The Duchess Mixes Old and New Designs for Foundling Museum Visit

The Duke and Duchess visited the Foundling Museum in London today. 

Richard Palmer of The Express shared a video of the duo as they arrived at the museum. 

The Duchess has been the museum’s patron since March 2019. 

The museum was founded as a home for children whose mothers couldn’t care for them or keep them.  It “tells the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery” per the organization’s site. 

The Duke and Duchess took part in a discussion about foster care and heard from young people who have been in the foster care system.

We learn more about today’s engagement via Simon Perry’s People story: 

Soon after arriving at the museum in central London, the couple joined a roundtable discussion with experts from across the sector to speak about the wider landscape of foster care in the U.K., the challenges that young people leaving care can face — such as employment, housing, mental health and addiction — and the work underway to tackle these issues.

One of the main activities in the museum is to use the work of artists, writers and musicians to develop learning programs, especially for marginalized and vulnerable young people. This aligns with Kate’s interest in art therapy that is used across some of the mental health charities and organizations that she supports in her wider public work.

They also met with former track and field athlete Kriss Akabusi, MBE (far left), poet Lemn Sissay, OBE (center), and writer Allan Jenkins (far right). All three were brought up in foster care. 

We return to the People story:

…poet-writer Lemn Sissay, who helped with Kate’s portraits project, Hold Still, which captured life in the U.K. amid the pandemic. He also spoke at her Christmas carol concert in December. Sissay’s book, My Name Is Why, chronicled his own story of a life in the foster care system.

And from The Belfast Telegraph’s story: 

But he told how leaving care at the age of 16 was “very traumatic”, with Kate replying: “You are petrified leaving for independence.”

The duchess asked the 400m hurdler if it had affected his relationships and Mr Akabusi, with his distinctive laugh, replied: “Yes, but I am a loner.”

He added: “Now aged 63 there is no stigma attached when I say I was brought up in care but there was a stigma when I was 16.”

The Duchess and Mr. Akabusi. 

The final event of the visit involved an exercise using three-foot-long pencils.

The program is called Tracing Our Tales.  We learn more from Rebecca English’s Daily Mail story: 

The Tracing Our Tales is described as a unique programme which has been developed to equip care-experienced young adults from London boroughs with the skills to devise and deliver workshops at the Museum for family groups.

A video from the exercise. 

Simon Perry reports that during the exercise, “….Kate jokingly asked William, “Is that me?” William replied with a laugh, “Yes, that’s you.”

Kensington Palace social media accounts included thoughts about the visit from the couple.  

The couple enjoyed a moment of levity as they were departing.

Now for our look at what Kate wore.

We begin with her coat, which remains unidentified.  It was first noted in January 2020 at a visit to a London preschool. Initially, we thought the single-breasted style with flap pockets and notched lapels was by Jigsaw, but that turned out not to be the case.

The Duchess had on a turtleneck that could be one of two items, either the Hobbs Lara Merino Wool Roll Neck Sweater ($160) seen below left or the Zara Buttoned Cuff Turtleneck, a past-season style shown below right. The current season version has four buttons at the cuff instead of three. 

I was leaning toward the Hobbs style because the Duchess owns the piece in ‘granita pink’ and wore it for a November school visit.  But at this point, I really think the Zara style is more likely because the slit at the cuff seems more like the Duchess’s sweater. (Thank you to Shannon for the Hobbs suggestion and if anyone knows who provided the Zara ID, let me know; I would love to mention them.) 

The Duchess brought back the Sport Luxe Jersey Wide Trousers (now sold out) by Jigsaw that we have seen on several occasions. 

And her ‘Josie’ pumps ($410) by Emmy London. 

The Duchess repeated her Duchess Blue Phoebe Face Mask ($21.25) from Amaia Kids. 

The Duchess wore a new (at least to us) pair of earrings by Accessorize.  With thanks to Emily for the ID, it looks like she had on the Mini Hammered Door Knocker Hoop Earrings (£2.10, now out of stock).

I’ll wrap up with one more shot of the couple, this one as they were leaving the Museum. 

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