A video of Kate arriving from Richard Palmer of The Express.
The Duchess of Cambridge is in a Beulah dress at Family Action today. pic.twitter.com/z5B16cSqdP
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) January 22, 2019
It was sunny with temps in the mid-40s before rain and snow arrived in the afternoon.
Kate being welcomed.
This wasn’t the Duchess’s first Family Action engagement. She visited a children’s center in November 2017 and learned more about the agency’s work.
Kate laughing as she was introduced to staff today. On the left, Family Action CEO David Holmes.
Mr. Holmes is also on the steering committee for the bigger project Kate is working on, a comprehensive effort to improve care for infants and children. Kensington Palace noted the Duchess is “currently driving a research project to establish what more can be done in (sic) across the UK to give children their best possible start in life.”
In his story for People, Simon Perry explains more about the longterm project:
Last year, Kate, 37, quietly brought together practitioners and academics from the worlds of neuroscience, mental health, nursing, perinatal care and education to form a new steering group. They have met several times behind the scenes to discuss what can be done to make a positive difference to the lives of children by focusing on their earliest stage of life, from pre-birth to infancy.
Her hope for early intervention to help youngsters has been at the heart of Kate’s work on addiction, mental health and young people’s well-being.
Kate was at Family Action to officially launch FamilyLine, a national service offering help for parents and caregivers via email, texts, or a phone call. In her story for The Telegraph Hannah Furness reports Family Line is “…for anyone struggling with aspects of family life, from parenting and relationship difficulties to mental health and wellbeing.”
Here you see Kate in a coaching session for those responding to Family Line questions.
Family Action says “We are here to provide a listening ear, answer those particular parenting questions or help with guidance around more complex issues. We can also provide longer-term support through regular sessions with our befrienders and counsellors. All via telephone, text message or email for free.”
A quick video from the training session.
The Duchess listened to an expert coaching session for the new FamilyLine, which was focused on perinatal mental health and asked @family_action volunteers about their training. pic.twitter.com/skQ3YIj2Jf
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 22, 2019
The session was focused on maternal mental health, and the Duchess spoke candidly about parenting.
More from this People story (the first paragraph quotes Kate):
“It’s so hard. You get a lot of support with the baby as a mother particularly in the early days, but after the age of 1 it falls away,” she said during her visit. “After that there isn’t a huge amount — lots of books to read.”
Deidre, from Islington, north London, and her aunt, Dawn Daley, 46, told Kate how Family Action had helped them as they struggled to look after Deidre’s two children who both have a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis.
“She was saying we were brave to be able to speak about our stories and come out and speak about what’s happening with us. She was very compassionate. I was scared – should I curtsy, should I say Ma’am. But from the time she walked in there was this presence and everyone just felt at ease.”
In one of the meetings, the Duchess was positioned by a glass door, creating a mirrored effect in photos.
Kate spent time with very young caregivers and heard about the challenges they face balancing school and care responsibilities. The agency’s young carers services help them cope with the pressures on themselves and their families, to meet other young carers, and focus on their own wellbeing and future, as well as, the members of their family they help care for.
She also watched Family Monsters, a 1:30 video that is part of the Family Monsters Project highlighting “the hidden ‘monsters’ that many families face, such as debt, addiction, lack of time together, relationship issues and mental health issues.”
It’s a great piece, and well worth viewing. CEO David Holmes said that Kate’s “support will encourage many more families to talk about their ‘family monsters’.”
The campaign helps mark the charity’s 150th anniversary. The charity notes it has been “building stronger families since 1869, and today work with over 45,000 families through over 135 community-based services. Thousands more are supported with financial assistance through education and welfare grants programmes.”
As she was leaving Kate was given flowers by 13-year-old Helena, who is a caregiver for her mother and receives support from Family Action programs.
A wave and a smile from the Duchess.
Victoria Murphy tweeted a video of Kate leaving.
— Victoria Murphy (@QueenVicMirror) January 22, 2019
Now for our look at what Kate wore, starting with her Beulah London dress.
The Duchess was in a bespoke version of the Yahvi dress ($770).
Crafted of 100% wool crepe, the midi-length piece features a darted bodice, fitted waist, puffed sleeves, a full skirt and distinctive button detailing at the left hip.
Kate’s dress does not have the fluted sleeve seen in other versions of the frock. In this image, you can see the three buttons spaced out starting at the sleeve hem.
The Duchess wore her Gianvito Rossi olive pumps. They are a basic point toe style with an 85mm heel height, that is just under 3.5″.
She carried the Dora clutch by LK Bennett. The bag measures roughly 21″ x 10″ and comes with a goldtone metal chain to use as a shoulder strap if so inclined.
The bag is available in navy velvet (on sale for $142.50) and powder blue suede ($285) on the LK Bennett US site. On LK Bennett’s UK site the clutch is offered in poppy red (£119, roughly $150 at today’s exchange rates), as well as dark pink (£119), mint leaf (£175), and powder blue (£175).
Kate’s hair was down and curled.
Here is a 2-minute video from ITN’s Royal Family Channel.
I wanted to share a couple of quick Retail Roundup notes, all of them of the ‘Sales and Savings’ variety.
- J Crew still has Kate’s Mockneck Sweater in Supersoft Yarns in ‘mahogany’ in all sizes, and it is now 25% off with promo code GOFORIT. The retailer is also discounting an additional 70% off select women’s final sale merchandise and 25% off full-price merchandise with the same promo code.
- Hobbs London is offering an additional 10% off sale merchandise on the US site with promo code EXTRA10.
- There are a couple of Kate’s dresses on sale at Seraphine Maternity, including the Florrie (now $69) and the Vanessa (now $84) styles.
- Whistles is taking an additional 30% off sale merchandise; no promo code is needed.
We will see you in a day or two with another poll!
- Visit the Family Action site by clicking here; the organization’s Facebook page is here; its Twitter feed is here and Instagram page here; to see the Family Monsters campaign film, click here; for a 15-minute video covering the agency’s past, present, and future, click here; read Family Action’s blog post about today’s visit by clicking here
- The Telegraph story is here; a Daily Mail piece is here; The Evening Standard’s article is here; The Sun‘s coverage is here
- People’s story is here; a Hello! article and gallery is here; PopSugar’s gallery is here
- This Mirror article looks at Beulah’s work supporting vulnerable women; People also has a story covering Beulah’s work fighting modern slavery