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The Duchess of Cambridge makes a surprise appearance at a farm in Belfast as part of her UK tour


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The Duchess of Cambridge cut a casual figure as she arrived at Ark Open Farm near Belfast today, as part of her tour of the UK to promote her landmark survey on the early years, ‘5 Big Questions on the Under-Fives’.

Kate Middleton, 38,  looked stylish in brown recycled Penelope Chivers boots and a khaki Barbour jacket as she was seen stroking alpacas and bottle-feedling lambs as she visited the farm in the capital of Northern Ireland.

During her visit to the farm, Kate will speak to local parents and grandparents about the themes covered in her survey, which closes on 21st February, and their experiences raising young children. 

The Duchess will hear their thoughts on the most important factors that ensure children become happy adults and the role of parents and society in ensuring children have the best possible start in life. 

The Duchess of Cambridge cut a casual figure as she arrived at Ark Open Farm near Belfast today, as part of her tour of the UK to promote her landmark survey on the early years, ‘5 Big Questions on the Under-Fives’

Kate was not afraid to get her hands dirty as she was seen petting a hay-loving alpaca during her visit to the farm

Kate then joined a group of young children as she helped them bottle feed a lamb milk during the vsisit

Kate then joined a group of young children as she helped them bottle feed a lamb milk during the vsisit

Yesterday Kensington palace announced that the Prince William, 37, and Kate would undertake their first official visit to the Republic of Ireland  next month. 

William and Kate have visited Northern Ireland twice in recent years, but this will be their first visit to the Republic of Ireland. 

The Ark Open Farm opened in 1990 as one of the first open farms in Northern Ireland. Having initially specialised in rare breeds of farm animals, the farm has now developed a number of play areas and activities for children. 

Open farms such as this are important in providing places in the community for family members of all generations to spend quality time together, while allowing children to benefit from spending time outdoors.

Kate Middleton, 38, looked stylish in brown boots and a khaki anorak as she visited the farm in the capital of Northern Ireland

Kate Middleton, 38, looked stylish in brown boots and a khaki anorak as she visited the farm in the capital of Northern Ireland

Kate looked quite thrilled to be meeting the alpaca while he appeared to be less excited by the meeting

Kate looked quite thrilled to be meeting the alpaca while he appeared to be less excited by the meeting

During her visit to the farm, Kate will speak to local parents and grandparents about the themes covered in her survey, which closes on 21st February

During her visit to the farm, Kate will speak to local parents and grandparents about the themes covered in her survey, which closes on 21st February

The Duchess was seen keeping her hair in check as she chatted to parents and workers on the farm today

The Duchess was seen keeping her hair in check as she chatted to parents and workers on the farm today

The Duchess of Cambridge (left) at The Ark Open Farm, at Newtownards, near Belfast, where she met with parents and grandparents to discuss their experiences of raising young children

The Duchess of Cambridge (left) at The Ark Open Farm, at Newtownards, near Belfast, where she met with parents and grandparents to discuss their experiences of raising young children

Last month,the Duchess visited Birmingham, Cardiff, Woking and London to promote her survey and heard from people across communities about their thoughts on how experiences in the early years can impact upon later life.

Conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of The Royal Foundation, the survey contains five short questions and aims to spark a national conversation on the early years that will ultimately help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come.

It follows eight years of work by The Duchess of Cambridge, during which she has explored how experiences in early childhood often lie at the root of the hardest social challenges the country faces today. 

The Duchess of Cambridge meets with children from two local nurseries during a visit to The Ark Open Farm

The Duchess of Cambridge meets with children from two local nurseries during a visit to The Ark Open Farm

The Duchess will hear their thoughts on the most important factors that ensure children become happy adults and the role of parents and society in ensuring children have the best possible start in life

The Duchess will hear their thoughts on the most important factors that ensure children become happy adults and the role of parents and society in ensuring children have the best possible start in life

Kate opted for black skinny jeans, brown recycled Penelope Chivers boots and a khaki Barbour jacket

Kate opted for black skinny jeans, brown recycled Penelope Chivers boots and a khaki Barbour jacket

Kate has spent time meeting with families across the country and hearing about the issues they deal with day-to-day, as well as speaking to academics, experts, organisations and practitioners. 

In May 2018, The Duchess convened a steering group of experts to focus on how to bring about positive, lasting change in this area.

The survey is designed to bring together the thoughts of as many people as possible – recognising that everyone has a role in ensuring strong, healthy foundations for the youngest in our society that will positively affect their lifelong outcomes. 

The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to The Ark Open Farm, at Newtonards, near Belfast,

The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to The Ark Open Farm, at Newtonards, near Belfast,

The Duchess of Cambridge greets members of staff during a visit to The Ark Open Farm, at Newtonards, near Belfast, where she is meeting with parents and grandparents to discuss their experiences of raising young children

The Duchess of Cambridge greets members of staff during a visit to The Ark Open Farm, at Newtonards, near Belfast, where she is meeting with parents and grandparents to discuss their experiences of raising young children

The findings should provide a vital source of information for the early years sector, helping it to better understand public perceptions of the importance of the early years, and the first-hand experiences of parents, families and carers. 

This public feedback will also help to focus Her Royal Highness’ work through The Royal Foundation as she endeavours to provide children across the UK with the best foundations to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Yestesrday William and Kate confirmed they will travel to the Emerald Isle from 3-5 March at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, according to a statement released on Instagram.

Details of the trip have not yet been confirmed but earlier reports suggest the couple could visit Dublin and Cork.

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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