Kensington Palace released new photos of the Duchess tonight. The images were taken on one of two days she spent at the Kingston Hospital Maternity Unit in London in late November.
Some readers may recall media reports about Kate spending time at the Unit, following the publication of information in the Court Circular, the official record of past royal engagements.
In its 2017-2018 annual report, the hospital notes more than 5300 babies were delivered at its facility; it also offers assistance for those doing home births.
The Duchess not only spent time at Kingston, she also accompanied community midwives on home visits. Below, Kate at the hospital with a newborn and parents.
Kensington Palace also released an open letter to midwives penned by the Duchess. In the correspondence, Kate thanks them for their work, saying, “You are there for women at their most vulnerable; you witness strength, pain and unimaginable joy on a daily basis.”
More from the letter:
Your work often goes on behind the scenes, and away from the spotlight. Recently however, I was privileged enough to witness a small section of it first hand, spending several days at Kingston Hospital’s Maternity Unit. Although this was not my first encounter with the care and kindness provided by midwives across the country, it gave me a broader insight into the true impact you have on everybody you help.
A shot of Kate and staff members relaxing.
The visit dovetails with the Early Years project, Kate’s longterm endeavor working to improve circumstances for children from pre-birth to 5 years of age. The initiative is aimed at making a positive difference in their lives by focusing on their earliest stages of life. More from the official Royal Family site:
For several years The Duchess has been working with experts and organisations that are championing the importance of providing solid psychological, social and emotional platforms for children in their earliest years of life in order to support their mental health and emotional resilience, and to provide them with the foundations to lead to healthy and fulfilling adulthoods.
Back to the Duchess’s letter:
Over the last few years, I’ve dedicated a significant amount of my work to the Early Years – the pivotal period of development between pregnancy and the age of 5 where children build crucial foundations for life. Your role in supporting this critical phase of development extends far beyond the complicated task of delivering a baby successfully. The help and reassurance you provide for parents to be and parents of newborns is just as crucial. It goes a long way in building parents’ confidence from the start, with lifelong impact on the future happiness of their children.
The Early Years are more critical for future health and happiness than any other moment in our lifetime. Even before we are born, our mother’s emotional and physical health directly influences our development and by the age of 5 a child’s brain has developed to 90 per cent of its adult size. Your role at the very start of this period is therefore of fundamental importance.
A formal photo.
In her letter, the Duchess also notes that 2020 is as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
This also meshes with Kate’s patronage of Nursing Now, a three-year global campaign (2018-2020) designed to raise the profile of nurses around the world and also enable them to have a more significant role in making key health policy decisions. Below, the Duchess at a Nursing Now pre-launch event in February 2018. Kate has spoken about her great-grandmother and grandmother’s work as volunteer nurses.
She is also Patron of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Several members of the Royal Family, including The Queen and Princess Royal, hold Patronages in the fields of Nursing and Midwifery. HM is Patron of the Royal College of Nursing, and Princess Anne is Patron of the Royal College of Midwives.
Now for what Kate wore. She was in a geometric print dress by MICHAEL Michael Kors, the brand’s more affordable diffusion line.
The Pink Printed Midi Dress (most recently sold for $122, now out of stock) has long sleeves, vee neckline, a placket down the front, and a belt. The Duchess added her own belt; it is not the piece shown in the product shots and looks like it could be suede. The dress is 100% polyester and it is lined in polyester; this piece is machine-washable. Here is a detailed look at one side of the bodice and a closer shot of the fabric.
The dress shares some design elements with the other MICHAEL Michael Kors dresses worn by the Duchess recently, the Floral Crepe Midi Dress seen on the left, and the Peacock Pattern Dress below right.
By no means are they identical, but the overall feeling is similar, particularly with the carnation dress above left.
The Duchess seemed to be wearing a pair of ankle boots, although there is not a good shot of them in any of the photos.
Kate also wore her Lauren Earrings ($3435 at today’s exchange rates)by Kiki McDonough. We show them below as worn at another engagement.
Inspired by Lauren Cuthbertson, a Principal Dancer with the Royal Ballet, the earrings are 18ct yellow gold with pavé diamonds.
- Visit the Kingston Maternity website here to learn more about the unit; view a PDF of a brochure about the unit by clicking here; for a 7-minute video about Kingston, click here; Kingston’s Facebook page is here; its Twitter feed is here
- Victoria Murphy’s Town and Country story is here; The Mirror’s piece is here; a Sky News story from Rhiannon Mills may be read here; Rebecca English’s Daily Mail article is here;