Kate Middleton stuns in floral frock as she praises NHS workers at Sandringham & debuts lighter locks

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KATE Middleton debuted lighter locks as she praised frontline NHS workers alongside Prince William.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with NHS staff at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate, a short drive from their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall. 

The duchess, 38, chatted with two emergency responders and two mental health counsellors at the open air meeting earlier this week. 

Kate looked summery in a floaty white frock, which featured a collar and sleeves with floral detailing. 

It’s similar to an Emilia Wickstead dress – one of Kate’s go-to designers – which costs £865 and comes in three different cuts. 

The mum-of-three also debuted lighter locks after lockdown, a styling trick she usually uses over summer. 

Kate is known for her flawlessly-styled tresses, with her hair usually freshly blow-dried in her signature chestnut brown. 

But the latest snaps show the mum with a fresh post-lockdown do, after Kate kept her hair dark for her zoom calls over the past few months. 

Speaking about her decision to lighten last year, Kate’s hairdresser Richard Ward told Fabulous: “The Duchess is blessed with naturally thick, beautiful hair and her colour is always just right for her skin tone.

“Hair colour naturally lifts when exposed to sunlight during the warmer months, and the summer season is the perfect excuse to go a little lighter.”

The duchess spent time with frontline workers at the event, as she told them she was “in awe” of their efforts over the last few months. 

Kate spoke about the “lasting impact” the coronavirus pandemic has had on mental health, as she and Prince William awarded grants worth almost £1.8 million from their Royal Foundation Covid-19 Response Fund. 

She said: “Over recent months we have all been in awe of the incredible work that frontline staff and emergency responders have been doing in response to Covid-19.

“But we know that for many of them, their families, and for thousands of others across the UK, the pandemic will have a lasting impact on their mental health.”

Soon after the UK was put in lockdown the royal couple pledged to support the mental health of frontline workers dealing with Covid-19, calling it a “top priority”. 

Prince William, 38, added: “It’s great to hear how the Royal Foundation is supporting you and many others to build resilience and give you the networks you need through its Covid-19 Response Fund, which will help 10 leading charities continue their crucial work.”

The couple’s foundation is helping a range of projects, including ensuring frontline workers have access to grief trauma, provided by Hospice UK, as well as helping early years charity Best Beginnings, which is giving support to 20,000 new mums. 

Alison Baum, chief executive of Best Beginnings, said: “The pandemic has led to greatly increased levels of anxiety and isolation for parents across the UK and in collaboration with many charities and frontline professionals, we are here to help.

“This vital funding will enable us to deliver an engaging digital outreach programme as well as maternal mental health training with Home-Start volunteers and midwives.

“Together we’ll ensure that 20,000 more parents will benefit from the personalised, supportive and empowering daily information – 300 films in (our app) Baby Buddy designed to give them the knowledge and confidence to look after themselves and give their children the best start in life.”

Other projects which are also benefiting from funds is Blue Light, a project from mental health charity Mind, which is helping 250,000 people working or volunteering in the ambulance, fire, police, and search and rescue services.

And the Ambulance Staff Charity is providing 2,780 hours of support for crews, and teachers, pupils and their parents, helping them cope with issues such as anxiety, 

Paul Farmer, Mind’s chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to be receiving this funding from The Royal Foundation. 

“The grant will go a long way in enabling us to continue to provide support to those working in the emergency services, through our Blue Light Programme.

“It is so important, perhaps now more than ever, that the right information, advice, peer support services and training is easily accessible for our hardworking key workers, especially those of us who might be experiencing poor mental health.”

The Royal Foundation also backed the Our Frontline initiative, which has pledged to provide mental health support to frontline workers including teachers, nurses and bus drivers. 

Mind is a key partner in the Our Frontline coalition, and is revamping its Blue Light programme, commissioned by the Royal Foundation, which previously ran from 2015 2019, in order to deal with the coronavirus fall-out. 

And you can now live next to Kate Middleton and Prince William as cottages next to their Norfolk pad are up for rent.

Plus we shared how Kate dressed Prince George in a £7.99 Mango polo shirt for his cheeky seventh birthday pictures.

We also revealed how George, Louis & Charlotte are ‘competitive over designated vegetable patches at Anmer Hall which they tend to daily’.

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