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Kate in Tabitha Webb to Launch Landmark Early Years Survey

We were surprised by new photos of the Duchess this afternoon from an embargoed engagement.

Kate kicked off a landmark survey on early childhood at the Thinktank Science Museum in Birmingham. 

More specifically, the Duchess was at the MiniBrum at the museum, a miniature city where the children are in charge. 

The MiniBrum has different play zones that children can discover and enjoy, like a construction zone, cafe and a park with a race track.

Below, the Duchess in the cafe. More from The Daily Mail’s coverage:

There was a minor calamity in the cafe when the door of a cupboard underneath a sink came off its hinges, prompting laughter. ‘I think we’ve broken the cafe,’ Kate laughed.

And this looks like it might be the auto repair shop where you can even change a tire.  

Kate was given a tour of the MiniBrum by children who helped design the space.

When touring the construction area of the MiniBrum she helped a young one put on her safety hat. 

The Duchess spent time speaking with parents and carers about the survey, a vital part of her Early Years work. 

We return to the The Daily Mail’s story:

Kate has been working on the initiative since her marriage eight years ago, dedicating the vast majority of her public and private engagements to early years provision.

She has worked with experts who believe that many of the hardest social challenges facing society – such as addiction and social exclusion – can often be traced back to experiences in early childhood.

In 2018, she convened a steering group of experts from academia, education, health and other fields to focus on how to help families tackle anti-social behaviour, addiction and mental health, which has played an instrumental role in compiling the survey.

The survey is called 5 Big Questions and it “gives people across the UK an opportunity to provide their view on raising the next generation” per a palace news release. 

Kate said she wants to learn about “the key issues affecting our families and communities so I can focus my work on where it is needed most.”

From her comments about the survey:

The Early Years are more crucial for future health and happiness than any other moment in our lifetime.I want to hear the key issues affecting our families and communities so I can focus my work on where it is needed most.

What we experience between the ages of 0 and five shapes the developing brain. They help us avoid adversity, or certainly build resilience to adversity in later life, prevent challenges with mental health later down the line.

And from the 5 Big Questions site.

A look at the first question.

Another question asks, “Which period of a child and young person’s life do you think is the most important for health and happiness in adulthood?” Click here to see the survey’s other questions; it will be online for a month and results will be released in March. Below, Kate is given a posey at the Science Museum.

David Holmes CBE, chief executive of the charity Family Action (one of Kate’s patronages), was at today’s launch event and said: “Every parent, carer and family wants the best for their child and raising the profile of the vital early years in a child’s life is work of national importance.”  

Today’s event was the first stop of several to kick off the survey; the Duchess has additional engagements scheduled tomorrow marking the launch.

Now for our look at what Kate wore for today’s engagement.

She was in a blouse by Tabitha Webb, the brand’s Pansy Pussybow Blouse in the Green Chevron colorway (£295, about $385 at today’s exchange rates). The blouse is 100% silk with a button front and deep cuffs, the large bow and back yoke. 

It is a basic style for the company and a perennial bestseller. Here you see it in two other fabrics.

And this gives you a look at the details, front and back. 

Many thanks to Susan Courter, my partner on What Meghan Wore, for the super-speedy blouse ID. Previously we saw Kate wear the label’s ‘Meg’ dress for a 2015 engagement. 

With thanks to Emily on Twitter, it looks like the Duchess brought back her Sport Luxe Wide-Leg Trousers (£65, about $85) by Jigsaw

It’s probable the Duchess wore her Emmy London ‘Josie’ pumps ($455) shown below left. But because I have only one small photo showing the toe of the shoes, I am also including a picture of the Rupert Sanderson Malory pumps. Not because I believe the Duchess wore the Sanderson spike-heel pumps (that is unlikely), but to demonstrate how similar shoes can look, especially when only a portion of the foot is visible. That’s why I say it is probably the Josie, but have reservations about declaratively stating that is the style worn today. Kate had on a bracelet we’ve not seen previously. It appears to be the Halcyon Days Maya Torque Aquamarine Bracelet ($150).

