Kate Middleton brightened Birmingham on Tuesday.
Alongside William, Kate attended a forum for young people at the city’s Factory Works. The duo put on the forum together with The Royal Foundation and in collaboration with The Mix and BBC Radio 1.
The forum, titled “Exploring our Emotional Worlds,” emphasised the understanding of emotions and fostering positive relationships for mental well-being.
At the forum, 100 young delegates, nominated by ten mental health and youth engagement charities, assembled with a shared goal: to ignite a dialogue around managing emotions, building resilience, and nurturing protective factors like healthy relationships.
The visit coincided with new research released by The Royal Foundation that shed light on pressing mental health issues among young people. The survey revealed that nearly 40% of respondents aged 16-24 felt they were not adept at managing their emotions.
Meanwhile, a staggering 95% of respondents believed their peers were grappling with some form of mental health issue.
You can read the full report and see more of the survey’s findings on The Royal Foundation website.
The event featured famous faces from Radio 1 and the wider mental health space, including presenters Vick Hope, Jordan North, and Katie Thistleton.
Attendees spoke with the Prince and Princess about the specific mental health challenges their generation faces, explored what more they could do to understand and manage their emotions and discussed the solutions that could support them to better look after their own and each other’s mental wellbeing.
During the forum, both William and Kate took to the podium to deliver speeches. Kate shared with the attendees that together, she and William aspire to “shape fairer, safer, kinder, more equal societies.”
You can watch the full speech below:
Adding a light-hearted touch to their earnest endeavour, the royal couple partook in a brief interview with BBC Radio 1, revealing a glimpse of their personal sides to the public. And in William’s case, his cheeky side!
The interview kicked off with listener questions. The royals were asked what they’re having for dinner after the event. Kate asked William, “are you cooking?” And he said “it’ll probably have to be a curry”.
Asked what type of curries they order, William admitted that he doesn’t like too much spice, and that if Kate is cooking, she has “bring it in gently, otherwise I get too sweaty”. This comment, of course, made the hosts laugh as it sounded a little risqué…
Asked about their most-used emojis, Prince William humorously referenced his use of the eggplant emoji. For those not in the know, it has a NSFW connotation!
Kate had a more subdued choice, saying she probably uses the heart and crying laughing emojis the most.
William was then asked if it’s true that he listens to BBC Radio 1. He said that he does. Kate admitted she probably veers towards Radio 2 and Radio 4 these days, while William made a playful jibe about her age and how she’s getting older. (For those not in the know, Kate is 5 months older than William, so I imagine he ribs her about this on occasion!)
William said he’d heard lots of Radio 1 DJs come and go over the years, so he could say with “great purpose” that Greg James is just “average”, and that “Jordan and Vick are the future”.
Greg James posted a video to Instagram following the interview, pretending to be hurt by the comment, saying that his nan would be “cross“.
The Prince then took to Instagram to clarify he was only joking and affirm his fondness for the DJ. He took to the comments section of the video and wrote “We love you really Greg! W.” The W indicates that William personally authored the comment.
Let’s move on to look at Kate’s vibrant outfit and discuss the possible meaning behind her colour choice now.
Kate’s yellow blazer outfit in Birmingham:
Kate’s outfit exuded elegance and thoughtful symbolism. Let’s unpack the full look:
I suspect Kate made a very conscious decision to wear yellow to this engagement. The colour is, of course, associated with optimism, aligning well with the event’s mental health advocacy theme. But there might be a further reason she chose the shade.
My friend Susan at WhatKateWore.com thinks Kate’s outfit is a nod to the “Hello Yellow” campaign by UK mental health charity, Young Minds. The Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign is listed on the Young Minds’ Partnership & Funders page—so I suspect Susan is correct.
The bold and bright jacket was crafted in Portugal from classic tailoring fabric. It’s a single-breasted blazer with a curved peak lapel and a singular horn-effect button closure. It’s not only the colour that catches the eye but also its beautifully tailored cut, which flatters the silhouette. Front welt pockets add a practical yet stylish touch.
We have seen Kate in this blazer before. She debuted the item during a royal engagement with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust in May earlier this year.
On that occasion, the Princess paired the bright blazer with an all-white ensemble and finished the look with her Veja trainers.
If you are looking to snag the yellow blazer, it might take a bit of hunting. Originally priced at £359 / $575, it is currently out of stock on the official L.K. Bennett website.
Consider hiring the jacket through L.K. Borrowed, the company’s clothing rental service that gives members access to endless styles for a flat monthly fee.
Alternatively, I found an amazing match by Zara, which you can shop preloved on Vestiaire Collective (size US4).
Other RepliKate options include:
- The ME+EM Italian Flannel Blazer in Mustard,
- The Diane Von Furstenberg Cathy Crepe Blazer in Mustard from The Outnet, and
- The Sandro Tailored Jacket in Orange
Kate’s affinity for L.K. Bennett is well-known. Over the years, she has frequently been spotted in the company’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, making the brand synonymous with royal style.
