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The Duchess of Edinburgh returns to royal duties ahead of birthday celebrations

Duchess Sophie turns 59 this week

Duchess of Edinburgh visits Katherine Low Settlement, Battersea
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The Duchess of Edinburgh returned to her royal duties on Tuesday following the Christmas break.

Sophie, who turns 59 on Saturday 20 January, visited the Katherine Low Settlement (KLS), where she celebrated a milestone anniversary for the charity.

The Duchess looked elegant for her engagement, wearing a cream roll neck jumper and a Gabriela Hearst knitted midi skirt.

She added a pop of colour in the form of an emerald-green belted coat and her tan Gianvito Rossi knee-high boots, accessorising with one of her Sophie Hasburg clutch bags.

KLS is a charity based in Battersea, London, which supports over 500 vulnerable local people every week including the elderly, children, young people, their families and refugees.

It has long links with the royal family and was first opened by the Queen Mother, as Duchess of York, in 1924 and this year it celebrates its centenary.

The Duchess, who is known for being hands-on during her royal engagements, got involved in an Elders' chair dance class and was pictured showcasing her moves with a pair of blue pom-poms.

Duchess of Edinburgh takes part in seated dancing during a visit to the Katherine Low Settlement© Getty
Sophie tried seated dancing

Sophie then took part in a sewing workshop with women newly arrived in the UK, which is aimed at helping them into employment.

She also joined a 'Love to Learn' mentoring session for children, delighting one little boy as she read him a story.

Sophie talking to a lady by a sewing machine© klsettlement.org.uk /Aisha Seriki
Sophie met the volunteers

The mother-of-two concluded her visit with a reception before unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion.

Sarah Gibb, Chief Executive of KLS says: "It was an absolute honour for us to welcome Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh to Katherine Low Settlement in Battersea today. This year marks the charity’s 100th anniversary of bringing the Battersea community together and we are thrilled to start our centenary year with a Royal visit.

 "KLS has been lucky enough to have had four previous Royal visits, since it was founded in 1924, and we are extremely grateful for each and everyone of these visits."

Sophie reading with a child during the visit © Getty
Sophie read with children during the visit

 Later on Tuesday, Sophie was expected to attend a gala dinner at the Residence of France in her role as patron of Dispensaire Français - Société Française De Bienfaisance, which provides medical care and social support to the French-speaking community.

The Duke of Edinburgh also returned to royal duties this week, hosting a meeting with representatives from his patronage, National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.

Prince Edward, 59, also visited Windsor Girls' Day in his role as patron of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

he Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, Zara Tindall, Lena Tindall and Mike Tindall attending the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. © Getty
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh on Christmas Day

Edward and Sophie joined the royals at church on Christmas Day, along with their children, Lady Louise Windsor, 20, and James, Earl of Wessex, 16.

Lady Louise is in the second year of her English degree at St Andrews University, while James will sit his GCSE exams this spring.

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