Double Duchess duty! Pregnant Kate Middleton attended her second engagement in two days on Friday, Jan. 16, stopping by The Fostering Network in Islington, London, to shed light on the UK's leading foster care charity. Us Weekly has details from the Duchess of Cambridge's latest eye-opening event.
For the occasion, Middleton, 33, recycled a loose dark brown Hobbs silk shirtdress, which was cinched at her waist over her tiny baby bump. Middleton styled her brunette tresses in a sleek and straight hairstyle, which she neatly tucked over one ear. On each lobe, she wore gold plated loop earrings by Mirabelle.
Prince George's mom enjoyed tea and biscuits with social workers, care leavers, and kids, as she was given an overview of the organization's expansive work.
Before the tea party started, the Duchess joined a discussion with caretakers and young adults who had been fostered, as well as senior staff from the Fostering Network. Middleton expressed to the group that she was happy to be there. "I've heard a huge amount about fostering," she told the delighted group. "It's really great for me to have an opportunity to speak to you."
The organization seeks to build the futures of the 63,000 children who live with the 52,500 foster families across the UK. Many of these children are at high risk and oftentimes subject to neglect, physical/emotional abuse, and exposure to domestic violence as well as substance abuse.
Currently, there is a dire need for at least 8,600 new foster families in the UK, particularly to provide homes for teens, disabled children, and biological siblings.
Middleton's visit was chronicled on Kensington Palace's official Instagram account, which featured Prince William's wife listening intently to program directors and engaging with foster care families over tea.
During her visit, the Duchess particularly bonded with a 6-month-old baby girl named Naya. The tot had been under the care of single mom Tigest Tesfamichael for the last four months. Middleton smiled at the little one and compared her to her son, George, telling Naya's foster mother: "She's chubbier than George."
The royal also noticed Naya's hair bundled up in colorful bands. "Sweetie pie," the Duchess said with a smile to the baby. "I love your hair!"
Middleton also received a gift on Friday: a "memory box," which encourages kids in foster care to keep photos and other memorabilia that bring back positive memories from their experiences in the network. She also received flowers from kids as she departed the site with a smile and wave.
"A visit from The Duchess helps to shine a spotlight on fostering and the need for more foster carers," Lucy Peake, director of development at The Fostering Network, told Us. "We are very grateful to her for her interest, and know that the foster carers and care leavers attending our event today are excited to be sharing their experiences and stories with her."