The Duchess of Cambridge wrapped up in a red padded jacket as she arrived for an afternoon full of festive fun at a country farm today.
Kate Middleton, 38, enjoyed making eco-friendly reindeer food, choosing Christmas trees and crafting decorations during the outing to Peterley Manor Farm, in Buckinghamshire, this afternoon.
The visit marks the news that the Kate will take over as the new royal patron of charity Family Action. Kensington Palace announced in a statement today that the Queen is passing on the patronage after 65 years.
The Duchess was joined at the farm by children and families supported by the charity and spent time learning more about the vital work it does to support those in need.
The visit comes just hours after Kate mingled with NATO leaders and their partners at a Buckingham Palace reception. The Duchess was snapped deep in conversation with Justin Trudeau, after she and William struck up a friendship with the Prime Minister and his wife Sophie during the royal tour of Canada in 2016.
Prince William, currently visiting Oman and Kuwait, did not attend the event. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, currently enjoying a six-week break from royal duties, were also absent.
Santa’s little helper! The Duchess of Cambridge was on sparkling form as she visited Peterley Manor Farm in Buckinghamshire today. Kate, a mother of three, appeared particularly tickled by the Elf Workshop put up in the farm, pictured
Helping hands! The Duchess was helped by children as she chose Christmas trees for Family Action preschools
Bright and beautiful! In a nod to the festive season, the Duchess wore her red coat over a bright green jumper to create a cheerful and colourful ensemble. She finished the look with a trusty pair of blue jeans
Getting ready for Rudolph! The Duchess of Cambridge handed out eco-friendly reindeer feed to children at the farm
Green fingers! Kate looked thrilled to be joking around with the children, who were all dressed in adorable festive hats (left)
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Which one should we choose? The Duchess chatted to the little ones as they picked the Christmas trees for the charity
A thoughtful choice: The royal visitor looked deep in concentration as she considered the merits of each Christmas tree
Important services: The Duchess of Cambridge spoke to women who have been helped and supported by the charity
While the Duchess wowed in a stunning green dress by Alexander McQueen last night, it was a decidedly more casual look for the low-key outing this afternoon.
Kate wrapped up against the cold in a vibrant Perfect Moment coat that she has worn on previous occasions. The practical royal also opted for a favourite pair of sensible hiking boots by Berghaus.
In a nod to the festive season, the Duchess wore her red coat over a bright green jumper to create a cheerful and colourful ensemble. She finished the look with a trusty pair of blue jeans.
The Duchess joined families in the farm’s ‘Elves Enchanted Forest’ where children took part in activities including decoration making, and making eco-friendly reindeer food. She also joined families in picking out Christmas trees for Family Action pre-schools and spoke to some of the charity’s staff and support workers.
During the outing she met Toni Law, 26, a single mother of three from Peterborough, whose youngest child, Kane, two, is attending a Family Action pre-school, enabling Miss Law to return to studying young adult care at City College.
Sitting on a straw bale with a group of mothers who are supported by the charity, Miss Law told the Duchess that Christmas could be a ‘stressful time’ because ‘you want your kids to have the best Christmas.’
This way for more fun! During the tour of the farm, the Duchess was shown the cute ‘elf workshop’ set up for families
The Duchess of Cambridge wore her brunette locks in defined brown waves for the engagement today
Santa’s little helpers! The Duchess was given a tour of the farm – and took a peek inside the festive elf workshop, pictured
Wrapped up! Kate stayed warm in a thin padded jacket and ribbed green jumper for her visit to the country farm today
Up for a laugh! Kate couldn’t help but smile as she emerged from the Elf Workshop after a little look around
Cheeky monkey! One little boy couldn’t resist photo bombing the Duchess during a crafts session at the farm today
Royally good fun! Kate smiled as she arrived at the farm – ready for an afternoon of Christmas tees and festive arts and crafts
Kate and Justin Trudeau show the friendship they struck up during the 2016 Canada royal tour is blossoming as pair appear deep in chat at NATO reception
Kate Middleton and Justin Trudeau showed international relations between the UK and Canada are still on very cordial terms, as the pair appeared to enjoy an animated chat during last night’s lavish NATO reception at Buckingham Palace.
