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Kate Middleton resumes her royal duties for 2017

  • Duchess, 34, visited Anna Freud National Centre in London wearing belted blue Eponine coat
  • Dropped in on  Early Years Parenting Unit to learn about work to learn about work with families
  • Will later join William to visit Child Bereavement UK Centre in East London
  • Today marks Kate's return to official duties after the Christmas and New Year break  

By Rebecca English Royal Correspondent For The Daily Mail and Siofra Brennan For Mailonline

Published: 05:39 EST, 11 January 2017 | Updated: 11:56 EST, 11 January 2017

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The Duke of Cambridge today spoke movingly about the death of his mother Princess Diana as me met children who have lost loved ones at the Child Bereavement UK Centre in East London. 

As Prince William joined youngsters making memory jars he told nine-year-old Aoife whose father had died from pancreatic cancer: 'I lost my mummy when I was very young too.'

The royal was joined by his wife Kate, 35, to help youngsters make 'memory jars' filled with tightly packed layers of multi-coloured salts, each colour representing a memory of their loved one.

Kate, who wore a £1,650 blue Eponine cost dress on her first official royal engagement of the year, also showcased a subtle style tweak by wearing her tendrils of her brunette hair swept back and held in place with mini bulldog clips. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as visit the Child Bereavement UK centre in London on their first joint engagement of 2017 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as visit the Child Bereavement UK centre in London on their first joint engagement of 2017

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as visit the Child Bereavement UK centre in London on their first joint engagement of 2017

William told nine-year-old Aoife whose father had died from pancreatic cancer: 'I lost my mummy when I was very young too' William told nine-year-old Aoife whose father had died from pancreatic cancer: 'I lost my mummy when I was very young too'

William told nine-year-old Aoife whose father had died from pancreatic cancer: 'I lost my mummy when I was very young too'

Prince William chats to Aoife about the loss of his mother as they take part in an art project  Prince William chats to Aoife about the loss of his mother as they take part in an art project 

Prince William chats to Aoife about the loss of his mother as they take part in an art project 

The royals will also meet with local professionals, and volunteers who work at the service, before being introduced to bereaved families and children who have been supported by the charity. 

They will take part in a Family Support Group session which gives children, parents and carers the chance to meet other families their feelings and memories. 

As Royal Patron of Child Bereavement UK since 2009, William has long supported the vital work undertaken by the charity, which makes such a positive difference to bereaved families across the country.

The charity also provides training for 8,000 professionals a year whose work brings them into contact with bereaved families.

William prepares to cut a cake celebrating the first birthday of the Child Bereavement UK Centre in East London  William prepares to cut a cake celebrating the first birthday of the Child Bereavement UK Centre in East London 

William prepares to cut a cake celebrating the first birthday of the Child Bereavement UK Centre in East London 

Kate observes bereaved children taking part in an art project to help them process their feelings of grief  Kate observes bereaved children taking part in an art project to help them process their feelings of grief 

Kate observes bereaved children taking part in an art project to help them process their feelings of grief 

The Duchess is presented with a bouquet of flowers by Shinobi from one of the centre's bereaved families as she arrives The Duchess is presented with a bouquet of flowers by Shinobi from one of the centre's bereaved families as she arrives

The Duchess is presented with a bouquet of flowers by Shinobi from one of the centre's bereaved families as she arrives

Kate shakes hands as she arrives with Prince William to the Child Bereavement UK Centre to mark its first anniversary  Kate shakes hands as she arrives with Prince William to the Child Bereavement UK Centre to mark its first anniversary 

Kate shakes hands as she arrives with Prince William to the Child Bereavement UK Centre to mark its first anniversary 

Keep the cold at bay like Kate in a blue coat by Eponine

The Duchess of Cambridge is back at work for the new year, just like the rest of us.

Which is great news for fans of Kate's style as we get to check out how a Royal tackles the chilly January weather. And as you'd expect she does it with panache looking as elegant and chic as always in this tailored blue dress coat.

It's by Eponine, a London based label she's worn before and which takes inspiration from the silhouettes of the 1950s and 1960s. So think a combination of nipped in waists, A-line cuts and fuller skirts.

Kate's coat, in double wool crepe, is a gorgeous shade of royal blue (how appropriate) and features three quarter length sleeves, a collar with notch cut outs, a slender matching belt and wide pleats in the back. It's classic Kate don't you think?

So if you'd like to take a closer look or to order this outerwear for your own new year closet then click (right) now. Or you can recreate the look with our edit of similar coats below.

