Skip to Content

The Duchess in New and Old Pieces for Return from Maternity Leave

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. 

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.

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.

From Simon Perry’s People article:

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.

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.”

More from The Telegraph’s coverage:

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.”
The girl on Kate’s left is 4-year-old Anwaar from St. Stephen’s Primary School.

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 children getting water for the seeds.

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.

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. 

Our thanks to Heaven QRFChristin, and Michelle for their speedy jacket ID!

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.)

Beneath it, Kate wore the Joseph Rainer Bud Print Blouse; here you can see the fabric match. 

A Tip of the Tiara to Laura spotted for her ID of the blouse, with thanks to Caroline as well.

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

The trousers are the Zara Biker Jeans first seen during the tour of India, and again at a City Farms for Children engagement in May of last year.

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.



Pin It

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Sunday 14th of October 2018

I am, once again, way late with my reply, but I loved this post too much not to comment! This is such a perfect event for Kate's return from maternity leave, she looks so at ease and clearly gets along with children very well.

I was so excited to see her in Fjällräven pieces – the Swedish-loving part of me squealed when I recognized that arctic fox on Instagram! Great to see Kate trying more from brands she's worn on tour and a nice change from the Barbour jacket, which would have made the whole look too repetitive to the similar event she attended last year. The jacket and sweater freshened things up.

I sure wish I had any footwear that I trusted as much as Kate does her Penelope Chilvers boots! I've become fond of investing a bit more money into timeless pieces so it makes me happy to see these boots survive after so many years and events.

Elizabeth in CO

Monday 8th of October 2018

I can't figure out how to post this as anything other than a "reply," but if you order from the Fjallraven website, use the code COME BACK-10 for a 10% discount. I got $15.00 off on the sweater (but in a different color).


Thursday 4th of October 2018

Please remove if this isn't allowed - been following the blog for years but first time commenting.

Zara has a very similar-looking pants, the Z1975 zippered jeans, in dark khaki and black for anyone looking for a replikate. My local Zara also had a color very similar to Kate's that I tried on but didn't see it on the website.



Thursday 4th of October 2018

I love this look. Honestly it's something i could see myself wear on a weekend. Those boots are incredible and I always love to see her wear them (wouldn't you love to see where all these items are stored?!!) I've been obsessed with those Zara jeans since she wore them the first time (and own them myself in black now!). They are not too tight at all! Her hair looks amazing and all of us should be so lucky to look so trim, fit and happy after 3 children in 5 years.

sue d

Friday 5th of October 2018

Yes it looks totally possible as a weekend outfit for me to wear on a weekend.

The jeans look like they have give due to the design around the knees.

She looks absolutely fantastic!


Wednesday 3rd of October 2018

So happy to see Kate again! I’ve missed her. I think she looks gorgeous as usual. I think the pants look fabulous on her. I would kill to have her figure and look good in pants like this. I don’t think they are too tight at all. Only downside is it makes me jealous of her bum. ??

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.