Duchess Kate plays ukulele at private engagement

hellomagazine.com

The Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, got in touch with her musical side on Tuesday when she made a visit to the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School in South London on a private engagement. Kate took part in a ukulele lesson with the children, and, according to the school's headteacher Dr John Ivens, she did a pretty good job at learning a couple of chords on the small four-stringed guitar.

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The Duchess took part in a ukulele lesson on her visit to a school on Tuesday

Speaking after the visit, the headteacher of the school, which educates children with long-term illnesses who are being treated at the nearby Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospitals, said: "One of the boys managed to teach the Duchess a couple of chords on the ukulele," adding: "She kept up with them."

Jokingly, he quipped: "There's a career there."

The headteacher went on to praise the Duchess, 33, on her ability to connect with people, especially youngsters.

"The Duchess is very good at listening to what people are saying to her, especially children, and responding in a thoughtful way," said Dr Ivens.

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"Clearly it was very important for her to understand how young people get to a situation that they need to be an in-patient at such a young age.

"It was clear that her intention in coming was to find out more about this area. She talked a little bit about that with the children and about what George likes. It was lovely."

Dr Ivens, an educational psychologist, is involved with the Duchess' charity, children's mental health organisation, Place2Be.

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Although not part of the group who attended a reception at Kensington Palace in November, Dr Ivens did speak at a Place2Be conference, which the Duchess attended, in June.

Place2Be has a special place in Kate's heart, as the charity is the leading UK provider of school-based mental health support, and counts Kate as one of their patrons.

Kate followed up the visit the next morning with a reception to discuss the Royal Foundation's support for hospices offering palliative care for young children - the royal is patron of East Anglia Children's Hospices (EACH).

The private engagements came just days after Duchess Kate, her husband Prince William, and their one-year-old son Prince George touched back down in the UK following their two-week annual holiday in Caribbean island Mustique.