The Duchess of Cambridge attended a gala dinner at the V&A Museum on Wednesday evening in aid of 'Mentally Healthy Schools'. She was guest of honour at the 100 Women in Finance fundraiser, which Kate is a Patron of. Kate attended a private reception before making a short speech ahead of the dinner. It was a busy day for the Duchess, as she was a guest of honour at the Mental Health in Education conference at Mercers' Hall just hours before. For Kate, supporting young people is always at the heart of Heads Together, and is a key focus of her work at The Royal Foundation.
Let's take a look at photographs from Kate's important evening...
The Duchess looked beautiful in a pink and white Gucci gown, with her hair worn loose. She accessorised with a burgundy clutch - more outfit details here.
The Duchess was greeted by Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, of which she is patron, and Colonel Jane Davis, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Greater London.
She then joined 100WF’s CEO Amanda Pullinger and Lauren Malafronte, Chair of its Global Association Board, telling them: “This time last year I was still pregnant!”
Kate, who along with her husband William and brother-in-law Harry is patron of 100 Women in Finance’s Philanthropic Initiatives, has attended three previous galas held by the organistion in aid of charities associated with the young royals.
In 2015 she was the guest of honour at a dinner in aid of The Art Room; in 2013 she joined a fundraiser for Action on Addiction; in 2011 she and her husband the Duke attended a dinner on behalf of Child Bereavement UK.
The Duchess later joined 300 guests in the opulent surroundings of the museum’s Raphael Gallery, taking her seat at the top table along with the Royal Foundation’s CEO Lorraine Heggessey and Chairman Sir Keith Mills.
She was welcomed by Lauren Malaforte and listened as Ed Vainker, co-founder and Principal of the Reach Academy in Feltham, told guests about the impact Mental health charities are having in schools.
Then the Duchess took to the stage herself, opening her speech by saying: "I think you know just how passionate I am about the work that you do, but what you've said here tonight really brings to light the vital roles that schools and teachers play in supporting our youngest children..."
She continued: "I have often been asked why I have decided to focus my work on the early years. Having been lucky enough to meet some of our country’s amazing charities. I became acutely aware of just how important the earliest years of our lives really are.
"The root cause of some of our most challenging experiences in adulthood, such as poor mental and physical health, addiction, homelessness, crime and family breakdown, can so often be traced back to the very earliest years of someone’s life and often over generations. We therefore need to look at the prevention of some of these issues."
The Duchess later concluded: "I just wanted to say thank you, for this wonderful evening and for all of your support over the years, I can’t tell you what a difference it makes."