternity leave with an outdoor engagement at a forest school in Paddington, London.
As you would imagine there was enormous interest in Kate’s return. In this photo from Silver Sunday UK, you can see some of the photographers on hand this afternoon.
Kate’s visit was at the Sayers Croft Trust Forest School and Wildlife Garden. The Trust is a charity “..with the aim of involving the local community, especially young people, in the enjoyment and care of the environment.”
Above you see the Duchess being welcomed by students from St. Augustines Primary school. More via The Mirror’s coverage:
When she arrived at the school, which gives inner city children the change to learn about nature, she was greeted by a group of excited kids who gave her a bunch of flowers.
They then gathered around her and hugged her legs.
You can see the children hugging Kate in a video shared by Emily Andrews of The Sun.
Video: Kate is hugged by reception kids (ages 4&5) from St Augustine’s CoE Primary in Kilburn. So sweet! Kate asks them what their favourite thing about forest school. “Eating!” says one & Kate giggles. #duchessofcambridge pic.twitter.com/icqAhZDYhj
— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) October 2, 2018
A focus of the Trust is providing outdoor equipment and facilities for those who would otherwise not have access to them, offering children “…an opportunity to learn about and engage with the natural world,” according to Kensington Palace.
As she walked through the park, Kate shook hands with other parents out with their children and met with locals. She told one group of well-wishers that she had enjoyed her time with the kids at their forest school. She smiled and added, “All I found were tiny slugs!”
The Duchess on a trail in the park.
The Duchess of Cambridge is visiting @SCTrust Forest School and Wildlife Garden, which gives inner city children a unique opportunity to learn about and engage with the natural world 🍃 pic.twitter.com/GdB9v20r2H
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 2, 2018
This is the sort of engagement that is really in Kate’s wheelhouse; it was outdoors and involved children. Rebecca English reported in The Daily Mail that “After crouching in bushes with youngsters to search for bugs, the royal told teachers at the school that she hunts for spiders ‘for hours’ in her own garden with her children Prince George and Princess Charlotte.”
She appeared relaxed and chatty as she toured the Sayers Croft Forest School and Wildlife Garden at Paddington Recreation Ground in west London, asking one young boy from St Augustine’s Primary if he was going to show her around.She laughed as she repeated his reply: “No boring bits? No!” She added: “Wow, this is so cool, I can’t wait to see it.”
Who had some fun with her plastic cup.
This is a great “Mom look,” if ever there was one.
Victoria Ward reports in The Telegraph that “She was referred to by one enthusiastic young fan as “your majesty”…”.
Everyone was a royal today as the Duchess helped the children make leaf crowns. Rebecca English posted a video of the children with their regal headwear.
The Duchess of Cambridge helping the children to make leaf crowns…. pic.twitter.com/5wrLjXjnag
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) October 2, 2018
In this image, I *think* everyone was working on planting seeds for the garden.
The children getting water for the seeds.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 2, 2018
Emily Andrews also shared these pictures of Kate meeting 7-month-old Romi, and in her story noted that Kate “greeted students at the forest school in Paddington, cooing over a seven-month-old “almost the same age as my little boy.”
A lovely photo of Kate.
When it was time to leave little Anwaar wanted to give the Duchess a hug.
Kate was more than happy to oblige.
This ITV video has some nice shots of the children and the Duchess.
From giggling with a little girl as she plays with a cup to joining youngsters on a bug hunt.
— ITV News (@itvnews) October 2, 2018
Thoughts on Kate’s style today from Bethan Holt’s Daily Telegraph column:
It was little surprise, then, that Kate’s chosen outfit chimed so closely with the off-duty look which she has carefully cultivated over the years. This is a photo-ready version of Norfolk Mum Kate and the ultimate way to segue back into life in front of the camera.
There were some very familiar Kate style tropes in the mix here: we’ve seen the Zara skinny jeans many times before, ditto the Penelope Chilvers boots. These are becoming as key to the Duchess’s image as Launer handbags and silk scarves are to The Queen.
Now to what Kate wore for her first engagement after maternity leave.
She was in a jacket we’ve not seen her wear previously, the Fjällräven Stina. For those not familiar with the brand, it is a Swedish-based company specializing in outdoor clothing and equipment. The Duchess wore a Fjällräven sweater when visiting Sweden in January.
The Stina is made of a poly/cotton blend; it has an attached hood, a zip front, vertical front zip pockets, and adjustable tabs at the wrist. It is available at Amazon in smaller sizes; as well as at Moosejaw, and at Backcountry. It is roughly $200 at all three retailers. UPDATE: Kim reports in a comment she was able to snag the jacket at EMS and used promo code TRAIL18 for $15 off the price. Thanks, Kim! Below, two hallmarks of the brand, the Swedish flag tab, and Arctic Fox logo.
It appears that Kate also wore a Fjällräven sweater, the label’s Övik Re-Wool Style ($150) style, so called because it is a blend of recycled wool and polyamide. It is a classic style with ribbed cuffs and collar. It is available at Backcountry and also at Fjällräven in Kate’s frost green color; it is $150 at both sites. Thanks again to Christin, she also IDed Kate’s sweater.
The style comes in dark garnet (maroon) and alpine purple as well; those colors are available in all sizes at Backcountry, as well as at Fjällräven. The dark garnet is also in stock in all sizes at Amazon.
If interested in Kate’s sweater from the tour, it is available again at several stores. We show it at Moosejaw, where it is $159.95. (The photos on the right show a bit of the sweater peeking out from Kate’s coat when she wore it in Sweden.)
The shirt is from the brand’s pre-winter 2018 collection. It is 100% silk, cut in a loose fit with chest flap pockets, epaulets, and a curved hem. We show it at Matches Fashion ($595), but it is also available at Joseph, as well as at Farfetch.
Kate’s boots were recognized immediately, her Penelope Chilvers Long Tassel Boots (£475, about $640).
We also saw the Monica Vinader Siren earrings.
Kate’s hair looked shorter and a little lighter in color.
More from a Harper’s Bazaar story:
Her new hair looks a few inches shorter than when we last saw her, with some layers and lighter highlights added in for extra bounce and shine. Even with gusts of wind blowing her new style around, Middleton’s sleek waves looked flawless—as always.
Also today, word of a new engagement next week.
Tuesday, October 9: Kensington Palace reports the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the first Global Summit on Mental Health Culture Change Summit. Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit on Tuesday 9th October. The Summit will see political figures, academics and policy-makers from around the world come together with one common goal: better mental health for all.
- Click here to learn more about the Sayers Croft Trust; the Trust’s Facebook page is here; the organization’s Twitter feed is here
- Emily Andrews’ story for The Sun is here; The Mirror’s coverage is here; Rebecca English’s Daily Mail article is here; The Telegraph’s news story is here; Rebecca Perring’s Daily Express piece is here
- Bethan Holt’s fashion column for the Telegraph is here; People’s story by Simon Perry is here; a PopSugar slideshow is here;