This morning, the Duchess of Cambridge arrived at Mitchell Brook Primary school with William wearing her red Luisa Spagnoli suit...for the fourth time! Kate and William were supporting Place2Be, one of Kate's patronages, in the first of two events scheduled for Kate today.
The couple arrived to one of my absolute favorite royal engagement scenarios--kids with fluttering flags. The miniature Union Jacks and Place2Be logos create a really festive and fun atmosphere and the kids either look excited to see royals are at least generally interested in the hubbub sounding the proceedings. (Isn't this the song that was playing in the garden at
the children's party in Canada?)
the children's party in Canada?)
WATCH: William and Kate, in @LuisaSpagnoli, arrive at Mitchell Brook Primary School in North London for the @Place2Be Big Assembly pic.twitter.com/FpnJCRLmfF— Emily Nash (@emynash) February 6, 2017
The Duchess was on hand to stress the need for kindness in school and awareness for the feelings of others. She encouraged the kids to notice others, particularly when they saw that someone else might be down or need a friendly face. Kate noted that her own parents taught her "the importance off qualities like kindness, respect, and honesty..."
Kate - with the "K Factor" - encourages kids to "spread a little kindness" at school and at home at the @Place2Be #BigAssembly pic.twitter.com/7l4Dz4ZKYU— Emily Nash (@emynash) February 6, 2017
Her complete remarks:
Thank you so much for your very warm welcome. It is great to be here to support Children's Mental Health week.People often ask me why I am so interested in the mental health of children and young people. The answer is quite simple - it is because I think that every child should have the best possible start in life.When I was growing up I was very lucky. My family was the most important thing to me. They provided me with somewhere safe to grow and learn, and I know I was fortunate not to have been confronted by serious adversity at a young age.For some children, maybe there are some here today; I know that life can sometimes feel difficult and full of challenges. I think that every child should have people around them to show them love, and to show them kindness, and nurture them as they grow. This is what Place2Be is doing so amazingly here in your school.Recently I met an 11 year-old girl who was helped by Place2Be. She told me that if you keep your feelings inside, you can feel as though you will blow up like a balloon. But, by talking to someone about them, it can make you feel so much better.I thought that was such a clever way of looking at it. If we are worried, upset, lonely or angry – the best thing to do is to talk to someone about it. Whether that is your mother or father, a teacher or a friend.I know that in your school you have been working on a project to spread a little kindness and I think this is such an important thing to do.If you see someone who you think might need help, try and be kind to them. Keep a look out for them if they are on their own or seem sad or worried. Perhaps they just need a hug or someone to talk to.I know it is hard if you are feeling down yourself. But helping someone out will also make you feel so much better too.My parents taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect, and honesty, and I realise how central, values like these have been to me throughout my life. That is why William and I want to teach our little children, George and Charlotte just how important these things are as they grow up.In my view it is just as important as excelling at maths or sport.Now, I am very excited about presenting the Kindness cup and hearing your stories. Do remember that even if you don't win today, the fact that you are helping make your school such a supportive and friendly place is so important. You should all be very proud of yourselves and each other.Thank you so much for having me here with you all today
Joint engagements excepted (that is, events where multiple charities are benefiting) I think this is the first time that William has accompanied Kate to a Place2Be event. In general, William does not often accompany Kate to an event for a charity of which she is exclusive royal patron. He has gone with her to several America's Cup/1851 Trust events--and perhaps some events I am forgetting, but really this is quite rare.
|Kensington Palace Twitter|
Of course, Place2Be is one of the charities participating under the Heads Together umbrella in the royals' broader mental health initiative, which might play a role in his appearance today. Regardless, it is always fun to see these two on a joint-engagement, especially when Kate is the lead royal.
|Kensington Palace Twitter|
I was surprised to see Kate wear this Luisa Spagnoli suit a fourth time. Not many items in her closet have gotten three wears, let alone four. Perhaps I shouldn't be all that surprised. Kate debuted the Spagnoli on February 26, 2011 at St. Andrew's University in Scotland. The fact that Kate chose the suit for such a personally momentous occasion is a good indication she loved it then, and it is interesting to see that years later she still loves it.
I like that she brought it back today for another school event, albeit a younger crowd, on another blustery February day. At one point, Kate helpfully pushed her hair behind her ear to allow this beautiful shot of her Empress earrings from Mappin & Webb. The princess was carrying her favorite Bayswater clutch (Mulberry) and sporting her Cartier watch visible on her left wrist.
Despite the years, I still like this suit. It is a lightly older, more traditional look than some of the pieces in Kate's closet, but the duchess has had the skirt tailored since she first debuted it. As I noted in a post several years ago, by adding length Kate boosted this ensemble's elegance factor. Although I am the first to cheer for a hip, short hemline, the overall style of this suit is better served by the longer length.
The verdict is a win. Red really looks great on Kate and the peplum and collar save this suit from looking too cookie-cutter for a princess. For me, nothing can surpass the enormous excitement of its debut in Scotland and for pure aesthetics, you can't beat the images we got in Christchurch on its second wear (somehow the skirt looked even longer in those shots) but today was a solid win. She looked radiant. I'm going to put a comparison shot on Instagram. Keep an eye out for that. The Duchess has a second event later today! See you this evening!