Kate DAZZLES in recycled lilac dress for first visit with William since maternity leave
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, is known for recycling her favourite looks and today was no different when she opted for a trusty lilac dress for her visit joint engagement with Prince William since the birth of their third child, Prince Louis.
William and Kate arrived in London for the first Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit at County Hall, aimed at helping to improve mental health around the world, where they were greeted by Health Secretary Matt Hancock as they arrived.
Kate, who returned from maternity leave at the start of this month, looked lovely in a lilac dress, from Emilia Wickstead, teamed with a pair of nude suede heels.
The 36-year-old was first seen in the £1,350 dress when the Cambridges’ were in Hamburg in July last year, before she fell pregnant with Prince Louis.
It was that same moment that Duchess Kate was forced to intervene when her daughter Princess Charlotte had a major royal strop.
Duchess Kate accessorised the look with a £695 taupe crocodile print bag from Aspinal of London, and a pair of dazzling diamond drop earrings are from Mappin & Webb, costing £3,750, and a £1,000 pendant rom the same designer.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined political figures, experts from around the world and policy makers at the start of the two-day event to discuss issues such as how to deal with the stigma attached to mental health.
Another policy up for discussion at the summit, which is co-hosted by the UK Government and the OECD, was a declaration committing to putting mental health on an equal footing with physical health.
Kate returned from maternity leave on October 2 following six months off to visit primary school children at the Paddington Recreation Ground.
The royal couple, who were cheered by crowds gathered in the street outside County Hall, have long been involved in mental health initiatives through their Heads Together campaign.
While there, the couple put their artistic skills on display.
William joked that he and Kate might have “ruined” a picture being painted as they both somewhat nervously added a single brushstroke to Dairo Vargas’ artwork.
Following Kate’s handiwork, William told his wife, much to her amusement: “That’s pretty much ruined the picture.”
After picking up the paintbrush himself he then told the artist: “This is how you properly ruin a picture.”
When Mr Vargas invited the pair to add to the painting, Kate told him: “This is very brave of you.”
The Colombian artist, whose work is entitled Someone To Turn To, said he hoped to have input from a number of people throughout the summit, symbolising how everyone can help to tackle mental health issues.
Describing the royal touch as “amazing”, he added: “I feel very excited and happy to be part of this project.”
William and Kate have long been involved in mental health initiatives through their Heads Together campaign.
They were reunited on Tuesday with Elisha London, who worked on that campaign, as they learned about a Zimbabwean project called the Friendship Bench.
The trio sat on a replica bench to the original one in the project which started in Harare, as Ms London explained how so-called “community grandmothers” – people trained to help those experiencing mental health problems – listen to and support locals within their communities.
Alexandra Almeida, from the My Mind Our Humanity campaign as part of the Lancet commission on global mental health, said it was “very nice” to meet William and Kate and have their support.
Ms Almeida, from Portugal, said: “They wanted to know if we feel there has been a change in mental health and how the young people view mental health in Britain and other places across the world.
“We told them there has indeed been a change but we are not there yet.”
The royals also met young people who have either had or are dealing with mental health issues and heard about case studies of mental health projects in the USA and India.
They were hosted during their visit by Sue Baker, director of Time to Change, and Professor Tim Kendall, national clinical director for mental health with NHS England.
A poll published this week showed that almost a quarter of patients with a mental health problem are waiting more than three months to see an NHS specialist.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists said that long waits for mental health care “have been deemed acceptable”.
The college has launched a new campaign urging medical students to become doctors who specialise in mental health.
Ahead of the summit, the Department of Health and Social Care began a social media campaign using the hash tag £TheWorldNeeds to ask people what needs to change in the way mental health is treated and perceived.
Kate’s return comes after she went on maternity leave in March ahead of the birth of her youngest child Prince Louis on April 23.
Although the duchess has appeared at events such as the RAF centenary, Trooping the Colour and Wimbledon, and celebrated the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding, this month marks her return to royal duties since Louis’ arrival.
The mother-of-three enjoyed a longer maternity leave after feeling like she went back to work too quickly with Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Kate and William’s appearance comes ahead of Princess Eugenie’s Royal Wedding on Friday, where their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte are expected to be a pageboy and flowergirl.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK