The Duchess of Cambridge has proved she remains the Queen of thriftiness as she recycled a soft baby blue tweed jacket to speak with teachers from a school in County Durham by video call to mark Children’s Mental Health Week.
Kate Middleton, 39, who is currently living at her Norfolk residence of Anmer Hall along with Prince William, 38, and their three children, Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, chatted with staff from Ribbon Academy by virtual meeting on Tuesday.
The mother-of-three opted to wear a smart blue tweed jacket from New-Zealand designer Rebecca Taylor for the occasion, which she first stepped out in during a visit to Evelina London Children’s Hospital in February 2017.
During the call, the royal praised the staff members for their hard work amid the Covid-19 crisis and urged them to continue to ‘look after themselves’, saying: ‘I wanted to say a massive thank you to teachers across the country for doing fantastic jobs. It’s been really hard work but please look after yourselves.’
The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, recycled a soft baby blue tweed jacket as she joined a video call with teachers from a school in County Durham to mark Children’s Mental Health Week
The mother-of-three opted to wear a smart blue tweed jacket from New-Zealand designer Rebecca Taylor for the occasion, which she first stepped out in during a visit to Evelina London Children’s Hospital in February 2017 (pictured)
Kate has supported the annual Children’s Mental Health Week since it was launched in 2015 – to highlight the importance of children and young people’s mental health – by Place2Be, a children’s mental health charity of which she is royal patron.
The Duchess swept her hair into a tidy ponytail for the video meeting, and opted for subtle makeup, including a sweep of eyeliner across her lids.
She spoke one-on-one with teachers from the school about the important work they have been doing during the pandemic to support children and their families, and thanked them for their efforts.
During the call, Kate asked the teachers some quick fire questions and heard from Head Teacher Ashleigh Sheridan and teachers Hannah Rispin and Louise Tweedie about how children have been faring during the pandemic.
The Duchess beamed as she spoke with staff from Ribbon Academy earlier this week to hear about their hard work amidst the global pandemic
During the call, the mother-of-three also heard how Place2Be supports the wellbeing of the whole school community, including teachers
Meanwhile she also heard how Place2Be supports the wellbeing of the whole school community, including teachers.
Kate chatted with Chris Reay, a High Level Teaching and Learning Partner, who attended Place2Be sessions as a child after a traumatic life event, and is now working at the school as an adult.
Chris is one of five members of teaching staff who have completed Place2Be’s Mental Health Champions Foundation Programme in the last five months.
Speaking to Chris, the Duchess said: ‘You play such a vital role in looking after our children. It’s so important that you’re looked after too and have the appropriate networks and support systems to make sure you can really do the best job you possible can.
‘I’m really glad that Place2Be is there [for you]. They’re needed across the country more now than ever.’
Kate chatted with Chris Reay, a High Level Teaching and Learning Partner, who attended Place2Be sessions as a child after a traumatic life event, and is now working at the school as an adult
The fully funded training programme has been made accessible to 50,000 UK teachers and school staff this year and provides a five week course on factors that contribute to positive mental health, what a child’s behaviour might be communicating about their underlying needs, and the importance of positive mental health for the adults around a child.
Ribbon Academy and Kate’s patronage Place2Be, which provides mental health support in schools, have been working in partnership since 2002 to provide teachers and school staff with the tools they need to support children and parents’ mental health, as well as their own.
To mark Children’s Mental Health Week, the Duchess shared a video as she walked through the Norfolk countryside last week.
Kate spoke one-on-one with teachers from the school about the important work they have been doing during the pandemic to support children and their families, and thanked them for their efforts
The duchess donned a cosy navy beanie with a huge fluffy bobble and a £160 navy quilted Barbour jacket during the clip, in which she appealed to parents to ‘look after’ themselves during this ‘hugely challenging time’.
Kate said mothers and fathers need to be ‘the very best versions of ourselves for the children in our care’ in her address.
And last week, Kate took part in a candid discussion with three parents, whose children attend Roe Green Junior School in Kingsbury, north-west London, alongside headteacher Melissa Loosemore, in which she confessed her struggles during the pandemic.
As part of a ‘show and tell’ exercise during the video call last week, the headteacher instructed the group to write down answers to questions with the first request – ‘one word that describes parenting during this pandemic’.
The mother-of-three, who is currently homeschooling her eldest two children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, praised the teachers for their ‘vital week’
The future queen held aloft the word ‘exhausting’ while others joined in with similar sentiments including ‘hectic’, ‘patience’ and ‘challenging’.
After being asked to explain her decision by the headteacher, Kate said: ‘I think as parents you’ve the day-to-day elements of being a parent, but I suppose during lockdown we have had to take on additional roles that perhaps others in our communities, or in our lives, would have perhaps supported us and helped us with.’
Chuckling, Kate added: ‘I’ve become a hairdresser this lockdown, much to my children’s horror, seeing mum cutting hair.
‘We’ve had to become a teacher – and I think, personally, I feel pulled in so many different directions and you try your best with everything, but at the end of the day I do feel exhausted.’
Last week the duchess (pictured) marked the start of Children’s Mental Health week with a selfie video as she appealed to parents to ‘look after’ themselves during this ‘hugely challenging time’
Kate’s latest appearance comes days after a royal source said the Duchess has ‘become more confident in front of the camera’ during the Covid-19 pandemic and has ‘learnt to enjoy rather than dread video calls’.
Insiders have now revealed how the mother-of-three has taken the shift from in person appearances to virtual engagements in her stride.
Vanity Fair‘s Katie Nicholl explained: ‘She has set up a DIY shoot location at Anmer Hall in Norfolk, where the Cambridges are spending the lockdown, and apparently has a special stand for her laptop and a ring light to ensure the shot is well lit.’
Sources explained that while Kate and William have their own videographer as part of their online team, they only have a skeleton staff at their home of Anmer Hall.
Meanwhile earlier this week royal sources said Kate has ‘become more confident in front of the camera’ during the Covid-19 pandemic and has ‘learnt to enjoy rather than dread video calls’
Insiders said as well as setting up her own ring light and laptop stand for video appearances, the Duchess also ‘chooses her own outfits and even does her own hair and make-up.’
The eldest two Cambridge children ordinarily attend the prestigious Thomas’ Battersea, where school fees are up to £7,000 per term.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl claimed the royals are determined to keep their children learning practical skills amid the Covid-19 crisis, telling OK! magazine: ‘Kate is aware of screen time and tries to limit the children being exposed to too much. When the children have a break, she takes them outside, come rain or shine.’
Royal expert Katie Nicholl previously revealed the Duke and Duchess of are ‘very involved’ with Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s homeschooling routine at Anmer Hall
While the family do have the help of their nanny, Katie explained that Kate and William are ‘very involved’ in the children’s schooling at home.
She said both Prince George and Princess Charlotte are ‘studious and love to learn.’
While the royal expert said the children are ‘pretty self-sufficient’ when it comes to online learning, the Duke and Duchess are keen to get their children outside into the garden to explore the outdoors world.
She explained Kate ‘wants them to get fresh air and be in nature’, and the royal couple ‘try to incorporate learning’ while out on family walks.
She added: ‘Charlotte is a massive fan of spiders and loves looking at them and learning about them, so they go on spider hunts so that she can see them up close and then let them go.’
And it’s not just geography lessons that the Duke and Duchess are keen on teaching their children. The royal expert said Kate ‘loves to paint’ with the children and ‘isn’t afraid’ for her children to ‘get messy with it.’