After about five months of maternity leave, Kate Middleton is officially back on the job. On Tuesday (October 2), the Duchess of Cambridge returned to her regularly scheduled royal programming with a low-key solo official outing to the Paddington Recreation Ground. Once there, she divided her time between the assembled adults, who spoke to her about the aims and benefits of the Sayers Croft Forest School and Wildlife Garden, and a group of young students, who helped her dig for bugs and tend to the garden.
Middleton dressed in theme for her outdoorsy appearance, wearing earth-toned clothes that allowed her to get down in the dirt with the kids. She wore an olive green sweater over a polka-dotted collared shirt, brown skinny jeans with stitched detailing on the knees, and a hooded green weatherproof jacket. She sported a pair of leather knee-high riding boots with tassels on the side zippers that, according to People, she’s owned for 14 years. The duchess also appeared to have gotten a subtle haircut since the last time we saw her with her hair down, at Wimbledon in July. Her new ‘do seems to be just about an inch shorter and slightly more layered than her previous cut.
Kensington Palace shared several photos and videos from Kate’s visit, explaining that she was on hand to learn about “the positive impact Sayers Croft Trust’s activities have on children’s emotional and physical well-being.” She also had the opportunity to experience those hands-on activities herself: As seen in the palace’s posts, Middleton helped the kids make leaf crowns, water plants, and go on a “minibeast hunt,” and sat with them as they ate snacks and were read a story.
The mom of three seemed to enjoy her time at the garden, happily explaining to some of the other parents that, while digging for minibeasts, “All I found were tiny slugs!” per People. She also reportedly stopped to chat with another onlooker to remark, “There are amazing facilities here.” If only every royal outing consisted of digging for slugs and enjoying a nice mid-morning snack time.