Kate Middleton makes important commitment during surprise outing

Photo: © Getty Images


The Duchess of Cambridge said she is “committed to supporting greater in-depth research” ahead of a meeting with leading early years experts to learn more about their new study, ‘The Children of the 2020s’. 

Kate is meeting researchers at University College London’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies on Tuesday to hear about the research launching in England, which will track the holistic development of children from the age of nine months to five years.  

Ahead of her engagement, the Duchess said: “Our early childhoods shape our adult lives and knowing more about what impacts this critical time is fundamental to understanding what we as a society can do to improve our future health and happiness. 

“The landmark ‘Children of the 2020s’ study will illustrate the importance of the first five years and provide insights into the most critical aspects of early childhood, as well as the factors which support or hinder positive lifelong outcomes. 

“I am committed to supporting greater in-depth research in this vital area and I’m delighted to be meeting all those behind the study at this early stage.”

WATCH: Kate Middleton meets early years experts at University College London

Photo: © Getty Images


Tuesday’s visit is the first of a number of engagements that Kate will conduct in relation to the study, and comes after she launched The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in June to drive awareness of and action on the extraordinary impact of the early years. 

MORE: 26 photos that show Kate Middleton’s close bond with her royal in-laws

Photo: © Getty Images


During the visit, the Duchess viewed archive material of historic research dating back to the 1940s into early childhood.

She will be shown a ‘Birth Questionnaire’ given to new mothers in 1958, which included questions about pregnant women’s smoking habits.

While not a standard question at the time, the responses allowed researchers to track the impact that smoking during pregnancy had on a baby’s birth weight, and also how it continued to affect different aspects of a child’s life into  adulthood.

This led to a public health campaign to stop women smoking whilst pregnant, something which is now commonplace.  

Photo: © Getty Images


Over the last ten years, Kate has spent time looking into how challenges in later life such as addiction, family breakdown, poor mental health, suicide and homelessness can have their roots in the earliest years of someone’s life.

Through her work with The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, she is aiming to highlight how what we experience in early childhood shapes the developing brain, which is why positive relationships, environments and experiences during this  period are so crucial. 

Photo: © Getty Images


The Children of the 2020s study is led by UCL researchers in the Faculty of Brain Sciences and the Institute of Education and is commissioned and funded by the Department for Education.  

Researchers want to understand how a wide range of factors impact children’s social, cognitive, and early language development, their mental health and readiness for school. They also aim to identify when developmental gaps start to appear and what more can be done to support disadvantaged  families. 

Photo: © Getty Images


For her outing, the Duchess wore a repeat checked dress with a pussy-bow collar from high street favourite Zara. She teamed the ensemble with her grey Hugo Boss pumps and accessorised with her Mappin & Webb Empress earrings. 

Source: Read Full Article