In one of a series of photographs posted on the Kensington Royal Instagram account, the Duchess, 37, and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, 47, appeared deep in conversation at the glitzy reception, which saw royals and world leaders mingling in the London palace.
The Duchess and the Canadian PM first struck up a strong friendship in 2016 during a Canadian royal tour when she travelled with Prince William to Vancouver, spending time with Mr Trudeau and his wife Sophie.
Transatlantic pals: Kate Middleton gesticulates with her hands as she appears deep in chat with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the NATO reception at Buckingham Palace last night
The pair’s friendship first flourished when Kate and William spent time with Trudeau and his wife Sophie during a royal visit to Vancouver in 2016. Pictured, Mr Trudeau and Kate visiting the Canadian Coast Guard and Vancouver First Responders Event in Vancouver in 2016
Appearing on sparkling form last night, the Duchess of Cambridge chatted to many guests during the reception, which saw some 25 NATO leaders in attendance.
Prince William, currently visiting Oman and Kuwait, did not attend the event. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, currently enjoying a six-week break from royal duties, were also absent.
During her conversation with Mr Trudeau, Kate is seen using her hands to help emphasise a point, looking animated as the pair are deep in discussion.
A smart-suited Mr Trudeau is seen listening intently as Kate talks.
The Cambridges first officially enjoyed the company of the Canadian PM and his wife Sophie during their tour of Vancouver three years ago – and the bond between the couples is obviously still thriving.
Kate said: ‘It is stressful, you want to give them the opportunities to enjoy all aspects of it. There is a lot of pressure that Christmas has to be perfect.’
Miss Law later said of her chat with the Duchess: ‘As a single parent, it is hard on your own, you can get depressed. She asked about what we do when we feel stressed about the competition between parents and who’s got the bigger presents. She [Kate] said, “Maybe instead of posting on social media about who has the bigger presents, tell people about the real meaning of Christmas instead”. She said Christmas is a special time.
‘She said “you’re doing a great job as a mum”, and I told her she did an amazing job as a mum.’
Kate also met Miss Law’s daughter, Aleigha, 8, sitting with her in the ‘Lapland Lodge’ where a group of children were writing letters for Father Christmas. Kate admired Aleigha’s crimped hair, asking her: ‘How do you get it all wavy like that?’
Aleigha told her that she slept with plaits in her hair overnight, and Kate told her: ‘I might try that tonight, I hope my hair turns out like yours.’
The Duchess was also taken with Anna, four, who drew pictures of Mickey and Minnie Mouse on her letter to Father Christmas. ‘You’re four, that’s the same age as Charlotte. Do you want Mickey and Minnie Mouse for Christmas? Are they your favourite?’ Kate asked her, before taking her by the hand and leading her to a red letter box in front of a sign to ‘The North Pole’, where they posted Anna’s letter together.
Gracious Kate! The beaming Duchess was greeted on her arrival at the farm, where she will take part in activities
Radiant: The Duchess of Cambridge smiled widely as she started on her afternoon of festive activities today
Full of cheer! The Duchess of Cambridge beamed as she was greeted on her arrival to Peterley Manor Farm this afternoon
Dressed-down Duchess: Casual Kate dressed down for today’s engagement, donning a vibrant Perfect Moment coat that she has worn on previous occasions. The practical royal also opted for a favourite pair of sensible hiking boots by Berghaus
The Duchess also joined a group of children making eco-friendly reindeer food, and pretended to feed toy reindeers with them. At one point, clearly enjoying herself, she turned to the photographers and laughed: ‘I might just stay here!’
Inside the farm’s ‘Elves Enchanted Forest’, Kate also spent time with a group of children inside a yurt where they were drawing and making Christmas tree decorations. Kneeling on the floor, she asked them: ‘What are your names? Are you having a fun time? Are you going to put all these Christmas decorations on your trees? That’s very cool. What do you all want for Christmas?’
One young girl, Poppy, told her: ‘I want a real life unicorn, a Pegasus one that flies. And a little puppy. And a guitar.’ Kate told her: ‘A guitar is very cool, and very sociable because then you can also sing.’
