As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wrap up their whirlwind tour Down Under, Will and Kate stepped out on Tuesday to visit Coach Core, a program that trains young people to become coaches and encourages the next generation of athletes. The royal couple will get the chance to meet new apprentices, hear from graduates and learn how the program in Essex is engaging a diverse local community with sport.
Kate, who typically dresses down for courtside events in sneakers and jackets, instead wore a black and white patterned Smythe blazer over a turtleneck sweater and black jeans for the appearance. She accessorized her look with morganite and diamond cushion drop earrings from one of her go-to jewelry designers, Kiki McDonough.
She even left her sneakers at home and stepped out in a pair of black heeled booties. (Of course, she’s had some practice — back in 2013, Kate famously took the volleyball court in sky-high wedges!)
Both Kate and William joined in on coaching sessions for indoor athletics. The royal mom grabbed a tennis racket to take part in one of her favorite sports.
They also participated in a game of Boccia, one of the sports provided by Sport for Confidence, a social enterprise that provides sporting opportunities to individuals who face barriers to participation.
The pair then walked through to the gymnastics center, home of South Essex Gymnastics Club. They watched Olympic-standard gymnasts in training as well as a pre-school session run by Coach Core apprentices and graduates.
Of course, the royal parents of three made sure to greet some of their youngest fans, offering hugs and handshakes.
Last month, Meghan and Harry visited Loughborough University — some 100 miles north of London — for the Coach Core Awards.
Before recognizing honorees, the newlyweds watched as British marathon runner Paula Radcliffe, tennis star Laura Robson and netball player Eboni Beckford-Chambers led 200 apprentices through a series of drills and mentoring.
Meghan, who took part in a passing drill (which resulted in a sweet hug from Harry!), also opted for heels and a blue belted top by Oscar de la Renta and black flared pants by Altuzarra.
Coach Core was launched to build on the legacy of the London Olympics in 2012 by the Royal Foundation, the charity organization led by Prince William and Kate Middleton along with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Following Meghan and Harry’s visit, the Kensington Palace press office announced that the Royal Foundation had been awarded a $1.3 million National Lottery grant from Sport England to double the reach of Coach Core by adding 10 new sites in England over the next three years.
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Over the years, the royals have been heavily involved in the program. In Nov. 2017, Kate visited the Aston Villa Football Club to see the work of Coach Core in action. A month early, she was joined by Prince William and Prince Harry at the Coach Core graduation ceremony.
Harry took to the field at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London in Oct. 2016 and practiced catching and kicking around a soccer ball with the program’s young participants.