Duke and Duchess of Cambridge return to work for the new year

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"It becomes part of your lifestyle, doesn't it?"

But she looked over the moon to be back at work, and flashed a beaming smile as she met school children at Reach Academy in Feltham, west London, on Wednesday. Kate joined a group of schoolchildren for arts and crafts in partnership with the mental health charity Place2Be.

The charity provides mental health services to 282 schools in the United Kingdom, helping children experiencing issues such as bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect and trauma.

As Kate toured the Academy, her husband was following in the steps of his mother by watching operations at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

He will also help children struggling to learn to read, as pupils may feel more comfortable stumbling on a word while reading aloud to him than to an adult.

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The puppies owner, Karen Howard, who works as a support officer at the school said that the Duchess was "very interested to hear about therapy dogs and the children were telling her "the dog makes us really happy".

When you are five months pregnant with your third child, you could be forgiven for steering clear of a roomful of children. Catherine chose to wear a favourite dress from her previous pregnancy, believed to be Seraphine's £65 (AU$112) "Florrie' frock". One child then offered her a bouquet of flowers as she met teachers and parents, and offered a helping hand with a painting class.

The 36-year-old took her time heading into the school, stopping to chat to the waiting students lined up outside to greet the royal visitor.

"We believe those two things can completely go together".

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