Handmade in England, the bracelets are gold-plated and hand-enameled. Our thanks to the UFO No More crew for their ID of the bracelet. 

They have been seen on the wrists of other royals like Lady Amelia Windsor, shown below wearing one of the bracelets at London Fashion Week in September 2018.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, has also been seen wearing the style. (Hello! has a photo here.)

The Duchess wore her hair down and loosely curled.

Her earrings look like her ‘Siren’ Green Onyx style ($175) by jeweler Monica Vinader.

I am not 100% convinced Kate wore the Siren, they look just the tiniest bit different to me in a couple of the photos, primarily the attachment to the bale holding the drop.

We’ll leave you with one more photo of the Duchess today. 

This video offers almost 40-seconds of highlights from the engagement.


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Friday 24th of January 2020

I love the colours in that Tabitha Web blouse, they’re much like those in the Jonathan Saunders dress Kate wore in the Solomon Islands, and later to Wimbledon. I especially like how the angular chevron pattern just about drowns out the presence of another neck bow, a style feature which seems to be taking Kate over at the moment. In this context I am happy to live with it. They look like great colours to be wearing when meeting youngsters.

I also liked the other blouse prints shown, which again subvert the style and keep it younger looking. The contrast pink tie against monochrome is highly inventive. I’m also delighted to see the return of smart tailored pants and think Kate wears these wide legs very well. Again, it’s not a style of trouser I especially like, but Kate has the height and long legs to carry them off fabulously.

Hard to tell if the earrings match, but then Kate is happy with approximate colours and I can live with that as well! I like the Halcyon Days torque on her, but remembered just in time that I find it a difficult style to wear or there would be one in the post to me now. They really are pretty.


Thursday 23rd of January 2020

The blouse is a fun pop of color, perfect for meeting with children. I still am not a fan of the pussy bow on blouses of any kind, but obviously Kate loves them.

The mini town is such a wonderful idea- what a fun place for children to play and practice their social skills.

sue d

Saturday 25th of January 2020

I love the geometric blouse and wide legged trousers.


Wednesday 22nd of January 2020

What a surprise to see this event today. It appears to be the launch of a major project, and a bit of a departure for Kate, in that it appears she will be directly involved in formulating policies and remedies rather than just offering her support of programs formulated by others. I wish her much success. Beautiful blouse! I think the print and color work together to create a stunning effect. I love that little bit of bright green between the lines in the print, i bet this was lovely to see in person. The Pants were a great fit, if a bit too long for my taste. Perhaps that is the style now? I personally like a break right at the top of my foot. I don't know what the current style is, however. Pussey bow blouses and dresses were business standard wear for women in the 80's, when I first started my professional life. I recall reading a book called Dress For Success which advocated "power dressing." These blouses were recommended as the bow was seen as a substitute of sorts for a man's tie. I owned several but never, ever liked them. I am short and, as another person mentioned below, the style really looks best on taller women. I guess the style is coming back because I see it a lot for casual wear as well as business. I think the Duchess looks great in this style and I doubt she is trying to emulate menswear so. . . Go Kate!


Wednesday 22nd of January 2020

Is the bracelet upside down? I thought the gems were meant to be on top. Maybe the bracelet slides down and she can't help it. But I think it looks really pretty with the design element on top, because otherwise it's just a heavy gold band.

Also, add me to the list of those who would like to see her with shorter hair. The feathered bangs with the pussybow blouse makes the look really 1970s-ish. Especially with the chevron pattern. I think it would have looked more modern with her hair pulled back in a ponytail.

I work with young kids and I'm excited about her initiative! Great idea!!


Wednesday 22nd of January 2020

I like the shirt it is business like the pants are too long in my book and look accident in waiting!Would of been prettier and chicer if she had worn her hair in a wavy pony.

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