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January blues! Kate Middleton back to work with first royal engagement of year in £1,650 blue coat

International Business Times logo International Business Times 12/01/2017 Lucia Binding

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It was back to work today for the Duchess of Cambridge as she resumed her royal duties for 2017 by paying a visit to the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in north London.

Kate, who just turned 35 on 9 January, conducted her first engagement of the year after enjoying a relaxed Christmas at her parents' Carole and Michael Middleton's home in Berkshire, before visiting the Queen at Sandringham last weekend.

© Press Association

The duchess was immaculately turned out for the morning engagement on 11 January in an elegant royal blue coat by London fashion brand Eponine, which retails at £1,650. She teamed the statement belted coat with navy suede heels by Rupert Sanderson and wore her hair in a sophisticated half up, half down style.

The mother-of-two was eager to get back into the swing of things and learn more about Anna Freud's work with families have children under five-years-old, like herself and husband Prince William.

Ever the advocate for raising awareness over children's mental health issues, Kate's visit was designed to draw attention to how early intervention and working with families can be vital with helping people in vulnerable situations.

The EYPU – which opened in April 2011, offers families in need an assessment and treatment programme regarding personality disorders. The treatment seeks to address not just adult problems, but also children's development needs, as well as working on the parent-child relationship. The overall aim of the centre is to keep families together, helping parents become more aware of and responsive to their children's needs.

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Throughout the visit, Kate met with parents who have undergone the treatment and was told about their experiences and hopes for the future; she also met with families who are currently receiving treatment and others who are participating in "theraplay" sessions. She is also set to meet families who have benefited from parent infant psychotherapy, which helps new and expecting mothers and fathers.

The royal couple are set to take part in a family support group session, which offers whole families and carers the chance to meet other families in similar situations.

On the evening of 10 January, William followed in his mother's footsteps by making an official visit to the homeless charity Centrepoint in Ealing, proving 2017 will be a busy year for the young senior royals. Princess Diana was patron and a regular visitor to the charity right up to her death in 1997. When William and Harry were children she would take them to meet homeless people to give them a grounding in life beyond the palace walls.

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