Today was the day we had all been waiting for! No, Catherine is not pregnant – she gave her first public speech! With her husband far away in the Falkland Islands, the former Kate Middleton visited The Treehouse at East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices in Ipswich. Catherine, a Royal Patron of EACH, visited and formally opened the new $4.8 million hospice for Essex and Suffolk. You can learn more about this new facility and the momentous occasion here.
After greeting a crowd of well-wishers (yes, Catherine seems to have throngs of excited fans wherever she goes), HRH made her way inside to give her first official speech as a royal. The three-minute speech was delivered beautifully, although Kate admitted later that she finds “doing speeches nerve-wracking.” She may have faltered slightly, but it was an absolute job well done by the freshly minted Duchess of Cambridge. My favorite part of the speech? The fact that she wrote it herself! This truly speaks to Catherine’s character and dedication to the cause; it was evident throughout that she truly meant every word and it was coming from the bottom of her heart. A lighthearted moment came when the newlywed brought up her husband, The Duke of Cambridge, saying: ”I’m only sorry that William can’t be here today. He would love it here.” I know I am not alone when I say that Prince William must be lighting up the Falklands with pride for his wife!
You can watch Catherine’s full speech here, courtesy of Hello! Magazine.
Once the speech was out of the way, Catherine had time to focus on the children whom she called “inspirational.” On a tour of the grounds, HRH met with staff and visited the sensory and music rooms – part of what makes EACH so welcoming and unique. As Kate said in her speech, the pre-conceived notion of what a children’s hospice would be like was quickly squashed when she visited the Milton facility, remarking that it was ”Far from being a clinical, depressing place for sick children, it was a home. Most importantly, it was a family home, a happy place of stability, support and care. It was a place of fun.” Kate had a chance to interact with some of these children and their families, including a three-year-old dying boy, granting his parents’ wish of a photo to memorialize the occasion. She also had a touching moment in a music class with a young girl by the name of Bethany Woods.
Although it was by no means the most important part of the day, we must address the fashion! As I was getting ready for work, debating what I would wear today, a rather comical Twitter debate ensued as to the exact color of Kate’s recycled Reiss dress. Was it purple? Blue? Indigo? Electric Blue? Ding Ding Ding, we have a winner with electric blue! Also up for discussion was whether Kate borrowed the dress from her mom Carole, as she had previously bee photographed in the frock. The palace later confirmed that it was the other way around – the dress was Kate’s, mom just went shopping in her closet. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly Kate wardrobe watchers are able to identify pieces from her collection! After scouring the label’s site for a solid description, Rebecca English was able to find out the dress, called Trina, was from the 2008 Autumn Winter collection.
If you are not already doing so, please follow East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices on Twitter. If you would like to make a gift in honor of The Treehouse opening, please visit the official donation page.
What did you think of Catherine’s first speech? What about the recycled Reiss dress? Leave some comments!
Sources: CNN, Daily Mail, Hello! Magazine, Max Foster ,Rebecca English, Richard Palmer