The Duchess of Cambridge is back in action! After a summer on maternity leave with George, Charlotte and little Louis, Kate has returned this afternoon for a public engagement at the Sayers Croft Forest School and Wildlife Garden.

 

Although fans are always excited to see Kate, today’s engagement obviously carried extra anticipation given her long sabbatical.
This debut event–Kate’s return to the spotlight after her third child, but more importantly after the introduction of the Duchess of Sussex into the BRF–carried more pressure than your run-of-the-mill public engagement. Kate and Kensington Palace wisely chose an event that placed the Duchess out in a woodsy setting interacting with children, her two super strong suits.
Emily Andrews shared this sweet video (in addition to the arrival video above) of the Princess getting a welcome hug from some enthusiastic little girls:

On this event, Kate got a chance to visit with the children and participate in a number of the activities crafted to help them engage with nature.

In the below video from Rebecca English, Kate has been helping the kids make crowns with leaves. I love how the little girl on the left has a slow awakening to the press–it’s intoxicating, all that attention. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This outdoor project is a mental health initiative aimed at cultivating emotional wellbeing in children. Specifically, the project brings inner-city children to the recreation ground to learn about nature and get their hands dirty playing, planting, and learning about the natural world.
According to Rebecca English, Kate told children that George and Charlotte like to go on spider hunts with her in the garden for hours on end. This is both endearing horrifying to me. I think there are more than a few fans who will not emulate this particular pastime of Kate’s.
A weekend or so ago I tried to “hike” a pretty tame pathway along the river near my house, and gave up almost immediately because there was poison ivy in the greenery adjacent to the walk. I headed south along a very broad and urban walkway instead. It just goes to show that Kate is the real deal. She doesn’t just talk the talk. ๐Ÿ™‚ As always, events with children give us peeks into the private life she enjoys with her own little ones when off duty.

Kate’s ensemble today is fresh and fabulous. We’ve talked a lot about whether Meghan’s introduction to the family would have an impact on Kate’s style, and I have been of the opinion from the get-go that (as is generally the case when fashionable ladies orbit in the same sphere) their fashion choices will spur each other to step out and experiment a little.

Today Kate mixed some old favorites with new pieces for an ensemble that certainly shows some gentle evolution. [Update: one of you very diplomatically ๐Ÿ™‚ asked in the comments if I would elaborate on this, and I see I didn’t really explain why I made this comment. I’ve added the thoughts in bold in the next paragraph]. Kate wore her Zara biker trousers, which I have affectionally named her Pangolin Pants. We first saw them tour in India in 2016, and they have been recycled since.
She paired the khakis with her trusty Penelope Chilvers boots, but added a new Fjallraven “Stina” jacket… I think this coat added the twist. It was more streamlined and a little “hipper’ than her Barbours or even her recent Troy London. I think she put together a casual ensemble (true to her style, certainly), but probably with an eye to a lightly more modern silhouette. Barbour and the Troy London parka will undoubtedly get plenty of airtime in the future, but given the extra pressure to make a great come-back, I suspect she made a deliberate choice to freshen up her usual look with this lighter, shorter jacket.
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…and layered that over the ร–vik Re-Wool Sweater W from the same label (IDed by Christin Zi)…
…and a perky bud-print blouse by JOSEPH, IDed by Laura. It is Laura’s first Kate ID, so it is a doubly exciting day for her!
Kate finished her look off with her Monica Vinader “Siren Wire” earrings and a new haircut with new, almost blond highlights! I was rooting for Kate to keep her hair long, but she hasn’t gone too, too short here, plus she clearly got a great blow-out with her signature waves, which makes her look like a hundred bucks.
KP

Kate is clearly a very disciplined woman. After a summer in which she obviously chose to relax and enjoy her family rather than be strict with herself, she clearly kicked her fitness regimen into high gear as fall approached, returning today back to what appears to be her pre-baby figure.

In a podcast before the summer holiday, Emily Andrews discussed how Kate has been spotted in the past hiking the hills around her country home wearing light ankle weights. We have seen pictures of her practicing what appears to be Pilates or Yoga, and of course, Kate has been known to be a careful eater for many years. She certainly looked fit and glowing today on a return to the spotlight that I felt was a huge success.

KP

Kate already has her next event on the calendar. Kensington Palace announced:

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the first Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit on Tuesday 9th October. #GlobalMHSummitwill see political figures, academics and policy-makers from around the world come together with one common goal: better mental health for all.

See you soon!