Kate Middleton took part in a previously unannounced engagement today, visiting the Institute of Reproductive and Development Biology at Imperial College London to meet with families affected by miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature birth, and hear from researchers specializing in those problems.
The Duchess of Cambridge looked sharp arriving at the event in a dark blue belted dress, paired with black heels, gold hoop earrings, and a patterned face mask. She'd throw a lab coat on over her outfit later, as the researchers showed her around their facilities at the institute.
The royal's visit was timed to Baby Loss Awareness Week in the U.K. Earlier this week, she virtually attended an awards ceremony for Tommy's, a charity that works to reduce the number of babies lost during pregnancy and due to premature birth.
The Duchess has long been interested in parenthood and early childhood. Earlier this year, she launched a U.K.-wide survey called "5 Big Questions on the Under Fives," which was designed to gather information about early childhood experiences and the people who care for youngsters.
On the podcast Happy Mum, Happy Baby, Kate explained the goals of the survey, and her interest in this area. "I think ultimately if you look at who’s caring and looking after and nurturing children in the most vital period, from pregnancy all the way to the age of five, you know parents and carers are right at the heart of that, and families are right at the heart of that, and although I’ve spoken to the scientists and the service providers, it’s so important to listen to families. What is it that they aspire to? What are their challenges?"
She added, "It’s going to take a long time—I’m talking about a generational change—but hopefully this is the first small step: to start a conversation around the importance of early childhood development. It’s not just about happy, healthy children. This is for lifelong consequences and outcomes.”
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