A day in Edinburgh for Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, saw her visit mental health programmes in school and play tennis – with Andy Murray’s mum, Judy.
The Countess of Strathearn, as Kate is known in Scotland, began her day at St Catherine’s Primary School, which is supported by Place2Be and its counsellors.
Catherine, 34, joined an assembly by singing Welcome Everybody, complete with actions. She was presented with a quaich, a Scottish two-handled drinking bowl to signify friendship, after she sang along on her first day of solo engagements in Scotland.
The Countess said to pupils: “I think everybody should start their morning like that. Have a wonderful day.”
St Catherine’s is one of 28 schools in Scotland where counsellors from children’s mental health charity Place2Be support pupils having difficulties in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
A meeting of headteachers from across the city converged at the primary school, and Catherine was invited to join their discussions on mental health challenges at school.
Still in Edinburgh, the Duchess then travelled to Wester Hailes Education Centre to see the work of another of her patronages, The Art Room. The charity aims to increase self-esteem, self-confidence and independence through art in children, particularly at schools like Wester Hailes, whose students are often disruptive, withdrawn, or need and time away from their school and mainstream education.
Lastly, it was a change of clothes for the Duchess into something more sporty, for a Tennis on the Road project at Craigmount High School with Judy Murray.
Here, she took part in a sports class with the Scottish ace’s mum, leaning how to coach with other parents and pass on the basics of tennis to children.
Activities included balancing a racquet on one finger, returning a balloon to a partner whilst holding hands, bean bag tennis and accuracy skills with a racquet; Kate seemed to take it all in her stride, known as a keen tennis player herself.
“She is definitely competitive,’ said one parent taking part. “She was enjoying herself, and definitely likes playing tennis. But she said she plays a little bit less since she had children.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have their own tennis court at Anmer Hall.
Ms Murray said Catherine’s participation in the class was “fantastic for tennis and women’s sport”.
She added: “She said she’d love to come back and do some more.”
The coach also spoke of the mum-of-two’s questions about getting Prince George playing tennis early on; she said it was only a matter of strength to hold a racquet, but that starting with balloons at home – like Andy and Jamie Murray did – is the best way.
Commenting on the rumours of Kate taking over as Wimbledon patron, Judy said: “It’s a huge thing for tennis and for women’s sport to have her in a high profile role. I’m sure she’ll be a very active patron because she’s a regular attender. It’s very clear she loves watching and playing and that can only be good for the sport.”