Kate Middleton visits Margaret McMillan House in Kent
Kate shares a joke with
youngsters around their woodland campfire
The Duchess of Cambridge paid a special visit to Kent today to
meet youngsters as they experienced the countryside for the first
Looking relaxed and casual, Kate, who was wearing Zara jeans, a
jumper, waistcoat and green wellies, helped the eight and
nine-year-olds from King Solomon Academy in London cook dough balls
over their campfires – and sampled some with jam.
She was at Margaret McMillan House, near Wrotham, for the
morning visit to meet the children, who had arrived at the centre
For most, it is the first time they have seen the countryside or
stayed away from home.
It is also the first time the school, which is based in an area
of high deprivation in North Westminster, where 70% of under-15s
live in workless households, has organised a residential visit.
The Duchess of Cambridge
checks out one of the woodland shelters...
... and also tried one of
the teepee tents for size
Video: The Duchess of
Cambridge is welcomed into the camp
Kate, who has worked extensively with the Scouts, was perfectly
at home sitting around a campfire and crawling inside a shelter the
children had made with sticks and branches.
She also spoke to two youngsters about their night under the
Headteacher Venessa Willms, who is from East Malling, said:
"It's been very exciting. It's our first camping trip and the first
year we've gone outside of London, and then this visit on top.
They're going to be very tired!
Kate watched children
build shelters and campfires in the woods
Youngsters from the
academy were keen to answer the Duchess' questions
Head of the centre, Niall Leyden, added: "Kate was really
fabulous. She walked around and talked to all the children. She was
very at home with all the woodland activities; I would have her as
an instructor here any time."
Nine-year-old Alpha Kolajo said of his time with the Duchess:
"She said she had been to a lot of countries but not nearly as many
The academy is supported by ARK Schools, which is backed by The
Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry, a charity set up by
Kate's husband and brother-in-law.
During their camp, the children, aged eight and nine, will sleep
in teepee tents and take part in teambuilding exercises, such as
rope and obstacle courses and a survival challenge.
Kate stepped out in
wellies for her visit to the Kent countryside
The Duchess of Cambridge
walks with children from King Solomon Academy
The residential course is run by Widehorizons Outdoor Education
Trust, which provides new experiences for young people at its five
centres across the UK.
Kate flew in by helicopter and found time to have a barbecue
lunch with the youngsters.
It was her only official engagement of the day, before she
headed off to a polo match this afternoon.
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