Kate was in festive holiday colors for a previously unannounced engagement this afternoon.
Simon Perry of People tweeted a video of the Duchess arriving.
— Simon Perry (@SPerryPeoplemag) December 4, 2019
Kate greeting well-wishers as she arrived for the engagement at Peterley Manor Farm.
There was also an announcement at today’s event: the Duchess was announced as the new patron of Family Action. To mark the occasion, she spent time at a farm with people who use the charity’s services and support.
The organization has been helping disadvantaged families for more than 150 years, providing practical help and support to those in need. As noted in a news release, “Her Majesty The Queen has passed the patronage to The Duchess having held the role for over 65 years. Her Majesty took the patronage over from Queen Mary in 1953.
In a statement, Family Action said:
We are honoured that The Duchess has chosen to support Family Action’s work by becoming our Royal Patron. Her keen interest particularly in the Early Years fits well with Family Action’s provision of high quality perinatal mental health services, pre-schools and Children’s Centres across the country.
Family Action looks forward to working with The Duchess in the years to come.
In 2017 the Duchess learned about the charity during a visit to a London children’s center.
You may remember she visited Family Action this January to launch the organization’s national support line, ‘FamilyLine.’
More about the organization from Family Action:
Today, Family Action continues to tackle difficult issues facing families – including financial hardship, mental health and emotional wellbeing, social isolation, parenting challenges, domestic abuse, and substance misuse. These issues can have a huge impact on the stability of family life as well as on the health and wellbeing of all family members.
Family Action CEO David Holmes CBE said, “I have seen The Duchess’s passionate support for disadvantaged families first hand and have been impressed by her leadership in understanding and promoting the vital importance of the Early Years.”
Below, the Duchess at the farm today speaking with mothers who use services provided by Family Action.
More from Rebecca English’s Daily Mail story.
During the outing she met Toni Law, 26, a single mother of three from Peterborough, whose youngest child, Kane, two, is attending a Family Action pre-school, enabling Miss Law to return to studying young adult care at City College.
Sitting on a straw bale with a group of mothers who are supported by the charity, Miss Law told the Duchess that Christmas could be a ‘stressful time’ because ‘you want your kids to have the best Christmas.’
Back to the Daily Mail story:
Kate said: ‘It is stressful, you want to give them the opportunities to enjoy all aspects of it. There is a lot of pressure that Christmas has to be perfect.’
Miss Law later said of her chat with the Duchess: ‘As a single parent, it is hard on your own, you can get depressed. She asked about what we do when we feel stressed about the competition between parents and who’s got the bigger presents. She [Kate] said, “Maybe instead of posting on social media about who has the bigger presents, tell people about the real meaning of Christmas instead”. She said Christmas is a special time.
One of the day’s primary purposes: help the children pick out Christmas trees.
Emily Nash tweeted a video of Kate with some of the children.
— Emily Nash (@emynash) December 4, 2019
There were a lot of trees to choose from.
It looked like the weather was ideal for the day’s activities.
More from this People story:
“She was asking about the trees which drop their needles and those that don’t, and which ones smell nice!” farm owner Roger Brill said. “She said that they normally have the Nordmann Fir inside that doesn’t drop the needles.”
Kate, 37, got her hands dirty by holding up trees so the children, from the charity Family Action, could get a proper look — and she scored herself a job offer in the process.
The People story also reports that Mr. Brill said, “She was fantastic with the youngsters. She was in there moving them around and holding them up,” said Brill. “I will have to give her a job at the weekend, I think. She was a very good saleswoman!”
I liked this one; I envisioned Kate saying. “Wait…I thought you wanted this one!”
Here’s one that got a big thumbs-up.
The trees that were picked out will be taken to schools managed by Family Action.
There was a lot for the children to see.
The Duchess and children spent time in the “Elves Enchanted Forest,” where Kate helped the little ones make food for Santa’s reindeer.
And they spent time working on Christmas crafts.
The Peterborough Telegraph has a fun piece that talks about the little boy who ‘photobombed’ the Duchess, as seen in the image above.
Kate was speaking with a group of children about what they wanted for Christmas when three-year-old Freddie leant in front of her with a cheeky smile to get in the picture. Mother of camera-happy Freddie, Ann-Marie Walsh, said the charity has been a “brilliant” help for her family.
Ms Walsh (38) who has four children aged 21, 16, five and three, said: “I’m a single mum and they (Family Action) helped steer me in the right direction.
“They have helped me find my way when I have been upset and helped me look after my children – it means my children are happy.”
The Peterborough Telegraph story also notes that when asked what they would like for Christmas, a little boy said he wanted a dinosaur, to which Kate responded, “Which one, a diplodocus or a T-rex?”
More from The Daily Mail’s coverage:
Laughing at one little boy who held his hand up to get her attention, saying: ‘Me, me,’ Kate stroked his cheek and said: ‘You remind me of my little Louis, he keeps saying: “Me, me, me and he wants to come everywhere with me”.’
Kate took a peek at the Elf Workshop in a miniature yurt.
And she helped the children make wish lists for Santa.
Now for our look at what Kate wore.
The Duchess brought back her Mini Duvet II jacket ($450) by Perfect Moment.
The high-necked jacket has a nylon exterior that is lined with ethically sourced down. It also features a fitted silhouette, multiple pockets, navy elbow patches, ribbed cuffs, and a magnetic flap over the upper part of the front zipper. Unfortunately, it is no longer available in women’s sizes, but it is still offered in men’s and children’s sizes at Perfect Moment and in children’s sizes at Farfetch.
We first saw the jacket at a 2017 Heads Together London Marathon training event, and then again for a November 2017 Coach Core event in Birmingham.
The sweater is made of 100% lambswool that is spun in Scotland. Many thanks to Poppy Golightly for sharing the ID on the FB page!
We do not yet have an ID on the skinny jeans. We saw the return of Kate’s Berghaus Supalite II boots.
I have looked for the socks worn with the boots today but haven’t found a definitive match.
Kate had on the UFO hoop earrings at a UK Scouting engagement in March.
Here you see the earrings as worn for the March Scouting event.
They remain in the UFO (Unidentified Fashion Object) category as of today.
The Duchess was given a floral arrangement as she was leaving today’s engagement. Roya Nikkhah has more in this quick video.
Kate also revealed that Prince George “loves thistles”, Prince Louis “wants to come everywhere with me,” and the Cambridges have a Nordmann Fir non-drop Christmas tree at home, so no pesky pine needles at Anmer Hall pic.twitter.com/Ugyr2AVmgj
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) December 4, 2019
- Read the Palace’s release about the new patronage here; the Family Action statement on the patronage change is here; the Family Action story about today’s engagement is here
- Visit the Family Action site here; follow the organization here on Facebook; the charity’s Twitter feed is here and its Instagram page here
- The Daily Mail’s story is here; The Mirror’s coverage is here; Robert Jobson’s story for The Evening Standard is here; the Peterborough Telegraph article is here; a Metro UK story is here;
- One of Simon Perry’s People articles is here and a second story is here; a Hello gallery is here; a Katie Nicholl Vanity Fair piece is here; a Town & Country story is here; a So Many Thoughts blog post is here; a Harper’s Bazaar photo gallery is here; the Fug Girls post is here