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It’s Marks & Spencer for School Assembly Video

Kensington Palace released a video clip today of the Duchess speaking with elementary school students. 

The Duchess will lead an online assembly for the Oak National Academy tomorrow (Thursday, June 18). More from Kensington Palace: 

Oak National Academy is an online classroom providing high-quality video lessons and free resources to parents and teachers. It was created in response to the lockdown, supporting teachers educating their pupils remotely, and since its launch has delivered over 12 million lessons to children and young people. Every Thursday morning, the academy, in collaboration with TES, hosts assemblies for students across the UK, allowing them to experience the normal routine of a school environment.

During the assembly, she will talk about kindness, and how important it is to the mental wellbeing of children. In the clip released today in advance of tomorrow’s event,  the Duchess references the topic and then asks, “Who wants to tell me what kindness means?”

You can hear the children answer in the clip. 

The video was recorded last week and Kate’s theme for the address is based on a Mentally Healthy Schools platform. You may remember Kate launching that program in January 2018 during a visit to Roe Green Junior School, a pilot school in the program.

The program provided a website designed to provide information and practical resources to help teachers and staff support students. It was developed in collaboration with Place2Be, Young Minds, and the Anna Freud Centre. The project encourages children to explore ways in which they can show kindness, and recognize the benefits of kindness to others. Below, the Duchess at that 2018 launch.

The Mentally Healthy Schools site is now managed by the Anna Freud Centre.  Below, the Duchess addressing teachers, school administrators, officials, as well as other stakeholders at the launch.

More on what students will hear at tomorrow’s assembly via a Palace news release: 

During the assembly, The Duchess will say: “Talking to someone, whether it’s a friend, family member, or teacher, is something you can do to make yourself feel that little bit better. And you can also play your part in helping others to feel better too, whether offering a friendly ear, or helping someone in need. Small acts of kindness can go such a long way. But as we help others, we mustn’t forget to nurture ourselves, by taking the time to focus on the things that make us feel happy too.”

Another view of the Duchess addressing students. 

Oak National Academy tweeted its delight at being part of the assembly. 

Also a component of the assembly: Kate’s Hold Still photo project.  During her talk, Kate joins a video call with students from Waterloo Primary Academy in Blackpool. The students’ parents are essential workers taking part in frontline efforts to combat the pandemic. The children shared pictures they had taken and submitted to the Duchess’s Hold Still photography project; the photos were based around one of the central Hold Still themes, ‘Acts of Kindness.’

The students also talked with Kate about some of the ways they had been personally worked on spreading kindness in recent weeks. (For anyone thinking about entering, the deadline is 6pm local time tomorrow; see more info here.) 

Now for our look at what Kate wore in the new video. 

It looked like the Duchess was wearing a Marks and Spencer dress, the British retailer’s Printed Yoke Midi Waist Dress ($69). Marks Spencer Kate Middleton Cabbage Print Yoked Midi Waist Dress

The fabric has a small cabbage print in shades of blue and ivory. Made of 100% viscose, the unlined dress is midi-length with a round neck, slightly puffed sleeves with a frill at the cuff, an elasticated waist, and a back button fastening.  Here is a closer look at the fabric and sleeve detail.

Many thanks to The Daily Mail’s Caroline Parr for her early ID of the print, and also to Natasha S. for her DM on Facebook about the dress, as well as Katie on Twitter.  Natasha recognized the piece right away because she had seen this promotional image of TV presenter Holly Willoughby in the piece.

Ms. Willoughby is a style ambassador for Marks and Spencer. You might recall seeing her conducting Kate’s ITV interview about the Hold Still photo project in early May, along with co-host Phillip Schofield.

Ms.Willoughby offers seasonal lists featuring Marks and Spencer fashion called, “Holly’s Must-Haves.”  

Today’s dress is also available in a leaf print (£15) and a plain ‘sunset’ color (£15).  The latter allows you to better see the detailing at the bodice with the yoke and gathers. 

There was also a top available in the print the top, but it appears to be sold out.

I wasn’t able to see what earrings the Duchess may have been wearing in the video. You can watch the entire video on the Oak National Academy website tomorrow at 11am local time, which is 6am on the east coast in the US.  


Also today, a quick fashion flashback, this one also going back eight years. 

On June 17, 2012, the Duchess spent time with children at Margaret McMillan House in Kent as part of a Widehorizons program exposing them to the outdoors as a way of developing teamwork skills and building self-esteem.

The students were part of an ARK (Absolute Return for Kids) endeavor; some had never been to a remote wilderness area like the one where they camped. In her story for The Daily Mail, Rebecca English noted:

Zahid Shanvere, eight, made Kate roar with laughter as he held open the tent flap for her and said: ‘After you.’

‘What a gentleman,’ she said.

Kate was in casual separates for the morning’s excursion. 

Her vest was by Really Wild Clothing Company, the Nubuck Waistcoat (£495), seen most recently last October during the Pakistan tour

Beneath the vest, she wore the Burberry shirt first noted during a visit to Blachford Lake during the 2011 North American tour.

Here is a better look at the shirt. 

Her jeans and sweater were both by Zara and Kate also wore her trusty Le Chameau ‘Vierzonord‘ wellies ($239) seen on many occasions.
The Duchess wore her Kiki McDonough Grace earrings shown below as worn to another event.

