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The Princess in Familiar Styles for Family “Portage” Visit

The Princess in Familiar Styles for Family “Portage” Visit

The Princess wore familiar pieces for a sensory development class today in Sittingbourne, Kent, about 90 minutes east of Windsor. 

A quick video.

Below, the Princess as she was welcomed. 

The family “portage” session was run by the Kent Portage Team, a “home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with additional support needs and their families.”

The name Portage “comes from a town in Wisconsin, USA where the first home teaching scheme began,” per the National Portage Association site. (This is fascinating, as I lived in a town called Portage in Michigan for several years.) Here you see the Princess with Warren, who is two years old.

Portage has been established in the UK since 1976.

Today the Princess met parents, carers, and children using the service. Here you see her with 1-year-old Skylar and Portage Practitioner Beanie.

Skylar was playing with foam that she could throw. 

The Princess with a big thumbs-up for Skylar. 

A video from Matt Wilkinson of The Sun

Rebecca English reports in her Daily Mail story that today’s session was “…attended by seven children with a range of needs and conditions, including social communications difficulties, autism, complex needs and Down Syndrome, is run by Kent County Council at the Orchards Centre in Sittingbourne. The Princess also met front-line practitioners and learned more about the ways it supports families on a day-to-day basis.”

You see the Princess speaking with Stephen Ikebuwa in the photo above. More about their conversation from this Yahoo UK story

Stephen Ikebuwa, 44, who was at the centre with his son, Nathan, said the princess’s expression changed after he informed her that his wife suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum during her pregnancy with their son. Mr Ikebuwa, 44, from Gravesend, Kent, told the PA news agency: “It was nice meeting her and when I told her that my wife had hyperemesis gravidarum, it struck a chord with her.

“You can see her expression change; she went through the same thing.

“I remember one of her visits in a hospital she said something about how she had hyperemesis gravidarum.

“You can see her connection to the fact that my wife went through all that, and that really resonated with me.”

The Princess and three-year-old Beatrice.

Beatrice was having a terrific time playing with shredded paper.

It looked like the Princess was also having a pretty good time at today’s session.

We return to the Yahoo UK piece for more on today’s visit. 

Charlotte Beer, a portage practitioner from Dover, Kent, used the service for support while raising her daughter who has autism. She said Kate “really cared about the children”.

Ms Beer said: “She was quite interested in the fact that we noticed a regression within my daughter at quite an early age and how supported I felt as a parent.

“She expressed how important it is to make sure children with special needs are supported in their first five years of life.

“You can really tell that she really cared about the children, she came and sat with some of them on the floor, talking to their parents. You can really see she cares and she wants to make a change.”

In a social media post, the National Portage Association Chair, Janet Rickman, said “Her Royal Highness’s visit shines a vital spotlight on the National Portage Service Association. We are so privileged that The Princess was able to meet some of our Portage families and spend time learning about the work we do.”

The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood posted this messageKensington Palace also posted a thread about today’s engagement. Today’s engagement is part of the Princess’s focus on the Early Years and the Shaping Us campaign launched by the Princess in January. 

Now for our look at what Kate wore. 

Many will have recognized today’s jacket immediately, the Zara Textured Double-Breasted Blazer. Made in a cotton/acrylic/poly blend, the design features a double-breasted silhouette with padded shoulders, gold buttons, front flap pockets, a welt pocket at the chest, and peak lapels.

The jacket was initially worn to a June 2021 football match at Wembley.

It was seen again for a visit to the Copenhagen Infant Mental Health Project in Denmark in February 2022, and also in October 2022 for a “good luck” video for England’s Red Roses rugby team.

I added some repliKates here for those interested in trying the look. Beneath the blazer, the Princess wore a camel long-sleeved sweater that is not yet identified. and a pair of trousers that are also not IDed. UPDATE SEP 28: The Princess appeared to be wearing her Frieda Cigarette Trousers ($130, no longer available) in black by LK Bennett.

The Princess owns these in the navy color. 

Many have commented on the more sober looks worn by the Princess at recent engagements.

The Telegraph’s fashion director, Bethan Holt, wrote about the trend. 

Many of us choose September as a clean-slate moment for our wardrobes, using the new fashion season as an opportunity to refresh the way we dress. The Princess of Wales is no different; after returning to public engagements following her summer break, she has enacted an unmistakable new style strategy. 

For eight out of the ten new appearances she’s undertaken in the past three weeks, the Princess has worn either a full trouser suit or a blazer with coordinating trousers. She’s mostly chosen muted colours and she’s largely been recycling previously seen pieces. 

If three’s a trend, then these many tailored looks point to a very deliberate change in style direction from Catherine, who has always used her fashion choices to send messages. So what is she trying to tell us here?

“It’s a look of the moment, which works well on the Princess with her long legs, and those boxy jackets suit her,” said Ingrid Seward, the editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine and author of numerous royal biographies. “She wore those ‘little girl’ dresses for so long, but now she wants to look more sophisticated. It’s more of a work-day look; she doesn’t need to be in dresses anymore. A suit is snappier and smarter.”

The Princess’s hair was in an updo.

She accessorized with her Pointed Black Suede Ballet Flats ($190 originally, priced at $160 when first worn by the Princess, no longer available) by Boden

We also saw the return of the Medium Twist Hoop Earrings (£60) in 18K gold vermeil over sterling silver from Welsh jeweler Spells of Love.  

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Jack Bing

Monday 9th of October 2023

It always warms my heart to see the Princess in flat shoes.


Wednesday 4th of October 2023

I like this look and the more tailored trousers. She looks comfortable and enjoying her interactions.


Wednesday 4th of October 2023

I think this goes down as my least favorite look of hers ever. I can't dislike the bangs, and this particular hairstyle more. I have always thought she could make *anything* look great, but this whole outfit is a miss. Well, the pants and the shoes work, but the blazer does not at all with the top underneath, and the hair. A blouse in the same color (or white I suppose, but she's been doing a lot of white), and a different hairstyle would have vastly improved this look.

Susan Q

Wednesday 4th of October 2023

Think Catherine is making a strong and rather desperate attempt to keep the focus off her fashion, given the huge amount of attention she already gets aside from what Kate wears. I imagine there are others in the palace that have “encouraged “ her to “tone down” her look, thus giving others a chance to shine! Good luck with that!! Catherine could wear a paper bag and still get front page coverage and positive press! She looks stunning in whatever she wears… bottom line.


Monday 2nd of October 2023

While I do not mind the suits, I enjoyed the dresses more because the suits and blazers are similar to things I wear and thus dresses seemed so “princess”.

I do think we’ve seen a huge influx of suits (pants and blazers) in part due to the Queen’s passing and the attempt to be more practical since blazers and trousers can mix and match more than dresses.

I really do not prefer the tan sweater under the red blazer, having 3 different colored pieces make the outfit appear mismatched and the tan just gives the impression of an undergarment in photos, probably doesn’t in person if you can see the texture more. I wonder if she was cold and added a blazer at the last minute?

The tan and black shoes would have attempted to pull this outfit together for me, otherwise it’s 3 nice pieces that maybe didn’t need to be worn together.

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