Kate Middleton Joins Prince Charles and Camilla on Rare Joint Outing (Without Prince William!)

The Duchess of Cambridge stepped out to support a cause close to her father-in-law's heart

British Royals Visit Trinity Buoy Wharf
Prince Charles is joined by Kate Middleton joins and Camilla for an outing to his Foundation Feb. 3, 2022. Photo: Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Kate Middleton is out with the in-laws!

The Duchess of Cambridge joined Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on Thursday morning for a rare joint royal engagement.

The visit to the Prince's Foundation in London's former docklands marked the first time Kate has joined Charles and Camilla for an outing since a February 2020 appearance at a military rehabilitation center. (Prince William also came along during that visit.)

On Thursday, Charles, 73, brought take Kate, 40 — who wore a a recycled grey coatdress by Catherine Walker — to see the work of his Foundation, as they share interest in the arts and creative industries. Former art history student Kate is patron of the National Portrait Gallery, the V&A Museum and the Royal Photographic Society.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge meet students from The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts
Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The royals arrived at the Trinity Buoy Wharf to be welcomed by, among others, Charles's nephew Lord Snowdon, who is the Vice President of the Prince's Foundation. Inside, the trio met students who are undertaking courses with The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts.

They were taken to see young people working with wax figures and watched as others did a (fully-clothed) life drawing class.

Downstairs, they also met graduates and young business leaders and from Charles's Modern Artisan project, which is a collaboration between The Prince's Foundation and YOOX Net-a-Porter Group, and the trio were shown the techniques behind traditional kilt production and silk smocking.

British Royals Visit Trinity Buoy Wharf
Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Young designer Nicole Christie, who trained with the Prince's Foundation Modern Artisan project in Scotland, was thrilled to reconnect with Prince Charles and meet Kate and Camilla for the first time as she takes her first steps in the fashion world with her own Ellipsis label.

"It was amazing seeing the duchesses interacting about one of my garments," Christie tells PEOPLE. "I only started my business 18 months ago and never thought within that time I'd have royals looking at my garments. Kate was asking about the silk — I use 100% silk sourced in the U.K. They were really taken aback and it was an honor for me that I had the chance to meet them."

She added, "They were really humble and interested in what I was talking about. It was not a day-filling visit — they were asking questions about my business and the support I'd had from the foundation and the Prince's Trust."

Christie gifted a silk evening purse to both Camilla and Kate, as well as a pink scrunchie for Kate's daughter Princess Charlotte.

British Royals Visit Trinity Buoy Wharf
Prince Charles, Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

In the sculpture class, students were creating head shapes with wax.

"Kate talked about how hard it was to work the wax. I told her that it doesn't help when you've got really cold hands," Cara MacKay, 18, says.

Florence Harrison, 19, was another student on the foundation course between school and university.

"They were really lovely and really friendly," she said of the royals. "I spoke to Kate about the concept of translating a life drawing at school from 2D to this 3D shape. I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly they were."

Royal visit to Trinity Buoy Wharf
Kate Middleton. Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Abigail Ede, 18, is going to Oxford university later this year to study fine art after her work as a scholarship student brought her to the next level.

"It was quite overwhelming to meet them. I never thought I'd meet them. They were wishing me good luck," she says after the royal trio watched her sketching at the life drawing class. "I was quite nervous before they got here, but they were really nice and just asked me about my work and you can tell they have a shared interest in art."

Kate asked about her theme of some of her drawings. "She said, 'They're really good.' She asked me what the theme was. I told her they were about the natural hair and movement and how it impacts the black community, and she said she really liked it."

British Royals Visit Trinity Buoy Wharf
Kate Middleton. Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

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The visit came a day after Kate showcased some of her rugby skills as she takes over patronages for some of the organizations previously represented by her brother-in-law, Prince Harry.

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