* PRICES MAY NOT BE AS ADVERTISED
...NOW GET ONE LIKE IT

Child Bereavement UK was established in 1994 in the presence of Diana, Princess of Wales, whose best friend, Julia Samuel, is Founder Patron of the organisation.

Mrs Samuel has remained close to William and was asked to be Prince George's god-mother.

While at the Stratford site, William and Kate will be introduced to local professionals, and volunteers who work at the service, before meeting families and children who have been supported by the charity.

Kate arrived in the same blue Eponine coat dress she wore to the Anna Freud Centre in London this morning  Kate arrived in the same blue Eponine coat dress she wore to the Anna Freud Centre in London this morning 

Kate arrived in the same blue Eponine coat dress she wore to the Anna Freud Centre in London this morning 

The Duchess looked delighted to be taking part in an art project with young people during her second engagement of the day  The Duchess looked delighted to be taking part in an art project with young people during her second engagement of the day 

The Duchess looked delighted to be taking part in an art project with young people during her second engagement of the day 

Kate chats to youngsters who have been bereaved as they make memory jars filled with tightly packed layers of multi-coloured salts. Each colour represents a memory of their loved ones Kate chats to youngsters who have been bereaved as they make memory jars filled with tightly packed layers of multi-coloured salts. Each colour represents a memory of their loved ones

Kate chats to youngsters who have been bereaved as they make memory jars filled with tightly packed layers of multi-coloured salts. Each colour represents a memory of their loved ones

William and Kate listen to speakers as they learn more about the work of Child Bereavement UK, of which the Duke is royal patron  William and Kate listen to speakers as they learn more about the work of Child Bereavement UK, of which the Duke is royal patron 

William and Kate listen to speakers as they learn more about the work of Child Bereavement UK, of which the Duke is royal patron 

Prince William and his wife Kate the Duchess of Cambridge speak to a volunteer as youngsters take part in an art project Prince William and his wife Kate the Duchess of Cambridge speak to a volunteer as youngsters take part in an art project

Prince William and his wife Kate the Duchess of Cambridge speak to a volunteer as youngsters take part in an art project

They will then attend one of the charity’s Family Support Group sessions where children, their parents, and carers can meet other families to explore themes of memories, feelings, support networks and resilience.

These sessions can help to decrease their sense of being alone and feeling ‘different’ when someone important in their lives has died.

The engagement will close with a short reception to mark the Stratford Centre's first anniversary where William and Kate met staff, volunteers, users of the service and donors.

The Duchess accessorised with sapphire and diamond earrings to match her engagement band The Duchess accessorised with sapphire and diamond earrings to match her engagement band

The Duchess accessorised with sapphire and diamond earrings to match her engagement band

The royals' first joint engagement of 2017 saw them visit the Child Bereavement UK Centre in East London, a cause that is close to William's heart  The royals' first joint engagement of 2017 saw them visit the Child Bereavement UK Centre in East London, a cause that is close to William's heart 

The royals' first joint engagement of 2017 saw them visit the Child Bereavement UK Centre in East London, a cause that is close to William's heart 

Their visit is Kate's second engagement of the day, after visiting an early years centre run by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in Finsbury Park earlier.

And the Duchess admitted 'parenting is tough' as she met young mothers battling emotional problems today at the Anna Freud Centre in London. 

She may have a full-time live-in nanny and a mother who gives her plenty of help with Prince George, three, and Princess Charlotte, 20 months, but Kate, 35, suggested it still wasn't easy bringing up a family after listening to the stories of a group of mother who have been through problems such as a family history of abuse and addiction

The Duchess was introduced to two adorable little girls who were all dressed up in their best outfits for the royal visit  The Duchess was introduced to two adorable little girls who were all dressed up in their best outfits for the royal visit 

The Duchess was introduced to two adorable little girls who were all dressed up in their best outfits for the royal visit 

Mother-of-two Kate does her best to put a smile on 15-month-old Riley's face as she joins in with a play therapy session Mother-of-two Kate does her best to put a smile on 15-month-old Riley's face as she joins in with a play therapy session

Mother-of-two Kate does her best to put a smile on 15-month-old Riley's face as she joins in with a play therapy session

Riley was greeted with a cheery royal wave from the Duchess, but he appeared to be feeling a little shy Riley was greeted with a cheery royal wave from the Duchess, but he appeared to be feeling a little shy

Riley was greeted with a cheery royal wave from the Duchess, but he appeared to be feeling a little shy

Riley was more interested in staring at the camera than he was in playing with the royal visitor Riley was more interested in staring at the camera than he was in playing with the royal visitor

Riley was more interested in staring at the camera than he was in playing with the royal visitor

Kate hands Riley some building materials as she joins a 'theraplay' session, which promotes the attachment relationship between parents and children Kate hands Riley some building materials as she joins a 'theraplay' session, which promotes the attachment relationship between parents and children

Kate hands Riley some building materials as she joins a 'theraplay' session, which promotes the attachment relationship between parents and children

'Parenting is tough,' she said. 'And with the history and all the things and the experiences you've all witnessed, to do that on top of your own anxieties, and the lack of support you also received as mothers...I find it extraordinary how you've managed actually. So really well done.'

