Kate Middleton was an art history major at at the University of St. Andrews — where she met Prince William
Kate Middleton is going back to her artistic roots.
The royal mom of three, who was an art history major at at the University of St. Andrews (where she met Prince William!), paid a visit to the Foundling Museum in London on Tuesday — just hours after her first-ever joint outing with Queen Elizabeth.
Kate kept on the same grey Catherine Walker coat dress she had on earlier in the day, and slightly changed up her look by removing her Lock & Co. black fascinator, showing off her signature blowout.
The Foundling Museum, which tells the story of the 18th century Foundling Hospital, has been working with artists, writers and musicians to develop learning programs, especially for marginalized and vulnerable young people. Some of those have been helped by the program have gone on to run art workshops at the museum.
Ahead of her visit, it was announced that Kate has been made Patron of the Foundling Museum.
Larissa Joy, Chair of Trustees – Foundling Museum, said: “We are delighted and honored that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has become Patron of the Foundling Museum,” Larissa Joy, Chair of Trustees of the museum, said in a statement. “We could not imagine a more perfect Patron. We look forward to working with her as we fulfill our mission to inspire people to make positive impact on society through the arts.”
Caro Howell, Director of the Museum, said, “The Foundling Museum is thrilled and honored to receive The Duchess’s patronage. Her support is a huge boost to our work transforming the lives of vulnerable young people through the arts.”
Kate began her visit by meeting young adults who have taken part in the museum’s “Tracing Our Tales” program to train them up to teach creative classes to the next generation. She also viewed a photography exhibition, “Bedrooms of London” by Katie Wilson, which shows the deprived, cramps, insecure conditions some children are living in in Britain.
In a speech, Kate said, “Your work connects and celebrates two subjects that are deeply important to me: children, and art.”
“I am passionate about improving children’s life chances and giving them opportunities, so that they can look forward to the best possible futures, fulfill their whole potential, and have the freedom to explore their creativity,” she added. “I have always believed in the power of art, not only to unlock that creativity, but also to bring us joy, and to inspire, challenge and positively change our lives.”
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“What’s really impressive about the Duchess is that she has an incredible gift for not just listening but properly hearing,” Howell tells PEOPLE. “It is magical to witness young people who are very often monosyllabic and, for good reason, are protective about their lives and their life stories, open up to her.”
“Some of the young people that we are working with have had hugely traumatic lives and their lives are still challenging and we have an incredibly skilled team of artists, for whom art is their job,” the director adds. “When these young people come through the door we are prepared to work with wherever those young people are at that moment – which is often a very dark place. It takes a very special kind of person to come into a room and make those young people to feel listened to enough and have the trust that they will open up and talk.”
Kate has visited the museum before. She paid a visit in November 2017 (one day after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement!), where she met trainees of the groundbreaking “Tracing our Tales” project. The three-year project aims to develop a bespoke, paid training and mentorship program for care-experienced young adults.
On Wednesday, she met with the trainees again to hear how the initiative has helped them gain confidence and employment. She will also join them in a training session where participants learn how to deliver a creative workshop on block printing techniques.
Princess Kate supports many programs that use art to help children with mental health challenges.
Earlier in the day, Kate stepped out to accompany Queen Elizabeth as she opened a facility at King’s College, London. It was the latest occasion where one of the Queen’s children or grandchildren joined her on public duties — replacing the role that was played by the now-retired Prince Philip.