Five years after she became the future queen, Princess Kate is stepping into royal duty like never before

By Simon Perry
October 11, 2016 07:43 AM
Samir Hussein/WireImage

Five years after she became the future queen, Princess Kate is stepping into royal duty like never before.

In her first solo trip outside of the U.K., Kate arrived in the Netherlands on Tuesday to visit King Willem-Alexander to take her ongoing mental-health campaign abroad.

The mother of two wore a pale blue jacket and pencil skirt by Catherine Walker & Co.

Next, the avid art lover is headed to the famed Mauritshuis museum to see the exhibition At Home in Holland: Vermeer and His Contemporaries from the British Royal Collection. The new exhibit features 22 of the finest 17th-century works.

But the main focus of the day is hosting a roundtable discussion with two of Kate’s charities, the Anna Freud Centre, which supports children’s mental health, and Action on Addiction, which concentrates on the harmful effects to families of drug and alcohol abuse.

Samir Hussein/WireImage

They will join with representatives from the Trimbos Institute, which conducts research into the same issues.

“She has initiated a brilliant idea of bringing institutions together that have similar interests,” says Peter Fonagy, the chief executive of the Anna Freud Centre, who joined Kate in Holland. “She’s aiming to help us learn from each other and bring back what there is from each side.”

The bridge-building could signal a widening of her initiative, he says: “Because of her charisma, because of her interest, she is able to bring together people who would not normally be talking to one another and that brings enormous value.”

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On Monday, Fonagy attended the Heads Together event for World Mental Health Day in London alongside Kate, Prince William and Prince Harry. “All three of them spoke and they spoke with the same voice, saying the same thing — that this was the most important that any of us could do: that we could be there for others as they feel that people were there for them,” he says.

“They want to make it easy for everyone to be able to ask for help, from friends, or from professionals,” he adds. “That’s the most important thing that we can do.”

Kate will end the day in the neighboring Dutch city of Rotterdam, where she is to see a new community-focused initiative to provide a creative design and technology workspace.