Kate Middleton showed off her tennis skills Tuesday in her first solo appearance since announcing her pregnancy in September.
The Duchess of Cambridge, 35, ditched her regal duds for athletic gear at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton on Tuesday. She took part in a Tennis for Kids session — the program encourages children, aged 5 to 8, to play her favorite sport.
The princess, who is expecting her third child with Prince William in April, has been a patron of the Lawn Tennis Association since 2016 and is an avid tennis player; she even has a court at her Anmer Hall country home.
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“[Kate] says with George just being 4 he wants to whack a ball. So, she was asking what sort of stuff should be doing,” Richardson says. “She said he’s interested in it but more in whacking the ball.”
Kate arrived at the center at 11 a.m. and wore a black and white track suit with her hair pulled back in a ponytail.
She was greeted at the center’s entrance and shook hands with the leaders before heading to the court to play with the little ones.
Video footage of the scene showed Kate sporting a smile as she met with tennis pro Johanna Konta and the group of tennis-wielding children.
“It was good and fun. She’s lovely,” Konta said of Kate. “It was great to see her pbadion for tennis and that she was here to learn about these great programs being run by the LTA.”
She added: “Every little girl and almost every boy wants to meet a princess and it got them very excited.”
The royal has been gradually returning to the public eye since breaking the pregnancy news in September. Officials revealed at the time that Kate is battling acute morning sickness, also known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
At Tuesday’s event, Kate was introduced to a group of youngsters looking to train other children in the sport under the royals’ Coach Core program.
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Earlier this month, Kate and husband Prince William and Prince Harry attended a ceremony for some of the latest graduates of the program.
Kate is scheduled to attend the 2017 Gala Dinner for The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF) next week at the magnificent Orangery at Kensington Palace. There, she will meet some of the charity’s service users, and families.