Launched by Kate Middleton last year, the "Mentally Health Schools" program helps teachers and school leaders better support children's mental well-being

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Kate Middleton capped off her busy work day with a gala event on Wednesday evening.

The royal mom of three kicked off the day at the Royal Foundation‘s Mental Health in Education conference where sat in on a number of discussions. She then attended the 100 Women in Finance’s gala dinner in support of her efforts to bring awareness to mental health in schools.

Kate, who is patron of 100 Women in Finance’s Philanthropic Initiatives, arrived at the dinner at the historic V&A Museum in a glamorous floor-length Gucci gown featuring pale pink and mauve sheer panels and a velvet belt detail. She also carried a matching velvet clutch and wore her morganite earrings by Kiki McDonough, which she previously wore to her sister Pippa Middleton‘s wedding.

The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends 100 Women In Finance Gala Dinner
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Launched by Kate last year, the “Mentally Health Schools” program is one of the legacies of the royals’ Heads Together campaign, which helps teachers and school leaders better support children’s mental well-being.

The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends 100 Women In Finance Gala Dinner
Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

Kate gave a moving speech during the event, saying: “I think you know just how passionate I am about the work that you do and what you have said here tonight really brings to life the vital role that schools and teachers play in supporting our youngest children.

“I have often been asked why I have decided to focus my work on the early years. Having been lucky enough to meet some of our country’s amazing charities, I became acutely aware of just how important the earliest years of our lives really are.”

The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends 100 Women In Finance Gala Dinner
Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

“The root cause of some of our most challenging experiences in adulthood, such as poor mental and physical health, addiction, homelessness, crime and family breakdown, can so often be traced back to the very earliest years of someone’s life and often over generations.”

The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends 100 Women In Finance Gala Dinner
Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

As she concluded her speech, she said: “Over the past decade you have been unwavering in your support of our patronages and your efforts have made a huge difference to so many of our charities. So I just wanted to say thank you, for this wonderful evening and for all of your support over the years, I can’t tell you what a difference it makes.”

The Duchess of Cambridge Attends 100 Women in Finance Gala Dinner
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Speaking ahead of the gala, Amanda Pullinger, CEO of 100 Women in Finance, said: “Our Philanthropic Themes are Women’s & Family Health, Education and Investing in the Next Generation. It’s raising money but also raising awareness for the next generation of women who can see that there is a place for them in these leadership roles.”

With a focus on female empowerment, could the Duchess of Sussex be the next member of the royal family to attend a 100WF gala? “We will see if she takes that on,” said Amanda.

The Duchess of Cambridge Attends 100 Women in Finance Gala Dinner
Credit: Splash News Online

Ed Vainker, co-founder and Principal of the Reach Academy in Feltham, told guests about the impact mental health charities are having in schools.

“The focus that the Duchess has had on this and on the mental health agenda has really helped schools, parents and young people to destigmatize it and talk about it,” he said.

The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends 100 Women In Finance Gala Dinner
Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

“She visited my school a year ago and spent three or four hours in the school…hearing about the challenges young people face. She’s obviously really personally interested in it, she builds relationships really easily and she had a huge impact in a short time when she came to see us.”

At the conference earlier on Wednesday, Kate, 37, sat in on a number of discussions and panel sessions, including one focusing on the benefits of integrating mental health modules into teacher training courses. Catherine Roche, chief executive of one of Kate’s key charities Place2be, said, “Providing a specific training for newly-qualified teachers helps with their understanding with how children come to school with everyday challenges — whether it’s from home life or school life.”

Royal Foundation's 'Mental Health in Education' conference, London, UK - 13 Feb 2019
Credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

The non-profit 100 Women in Finance (100WF) unites professionals in the alternative investments industry to support philanthropic initiatives in the areas of family health, mentoring and education and proceeds from Wedneday evening’s gala dinner will be handed to Kate’s mental health program.