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The Princess in Victoria Beckham & Alexander McQueen for ‘Shaping Us’ Launch

The Princess in Victoria Beckham & Alexander McQueen for ‘Shaping Us’ Launch

The Princess of Wales officially launched her “Shaping Us” campaign today in Leeds.

The campaign is a project of the Royal Foundation’s Centre for Early Childhood. More from this Lancashire Telegraph article.

Her Shaping Us campaign has been described as the princess’ “life’s work” and is aimed at highlighting the significance of the formative years of a child’s life.

In a video message to mark the launch Kate said: “Our early childhood, the time from pregnancy to the age of five, fundamentally shapes the rest of our lives.

She started her day with a visit to the the iconic Kirkgate Market, one of the largest indoor markets in Europe.

More from the official Leeds site

At the heart of the Leeds retail scene since 1857, Leeds Kirkgate Market is home to some of the most characterful traders in the city, with businesses spanning generations and representing a wide range of nationalities, an Asian Bazaar every Wednesday morning and a farmers market held on Briggate every first and third Sunday of the month.

Why pick Leeds for the campaign launch? The Daily Mail explains in this story

The Princess chose to visit Leeds today as part of the city’s ongoing ambition to become the best place in the UK for young people and children to grow up in. 

In 2012, the city launched Child Friendly Leeds with the belief that by investing in and supporting children, young people and their families, the whole city will see immediate and longer-term social and economic benefits. 

‘What Leeds is doing in general, what the city is doing, is really extraordinary,’ Kate said. ‘Actually you are leading the way and putting children and young people at the heart of the city and community here. It’s really impressive to hear.’

Vitoria Ward reports on the progress of the Leeds initiative in this Telegraph story

Over the past decade, Leeds has seen a reduction in the number of children and young people taken into care. 

It has also recorded better school attendance and experienced more young people going into further education, training and employment.

The Telegraph offers more about today’s visit. 

The royal visit was announced just 40 minutes in advance and proved a pleasant surprise for many shoppers.

One of the shoppers, Shirley Wainwright, 75, had just got off a bus from Harrogate and was delighted to find herself talking to a future Queen. 

“I didn’t know, love, you were coming. It was a complete surprise,” she told the Princess.

Here is a quick video from ITV’s Lizzie Robinson. 

The Princess met vendors and members of the public.

In this photo you see the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Bob Gettings, MBE, on the Princess’s right.

Below, the Princess looks at some of the floral wares available at the market.

The BBC has more on her conversation with the flower seller vendor in this piece

One trader at the market asked the princess if her husband would be buying her roses for St Valentine’s Day.

Florist Neil Ashcroft said Catherine had admired his flowers and he offered her a discount, before presenting her with a bunch of hyacinths.

“I suggested William will be buying her roses and she said, ‘I don’t think he will do’.”

After the walkabout, the Princess took part in a discussion with vendors and local residents.

The meeting included some of those involved in the Child Friendly Leeds initiative.  

The Lancashire Telegraph has details on that portion of today’s agenda.  

Canvassing parents out shopping she said “they feel this is an issue for them” and praised Leeds for its “impressive” initiative having children and young people at the “heart of the city”.

Speaking about Shaping Us, she said to the group, who included representatives from West Yorkshire Police and other local institutions: “Having a chit chat with some of the parents downstairs they feel this is an issue for them”.

There was a crowd eager to see the Princess, including one young man who was nervous about taking a selfie with her. In this video from Cameron Walker, you can hear her reassure him and say, “we all get nervous.” 

The Princess’s next stop was the University of Leeds. Here you see her being welcomed by Councillor Lesley Gettings and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, Professor Simone Buitendijk.

She met with students and faculty in the University’s Childhood Studies program.  

The Evening Standard has more in this piece.

…she met students on the Childhood Studies programme, telling them: “I really want to come and study again.”

She told one group: “It makes me want to be back at uni. Everyone says it’s never too late.”

The princess discussed with students the importance of early years development, asking them about their dissertations.

