Kate Middleton embraced her growing bump in an autumnal outfit today (8 November) as she arrived at the Place2Be School Leaders Forum in London.

The Duchess of Cambridge – who is pregnant with her third child and due to give birth in April – wowed in a loose-fitting plum-coloured dress by Goat featuring a high neck, three-quarter sleeves and a shoulder button detailing.

Keeping the look simplistic, Kate finished off the outfit with black opaque tights and black court shoes with a chunky heel, accessorising with a black clutch, a poppy and her hair worn in a Chelsea blow-out.

The royal heard from experts from Place2Be partner schools in England, Scotland and Wales, and discussed how to provide practical support for children. They also spoke about how to nurture good mental health in young boys and girls.

Kate opened the conference on her solo public engagement, joining delegates in discussing children's mental health and how schools can help tackle problems early on in life.

The forum was entitled I'm Fine!, and included presentations from experts in child psychiatry, psychology and research alongside head teachers of Place2Be partner schools working in some of the most disadvantaged parts of the UK.

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Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge is greeted by Catherine Roche, CEO of Place2Be as she arrives at the annual Place2Be School Leaders Forum at UBS London kate middleton

Kate is hugely passionate about mental health, especially in young people, and early intervention with school support is her key priority. She and husband Prince William – who are parents to Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2 – have been candid in how they will encourage to speak about their emotions and struggles.

Kate Middleton
Kate looked effortlessly stylish in a black Diane Von Fursternberg gown AFP/Getty

It's been a busy week for the pregnant royal as she attended a gala in a flowing black Diane von Furstenberg Zarita gown at Kensington Palace on Tuesday – a dress we have seen in a short navy version on Prince Harry's girlfriend Meghan Markle.

But the duchess isn't taking style tips from Ms Markle, as she first wore it back in 2014 when she was pregnant with Charlotte. Kate appears to be well and truly over the worst of her severe morning sickness as she prepares for a busy autumn/winter of royal engagements. She is scheduled to visit the Hornsey Road Children's Centre in London next week, which she was due to visit in September.

Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle
From left: Kate Middleton at the Royal Variety Performance in London, 2014, Meghan Markle attending a presentation of A More Perfect Union: Stories of Prejudice and Power in West Hollywood 2012 Getty