The Duchess of Cambridge in Eponine

ROYAL VISIT: The Duchess of Cambridge paid a visit to the Anna Freud Centre’s Early Years Parenting Unit in Holloway, north London on Wednesday.

She met with members of the charity to learn more about programs tailored for families and children with mental health issues. She met with parents who have worked with the center or received treatments there, and spoke to them about their experiences. The duchess also met with participants that have taken part in the Parent Infant Psychotherapy services, which aids new and expectant mothers and fathers. In addition, she chatted with families and staff members that undergo a “theraplay” session, which is aimed to strengthen the attachment relationship with kids and their parents.

Kate Middleton wore a blue belted Eponine coat with navy heels.

The Duchess of Cambridge in EponineThe Duchess of Cambridge in Eponine

The Duchess of Cambridge in Eponine.  Beretta/Sims/REX/Shutterstock

This is her second visit to the facility since she became a patron last year and is part of her ongoing work surrounding child mental health issues. Launched in 2011, the Early Years Parenting Unit helps families and children under five suffering from personality disorders via a number of programs, including assessments and treatments. The center is also one of the eight charity partners of Heads Together, a mental health campaign started by the duchess, Prince William and Prince Harry.

“We are very proud of our history of developing and evaluating ways of helping families with infants and small children,” said Anna Freud Centre’s chief executive officer Peter Fonagy. “We are delighted that her royal highness shares our passion for offering support to parents, as early as possible in the child’s life. We are very happy that Her Royal Highness is meeting parents from two of our flagship early intervention services. Her visit is an inspiration to the staff and reinforces the commitment of the families to work to increase their babies’ chances of a resilient future. But more important, by bringing attention to the real difference that early years programs can make, The Duchess is stimulating interest in similar services throughout the country and right across the world.”

Earlier this week, the duchess celebrated her 35th birthday on Monday and joined Prince William, the Middleton family, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at a service held on Sunday at St. Mary Magdalene church on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate.

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