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The Duchess of Cambridge appears surprisingly on a farm in Belfast as part of her UK tour

The Duchess of Cambridge made a casual figure when she arrived today at Ark Open Farm near Belfast, as part of her tour of the UK for her historical survey of the first years, “5 big questions about the bottom five” , promote.

Kate Middleton, 38, looked stylish in brown recycled Penelope Chivers boots and a khaki Barbour jacket as she caressed alpacas and bottle-feeding lambs while visiting the farm in the capital of Northern Ireland.

During her visit to the farm, Kate spoke with local parents and grandparents about the topics in her survey, which closes on February 21, and their experiences with raising young children.

The duchess heard their thoughts about the most important factors that make children happy adults and the role of parents and society to ensure that children have the best possible start in life.

The Duchess of Cambridge made a casual figure when she arrived today at Ark Open Farm near Belfast, as part of her UK tour to promote her historic survey of the first years, “5 Big Questions on the Under-Fives”

Kate was not afraid to get her hands dirty while stroking a hay-loving alpaca during her visit to the farm

Kate then joined a group of young children while helping them bottle-feed a lamb's milk during the vsisit

Kate then joined a group of young children while helping them bottle-feed a lamb's milk during the vsisit

Kate then joined a group of young children while helping them bottle-feed a lamb’s milk during the vsisit

Yesterday, the Kensington Palace announced that Prince William, 37, and Kate would make their first official visit to the Republic of Ireland next month.

William and Kate have visited Northern Ireland twice in recent years, but this will be their first visit to the Republic of Ireland.

The Ark Open Farm was opened in 1990 as one of the first open farms in Northern Ireland. Initially specialized in rare breeds of farm animals, the farm has now developed a number of playgrounds and activities for children.

Open farms such as these are important to provide places in the community for family members of all generations to spend quality time together, while children can enjoy time outdoors at the same time.

Kate Middleton, 38, looked stylish in brown boots and a khaki anorak when she visited the farm in the capital of Northern Ireland

Kate Middleton, 38, looked stylish in brown boots and a khaki anorak when she visited the farm in the capital of Northern Ireland

Kate Middleton, 38, looked stylish in brown boots and a khaki anorak when she visited the farm in the capital of Northern Ireland

Kate looked very excited to meet the alpaca, while he seemed to be less excited about the meeting

Kate looked very excited to meet the alpaca, while he seemed to be less excited about the meeting

Kate looked very excited to meet the alpaca, while he seemed to be less excited about the meeting

During her visit to the farm, Kate talks to local parents and grandparents about the topics covered in her survey, which closes on February 21

During her visit to the farm, Kate talks to local parents and grandparents about the topics covered in her survey, which closes on February 21

During her visit to the farm, Kate will speak with local parents and grandparents about the topics covered in her survey, which closes on February 21

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The duchess watched her hold her while she talked to parents and workers on the farm today

The duchess watched her hold her while she talked to parents and workers on the farm today

The duchess watched her hold her while she talked to parents and workers on the farm today

The Duchess of Cambridge (left) at The Ark Open Farm, in Newtownards, near Belfast, where she met parents and grandparents to discuss their experiences with raising young children

The Duchess of Cambridge (left) at The Ark Open Farm, in Newtownards, near Belfast, where she met parents and grandparents to discuss their experiences with raising young children

The Duchess of Cambridge (left) at The Ark Open Farm, in Newtownards, near Belfast, where she met parents and grandparents to discuss their experiences with raising young children

Last month the duchess visited Birmingham, Cardiff, Woking and London to promote her survey and heard from people from communities about their thoughts on how experiences in the early years can affect later life.

The research, conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Royal Foundation, contains five short questions and aims to initiate a national conversation about the early years that will ultimately contribute to positive, sustainable change for future generations.

It follows eight years of work from The Duchess of Cambridge, in which she has investigated how early childhood experiences often underlie the most difficult social challenges facing the country today.

The Duchess of Cambridge meets children from two local nurseries during a visit to The Ark Open Farm

The Duchess of Cambridge meets children from two local nurseries during a visit to The Ark Open Farm

The Duchess of Cambridge meets children from two local nurseries during a visit to The Ark Open Farm

The duchess will hear their thoughts on the most important factors that make children happy adults and the role of parents and society to ensure that children have the best possible start in life

The duchess will hear their thoughts on the most important factors that make children happy adults and the role of parents and society to ensure that children have the best possible start in life

The duchess will hear their thoughts on the most important factors that make children happy adults and the role of parents and society to ensure that children have the best possible start in life

Kate chose black skinny jeans, brown recycled Penelope Chivers boots and a khaki Barbour jacket

Kate chose black skinny jeans, brown recycled Penelope Chivers boots and a khaki Barbour jacket

Kate chose black skinny jeans, brown recycled Penelope Chivers boots and a khaki Barbour jacket

Kate has spent time meeting families throughout the country and hearing the problems they deal with on a daily basis, as well as speaking with academics, experts, organizations, and practitioners.

In May 2018, the Duchess convened a steering group of experts to focus on achieving positive, sustainable change in this area.

The survey is designed to bring together the minds of as many people as possible and to recognize that everyone plays a role in ensuring a strong, healthy foundation for the youngest in our society who will positively influence their lifelong outcomes.

The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to The Ark Open Farm, in Newtonards, near Belfast,

The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to The Ark Open Farm, in Newtonards, near Belfast,

The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to The Ark Open Farm, in Newtonards, near Belfast,

The Duchess of Cambridge greets employees on a visit to The Ark Open Farm, in Newtonards, near Belfast, where she meets parents and grandparents to discuss their experiences with raising young children

The Duchess of Cambridge greets employees on a visit to The Ark Open Farm, in Newtonards, near Belfast, where she meets parents and grandparents to discuss their experiences with raising young children

The Duchess of Cambridge greets employees on a visit to The Ark Open Farm, in Newtonards, near Belfast, where she meets parents and grandparents to discuss their experiences with raising young children

The findings should be an essential source of information for the sector of the first years, so that it can better understand the public perception of the importance of the first years and the first-hand experiences of parents, families and carers.

This public feedback will also help to concentrate the work of Her Royal Highness through The Royal Foundation, while striving to provide children in the UK with the best foundation to live a healthy and satisfying life.

Yesterday, William and Kate confirmed that they will travel to Emerald Island from 3-5 March at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Commonwealth, according to a statement on Instagram.

Details of the trip have not yet been confirmed, but earlier reports suggest that the couple could visit Dublin and Cork.

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