The royal mom of three attended the Royal Foundation's Mental Health in Education conference in a chic tweed suit

By Stephanie Petit and Simon Perry
February 13, 2019 07:04 AM
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Kate Middleton has been a longtime advocate for mental health and the well-being of young people – and on Wednesday, those two causes combined.

The royal mom of three attended the Royal Foundation‘s Mental Health in Education conference, which brought together delegates from both mental health and education sectors to explore what more can be done to tackle mental health issues in schools.

She arrived wearing a chic tweed skirt with a matching blazer by Dolce and Gabbana, paired with black tights – one of her fashion staples during the chilly winter months. The royal completed her look with her signature bouncy blowout and a black clutch.

Kate, 37, sat in on a number of discussions during the day full of speakers and panel sessions. These included a conversation on the benefits of integrating mental health modules into teacher training courses, and another on the role of school leaders in creating a culture of well-being in schools.

Credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock
Kate Middleton
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Kate Middleton
| Credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

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.”

The royal met head teachers from a number of schools that are currently piloting the Royal Foundation’s “Mentally Healthy Schools” program. Launched by Kate in 2018, “Mentally Healthy Schools” is a website giving primary schools free access to hundreds of the highest quality mental health resources, helping teachers better support their pupils’ mental health. It is one of the legacy programs from the Heads Together campaign and is being delivered in partnership with The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Place2Be and Young Minds.

Kate also joined a meeting with teachers and specialists to further discuss the potential impact of consistent mental health teacher training as well as the challenges facing its implementation.

Kate Middleton
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Later on Wednesday, Kate will attend the 100 Women in Finance Gala Dinner in support of the “Mentally Healthy Schools” initiative.

The Royal Foundation was set up to look after the charitable interests of Prince Harry and Prince William, and subsequently Kate and Meghan Markle. Kate has taken a particular interest in young children and families in her philanthropic work.

“From apprentices to veterans, community projects to national campaigns, from local action to global conservation, The Royal Foundation supports a broad and ambitious spectrum of activity. We bring people, ideas and resources together to understand issues, explore creative solutions and be a catalyst for long-term impact,” according to the organization’s website.

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Kate Middleton
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Kate Middleton
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Meanwhile, across the city, Prince William visited homelessness charity The Passage to join volunteers at their resource center in a lunch shift, and to hear how integral volunteering and community support is for the organization and their clients.

He helped prepare and serve lunch, and hear more about The Passage’s “Home for Good” program, which aims to reduce the incidence of former rough sleepers failing in keeping up with their rental agreements and becoming homeless again. It uses befriending to reduce isolation and build resilience and prevent a return to the streets.

It came as William, 36, was announced as the new royal patron of the homelessness charity — adding to his adoption of fellow charity Centrepoint.