People’s Simon Perry notes the University “is in the English Midlands — about 130 miles northwest of London.” Kate wanted to hear how the pandemic has impacted university life, and what national measures have been put in place to support student mental health. A student tweeted a quick video.
👑 The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton made me late for my lecture 😅😂 pic.twitter.com/SGQlB52W0S
— chi_yed_za (@chiedza_mutasa) October 6, 2020
Below, the Duchess chatting with students.
Kate spoke with Rosie Tressler, the CEO of Student Minds, an organization that works “to increase the awareness of mental health amongst students and to reduce the stigma and misconceptions surrounding mental health.”
Ms. Tressler briefed the Duchess on the creation of Student Space: a new resource created to support students during the pandemic. Student Space helps students to find local support available at the university in addition to offering online resources and direct support by phone and text. The 24/7 text support offered through Student Space is delivered in partnership with Shout and Crisis Text Line.
Husna Hanif and Laura Oliver, both 18, told the Duchess they had ‘kept busy’ during lockdown – adding that it was ‘hard not seeing friends’.
She asked the pair if there was enough support at the university – to which Laura replied ‘there’s so much support’.
‘That’s great to hear,’ the duchess said.
The Duchess reacting to what she is hearing from students.
Kensington Palace reports that in addition to work the University is doing to support its own students, it has also “been involved in initiatives at a national level to improve the mental health of students across the sector, including supporting the development of The Wellbeing Thesis and the University Mental Health Charter, both of which are run by Student Minds.”
The Duchess spent time with students in the University’s mock nursing ward. Students and staff filled her in on the University’s “mentoring system – a ‘buddy system’ where nursing students are offered additional advice and support from students in other years at the university,” according to the University.
ITV tweeted a video of the Duchess speaking with nursing students.
The Duchess of Cambridge meets student nurses and their ‘patients’ on a visit to the University of Derby ahead of World Mental Health Day to see how undergraduates’ lives had been affected by the coronavirus pandemic https://t.co/g13jmG5sr0 pic.twitter.com/H6dvnTaPon
— ITV News (@itvnews) October 6, 2020
Another view of Kate with the nursing students.
Kate also spent time outside talking with athletes about the ways their mental health is supported.
More from The Mirror’s coverage of today’s engagement.
Kate stood in a socially distanced circle after the rain eventually stopped to watch some of the women footballers on the university’s 4G pitch.
She asked students: “Is it really weird not being in lectures?”
One student said they were enjoying the change, but added it was “difficult not learning face-to-face”.
“You’re doing very well,” Kate replie
The University of Derby Women’s Football Club shared a photo of the Duchess.
Here is a look at the Duchess as she says goodbye before heading home.
Now for our look at what Kate wore.
Her coat is by a brand clearly becoming a favorite, Massimo Dutti, owned by Zara’s parent company. She was in the Handcrafted Checked Wool Coat ($349), a blend of 89% wool/11% nylon in a small gingham print. The garment has a straight cut, lapel collar, front buttons, and patch pockets. Many thanks to Núria Tiburcio for the coat ID.
The piece is 100% cashmere with a crew neck, vents at the hem, and a straight cut. There was some feeling this might not be the sweater the Duchess wore, but a comparison of the stitching at the shoulder seams and sleeve hems shows the identical detailing.
If interested, I added a few pieces to the RepliKate Tops page.
Unfortunately, Katie discovered a difference in belt loops between the Duchess’s pair and the Joseph pair, so this is UFO for the time being.
Thoughts on the Duchess’s look from Bethan Holt of The Telegraph.
Kate chose a serious, professional ensemble for the occasion. Crucially, it was very much a ‘new Kate’ outfit including the kinds of pieces which she has only begun to wear in the past couple of years.
Her new £249 topper is by Massimo Dutti, Zara’s big sister label and a brilliant under-the-radar destination for modern yet elegant designs which look much more expensive than they actually are. While Kate’s checked choice is far from cheap, its sleek silhouette and super-soft fabric mean that it could pass for a designer purchase four times the price.
Kate had on a belt I don’t immediately recognize.
UPDATE: Katerina points out in a comment the belt has been worn previously and is a longtime UFO. It was worn with the Michael Kors floral dress when George and Charlotte started school and on other occasions; major brain fade on my part!
UPDATE #2: It turns out this is not the same belt we have seen the Duchess wear previously. The always-fabulous British Royal Fashion Data posted on Twitter a montage that shows the differences. (The belt worn today has a goldtone buckle, not silver. Additionally, the clasp on the new belt has straight edges while the older belt has a curved top of the clasp.)
UPDATE OCT 14: The ever-brilliant Liz from Kate’s Closet has shared what looks like a good ID on the belt. In this next montage, you see the Anderson’s Croc Effect Leather Belt ($160) in the upper photo; it was suggested to Liz by a reader. The lower two shots are today’s ensemble (seen bottom left) and the Massimo Dutti separates worn for a World Mental Health Day engagement (seen below right).
It looked like Kate wore her Gianvito Rossi Piper 85 pumps ($695). Made of black suede, the shoe has a chunky 3.5″ heel.
The style is available in a mix of sizes at My Theresa ($632) and in most sizes at Net-a-Porter ($695). If looking for a less expensive replicate, here are two options from the RepliKate Footwear page: on the left, the Nine West Astoria Block-Heel Pumps ($79.99); on the right, the Franco Sarto Palma ($89). Both are offered at Zappos.
Kate’s mask is a new style by Amaia Kids in Liberty’s ‘Katie and Millie’ print (£15). We can thank Katie for this ID as well!
The Duchess repeated her Halcyon Days Maya Torque Aquamarine Bracelet ($150).
The Duchess wore her hair in a lighter and possibly shorter style than we have seen recently.
One request: sometimes, changes in hairstyles provoke discussions about the Duchess expecting. This is not an acceptable topic for comments. The Duchess adhered to current COVID guidelines for today’s engagement.
The Royal Family Channel offers about 3 minutes of raw video in this clip.
The Telegraph offers about 45-seconds in this clip.
- Learn more about World Mental Health Day here; the University’s story about today’s visit is here; the Student Minds site is here; you can learn more about Student Space here
- The Daily Mirror’s piece is here; ITV’s article is here; The Daily Mail’s story is here; The Independent’s coverage is here; The Express article is here
- Simon Perry’s People piece is here; the full Telegraph fashion piece by Bethan Holt is here; Hello’s article by Danielle Stacey is here; the Fug Girls post is here