Returning to The Evening Standard’s coverage: 

One student said she was looking at the role of outdoor play in childhood and the royal visitor said “this is something I’m really passionate about”, discussing with the group her visit to a forest school, in Denmark.

Kate said she would like to see a study carried out of the impact of outdoor learning on the mental wellbeing of children. 

She asked students about their courses, saying: “Do you think it’s slightly changed the way you think, not only about own childhoods but how you see childhood in general?”

We return to The Evening Standard piece one more time. 

Childhood studies student Emma Joynes, 20, said after the visit: “I think she’s done an amazing job spreading awareness through campaigns and visits to schools.

“I think it is really important.

“Childhood studies is quite stigmatised.

“When I say to someone that I study childhood studies, they think it’s just to do with learning about children’s development, but it’s actually not.

“They don’t realise the impact it has on children up to five years old particularly.

The Centre for Early Childhood posted a 40-second video featuring today’s engagements. 

Additionally, a 40-second video of the Princess speaking about the need for the Shaping Us campaign was released today. 

And tonight the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood shared photos of the Shaping Us campaign’s first video airing in Piccadilly Circus. (The full video is available to watch at the bottom of the post.)

Now for our look at what Kate wore today.

She was in a coat that appears to be an Alexander McQueen design, very much like the red McQueen she has worn several times. The tailored double-breasted design is fitted and midi-length (the red version is longer than today’s style), with padded shoulders, peak lapels, button cuffs, front pocket flaps, and a defined waistline.

Beneath the coat, the Princess wore a Victoria Beckham dress, with thanks to Data Duchess for her speedy ID. 

The Cotton-blend Midi Dress (£665) is made in a cotton/elastane/polyamide/viscose fabric. It features a fit and flare silhouette with pointelle knitwork, a mockneck with yellow tipping, the same tipping above the cuffs, and ribbed sleeves. 

The Princess accessorized with a belt by Vanzetti (£45.99) in leather with a goldtone buckle in an openwork design. Thank you to innominate_93 and Found by Bojana for this ID.

We saw the return of the Gianvito Rossi bespoke boots the Princess has worn several times. Below, we show a style similar to hers, but with a rounded toe, the Glen Boot (£1280).

The Princess brought back her Micro Bold Leather Shoulder Bag by Manu Atelier

And the Biaritz Squiggle Earrings ($74) by Shyla London, a pair first worn during the Boston trip in December.  

In case you haven’t seen it yet, here is the first video being used in the Shaping Us campaign.
The Princess speaks with a market vendor in this 1-minute video.

The Royal Family Channel has more than 2 minutes video from the irrigate Market visit.

This RFC video offers coverage of the University visit.

The BBC News story about the campaign launch.


Here is the UK Press Association’s video from the market.




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Monday 13th of February 2023

Not a fashion comment, but I wonder if the Princess has recently changed up her hair and makeup team. For such a beautiful woman, it's always bothered me that her makeup team didn't seem to know how to bring out the best in her features, particularly her eyes. Her looks recently have her looking so much more refreshed and modern.


Thursday 9th of February 2023

Stunning!!! How does anyone look so great in a simple tan dress. This is such a great look w outstanding accessories.

Joanna Pagano

Thursday 9th of February 2023

I would like to sign up to receive including my email.


Monday 6th of February 2023

Administration, I’m wondering if anybody is having this problem. When I have WKW up, it goes to the Christmas Day post so I have to go thru all the posts to get to the newest post. Anybody else? It’s not bad now but by June it will be a lot of posts to wade thru.


Tuesday 7th of February 2023

@admin, thank you for your response. I don’t know what a cache is.


Monday 6th of February 2023

Thank you for letting me know about the issue, Carol. I’ve not heard from anyone else experiencing the problem, but perhaps your comment will prompt anyone else to share if they are encountering the problem. Have you tried clearing your cache? Sometimes that fixes issues like the one you’re experiencing.


Monday 6th of February 2023

Princess Kate looks great while doing so much good. Love love love the dress and boots!

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