Duchess of Cambridge takes part in festive activities at Anna Freud Centre in Islington

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge takes part in some drumming 'music therapy' as she attends the Anna

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge takes part in some drumming 'music therapy' as she attends the Anna Freud Centre Family School Christmas Party at Anna Freud Centre. Photo: Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images - Credit: PA

The Duchess of Cambridge joined Christmas celebrations at a mental health charity in Islington on Tuesday.

The Duchess was left with sore hands after taking part in a drumming workshop with pupils and their parents from a school run by the Anna Freud Centre, a leading charity in research, teaching and the provision of care for children and young people with mental health issues.

The Duchess’s red Alexander McQueen outfit meant she was unable to hold the instrument between her legs like everyone else so instead placed it to one side.

But she still pounded the West African djembe drum with the palms of her hands and smiled and laughed as she followed the deafening rhythms, similar to the beat from the Queen song We Will Rock You.

Kate was an enthusiastic drummer despite sitting between two expert youngsters, Kai Bromley and Capone Duggan, both 12, who played solos.

Capone, from Hackney, east London, said: “We were speaking about how to hold the drum. I was showing her how to do it but it wasn’t easy for her to hold it properly because she was in a dress.

“Everybody was having fun, she really enjoyed it. She was making the right sound. My hands were sore and she asked me how they were and she said her hands were also sore.”

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The session had been taken by Jude Winwood, founder of the drumming workshop BeatFeet, who said:

“The drumming gives the children a voice and they can express themselves when words aren’t enough.

“I thought the Duchess was fantastic, she has such good rhythm, she dug in deep and coped really well.”

When Kate first arrived she joined the children and their parents at tables where they were making paper copies of their hands.

The hand designs formed part of a Christmas tree collage celebrating the children’s achievements this term with positive messages written on the fingers.

At one table the Duchess was given a high-five by Rjay Bryan, aged eight, when the pair found out they supported the same football team.

The schoolboy said after meeting Kate: “I gave her a high-five because she supports Chelsea and I support Chelsea.”

He joked about her husband William supporting Aston Villa - the Premier League’s bottom team:

“William supports Aston Villa - oh come on.”

The centre in Rodney Street is named after the pioneer of child psychoanalysis - and daughter of the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud - who was instrumental in its creation.

She set up the Hampstead War Nurseries in 1941 in response to the social and emotional upheaval faced by children in wartime, and over the decades it developed into a centre of teaching and research and a major service provider.

The Duchess visited the institution in October to learn about its work and development plans for the future.