The Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, may have left her baby Prince George at home, but she had the chance to bond with other youngsters as she visited a local child development centre in Harlem, New York. Kate is currently on a three-day tour of the Big Apple with her husband Prince William.
While the Duke had travelled to Washington to meet with President Barack Obama earlier on in the day, Kate stayed behind in their base city to carry out her first solo engagement of the trip.
Guided by New York's First Lady Chirlane McCray, the Duchess, who is five months pregnant with her second child, headed to Harlem in the northern section of Manhattan.
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Duchess Kate arrived at the Harlem centre dedicated to helping children on Monday
Arriving in the vibrant neighbourhood on Monday afternoon, Kate was met by throngs of excited royal fans who had waited for hours and braved the cold outside the Northside Center for Child Development.
The beautiful royal kept the wintry New York weather at bay as she protected her baby bump in a black coat by Goat – one of her favourite British designers. The piece, called the Washington, retails at £680 and is expected to sell out as most of Kate's items of clothing do.
Showing her maternal side, the Duchess met three and four-year-old youngsters who are being supported by the centre, and eagerly took part in their festive activity – wrapping up donated Christmas presents and making crafts.
History of Art graduate Kate also toured the facility and learnt from staff and volunteers how the organisation fosters the healthy development of children and families, by providing high-quality mental health and educational services.
Duchess Kate bonded with children during her visit to the centre
After her visit to the centre, Kate had lunch at the British Consul General's residence in New York, where she met members of the city's British community from the culture, arts, hospitality and business sectors.
The royal will then reunite with her husband in the evening for a true New Yorker experience – watching the Brooklyn Nets take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in a basketball game. William and Kate, both 32, are rumoured to be joined courtside by sport fans and music royalty Beyoncé and Jay Z.
New York's First Lady Chirlane McCray greeted Duchess Kate at the start of the visit
Back in her native home, Kate is royal patron to various children's charities
– a charity that works in schools to provide early intervention mental health support.
The Duchess is also patron to The Art Room, which aims to use art as therapy to increase children's self-esteem, self-confidence and independence.