Princess Kate Is Back with a Bang! (and a $1,595 Dress)

Princess Kate wore a $1595 Ralph Lauren dress for the outing on Thursday

Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Princess Kate is back with a bang(s)!

Kate, 33, stepped back into the royal limelight Thursday for a visit to highlight a key cause: mental health problems facing children.

In a $1595 Ralph Lauren dress and still showing off the longer fringe that she debuted on a trip to church Sunday, the royal visited the Anna Freud Centre in north London.

Kate was meeting experts and greeting families and children at the special school which is the latest in her ongoing program to learn more about children’s mental health.

She has been praised for taking an active role in promoting help for kids with mental health problems. “It’s one of the most important jobs she can do,” CEO of Anna Freud Centre, Peter Fonagy, previously told PEOPLE.

On Thursday, chairman of the trustees Michael Samuel hailed Kate for the impact she was having on mental healthy issues, telling the Duchess of Cambridge , “Your continued support on this important issue will be an invaluable ingredient towards making the real and urgent progress that is necessary in this area.”

Calling mental health a “national epidemic” Samuel spoke about the charity’s holistic approach and their plans for the future. Kate had been shown the model of the planned new center and integrated school, for which the charity needs another $9.2 million.

“Thank you very much for giving us the attention and profile by coming,” he added.

Kate the listened to the story of Andrea Noguera, 33, who had suffered post-natal depression after the birth of her son, who’s now five. The family had lived in a cramped room in a hostel with 150 others, making life stressful and harsh. Columbian-born Noguera said she was “thrown a lifeline by the center.”

The princess asked Andrea about how things were going with her son and was told that she now had a second son, who is 2, and that things had improved immensely due to the help she’s received.

Noguera told PEOPLE afterwards, “It’s wonderful that she came here, she’s interested in families and children and those with mental health problems. I imagine because she’s a mum herself she has compassion for families and kids.”

Kate then headed to the charity’s school to meet families and children who have faced difficulties.

The two hour visit was the start of autumn’s royal duties for Kate. She will be accompanying husband Prince William to the Rugby World Cup, starting with the opening ceremony Friday, and will be on hand to help Queen Elizabeth II welcome the Chinese president and his wife to London next month.

Kate, William, and Prince Harry are also set for a glam night at the premiere of the newest James Bond film, Spectre, on Oct. 26.

With additional reporting by MONIQUE JESSEN

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