Duchess Kate Middleton

First Official Public Address as Royal Family Member

delivered 22 March 2012, Treehouse Hospice, Ipswich, England

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[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

First of all, I'd like to say thank you. Thank you for not only accepting me as your patron but thank you also for inviting me here today. You have all made me feel so welcome and I feel hugely honoured to be here to see this wonderful centre. I am only sorry that William can't be here today; he would love it here. A view of his -- that I share -- is that through teamwork, so much can be achieved.

What you have all achieved here is extraordinary. You as a community have built the Treehouse; a group of people who have made every effort to support and help each other. When I first visited the hospice in Milton, I had a pre-conceived idea as to what to expect. 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.

Today I have seen again that the Treehouse is all about family and fun. For many, this is a home from home -- a lifeline, enabling families to live as normally as possible during a very precious period of time. What you do is inspirational. It is a shining example of the support and the care that is delivered, not just here, but in the children's hospice movement at large, up and down the country.

The feelings you inspire -- feelings of love and of hope -- offer a chance to families to live a life they never thought could be possible. So thank you again for inviting me here today. I feel enormously proud to be part of East Anglia's Children's Hospices and to see the wonderful life-changing work that you do.

Thank you.


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