The Princess of Wales threw out the royal rule book as she visited a youth intervention charity in east London, Streets of Growth, on Tuesday morning.
While it isn’t every day you see members of the King’s family stop and pose for selfies, although it’s becoming increasingly common, Kate showed her down-to-earth nature as she willingly obliged one fan.
The Princess happily posed with one worker as she was touring the charity space, clearly making her day as the pair beamed at the camera.
Kate, who is the doting mum to three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, was meeting young people who are at risk of isolation, exploitation, violence and criminality.
The not-for-profit helps those aged between 15 and 25 and during her visit, Princess Kate learnt about how these young people have been supported by the charity through its outreach and intervention programmes.
During the engagement, Kate was welcomed by Streets of Growth founder Darren Way, as well as eight frontline staff, some of whom were once young clients of the charity themselves before turning their lives around.
Kate admired the large space and “places where everyone can come together to be creative – it’s really precious,” she said.
“Young people get judged on their external behaviour but you have to understand their backstory,” she told staff. “They haven’t probably seen trusting relationships in their lives so that’s so important.”
“I love the fact you’re going out into communities, kids are so isolated, they’re at home with these huge struggles,” Kate added, also saying that she wanted to “connect the dots” with her work in early childhood which highlights how a stable and safe upbringing can prevent crises later in adulthood.
Looking smart and sophisticated, the Princess, 41, opted for one of her signature looks – a power suit, this time by Roland Mouret in a nude colourway paired with a crisp white T-shirt.
Her Rapunzel-like tresses were styled in tumbling curls as she wore her usual glowy makeup combination of a golden bronzer, defined brows and peachy-toned blush.
Kate also met two sets of mothers and daughters who have been helped by the charity. She was shown some of the shoes and jewellery they made in creative workshops, which Kate described as “really beautiful” and “so creative”.
“Doing these workshops has really helped,” one of the girls said. “I used to be so shy, I didn’t really talk.”
“What’s so fantastic is there’s an organisation in the community that works with a whole family in this way,” Kate said. “It’s tools and skills and being able to express yourself. All these things are what so many people like this and the country need.
“It’s also meeting families and young people before they get to crisis point and there’s a huge amount of intervention that can be done.”
Actor Eddie Marsan, who is patron of the charity and who “wanted to give something back” through his support, was also on hand to welcome Kate.
“The problem is that so many young people don’t have access to services like this, we need to scale it up, up and down the country,” she told him. “It is possible it does make a difference.”
In another room, three young people were discussing the issues of social media and body image. Kate took part in the podcast, speaking about a cause close to her heart – mental health.
Before leaving, the royal also met a representative from Unite Students, who have provided the new space for Streets of Growth at their flagship student accommodation building in east London, meaning the charity can cater for more young people in the area.
Over the past two decades, Streets of Growth has transformed the lives of over 5,000 young people.
It was established in 2001 and was inspired by a research visit to a Boston-based organisation, Roca. Princess Kate and her husband Prince William also visited youth charity Roca in December 2022 during an official visit to the US.
Streets of Growth operates in a similar style to Roca, helping young people and their families to break negative behavioural patterns and consequently play a central role in building thriving communities.
Part of this also involves nurturing honest relationships with sectors of society like the police, social services, schools and colleges, and housing associations.
Mr Way said after the royal visit: “This is a very unusual approach to mental health by taking talks to the street. We’re going out to gangs and non-gangs (and) we go in your house to help young people escape domestic violence.”
He admitted funding in the sector was scarce but remained bullish about its outlook, adding: “When you get an organisation like us that was founded with £10 and two chairs… to 22 years later Her Royal Highness recognising our work, the sky’s the limit now – it’s game on.”