Kate continued her mini-tour of the UK as she rolls out the 5 Big Questions survey.
5 Big Questions is a UK-wide online survey about early childhood development, and it will play a significant role in Kate’s Early Years work. You can read more about in yesterday’s post.,Richard Palmer of The Express tweeted a video of Kate arriving at the Centre.
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives in Ely, Cardiff, on the second day of her mission to start Britain’s biggest ever conversation about how to help give every child in the country the best start in life. pic.twitter.com/t2DsntQme6
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) January 22, 2020
The Duchess was at the Ely and Caerau Children’s Centre in Cardiff, Wales this afternoon. As she was being welcomed, she told her hosts how nice it was to be back in Wales.
The Mirror reports the Children’s Centre “is located in an economically deprived area of the city and offers a welcoming environment for parents and kids.”
The Centre “aims to improve health, education and the emotional development of young children and families through an integrated approach.”
Kate took part in a baby sensory class at the center.
In a group session with adults, Kate spoke about feeling isolated when Prince George was an infant. From People’s story:
“It’s nice to be back in Wales,” Kate said. “I was chatting to some of the mums. It was the first year and I’d just had George — William was still working with search and rescue — and we came up here and I had a tiny, tiny baby in the middle of Anglesey. It was so isolated, so cut off. I didn’t have any family around, and he was doing night shifts. So…if only I had had a center like this.”
The Duchess with some of the mothers at today’s event.
And with a father and daughter duo.
Emily Nash of Hello! tweeted a video of the sensory play.
— Emily Nash (@emynash) January 22, 2020
We return to People’s story:
Earlier, she met little River Rowson, 3, who was playing greengrocers with some pals. He was showing her some Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli. “Are you cooking too?” she asked as he offered some vegetables. “Are you going to make a stir fry?”
River clearly liked his new pal. “You’re my friend,” he told her, to which Kate replied, “You’re my friend too.”
(I don’t know if that is River shown above or not; it doesn’t look like brussels sprouts or broccoli to me.) Below, the Duchess with a little girl.
Emily Nash shared a video from inside Cath’s Cottage, where some of the children took Kate, and she met two guinea pigs.
She also seemed to enjoy the pet guinea pigs Willow and Bella in the appropriately named “Cath’s Cottage”! pic.twitter.com/e3zE8WNy7O
— Emily Nash (@emynash) January 22, 2020
You can see one of the guinea pigs in this picture.
The Duchess leaving the cottage.
In the centre’s Welsh medium nursery, Kate was presented with flowers and a drawing of herself by four-year-old Erin Jones, who briefly hesitated when prompted to hand them over.
“Are you shy?” asked Naomi Asante Chambers, a senior teaching assistant.
“Don’t worry, I am too,” the Duchess told the little girl.
The Duchess then traveled to Surrey, where she returned to HMP Send, a women’s prison.
You may recall Kate visiting the facility in September 2015.
The Duchess was there today to speak with current and former inmates about assistance provided by The Forward Trust, one of “the largest providers of intensive, abstinence-based addiction services in the UK…”. More from this Evening Standard story:
She had visited the prison in 2015 and was reacquainted with some of the women she met five years ago, who trace their history of offending and addiction back to troubled childhoods.
In the prison visits hall, sitting around a coffee table with mugs of tea and a cake, she chatted to five ex-offenders about their childhood traumas – problems with alcoholic or absent parents, family breakdown, domestic abuse – and how they believed it had triggered their offending.
One Send inmate described their time in prison as one of the best things that had happened to them, crediting the support of Forward Trust programmes. On hearing that, the duchess commented: ‘It’s so often I hear that, why does it have to get to that point before people receive the help and support?’
Returning to the impact early years experiences can have in people, Kate said: ‘I’m hugely passionate about trying to really help get into this crisis, trying to help provide that prevention mechanism and that support system in our communities. Particularly that support in the early years of life.’
Back to The Evening Standard’s report:
Among the group was Julie Muir, who now works as head of recovery at The Forward Trust. She became addicted to drugs after family problems when she was a teenager.
Ms Muir was in and out of custody for drugs offences as a juvenile before being jailed for three years when she was 21 in 2001. She served time in HMP Send.
Asked why most people ended up committing crimes and going to jail, she replied: “Childhood trauma. It’s all to do with trauma in the early years – parents separating, domestic abuse, addiction, children not being given the right emotional tools,” she said.