L.K. Bennett, founded in Wimbledon in 1990 by Linda Bennett, is a British accessible luxury brand. It bridges the gap between high-street brands and designer boutiques with its elegant clothing, shoe, and handbag collections. Initially gaining recognition for its signature shoe collections, the brand quickly became a favourite among stylish women for its feminine and sophisticated aesthetic. The brand’s offerings explore colour, print, and classic design through a contemporary lens, making it a beloved choice for those seeking timeless yet modern fashion.
They were another significant item filled with symbolism. Proceeds from each sale benefits Brave Mind, a charity working with rugby clubs, universities and schools to put mental health at the heart of their community. (Pictured above on different occasion.)
The earrings were crafted in memory of Issy Phipps, cousin of Earsass founder, Sophie McGown. Issy tragically took her own life on April 29, 2023.
Issy’s mother presented the earrings to the Princess during an engagement with the Maidenhead Rugby Club in June.
In a conversation with Page Six, McGown expressed her awe at Kate wearing the star-shaped earrings stating “it’s incredible.” At the rugby club, Kate had assured Issy’s mother, Sarah, that she would wear the earrings. She chose the significant occasion of World Mental Health Day to honour her promise.
The earrings measure 1.5cm in both length and width. They’re crafted from 18ct gold plated metal.
The earrings retail for £25.50 and each sale contributes £5 to Brave Mind. Due to heightened demand following their appearance on the Princess, they are now available for pre-order with an estimated delivery time of 4-6 weeks. Find them here.
Earsass, a Scottish jewellery brand led by stylist Sophie McGown, has made a mark with its bold, colourful, and comfortable designs in recent years. Launched in 2020, the brand soon garnered attention, winning Scotland’s Fashion Jeweller of the Year award. Earsass also venture into environmental consciousness by utilising bio-based polymers. Each design is named in tribute to strong, influential women in McGown’s life.
The 100% cashmere sweater is the epitome of cosy elegance, the perfect answer to chilly autumn days. The ribbing detail around the neckline adds a touch of texture. The yarn in this plush piece is ethically sourced from Inner Mongolia.
We first noticed the Princess wearing the black sweater on a couple of public occasions in 2022. She debuted the garment at an engagement with a parenting group in February 2022. Then wore it again in September 2022, during her first visit to Wales since her title change following the Queen’s death.
If you need a comfy cashmere sweater in your life, Boden does have a similar option in stock at present. The Eva Cashmere Crew Neck. It’s practically identical to the design worn by Kate and available in all sizes as of now. Shop Boden.co.uk / Shop Bodenusa.com.
We know Kate is a fan of Boden. Her fondness for the brand isn’t a one-off affair. She has adorned at least seven different items over the last few years, encompassing dresses, a coat, a blouse, a cardigan, and a belt. Boden’s knack for blending retro charm with modern chic seems to resonate well with the Princess, making it a go-to choice for her public engagements.
Boden, a British gem in the fashion realm, was birthed in 1991 with eight menswear styles, all meticulously sketched by Johnnie Boden. As the years flowed, Boden embraced womenswear in 1992 and later introduced a childrenswear range named Mini Boden in 1996. The brand, now a household name, is lauded for its classic-meets-modern aesthetics, offering a range of eye-catching prints and patterns that cater to the entire family. Its ethos of creating original, fun apparel, combined with its dedication to quality, continues to endear it to fashion enthusiasts across the globe.
I can’t tell you which trousers Kate paired with the yellow blazer in Birmingham. They could be the Roland Mouret Axon style she’s worn a handful of times. It’s too difficult to tell from the event photos.
Similarly, there aren’t many good photos of Kate’s shoes at the forum. But I can tell she’s wearing her Russell & Bromley 100 Point Blade Heels.
An elevated take on the classic court shoe, the black shoes boast an elegant silhouette with a blade block heek and pointed toe that stands at a height of 10cm. Crafted from luxuriously soft black Nappa leather, the heels exude a chic aesthetic.
The shoes were priced at £245, but are no longer available to buy, sadly. I did find a pair on Poshmark, though. BNWT in size 39 which translates to a US 8.5 or 9.
Kate introduced these stylish heels to her wardrobe in September 2022 during a visit to the Commonwealth troops participating in The Queen’s funeral.
Russell & Bromley isn’t a new entry in Kate’s fashion lexicon. Her fondness for this company is well-documented. Kate’s worn quite a few Russell & Bromley items over the years, including knee-high boots, comfy flats, wedges & ankle boots.
Russell & Bromley, a brand with a lineage tracing back to 1880, has become synonymous with expert craftsmanship and fashion-forward design. Initially a family store, it burgeoned into an iconic British brand, renowned for its exquisite leather shoes crafted with Italian finesse.
The belt is a stylish item that’s meticulously crafted in a workshop in Italy, where artisans employ a detailed 100-step process to breathe life into the piece. It has a simple yet elegant look, finished with a gleaming gold buckle.
The Princess first wore this belt in October 2020 during a visit to Derby University. Since, we’ve seen her wear the item nine times.
Seeking to add a dash of royal finesse to your attire? You’ll be pleased to know the belt is available for purchase for $190 / £105 at Net-A-Porter.com.
The exact background of the Anderson’s brand is a bit unclear—I’ve had a look into the brand but cannot find any information other than the description provided by Net-A-Porter.com.