Laughing at one boy who held his hand up to get her attention, saying: ‘Me, me,’ Kate stroked his cheek and said: ‘You remind me of my little Louis, he keeps saying: ‘Me, me, me and he wants to come everywhere with me.’
Next, she went outside to select Christmas trees with some of the Family Action preschool children. Leading some children by the hand towards the trees, she said: ‘Shall we go and find some really big trees?’ Kate laughed as she tried to lift up several trees for the children to choose from: ‘Has anyone spotted a good tree? Is this a good one?’
Getting into the festive spirit! Kate Middleton, 38, will join children in making eco-friendly reindeer food, choosing Christmas trees and crafting decorations during the outing to Peterley Manor Farm in Buckinghamshire
Warm welcome: The Duchess of Cambridge is greeted during a visit to Peterley Manor Farm in Buckinghamshire
In her element: Outdoorsy Kate beamed as she arrived for the engagement in the chilly Buckinghamshire countryside today
Best foot forward: Kate opted for practical walking boots and a pair of chunky green socks for the outing this afternoon
After finding their trees, the group then made hot chocolate as the Duchess spoke with some of the charity’s staff and support workers and the children performed a Christmas song. As she handed round marshmallows to the children, one girl asked her: ‘Would you like one?’ ‘I’d love one, I’m going to have a pink one, delicious,’ said Kate.
Before leaving, Kate was presented with a bunch of roses and thistles, and crouched down to let some of the children smell them. Pointing out the thistles in the bunch, she told them: ‘George loves thistles, really spiky ones.’
On her way to her car, the Duchess also stopped to chat to a group of local women who were doing some Christmas shopping at the farm shop, and had been unaware that a royal visit was taking place.
‘Have you all been doing some Christmas shopping?’ she asked them. One stunned woman replied: ‘We thought we’d come here to avoid the rush, and here you are. It’s such a lovely bonus to see you.’ Laughing, Kate said: ‘I’m so sorry to hold you up.’
After the visit, Roger Brill, the farm’s owner, said: ‘It was an honour to have her here. We chatted about how long we’ve been farming here, and she was asking me about different types of Christmas trees. She said they now have a Nordmann fir which doesn’t drop needles. She said the farm would be a nice place for a family outing.’
Family Action was founded in 1869 to help families in difficulty by giving them practical help and support.
Today, Family Action continues to tackle difficult issues facing families – including financial hardship, mental health and emotional wellbeing, social isolation, parenting challenges, domestic abuse, and substance misuse.
The Duchess previously visited Family Action’s Lewisham base in January 2019 where she launched the charity’s national support line, FamilyLine. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also visited the charity’s ‘Family Monsters Garden’ at the Chelsea Flower Show in May 2019.
The Family Monsters Project, which encourages families to talk about the pressures they are facing to highlight that these ‘family monsters’ are normal and can be overcome.
Second in lime to the throne! Prince William sips cup of citrus juice with fishermen on Omani beach during third leg of his four-day Middle East tour
Rebecca English, Royal Correspondent For The Daily Mail In Oman and Mark Duell for MailOnline
The Duke of Cambridge spent his final day in Oman today enjoying a drink of cooling lime juice as he chatted with local fishermen in a large tent.
Prince William joined the group on a beach next to the Marina Bandar Al Rowdha near Muscat to hear how they fish, the challenges to achieving sustainability and what is being done to conserve Oman’s marine environment.
The 37-year-old royal looked at ease on the last day of his four-day tour of Kuwait and Oman as he sat down cross-legged wearing only his socks on his feet after being invited to respectfully take off his shoes.
Prince William enjoys a drink with Omani fishermen on a beach next to the Marina Bandar al Rowdha near Muscat today
The Duke of Cambridge joins a group of fishermen in Oman today to hear how they fish and the challenges to sustainability
The Duke of Cambridge speaks during his visit to meet with Omani fishermen at the Marina Bandar al Rowdha in Muscat today
William walked to a beach today where a group of Omani fisherman were mending their nets, holding the nets in their toes
William was invited to respectfully take off his shoes and sit in a tent to have a glass of cooling lime juice in Oman today
The Duke meets Omani fishermen at the Marina Bandar al Rowdha in Muscat today as they talk about sustainability
Speaking through an interpreter today, the Duke asked them about their work and even got to try his hand at helping them
William chatted with the fisherman today about the fish they most caught – a grouper – and asked about their biggest catch
William chatted to the fishermen alongside traditional fishing skiffs in the 80F (27C) heat this morning, after walking to a pebbled beach where a group were mending their nets, holding the nets in their toes.
