The Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge carried out a joint engagement at King’s College London
Kate, 37, was elegant in a grey belted Catherine Walker coat while the Queen plumped for powder pink
They made an official visit to Leicester together in 2012 but were joined by the Duke of Edinburgh
This is the first time they have made an entire outing without be accompanied by any other family member
The Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge carried out their first joint engagement outside palace walls.
Kate, 37, and the Queen, 92, shared a blanket in the back of the car as they pulled up at King’s College London, where they reopened Grade II-listed Bush House.
The Duchess was elegant in a grey Catherine Walker coat, believed to be a new bespoke addition to her wardrobe, which she teamed with her new favourite £510 Gianvito Rossi block heels and a black Mulberry clutch.
In a rare move for such an outing, Kate, 37, completed her outfit with a hat, which is likely to be a sign of respect to the monarch. It is the same hat she wore when out with the Queen in Leicester in 2012.
Meanwhile the Queen, 92, plumped for a rose pink cashmere coat by Stewart Parvin and matching Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat with beautiful floral detailing at the brim.
Although they have carried out a handful of public visits with other members of the Royal Family, it was the first time that they have been on one together in public, outside of Buckingham Palace.
In 2012 the pair visited Leicester as part of the Diamond Jubilee tour but were joined by the Duke of Edinburgh. However they did make individual stops on the schedule without him, including watching a student fashion show.
The outing took place in March, shortly before William and Kate’s first wedding anniversary.
Later that year the Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen at Fortnum & Mason for an event launching a military initiative, where they were joined by the Duchess of Cornwall.
In 2014, Kate joined the Queen as she hosted a night in celebration of the UK’s dramatic arts at Buckingham Palace.
And in 2011, the Queen viewed Kate’s wedding dress with her during a private tour of a new display at Buckingham Palace.
In June 2018, a few weeks after the royal wedding, the Queen carried out joint engagements with the Duchess of Sussex in Cheshire.
Today the Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge appeared in excellent spirits as they arrived at Bush House, which previously served as the headquarters for BBC World Service but is being leased by King’s College London.
It marks the newest building as part of the university’s Strand Campus.
Kate and the Queen could be seen sitting with a blue blanket over their laps as they arrived in the back of a car.
There was much fanfare, with well-wishers crowding outside the gates to the building and some even standing on bollards in the hope of getting a better glimpse of the royals.
Following royal protocol, Kate waited for the Queen to leave the car before exiting the vehicle herself. She continued to walk behind the monarch as they made their way into the building.
The royals were greeted by Lord Christopher Geidt, chairman of King’s and former private secretary to the Queen, her most senior advisor.
He was ousted in a palace coup two years ago but remains close to the monarch.
They were taken up to the eighth floor where they met donors, supporters and old alumni of the university who had contributed to transform the former BBC World Service at Bush House to a new faculty.
Outside on the terrace which overlooked central London, Kate and the Queen both remarked on the ‘impressive’ view.
Meeting a group of builders, Kate said: ‘Do you all still get on? What a mammoth project this was.’
But it was meeting staff and students from the university’s robotic section that really captivated the royals. Matthew Howard, head of King’s robot learning lab, said: ‘It’s a sawyer robot and it’s designed to learn skills by copying the behaviour of people.
‘The sensors can be built into clothing and can pick up muscle activity as they can be made with metallic thread. It picks up the EMG muscle activity and transmits it to the robot and tries to copy what the person is doing.
‘Sam was moving his hands so the robot moved its hand. The Duchess grabbed the hand and then Sam tensed his hand so it felt like a handshake.’
As she shook the robotic hand, Kate giggled and said: ‘Very nice to meet you!’. When it gripped her hand back, she laughed and said: ‘So strange’.
The Queen looked slightly alarmed when the hand came near her and decided not to grace it with a regal shake.
The royals then went downstairs to meet students in the university’s special trading floor and entrepreneurship section. Kate met entrepreneur Aysha Ingar who has set up an app for Muslim women and Tobi Oredein who has set up a media platform for black women in the UK.
Kate told Aysha and Tobi: ‘I come from an entrepreneurial background and my parents started their own business so I’m all for it. Congratulations and keep going.’
Kate also met medical student Qasim Munye, 22, who has set up an app called Shortly for people who want to read short stories on the go, allowing people to choose a story that suits how much time they have to read.
Kate said: ‘Oh that would be fantastic for the kiddies when it’s bedtime. Particularly for tired parents who want the children to go to sleep.’
Qassim, from London, said: ‘She mentioned that she thinks it would be good for her children before they go to sleep, to enable to set the time of the book.’
Mr Munye said he is now going to think about adding stories for children to the app.
They ended their visit in the development’s new auditorium, where the Queen, who is patron of the university, unveiled a plaque, formally opening Bush House, before signing the visitor’s book alongside Kate.
Lord Geidt, who also went to King’s as a student, made a short speech and gave the Queen a gift of book of royal photographs.
King’s Principal Prof Edward Byrne said: ‘It’s a huge honour to have Her Majesty and Her Royal Highness here. The University was founded by King George IV in 1829 and has always been associated with the Royal Family since as the monarch has always been our patron.
‘It’s a day that staff and students will remember for the rest of their lives. Both HM and HRH really enjoyed meeting students from all over the world, those who have established their own businesses through the entrepreneurship institute and those in the robotics section.
‘The duchess has a special interest in young people and has supported some of our mental health projects at King’s.’
Later, Kate visited the Foundling Museum to understand how it uses art to make a positive contribution to society by engaging with vulnerable and marginalised young people.
The museum tells the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and public art gallery.
Kate, who visited the museum in 2017, is expected to view Bedrooms of London, a photography exhibition that documents the living conditions of London’s most disadvantaged children.
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