Kate, with one of the Forward Trust clients. (I do not know if this is a current or former inmate.)
The Duchess with prison Governor Carlene Dixon as she was leaving today.
Now for our review of what Kate wore for the day’s engagements.
It appears to be by Massimo Dutti, the label’s Limited Edition Cashmere Wool Camel Coat (originally €399, now €143, about $145 at today’s exchange rates).
The coat is 95% wool/5% cashmere in a classic silhouette. The garment features double-breasted styling, front flap pockets, peak lapels, and a deep back vent for ease of movement. A ‘thank you’ to Mail Online’s Caroline Parr for the coat ID!
This is the
second time third time we have seen the Duchess wear Massimo Dutti, an increasingly popular brand for fashionistas and other royals. The label is owned by Inditex, the same parent company to another Kate favorite, Zara. Previously she wore linen culottes by Massimo Dutti when unveiling her Back to Nature Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in May 2019.
UPDATE: This is the *third* time we have seen the Duchess in the brand, not the second. As Audrey pointed out in a comment, Kate wore Massimo Dutti in the Mary Berry Christmas special, the brand’s High Neck Dress with Belt.
Beneath the coat, Kate was in a black knit turtleneck (or polo neck depending on what corner of the globe you reside in) and a brown leopard-print skirt.
Her skirt is by Zara, the retailer’s Animal Print Skirt (originally £29.99, about $40, most recently on sale for £12.99, roughly $17) in a 100% polyester leopard print. The midi-length skirt has all-around accordion pleats, a faux leather waistband with snap, and an invisible zipper.
Our thanks to Emily Collins on Twitter for her speedy skirt ID! In a fun twist, an Evening Standard editor, Fiona Roberts-Moore, also shared the skirt ID on Twitter. How did she know what the Duchess was wearing so quickly? Because she was wearing the same skirt and a similar top! The photo on the right is Ms. Roberts-Moore at work today. (When initially seeing this tweet this morning I was confused, wondering why Kate was at a work station looking at pictures of herself!)
I don’t know who made Kate’s turtleneck and will take a look later this evening when I am back from a couple of appointments. I believe we have seen the Duchess’s boots before, most recently in Blackpool last March (center) and before that at the RAF Christmas party at Kensington Palace in December 2018 (far right).
We were treated to another new piece of jewelry, a necklace with the initials G, C, and L, presumably for George, Charlotte, and Louis.
It looks like it could be a Daniella Draper design, the jeweler’s Personalized Gold Midnight Moon necklace (£1070, about $1200) in 9ct yellow gold with a 2.2mm diamond. From the product description: “The moon is universally representing the rhythm of time as it embodies the cycle. The phases of the moon symbolise immortality, eternity and enlightenment.” It’s possible this was a Christmas or birthday present for Kate. Many thanks to Middleton Maven for sharing information about the necklace.
The jewelry company is British and family-run by Daniella, sister Holly Draper, and their mother Della Draper. We learn more from this Grimsby Telegraph story:
Launched from the family kitchen table by a back-from-university Daniella, early celebrity endorsements from the likes of Kate Moss and Ed Sheeran helped the travel-inspired pieces fly.
Her eponymous brand now has four boutique outlets and an enlarged workshop at the Enterprise Village on Prince Albert Gardens, with 40 staff employed.
Below, a photo of the three women accepting an award at the 2019 UK Jewellery Awards.
I imagine the jeweler will be tickled to know Kate has worn one of her designs. In September of last year, she told Grimsby Live, “her dream design would be for the Duchess of Cambridge. “I would love Kate to wear my jewellery; she’s such an amazing British role model with a global influence. She is also so elegant; she makes anything look a million dollars.'”
If you check our RepliKate Earrings page you’ll see a fab suggestion from Valerie for a pair that she owns and recommends!
ITN’s Royal Family Channel has 4-minutes+ of raw video from the Children’s Centre in this piece.
The Royal Family Channel also has video from the prison visit.
Canada’s Global News offers more than 4-minutes of video from today and yesterday’s engagements.
- The Daily Mirror’s coverage is here; The Daily Mail piece on the Children’s Centre visit is here & the prison visit story is here; The Sun’s article is here; The Evening Standard’s piece is here; see Surrey Live’s coverage here;
- A People story is here; the Grimbsy Telegraph Daniella Draper piece is here; a Town & Country article is here; Vogue Australia’s piece is here; the Fug Girls post is here; a PopSugar gallery is here