Kate was asked if she was braced to spend the morning with a group of children under five at a centre that helps parents with personality disorders bond more closely with their offspring.

'I did just leave a room of six under threes,' she said, smiling.

Kate, 35, also showcased a subtle style tweak by wearing her tendrils of her brunette hair swept back and held in place with mini bulldog clips Kate, 35, also showcased a subtle style tweak by wearing her tendrils of her brunette hair swept back and held in place with mini bulldog clips
The Duchess wore her brunette locks styled in loose waves The Duchess wore her brunette locks styled in loose waves

Kate, 35, also showcased a subtle style tweak by wearing her tendrils of her brunette hair swept back and held in place with mini bulldog clips

The Duchess of Cambridge looked elegant in a belted blue coat by Eponine as she arrived at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in North London this morning  The Duchess of Cambridge looked elegant in a belted blue coat by Eponine as she arrived at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in North London this morning 

The Duchess of Cambridge looked elegant in a belted blue coat by Eponine as she arrived at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in North London this morning 

Don't go yet! Riley, 15 months, and four-year-old Maddison peer through the glass panel in the door after Kate's departure  Don't go yet! Riley, 15 months, and four-year-old Maddison peer through the glass panel in the door after Kate's departure 

Don't go yet! Riley, 15 months, and four-year-old Maddison peer through the glass panel in the door after Kate's departure 

The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Anna Freud Centre Early Years Parenting Unit in London The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Anna Freud Centre Early Years Parenting Unit in London

The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Anna Freud Centre Early Years Parenting Unit in London

Kate and Chief Executive Officer of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Peter Fonagy (left) arrive for a visit at the Early Years Parenting Unit (EYPU) of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families Kate and Chief Executive Officer of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Peter Fonagy (left) arrive for a visit at the Early Years Parenting Unit (EYPU) of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

Kate and Chief Executive Officer of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Peter Fonagy (left) arrive for a visit at the Early Years Parenting Unit (EYPU) of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speaks with staff and guests at the Early Years Parenting Unit (EYPU) of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speaks with staff and guests at the Early Years Parenting Unit (EYPU) of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
She may have celebrated her 35th birthday this week, but Kate's glowing complexion is showing few signs of ageing She may have celebrated her 35th birthday this week, but Kate's glowing complexion is showing few signs of ageing

She may have celebrated her 35th birthday this week, but Kate's glowing complexion is showing few signs of ageing 

The Duchess of Cambridge listens intently during a conversatoin with staff and guests at the Early Years Parenting Unit The Duchess of Cambridge listens intently during a conversatoin with staff and guests at the Early Years Parenting Unit

The Duchess of Cambridge listens intently during a conversatoin with staff and guests at the Early Years Parenting Unit

It was not clear if Princess Charlotte, who will be two in May, had got friends over on a play date or whether Kate was referring to having pals with their own children to stay as they celebrated her 35th birthday on Monday back at their country home, Anmer Hall in Norfolk.

She visited the unit to learn more about its work with families who have children under five that are at risk of being taken into care. 

She heard one mother describe how she had been trafficked from Nigeria and had not wanted her son, now six, when she was pregnant but now had a much improved relationship after coming for treatment when he was three. 

The Duchess of Cambridge debuted a new £1,650 Eponine coat dress this morning as she kicked off the New Year in style with her first engagement of 2017 at The Anna Freud Centre in North London  The Duchess of Cambridge debuted a new £1,650 Eponine coat dress this morning as she kicked off the New Year in style with her first engagement of 2017 at The Anna Freud Centre in North London 

The Duchess of Cambridge debuted a new £1,650 Eponine coat dress this morning as she kicked off the New Year in style with her first engagement of 2017 at The Anna Freud Centre in North London 

'I got depressed really badly,' she said. 'I needed help because I was trafficked to this country.'

Kate listened to another mother, who had her first baby when she was 17, describe how she had her first four children taken away from her because she came from a 'really bad family' and had no support.

Later she met parents taking part in a 'theraplay' session that helps the child-parent relationship.