We’ll leave you with a classic Kate funny face. 


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Thursday 18th of June 2020

Like ElizaMo I found this dress to be nice & approachable, rather than stand-out, to start with. But the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. The cabbage (or cabbage rose, I agree with Margeurite!) print is lovely. The leaf print & the block pink were v pretty too: I'd like to see Kate in either! Also I think she'd rock Holly's pink tailored coat, plaid skirt & black boots......but I'm not holding my breath! I really like her hair like this. So pretty. It looks v similar to the way she wore it with the pale yellow printed dress (in I think it was the Hold Still video). Now, if Kate could kindly just tell me how she achieved it?! I'll ask my hair stylist, as I fear K might not get that memo! (by the way, my hair stylist is convinced that Kate achieves her anazing fullness with hair extensions...I don't think so myself, but she is adamant in her professional opinion! What do the gang think? It could explain why her hair looks so different in well as maybe not the usual access to a stylist!). Glad to see the gorgeous window view again....getting v sick of that door! Love the emphasis on kindness. I thought that was such a lovely reason to choose George's school. Although sometimes I think I'd just settle for tolerance in these times! I well remember those 2012 outings in causal khaki. Kate does look so like the country girl she truly is....I miss those wellies! I loved the fitted khaki shirt: how many people could pull that off?! She could do no wrong for me in 2011 & 2012: she just glowed with beauty everywhere she went. I must say her hair was a lot darker in 2018, & I prefer it now. These flashbacks are great for realizing how much Kate does change it up! Speaking of flashbacks, the last post was The Dress! The pink sequined Jenny Packham one I raved about a few posts just took my breath away. The hair, the divine sandals (such a nice change from omnipresent courts!) ...I loved it all. I didn't notice the earrings without help from WKW....but did prefer those on the second outing, where everything looked equally breath taking. I'd love to see again the deep turquoise greenish coloured gown with low cut neckline that Kate wore about the same in a chignon & long drop sparkly silver eartings. Can't think of the designer. Can someone help me out here?


Sunday 21st of June 2020

Nice to know you’re an Aussie too, Seh.


Friday 19th of June 2020

Seh, is this the turquoise gown you are remembering? It was by Jenny Packham.


Thursday 18th of June 2020

Ooooo I do love this dress too!!!! As for her hair, I can see why your stylist thinks that! I myself have clip in extensions that I add when I want some extra oomph, and no one can ever tell but I get a lot of compliments always! So who knows?


Thursday 18th of June 2020

I loved this dress in the pics, and then when I saw the price I really loved it. Blue is my favorite color and a color that looks good on me, and thus it seemed meant to be all around. So, I ordered it and for the first-time ever I will have an article of clothing like what Kate wore in my own closet! Free shipping, too, so even better! I’ve not been on the M & S website before, and just looking at the dresses I will be returning there. They are fantastic and the price is right.

I continue to be impressed with all that the Cambridges are doing during this time to connect with and support others during this time. It is clear that William and Kate connect with people, but that really shines through in the videos. Kate is natural, genuine, and relatable, and always asks questions that are insightful, shows she cares and is listening, and gives those she’s with an opportunity to shine too. So lovely that they’ve made themselves so available during this time, and that we’ve gotten to know them a bit better in the process.


Friday 19th of June 2020

Yes!! I totally agree, well-put

Julie L

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

I love the leaf print version. Maybe I can have my cousin in Essex pick me up one (although postage to the US is ridiculous!)

Darlene C

Thursday 18th of June 2020

I love the leaf print as well, I think it would fabulous on Kate!

Rosanna Tice

Thursday 18th of June 2020 They have free delivery over $60 in the US.


Thursday 18th of June 2020

I ordered it online through the link above, which goes to the U.S. site, and shipping was free.


Wednesday 17th of June 2020

The cabbage print looks well in close-up, if a little undistinguished from a distance, and its busy-ness certainly chimes with the vintage dress style and its many gathers and frills. I find it very approachable garment, not a stand-out style statement, but something unthreatening to children. Kate is soldiering on well with her lockdown hair, but it will be a joy to see it return to its usual coiffured self when circumstances allow.

I always enjoy Really Wild leather gilet outings, they are when Kate looks most at home to me. It’s fun to see something that is actually improved by wear, and gives an indication of how long Kate has genuinely been active in country pursuits. She found a happy match in the Burberry shirt and Zara jumper and the result is chic in fit as well as practical. I love how she can sport the beautiful Grace earrings along with muddy wellingtons ?


Thursday 18th of June 2020

So true about the contrast with the earrings ElizaMo! I didn't notice how v sparkly they were at the time....I didn't have WKW to help with the close ups!! Now I'd probably just expect the fern earrings!


Wednesday 17th of June 2020

Although Marks and Spencer themselves describe the fabric of Kate’s dress as a ‘cabbage-print’, I think it would be more accurate and more attractive to describe it as ‘cabbage rose’! The print looks Art Deco inspired to me. It’s lovely.

Kindness is so important. How wonderful that the Duchess Is asking children to think about it carefully and to put it into practice. I can just imagine her talking to her own children in the same way.

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