Kate Middleton has started off 2017 in style, opting for a striking royal blue coat for her first public engagement of the year.
The Duchess wore a £1,650 belted coat with a classically elegant silhouette by womenswear label Eponine, teamed with a matching pair of court shoes by Rupert Sanderson, while visiting the Anna Freud Centre in London.
Kate, who is a patron of the centre, met with a group of parents and children at the Early Years Parenting Unit.
After listening to the experiences of mothers who had followed a treatment programme at the centre, helping them through problems such as family history of addiction or abuse, the Duchess praised them for their strength.
‘Parenting is tough,’ she said. ‘And with the history and all the things and the experiences you’ve all witness, to do that on top of your own anxieties and the lack of support you also received as mothers – I find it extraordinary how you’ve managed, actually.’
Later today, the Duchess and Prince William visited the Child Bereavement UK Centre in East London, where they helped children to make ‘memory jars’ as a way of remembering their lost loved ones.
‘I lost my mummy when I was very young, too,’ William told a young girl whose father died of pancreatic cancer.
A cause close to his mother’s heart, Child Bereavement UK was founded in 1994 by Princess Diana’s close friend Julia Samuel, who is godmother to Prince George.
Kate reportedly marked her 35th birthday on Monday with low-key celebrations at her Norfolk family home, Anmer Hall, where she spent the day with her husband, children, parents and close friend Sophie Carter (who is also godmother to Princess Charlotte).
The previous day, the Duchess and Prince William attended a church service at Sandringham, joining the Queen in her first public outing since a heavy cold prevented her from public engagements over Christmas. The Middleton family, including Kate’s younger sister Pippa, were also in attendance.