The Duchess repeated a much-loved evening gown for tonight’s Place2Be gala at Buckingham Palace.
If I’m not mistaken, this is the first solo event the Duchess has hosted at Buckingham Palace.
The reception celebrated the charity’s 25th anniversary.
Kate has been Place2Be’s royal patron since 2013. More about the organization from Rebecca English’s Daily Mail story:
Set up in 1994 by Dame Benny Refson DBE, Place2Be provides emotional support at an early age and believes that no child should face mental health difficulties alone.
Over the past 25 years more than 250,000 children and their families have been directly supported by Place2Be, which currently works with 639 schools across the UK.
Since her patronage began in 2013, the duchess has met pupils, families and staff at Place2Be partner schools to see the vital work being done by the charity.
The organization notes that in the UK, there are three children in every class with a diagnosable mental health problem. The charity also points out that half of all mental health problems are established by the age of 14.
More about Kate’s involvement with Place2Be from Hello:
Place2Be have also collaborated with Prince William and Kate’s Royal Foundation on a number of projects: they are a charity partner for the Heads Together Campaign and Mentally Healthy Schools website, in addition to working with Shout – a free, 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis which was launched nationally by the couple in 2019.
Tonight special music was performed by students from three schools: New North Academy in Islington, Salusbury School in northwest London, and the Cranbrook School.
The students worked with the Royal Philharmonic to compose an original song about self-esteem, creativity, and their wellbeing. The Northwich Guardian reports the Duchess said, “You’ve written it especially for tonight? Thank you so much. What a treat for me.”
More from The Northwich Guardian piece:
The duchess later wished two of the schoolchildren a happy birthday, joking that she should be the one singing to them.
She then revealed that Happy Birthday was “one of (Prince) Louis’s favourite songs”, before adding her youngest child was “tucked up in bed” and not at the event.
There were remarks given tonight by Place2Be founder and President Dame Benny Refson, who said, “When I worked as a counsellor with young people it seemed that much of their unhappiness lay in their early childhood.” The Duchess also spoke this evening.
From her remarks:
You taught me the importance of creating safe and nurturing environments within schools, embracing a holistic view of emotional well-being which permeates through the whole school system.
You taught me the importance of creating safe and nurturing environments within schools, embracing a holistic view of emotional wellbeing which permeates through the whole school system.
And more of the speech:
You also taught me that it’s the simplest things that make a difference to children. It’s the quality time that is spent with them. It’s the time you take to listen to them.
It is trusting relationships that have the most profound impact on the emotional and mental wellbeing of a child.
I can remember saying after my visit to Willows School in 2013 that I thought every school in this country should have Place2Be. “Imagine the difference it would make to thousands, if not millions, more children, teachers and parents, if this vision was a reality.”
Below, the Duchess arriving for that April 2013 Willows school visit referenced in her speech. Kensington Palace put together a very short video (about 30 seconds) on the event and Kate’s history with the organization.
🎂 Happy 25th Birthday @Place2Be — here’s to many more!
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 9, 2020
Now for our look at what Kate wore to the Buckingham Palace party this evening, starting with her Jenny Packham gown.
The bodice and sleeves are covered in beads and sequins that create a floral motif. Below, two sections of the bodice.
The embellished fabric was embroidered and hand-beaded in India. Below, two portions of the sleeves, which are unlined.
The gown was first worn to a Mumbai fundraiser in April 2016; for most of the evening in 2016, Kate is wearing a matching scarf or shawl. You can see how different the dress looks without the wrap.
The Duchess carried the same Jenny Packham handbag from 2016 that was created to match the dress. It is difficult to tell, but I *think* Kate may have worn her Jimmy Choo heels, the label’s Romy 100 Glitter Dégradé Pumps ($725).
Kate accessorized with a new pair of earrings that were difficult to get a really good look at because Kate’s hair was down.
Fortunately, @acesasisi on Twitter got a good enough view to say she thinks they are by Erdem, the “Blue Crystal and Pearl Embellished Floral Drop” style ($322). I think @acesasisi is spot-on with the ID.
The earrings are gold-toned brass set with blue crystals in a floral design, with “crystal-tipped curved arms designed to resemble stems” with a white faux pearl in the center. They are from last spring’s collection and now sold out. A thank you also to Kiriah Emad, who discovered the earrings shortly after the initial ID.
- Learn more about the Place2Be program at the organization’s website here; follow Place2Be’s Facebook page here; the charity’s Twitter feed is here and Instagram page here
- The Daily Mail’s coverage is here; The Mirror has a story here; The Northwich Guardian piece is here
- Caroline Hallemann’s Town and Country story is here; a Hello! piece is here; People has a story here; the Fug Girls post is here