Kate: It's an iron, Charles. Charles: I get my butler to iron my paper
08:33 GMT, 16 March 2012
A day out with the in-laws: Not everyone's idea of fun, especially when your other half isn't there.
But if there are any burning issues between The Duchess of Cambridge and her husband's father and step-mother they were surely ironed out today as Kate stepped out for the first time with the Prince of Wales and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, to visit one of Charles's charities.
The idea was to celebrate their shared love of the arts at Dulwich Picture Gallery in south London, but the royal party soon found themselves roped into some domestic duties.
The Prince of Wales (right) and the Duchess of Cambridge iron artwork they had just made to silk, during a visit to the Dulwich Picture Gallery in south London
A Clarence House spokesman said it came about from 'a conversation between a father-in-law and daughter-in-law' and added: 'They have a shared interest in art, art therapy and children.'
The day started with Kate, Charles and
Camilla being greeted by hundreds of cheering schoolchildren waving
Union flags when they arrived in bright sunshine.
Kate wore a dark grey Orla Kiely dress with black pattern detail on the top, and a pleated skirt. She wore a coat dress by the same designer on a previous engagement earlier this year.
The outfit was completed with black high heels. Camilla wore a navy blue dress with white collar by Anna Valentine.
Pupils from Goodrich Community Primary School in East Dulwich, Globe Academy in Southwark, Langbourne Primary School and Luke’s C of E Primary School, in Dulwich, were among those attending the event.
They met children taking part in the Great Art Quest – a programme that introduces youngsters to local galleries, professional artists and storytellers. The Duchess of Cambridge recently made a visit to Oxford to see the work of art therapy charity The Art Room, of which she is patron.
Hands on: The hands of the Prince of Wales (right) and the Duchess of Cambridge ironing on artwork
The royal visitors took part in a class with children at the gallery’s art education centre, laughing and joking with each other as they got stuck in making collage self-portraits.
Kate cut out a heart shape from lace before putting it on her picture of a face in side profile. She also chose a leaf for her design.
Sitting next to Charles, they compared designs and she asked: 'What else do you think we should do'
She joked to the children: 'This is going to look rather interesting!'
Prince Charles and Camilla can't help having a giggle as they get produce the artwork with children
Charles and Kate were greeted by hundreds of cheering schoolchildren waving Union flags
Charles roared with laughter at his own attempt, featuring pine needles, and that of his wife. They then went to transfer their designs onto silk, using an iron to complete the masterpieces.
Each gamely wielded an iron to carry out the task, with Charles saying: 'I don’t think I put on eyebrows. Do I keep ironing that I’m going to be here all afternoon!'
He commented to his daughter-in-law: 'Catherine, I don’t think yours is going to work. I’m leaving mine!'
Kate arrives in bright sunshine to visit The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts with her in-laws
Pupils from Goodrich Community Primary School in
East Dulwich, Globe Academy in Southwark, Langbourne Primary School and
Luke's C of E Primary School, in Dulwich, were among those attending
Prince Charles wanted to introduce the Duchess of Cambridge to the work his charity does in south London
The royal party is greeted by a sea of Union flags as they walk into the premises used by one of the Prince of Wales's charities
Kate, who earlier in the day had visited the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, told one of the children: 'Yours
is so much better. Look at that. That’s amazing.' Asked later if it was
the first time Charles had done the ironing, Camilla said with a smile:
'I’ve got him well-trained with an iron.'
While watching the children
doing artwork in the room, the Sackler Centre for Arts Education,
Camilla was approached by 10-year-old Adina James, who asked: 'Are you
replied: 'That's me!' and knelt on the floor to better see the young
girl's work. Adina said of the royal visitor: 'I was shocked to speak to
her. She was very nice and very kind.'
Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Charles were joined by the Duchess of
Cornwall, who wore a navy blue dress with white trim by Anna Valentine
Kate, wearing a dark grey Orla Kiely dress with black pattern detail on the top, bends to talk to the children
Kate and her father-in-law seemed to be getting on just fine as they made their way in
Told that another child did not speak English as she is Spanish, Camilla smiled and said: 'Buenos dias.'
Inside the main galleries, Camilla was shown a drama performance inspired by some of the artworks.
royal visitors also observed groups of children drawing their own
versions of the works on display, as well as creating colourful self
portraits on easels set up in the gallery.
Lewis showed her work to Camilla. The 10-year-old said: 'She told me my
picture was good. It made me feel horrified and happy at the same
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, gave a little waves to the crowd as Prince Charles rubbed his eye
Kate was making her first visit to a centre run by The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts
The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with schoolchildren as she leaves after her visit to the Dulwich Picture Gallery
Charles took a particular interest in a picture of a young Queen Victoria which was being used as inspiration by one group of budding artists, some of whom were in historical dress.
Kate smiled at those in costume, saying to them: 'Someone's having to stay very still. Are we making you laugh'
The royals spoke to children taking part in Face Britain, as part of the Great Art Quest, which sees them make self-portraits which will be beamed on to the front of Buckingham Palace in April to mark the start of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The Duchess of Cambridge plays hockey with the GB teams at the Riverside Arena in the Olympic Park today
Kate asked to meet the team in her role as Team GB and Paralympics GB 2012 Ambassador because of her love for the sport
The Duchess seemed to be reliving her school days as she appeared to be having fun on the pitch
As well as individual artworks, the pictures will be collated as a mosaic in the shape of the Queen's face, using a photograph by veteran photographer Arthur Edwards as the template.
When Kate was introduced to him at the gallery today, she remarked on her brother-in-law Prince Harry's blue suede shoes, which he wore on his recent tour and which were photographed by Edwards, joking: 'I didn't think they were going to be that bright.'
Speaking after the royal party's departure, following an hour-long visit, Gillian Wolfe, director of learning and public affairs at Dulwich Picture Gallery, said: 'It has been absolutely sublime. The kids were fantastic.
Kate, who wore heels before the game, posed with the GB Mens's Hockey Team
The Duchess kept on her jeans but swapped her blazer for a grey GB sweatshirt and Adidas trainers when she played
'The difference this has made to them is enormous. They are nine feet tall now. They will never forget the prestige they feel over this. When the royals sat down and worked together in the education centre, it was beautiful. It was just like a normal classroom, everyone in it together.
'Charles asked one girl if he was doing it right, and she said 'No!' – not 'No, sir!'. It was a lovely moment. The Duchess of Cambridge said she would like to visit again.'
Jeremy Newton, chief executive of The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts, said: 'It was fantastically exciting. Both the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have spent quite a bit of time finding out about the charity, but it was the first time the Duchess of Cambridge had come to see us.
'Obviously the children adore her, and she adores the children. She greatly enjoyed seeing their artwork. All of the pupils are saying they will never forget this day, as long as they live. It's been a complete revelation for them that royals are normal people. They've had a lovely time.'