The Duchess of Cambridge looked comfortable today as she mucked in with children from inner-city backgrounds who built tents and made campfires, developing their confidence and teamwork skills during a weekend visit to the countryside.
Kate visited the Expanding Horizons Primary School Scheme at Widehorizons' Margaret McMillan House in Wrotham, Kent, today to meet children from ARK's King Solomon Academy Primary in London, who are taking part in an outdoor residential course.
The Duchess, who was well equipped for the visit with a pair of green Burberry wellies, spent time with children from Year 4. For most of the children, who are aged eight and nine, it was their first time to the countryside.
Kate, who also wore blue Zara jeans, a green Burberry blouse, green Zara jumper and a Really Wild green leather waistcoat, was accompanied on her visit to the woods by Vanessa Willms, headteacher of King Solomon Academy Primary, and assistant headteacher Lizzy Williams, who brought the children on the camping trip on Friday morning.
Looking relaxed and happy, Kate chatted to Zahid Shanvere, eight, and Faith Kalala, nine, who showed her the teepees where they had all slept on Saturday night.
Kate asked whether the children had been scared that a spider might come into the teepee but Zahid said that he was more worried that a mole might have made its way inside.
When showing the Duchess into the teepee, he said: "Ladies first."
To which Kate replied: "Such a gentleman. Thank you."
After chatting with the children inside the teepee for several minutes, Kate emerged and said: "Thank you very much for showing me your bedroom."
Zahid and Faith then walked the Duchess into the woods, where all the other children were building tents out of bits of wood and tarpaulin, making campfires and learning about what they would need to survive.
Kate met several groups of children and asked them about their weekend before sitting around a large campfire and learning how to make dough sticks.
She chose one of the children to try the dough stick and then later tried one herself.
After thanking the children for having her, the Duchess walked with them to the barn where they enjoyed lunch before the she left the centre.
Alpha Kolajo, nine, said he had spoken to Kate about what he loved best about camping and about how it had helped him and his friends.
He said: "We asked her a few questions, like how many countries she had been to. She said she had been to a few but not as many as William."
Tigerlily Smith, eight, said: "I asked her what it was like to be a princess. She said she gets treated very well and William is very sweet and kind and spoils her."
Niall Leyden, head of the centre, said this was only the second royal visit to the facility.
He said the first was when the centre was opened in 1936 by the then Duke of York, who went on to become King George VI.
He said the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry was supporting ARK in the development of their Expanding Horizons programme as both organisations share a common vision and commitment to transform the lives of disadvantaged children, which made Kate's visit more special.
He said: "The children seemed remarkably relaxed about having a royal visitor as they were about the whole weekend.
"We ran the whole weekend as we would have normally. Her Royal Highness was relaxed and lovely with the children. She got involved and helped them with their camps."
A spokeswoman for ARK Schools, said: "We try to encourage those who are unlikely to have ever been to the countryside to come on these trips. For most of them, it is the first time they will have done something like this."
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