The Duchess looked relaxed and refreshed after her Christmas break spent at her parents home in Berkshire  The Duchess looked relaxed and refreshed after her Christmas break spent at her parents home in Berkshire 

The Duchess looked relaxed and refreshed after her Christmas break spent at her parents home in Berkshire 

Kate gives a cheerful wave as she departs from the Anna Freud Centre. This afternoon she will visit the Child Bereavement UK Centre in Stratford, East London with her husband Prince William  Kate gives a cheerful wave as she departs from the Anna Freud Centre. This afternoon she will visit the Child Bereavement UK Centre in Stratford, East London with her husband Prince William 

Kate gives a cheerful wave as she departs from the Anna Freud Centre. This afternoon she will visit the Child Bereavement UK Centre in Stratford, East London with her husband Prince William 

Kate showed off her slim legs in a blue coat dress by Eponine, which fell to just below the knee  Kate showed off her slim legs in a blue coat dress by Eponine, which fell to just below the knee 

Kate showed off her slim legs in a blue coat dress by Eponine, which fell to just below the knee 

Kate was looking fresh-faced and relaxed after her Christmas break Kate was looking fresh-faced and relaxed after her Christmas break
Kate arriving at the Anna Freud Centre, of which she is the royal patron Kate arriving at the Anna Freud Centre, of which she is the royal patron

Kate was looking fresh-faced and relaxed after her Christmas break (left) as she arrived at the Anna Freud Centre, of which she is the royal patron 

The Duchess was clearly in good spirits after enjoying a few weeks off with her family over Christmas and New Year  The Duchess was clearly in good spirits after enjoying a few weeks off with her family over Christmas and New Year 

The Duchess was clearly in good spirits after enjoying a few weeks off with her family over Christmas and New Year 

She demonstrated her maternal side as she entertained 18-month-old Le'Jaun with smiles and waves during the session.

'What's this strange woman?' his mother, Amber, 19, said, as he stared at the Duchess.

Amber has been receiving treatment at the centre for four months to help her cope with anxiety attacks.

'I don't think the work that is done here is publicised enough,' Amber said, praising the help she has received.

It was the latest in a series of royal engagements for the Duchess designed to draw attention to child mental health issues. She is a champion of early intervention and working with the whole family to resolve problems with children.

Royal patron Kate learns more about the work of the Early Years Parenting Unit Royal patron Kate learns more about the work of the Early Years Parenting Unit

Royal patron Kate learns more about the work of the Early Years Parenting Unit

The Duchess was keen to learn more about the work of the Early Parenting, which aims to keep families together and help parents become more responsive to their children's needs The Duchess was keen to learn more about the work of the Early Parenting, which aims to keep families together and help parents become more responsive to their children's needs

The Duchess was keen to learn more about the work of the Early Parenting, which aims to keep families together and help parents become more responsive to their children's needs

The mother-of-two looked completely at ease as she joined in a 'theraplay' session at the Anna Freud Centre The mother-of-two looked completely at ease as she joined in a 'theraplay' session at the Anna Freud Centre

The mother-of-two looked completely at ease as she joined in a 'theraplay' session at the Anna Freud Centre

The Duchess was greeted by staff members at The Anna Freud Centre where she will be introduced to parents who benefit from its services and support  The Duchess was greeted by staff members at The Anna Freud Centre where she will be introduced to parents who benefit from its services and support 

The Duchess was greeted by staff members at The Anna Freud Centre where she will be introduced to parents who benefit from its services and support 

Kate climbs out of her car as she arrives at the Anna Freud Centre in North London to learn more about the organisation's work with parents and young children  Kate climbs out of her car as she arrives at the Anna Freud Centre in North London to learn more about the organisation's work with parents and young children 

Kate climbs out of her car as she arrives at the Anna Freud Centre in North London to learn more about the organisation's work with parents and young children 

The unit in Holloway opened in April 2011 and offers an assessment and treatment programme for groups of parents with personality disorders, and their children under five, who are at risk of being taken into care.

The treatment aims to address the parents' personality disorders - often the result of abuse, trauma and addiction in their families - help deal with the children's developmental needs, and improve the parent-child relationship.

Staff at the centre try ultimately to keep families together and help parents become more aware of and responsive to their children's needs.

Later Kate met privately with families who have benefited from another of the centre's early years service, Parent Infant Psychotherapy (PIP).

The PIP service supports expecting and new parents, advising them about the impact of a new baby.

It was the Duchess' second visit to the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families since she became patron in May last year.

Peter Fonagy, chief executive of the Anna Freud Centre, said: 'The Duchess is stimulating interest in similar services throughout the country and right across the world.'

 

 

 

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