Duke and Duchess of Cambridge champion mental health work at theatre

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
The Duchess of Cambridge waved to fans as she left the theatre. (Press Association)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed a night at the theatre as part of their continued work on mental health.

The royal couple had an evening away from the children as they attended Dear Evan Hansen at the Noel Coward theatre in London’s West End.

The duchess wore a Eponine dress for the special charity performance of the show, which follows a teenager dealing with social anxiety by writing himself letters each day.

Catherine wore a pair of silver Jimmy Choos which she wore at the BAFTAs last week. She borrowed her earrings from her grandmother-in-law, the Queen.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a charity performance of Dear Evan Hansen. (Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Noel Coward Theatre for the special performance. (Getty Images)

Before the show, the couple met composers Justin Paul, Benj Pastel and author Steven Legend along with show producer Stacey Mindich.

A personal message from the duke was printed on the back of the programme and explained he and his wife “care passionately” about mental health issues.

The message added he was “pleased that Dear Evan Hansen is helping to start important conversations between parents and teenagers about this important subject”.

After the show, William spoke to the cast, saying: “To do a production about mental health, it was like ‘how is this going to work?’

“It could go either way. It could be too serious or it is too thin. You nailed it.

“You had the humour and the normalisation of it. You had the sincerity and the authenticity.

“There were so many emotions and feelings and you had the spectrum of it.

“You had the whole rollercoaster of how you feel.”

He and Kate also asked the British actors how they managed to keep up their American “twang” throughout the performance.

Catherine borrowed earrings from the Queen for the event. (PA Images)

Prince William is currently working on a campaign called Heads Up, which aims to get football fans to discuss their mental health and treat it as being as important as physical health.

The duchess has been running the biggest ever survey on early childhood development with Ipsos MORI. The 5 Big Questions on the Under Fives aimed to start a conversation on how Early Years affect the rest of a person’s life.

The Royal Foundation also developed Shout 85258, a free and confidential 24/7 UK text messaging helpline that supports people in crisis.

Tuesday evening’s show will raise funds for the Royal Foundation.

Read more: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Ireland visit itinerary revealed

The duchess wore an Eponine dress and silver shoes. (Press Association)
The duchess carried a sparkly clutch for the night out. (Getty Images)

William and Catherine met the cast after the show, and William made a few short remarks.

Video shared on social media showed the duke urging fellow theatre-goers to sit down as they made their way to their seats.

The Cambridges have returned to London after spending Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s half term holiday in the countryside, where they were lambing.

Speaking to injured Welsh rugby players before the men’s side’s clash with France on Saturday, he told one: “We’ve been lambing with the children this week.

“Charlotte wasn’t sure at first but George was straight in there. Louis loves the tractors.

“They love seeing the lambs and feeding the lambs.”

The play is about an issue close to both their hearts. (Getty Images)
The duke will make some remarks at the end of the show. (Press Association)
The Duchess of Cambridge wore Eponine for the show. (Press Association)

Read more: James Middleton shares throwback photo, praises 'wonderful sister' Kate

Next week the duke and duchess will be in Ireland, visiting Dublin and Galway, their first official tour of the country.

The trip, which was at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will include stops at Dublin, County Meath, County Kildare and Galway.

They will meet with Ireland’s president, Michael D Higgins, as well as learning more about Ireland’s conservation initiatives and efforts to protect its environment.

The aim of the visit is to “highlight the many strong links between the UK and Ireland” from its thriving cities to rural communities.