KATE’S NEW CHALLENGE
The expectant royal is filling her diary supporting causes close to her heart
The pregnant royal is throwing herself into good works.
With her bump all but concealed in a black zip-up track jacket, the Duchess of Cambridge showed off her tennis skills on Oct. 31, in her first solo appearance since announcing her pregnancy in September. Accessorising her athletic gear—including new Nike sneakers—with a beaming smile, the avid tennis fan brushed up on her skills, doing drills with young players at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton. Says tennis pro Johanna Konta, who met the duchess, “Every little girl and almost every little boy wants to meet a princess, and it got them very excited.”
It’s also an exciting—and possibly demanding—time for the duchess, 35, who’s back in the thick of royal duties ahead of the arrival of her third child with Prince William (due in April, as Kensington Palace confirmed). After lying low with hyperemesis gravidarum she returned to work last month, hosting a function on World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10.
On Nov. 1 she hosted a private discussion focusing on maternal mental health at Kensington Palace. “The Duchess is keen to develop an understanding of the issues surrounding maternal mental health, and to learn what support is available,” said Kensington Palace of the meeting. Kate, who revealed in March that she suffered a “lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance” as a new mum, spoke with academics and obstetricians at the brain-storm.
Her crusade to draw awareness to child-andmaternal mental-health issues continues on Nov. 7, when she’s scheduled to attend a gala dinner for the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF) at Kensington Palace. The charity—the duchess is a patron—provides early intervention to vulnerable families. A week later, she is expected to visit the Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in London to learn more about perinatal mental health.
These engagements are a sign that the motherto-be’s recovery is well on track and, indeed, the duchess looked in high spirits at the Tennis for Kids session on Oct. 31. “It was great to see her passion for tennis,” Konta tells WHO. “She’s lovely.”