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Duchess of Cambridge surprises students with royal visit to University of Derby

She wanted to see the impact coronavirus has had on uni life

The Duchess of Cambridge surprised university students yesterday (October 6) during a visit to the University of Derby.

Kate looked radiant as she joined students to find out how coronavirus has impacted the start of their life in higher education.

Kate spoke to first year students at the university to find out how they are being looked after at the facility.

Duchess of cambridge uni
The Duchess of Cambridge surprised university students with a royal visit (Credit: YouTube)

Why did the Duchess of Cambridge visit the university?

The visit followed a surge in outbreaks of the virus at more than 50 unis in the UK.

This led to the National Union of Students warning that undergraduates being “trapped in halls” to contain the illness could exacerbate mental health issues.

Kate, 38, looked stunning as she arrived wearing an oversized checked coat and pastel-blue sweater, both by Massimo Dutti.

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She completed her look with high-waisted black trousers and chunky-heel, pointed-toe pumps.

Kate also wore a floral-print face mask by Amaia Kids.

There’s so much support.

While at the uni, the duchess spoke to representatives of charity Student Minds about the current situation.

She asked if there had been an “increase in awareness” about mental health from the students and if it had been “integrated” into their education.

Kate visited nursing students to hear how they’re being provided with support by peers (Credit: YouTube)

What did she talk to students about?

She then chatted with students, who told her how they had “kept busy” during lockdown.

However, while talking to Husna Hanif and Laura Oliver, both 18, they admitted it had been “hard not seeing friends”.

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Kate asked if the university offered enough support, to which Laura replied: “There’s so much support.”

The duchess said: “That’s great to hear.”

Kate also got to hear about Student Minds’ new initiative, Student Space.

The duchess wore a face mask at times during her visit (Credit: YouTube)

It offers help via both phone and text and has been set up in partnership with Shout.

Shout was launched by Kate and husband Prince William‘s Heads Together mental health campaign.

Braving the elements

The duchess also braved the rain with a university-branded umbrella.

She headed outside to speak to football players about the way sports societies on campus had been trained so that students can support their teammates.

Duchess of cambridge uni
The duchess also braved the elements as she headed outside (Credit: YouTube)

She also told them how she “loved” that mental health work had been “integrated” into university life.

Kind-hearted Kate also met with nursing students.

During the meeting, the duchess learned that first year uni students had been paired with pupils in the year above. This helps to provide them with peer support during tough clinical placements.

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