The Duchess wore a new dress by Eponine London for today’s school visits.
The first engagement was at Lavender Primary School.
The Duchess was greeted by the sound of children singing.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) February 5, 2019
And explanatory signs.
She was also given a posy when she arrived.
A quick video from Victoria Murphy.
— Victoria Murphy (@QueenVicMirror) February 5, 2019
And she met Herbie, the school’s cockerpoo.
The focus of the visit was Children’s Mental Health Week, which kicked off yesterday.
Place2Be launched the first Children’s Mental Health Week in 2015. The organization, of which Kate is patron, is “a leading UK children’s mental health charity providing in-school support and expert training to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, teachers and school staff.” Most readers will recall the videos Kate has made to help publicize the event. Lavender Primary is one of 228 schools in England, Wales, and Scotland that receives support from Place2Be. The Duchess spoke with parents and administrators during her visit.
She also spent time with students and teachers in different classrooms.
The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is “Healthy Inside and Out.”At Lavender Primary, students are taught about the importance of being active. They walk or run a mile almost every day. Below, Kate watching them out for their exercise.
The exercise is called The Daily Mile.
The importance of a healthy diet was also discussed.
She was chatting with a group of youngsters about how foods that are high in sugar can give you a brief feeling of euphoria before making your emotions come crashing down.
‘Charlotte loves olives,’ she said, and told the children that she frequently gets her two eldest children to cook with her – including their favourite ‘cheesy pasta’.
Speaking afterwards, Matthew Kleiner-Mann, chief executive of the the Ivy Learning Trust, said: ‘She was telling us how much her children love cooking and how they cook for her. They made cheesy pasta the other day.
In one class there was a show and tell exercise. Students showed an object and spoke about how it makes them feel. More from Hannah Furness’s story in The Telegraph:
Sitting down with a table full of of youngsters, the Duchess opened up her black clutch bag and told them: “I’ve got something. It’s not very big. Do you want to see it?
Richard Palmer posted a video with Kate sharing what she brought to class.
The Duchess shows the children her family picture pic.twitter.com/l2UTGjipTn
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) February 5, 2019
You can better see the photo here.
The Duchess waving as she leaves.
The second engagement today was at Alperton Community School. Hannah Furness reports, “The London school is considered as at the forefront of mental health provision in schools, with trained specialist counsellors and a strategy that “we’re not an exam factory type of school.”
While there Kate took part in a roundtable discussion.
She also met Andria Zafirakou, a teacher at Alperton.
Ms. Zafirakou won a prestigious award last year when she was named Global Teacher of the Year by the Varkey Foundation. Below, the teacher celebrates as she accepts the award.
The Duchess visited an art class and spoke with students about its impact on their lives. More from The Mirror’s coverage:
She met Andria Zafirakou… and told her about her love of tie dye. During her visit to the art class, the Duchess said she was “desperate” to use the printing technique – fashion mainstay of the hippie generation which was taught to countless children in schools during the 70s and 80s.
Here you see her with Shaquille Stewart and Prakruti Pindolia; both students are 16 years old.
Back to the Telegraph’s story:
Asked what he got out of art, Shaquille, 16, said: “Art grounds me. It makes me calm and makes me think. It makes me in the moment instead of being on social media.”
Shown the drawings he does in his spare time, aside from his A Level portfolio, the Duchess said: “This is what you can do if you don’t use on social media. It’s a fantastic advert. Honestly, it’s really, really incredible.”
From a Daily Mirror story:
When asked if she was interested in art, the Duchess, who studied History of Art at university, said she “loved it” adding: “It’s something I’m loving doing with the children – papier mache – I forgot how messy it is, but it’s really great.”
She also said her son George had found a piece of charcoal in a fireplace and told her: “‘Mummy I’m going to draw a picture’ – that’s what’s so nice you can do it from all around you.”
Kate also attended a meeting of the Random Acts of Kindness Club.
Kate really looked like she was enjoying herself at both school visits today.
More about the bigger picture related to Kate’s goals from Simon Perry in his piece for People.
Kate has put mental health at the forefront of her public work and recently set up a steering group of academics and experts to help advise her on the best ways forward in tackling the problem, and help support parents and families.
Simon’s story underscores Kate’s efforts to see mental health being addressed early in children’s lives. A new engagement has been added to Kate’s Calendar; it will involve the Royal Foundation’s ‘Mental Health in Education’ conference next week. Kate will meet Head Teachers from a number of schools that are testing the Foundation’s Mentally Healthy Schools program.
We’ll leave this portion of the post with a fun tweet from a student’s father.
When the Duchess of Cambridge visits your son’s school and you get a better vantage point than the press pack pic.twitter.com/jt7GFgCZ9V
— Jarrod Hunt (@MrJarrodHunt) February 5, 2019
Now for our look at what Kate wore, starting with the new dress by Eponine London.
She wore a dress similar to the style shown below, a piece from the brand’s spring/summer ’18 collection. Like many of Eponine’s designs, it has a retro feel. It is crafted of wool bouclé; it features three-quarter sleeves, cut out pocket and button detailing at the hip, topstitching at the neckline and bodice and a concealed back zipper.
You can see that Kate’s sleeves are full-length and some of the fullness has been taken out of the skirt.
This afternoon Eponine posted the picture you see below left on Instagram, noting “Little preview from the spring 2019 set.” Below right we show Eponine founder Jet Shenkmen in the style; she wrote about the wool bouclé fabric in her post, saying it is “available in lots of fabulous colours.”
Kate was also sporting a new pair of boots by LK Bennett.
The Marissa is a lace-up style with four eyelets, an almond-shaped toe, and 3.5″ block heel. Originally priced at $495, the design is now on sale for $346.50 on the US site. On the UK site, the boot is £199 and offered in very limited sizes. Thank you to Pam Walters and Alexandra for IDing the boots so quickly.
She carried her trusty Bayswater clutch by Mulberry.
And wore her Kiki McDonough Lauren earrings.
With thanks to Tami B and Micki Maynard for sharing their tips on the Facebook page, here are two repliKate possibilities; both are by Boden. On the left, the Estella Jacquard dress ($120); on the right, the Daisy Ottoman dress ($140).
A couple of quick Retail Roundup notes:
- Monica Vinader is promoting 20% off all online orders through Feb 15 with promo code VALENTINE20. This includes Kate’s ‘Siren’ earrings; usually priced at $195 they are reduced to $156 with the discount. (And shipping is free!)
- Kate’s Fjällräven jacket is back in stock. Our thanks to Catherine for this tip via a Facebook DM. We also found it in smaller sizes at Amazon.
Here is about 3:15 from the Lavender Primary School engagement.
Here is roughly 3:15 covering the Alperton visit.
- Learn more about Children’s Mental Health Week by clicking here
- Place2Be’s website is here; its Facebook page is here; the organization’s Twitter feed is here, and its Instagram page is here; if you are interested in making a donation click here
- The Daily Mail’s story by Rebecca English & Unity Blott on the Lavender Primary visit is here and its story on the Alperton Community School engagement is here; The Telegraph’s piece from Hannah Furness is here; The Daily Mirror‘s story is here; Simon Perry’s People article is here
- A PopSugar gallery is here; Just Jared’s gallery is here; the Fug Girls piece is here