Speaking through an interpreter, William asked them about their work and even got to try helping them. When he was complemented on his handiwork, he replied: ‘You are kind, I need to come and learn off you a bit more.
He also chatted with them about the fish they most caught – a grouper – and asked what the biggest one they had ever caught was. William exclaimed: ‘Twenty kilos – that’s a big fish!’
The Duke met the men on a stretch of shore overlooked by an Omani government centre where the duke donned a white lab coat and blue surgical-style gloves to join scientist testing the DNA of marine animals.
When he was complemented on his handiwork, William replied: ‘You are kind, I need to come and learn off you a bit more’
William smiles and shakes hands with a fisherman during his visit to the beach next to the Marina Bandar Al Rowdha today
The Duke of Cambridge speaks with with Omani fishermen at the Marina Bandar al Rowdha in Muscat today
William chatted to the fishermen alongside traditional fishing skiffs in the 80F (27C) heat in Muscat this morning
The Duke spoke to the group of fishermen in Oman today who were mending their nets, holding the nets in their toes
William laughs as he meets the fishermen in Oman. Remarking on their biggest catch, he said: ‘Twenty kilos – that’s a big fish!’
He had earlier been given a tour of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Marine Science Centre, where scientists are working with the UK government’s marine science agency, Cefas.
They want to share expertise and build capacity for sustainable aquaculture and fisheries management, as Oman tries to diversify its economy by developing its marine farming – creating farms for shrimps and certain fish.
Wearing a laboratory coat and gloves, the Duke walked into a laboratory where staff were analysing shellfish DNA to determine if it had any diseases.
Also today William joined young Omanis taking part in an Outward Bound Oman training exercise at the Wadi al Arbaeen
Prince William laughs during an Outward Bound Oman training exercise at the Wadi al Arbaeen today
At the wadi, William joined young people, instructors and members of the community as they took part in activities today
Prince William is shown a book during an Outward Bound Oman training exercise at the Wadi al Arbaeen today
The Duke of Cambridge during an event with Outward Bound Oman at the Wadi al Arbaeen near Muscat in Oman today
Dr Will Le Quesne, from Cefas – the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science – told the Duke that ‘shrimp and fish cannot tell you when they’re unwell and this is a way of looking for disease.’
William used a pipette to put a sample of DNA into a machine which tested its purity. In another lab he chatted to scientists studying the algae bloom that appears twice a year for around three months in the waters around Oman.
He peered through a microscope at a sample of algae, and when he asked why it was not moving he laughed when told it had been preserved.
The Duke of Cambridge arrives for his visit to the Marine Science Centre in Muscat today as part of his tour of Oman
William also makes a visit to the government fisheries department in Muscat today to learn more about sustainability
Earlier today, the Duke of Cambridge visited the Marine Science Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Muscat
The department is working with the UK Government’s marine science agency Cefas to share expertise on sustainable fishing
During the visit to the centre today, William met Omani scientists collaborating with Cefas, and took part in laboratory work
William learns more at the centre today about how the UK is supporting Oman fisheries to become more sustainable
Later, the duke will have an audience with Qaboos bin Said al Said, the Sultan of Oman, at Bait Al Barakah Palace – as well as attending an investiture at the residence of the British Ambassador to Oman, Hamish Cowell.
Also today William – whose wife Kate and three children George, Charlotte and Louis are back home in England – joined young Omanis taking part in an Outward Bound Oman training exercise at the Wadi al Arbaeen.
Outward Bound was launched in Wales in 1941 to equip young people with important life skills through learning and adventures in the wild and was established in Oman in 2009.
At the wadi, William joined young people, instructors and members of the community as they took part in activities designed to develop skills including leadership, resilience, and teamwork.