Kate Middleton at UCL lab

Surprise! Kate Middleton met with students on an unannounced visit to a neuroscience lab

Kate Middleton stepped out for an announced royal engagement on Wednesday, November 21st making a pleasant surprise for the students and staff of the UCL Developmental Neuroscience Lab. The Duchess of Cambridge came in for a chat with Co-Director of the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit in the Psychology & Language Sciences Division, Professor Eamon McCrory, to better understand how environment and biology interact to shape the way in which children develop both socially and emotionally.

Kate surprised students and the staff with an unannounced visit to the UCL Developmental Neuroscience Lab

Professor Eamon’s unit aims to further understand the factors that contribute to healthy development, as well as those that are linked to the emergence of behavioral and emotional problems in children. Being that one of the Duchess’ greatest passions is the importance of providing solid social and emotional foundations for children to support their developments and emotional resilience as infants, this was a perfect opportunity for her to get a greater sense of their research. During her visit, Kate was shown the unit’s MRI Scanning Facility to learn about UCL’s groundbreaking research on how early experience shapes brain function. She also learned how the scanner is used to study the brain and how the resulting images allow scientists to see differences in brain structure and function.

The Duchess of Cambridge inside the UCL Lab

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The mother-of-three also sat in to hear from members of Professor McCrory’s neuroscience research team on how they work closely with children and families to shed light on resilience following early adversity. Following her chat, the 36-year-old royal then joined a roundtable meeting with leading researchers and students to learn about the wider ambition for developmental neuroscience.

Kate looked regal as can be in a burgundy two-piece

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Earlier this year, Kate set up a steering group made up of practitioners and academics who focused on neuroscience, mental health, nursing, perinatal care and education. This group has met several times before to discuss what can be done to make a positive difference in the lives of children by focusing solely on their earliest stage of life, from pre-birth to infancy. For her visit, the Duchess looked regal as can be in a burgundy Paule Ka skirt and matching blazer set, over a black turtleneck. She finished off her look with black opaque tights and heels and wore her hair up in a high ponytail with light makeup.

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