Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge visited University College London’s (UCL) Centre for Longitudinal Studies on Tuesday, October 5. The visit saw the senior member of the Royal Family meet academics who launched a “landmark” study entitled The Children of the 2020s.
The research will track the development of children from the age of nine months to five years old across England, and will examine the role of factors such as home environment and social and economic circumstances of their family on the child’s development and education.
Her visit was met with delight from many royal fans, as pictures of the Duchess arriving at UCL in Zara grey houndstooth dress – which she had previously worn to a January event – and Hugo Boss stilettos were shared across social media.
One fan in particular declared that Queen Elizabeth II should hand over one of her roles to Kate as “our girl is killing it!”
User @RoyallyBlunt praised the Duchess for wearing an understated outfit to the event, citing that it aided “putting the spotlight on their [the university academic’s] activities” rather than the focus being on her.
They wrote: “Can the Queen hand over the Association of Commonwealth Universities to her already?”
The fan makes reference to the Queen’s position as patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), a role she has held since 1986.
ACU is dedicated to building a better world through higher education, and the position of patron was previously held by Meghan Markle, wife of Prince Harry prior to her exit from the Royal Family.
Meghan became patron in 2019, and she held the role until February 2021.
Royal fans have praised the actions of Kate, whose husband Prince William will be king in future, citing that the patronage should now be passed on to her.
They wrote: “Our girl is killing it!
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A third user – @chocbuttons1 – fawned over the royal by saying “class personified” along with starry-eyed emojis, while @SabirahLohn echoed the original poster by saying “yes girl yes” in support of the Duchess becoming patron.
The Duchess of Cambridge has a specific interest in the development of children, made particularly evident after establishing her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in June this year.
It came following her 10 years of work to highlight the importance of a child’s formative years.
Her foundation will focus on three predominant areas including research, developing new solutions with public and private voluntary sectors, and awareness campaigns.
Prior to her arrival at the university, 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.”
The Duchess’s presence was met with excitement from those involved in the study.
Professor Pasco Fearon, who is the lead researcher of the study, said: “We are extremely excited to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cambridge to UCL to talk and hear more about our Children of the 2020s study today and as it develops over the coming years.
“The study will collect vital information on how children develop during the crucial early years of life. We will be studying their family circumstances and experiences as they grow up, as well as the role of formal and informal childcare and preschool education in their learning and development.
“We share with Her Royal Highness a commitment to improving children’s development and life chances through high quality research and good early years policy and we believe the Children of the 2020s study will play a really important part of that for this next generation of children.”