The Duchess of Cambridge today made a visit to Naomi House in Winchester to mark the beginning of children’s hospice week.
It may have been Kate and William’s second wedding anniversary, but it was business as usual for the Duchess as she continued with her royal duties.
Kate, who visited the Hampshire centre solo, seemed happy to be there and soon got stuck into the day’s engagements.
The Duchess of Cambridge arrived looking pretty in peach, in a dress by her private dressmaker which was complimented with an apricot- coloured Tara Jarmon Coat, which is sure to be a sell out.
The Duchess will no doubt have found today’s visit an uplifting and moving experience as she gets ready to welcome her first child in July with Prince William.
Kate, won praise for the visit as she was described as a ‘natural with the children’ during her visit by the chief executive of EACH Graham Butland.
“She will be a great mum, a great mum. I really mean that.” he said.
“The way in which she has raised the profile of our charity is something we will be eternally grateful for”.
Today’s visit by Kate was to mark the beginning of Children’s Hospice week. The Duchess earlier this week posted her first video message supporting the cause, on the Royal Channel’s Youtube page.
Naomi House provides support to children who have life-limiting conditions, and offers support to their families as well. The centre provides support in Hampshire, offering its help to families in Berkshire, Dorset, Isle of Wight, Surrey, West Sussex and Wiltshire.
The charity has two specialised units, one for children being Naomi House, and the second being Jacksplace for young adults.
Kate began her visit with a private meeting before visiting the hydrotherapy pool, where she watched Blake Warren, nine play with his siblings.
Blake suffers from a condition known as complex congenital brain defect.
Kate who was asked to join by the children joked: “I’d love to come in”
Blake’s mother, Elspeth Ringrose described the House as a huge help: “It’s an absolute lifeline. I’m able to get a respite so I can carry on picking up the balls of caring.”
After being showed around the centre, Kate joined parents and children for a tea pary where she chatted with the guests.
Kate was later praised in a speech Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives Barbara Gelb said: ‘This year has been the best ever for Children’s Hospice Week and that’s all down to you Your Royal Highness.’
The Duchess, who was visiting the house solo, was congratulated on her second wedding aniverssary during the visit.
Professor Khalid Aziz, chairman of trustees at Naomi House joked: “I just hope Prince William is taking you somewhere nice tonight.”
‘So anyway congratulations on your wedding anniversary and we thought we’d give you something not only to say thank you for being here but something to commemorate your anniversary because it’s on cotton and possibly something that you might be able to use in the nursery.’
The mum-to-be soon blushed as she was awarded a framed picture of the hungry caterpillar, made from felt and paper by the children.
Kate did then confirm William was away today at work as she explained “Well he’s on shift”, it is thought the two will celebrate privately later this week.
Since becoming a royal, Kate has chosen causes close to her heart and has especially focused on the care of children and already supports a children’s hospice in East Anglia.
Children’s Hospice Week runs until May 3rd.
Photos are courtesy of Naomi House’s Facebook page and David Cunningham Photography 2013. You can view the full selection of photos at the facebook page.