On Monday evening, the Duchess of Cambridge hosted a dinner gala for Place2Be at Buckingham Palace, to celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary.
Students from New North Academy in Islington and Salisbury Primary School in north-west London were preparing to sing for the Duchess joined by musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
“You’ve written it especially for tonight? Thank you so much! What a treat for me,” Kate said.
After she found out that two of the children were celebrating birthdays, Kate joked that she should be the one singing to them.
She then let slip that Happy Birthday was “one of [Prince] Louis’s favourite songs”. She added that her son couldn’t enjoy the choirs’ performances because he was already “tucked up in bed.”
Speaking at the reception, the Duchess said: “Having visited many of your schools, meeting hundreds of your wonderful staff, children and young people, it is heart-warming to see that the support you provide is so much more than just being there in a time of desperate need”.
Kate dazzled on the night in a vibrant blue, beaded Jenny Packham. She combined it with matching clutch and sparkling Jimmy Choo stilettos.
During the event, the Duchess greeted two school choirs who were performing and met with supporters of Place2Be.
She also delivered a speech, praising the children for all their work, adding that it was “quite a hard act to follow”.
Then, Kate talked about her history with the organization, of which she became a patron in 2013.
“Place2Be was one of the first charities I became patron of. I knew it was special then, but having spent many years since, learning about the importance of childhood development, I see even more the value in the work that you do and I am hugely grateful for all that you have taught me over the past seven years.
“You taught me, right from the start, that the children in your schools are only as happy and emotionally strong as the adults in their care.
“That is why you take such great pride in the work you do with your teachers and your parents. You taught me the importance of creating safe and nurturing environments within schools, embracing a holistic view of emotional wellbeing which permeates through the whole school system.
“You also taught me that it’s the simplest things that make a difference to children. It’s the quality time that is spent with them. It’s the time you take to listen to them. It is trusting relationships that have the most profound impact on the emotional and mental wellbeing of a child.”