02/21/2012

Duchess reveals her artistic side -- and her dog's name

Duchess art The Duchess of Cambridge watches 7-year-old Jaydn Proffitt paint during a visit to the Art Room facilities at Rose Hill Primary School in Oxford, southern England on Tuesday. (Reuters)

The Duchess of Cambridge is taking full advantage of Prince William's time in the Falklands, establishing her own identity with appearances for her personal charities.

Kate roomOn Tuesday, it was The Art Room, a program that uses art therapy to help disadvantaged children, prompting visits to two schools in Oxford. The innonvative program is a natural extension of the Duchess's interests in all things artistic, having a degree in art history and also being patron for the National Portrait Gallery in London.

As a bonus on this trip, another identity was also discovered: Kate revealed that the name of her new cocker spaniel puppy -- which has remained a mystery since the dog appeared in January -- is Lupo. The name is Italian for 'wolf.' "There is no significance in it apart from they liked the name," said a royal aide.

For the fashion watchers, Kate wore a dress by Irish designer Orla Kiely, described as a Birdie Wool Jacquard shirt dress (recently on sale at $260). Don't bother looking to hard to buy one, though -- it has already sold out on Kiely's website. Her brown boots by Aquatalia go for about $400.

At Rose Hill, the Duchess wore an apron embroidered with 'Miss Catherine' and watched a group of children in art class. Half of the 340 pupils in the school have special needs and The Art Room is charged with increasing their self-esteem and independence.

She spent two hours at Rose Hill Primary as children painted characters from Edward Lear's poem 'The Owl and the Pussycat.'

It was here where Lupo's name first emerged. A report in the Telegraph said one of the students, knowing the Duchess had acquired a pooch, handed Kate a stuffed dog. "Why don't we call it after my dog?" she said. "He's called Lupo."

Later, Kate visited Oxford Spires Academy, a secondary school with an Art Room, where several of the students showed the Duchess their handiwork as she toured the facilities.

Duchess
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge  speaks with some of the many children assembled for her arrival at  the Rose Hill Primary School in Oxford, southern England on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Duchess crowd
Kate waves to the children waving their flags at Rose Hill Primary School in Oxford. Getty Images)
School red
The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with school children at Rose Hill Primary Schoo. (AFP/Getty Images)
Kate kids
The Duchess meets children as she does a little walkabout at Rose Hill Primary School. (AP)
Oxford flowers
Eleanor Oxendale, 12, presents Kate with artwork and flowers as she arrives at Oxford Spires Academy School in Oxford. (Reuters)

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