The Duchess of Cambridge, born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, married Prince William at Westminster Abbey in April 2011. Their Royal Highnesses have two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The family’s official residence is Kensington Palace, but Their Royal Highnesses also spend part of the year living on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.
As well as undertaking royal duties in support of The Queen, both in the UK and overseas, The Duchess devotes her time to supporting a number of charities and organisations.
The Duchess of Cambridge is a committed champion of issues related to children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. Her Royal Highness has worked to bring wider public attention to the fact that issues facing children today such as addiction, poverty, abuse, neglect, loss and illness of family members, can have a long-lasting and traumatic impact if left unsupported. In particular she has highlighted the need for open and honest conversations about the subject to try and combat stigma, and also the importance of early intervention mental health support for young people, to tackle these issues at the earliest possible stage, so that children have the brightest possible futures, as they deserve.
Through her work with Action on Addiction, The Duchess of Cambridge was struck by the fact that children of addicts are twice as likely to go on to become addicts themselves. In 2013, The Duchess of Cambridge launched M-PACT Plus, an initiative to support children, parents and families affected by parental drug and alcohol misuse, with the aim of providing early specialist support to children to prevent these inevitable outcomes. The project involves training school staff to identify children affected by a parent’s drug or alcohol misuse. It then brings families together to work with trained practitioners. The project was convened at Her Royal Highnesses request by her own charity The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
The Duchess of Cambridge is a committed supporter of children’s hospices and wider palliative care, which provides a vital lifeline to children and families affected by life-limiting conditions. Through her Royal engagements, charitable patronages and in speeches, she has worked to bring wider public attention to the hospice movement, and the holistic services they offer to families. The Duchess of Cambridge has been publicly involved in this area since she became Royal Patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) in January 2012. She has supported their major fundraising efforts to build a new children’s hospice The Nook, in Norfolk.
The Duchess is Patron of eight organisations, where she feels her support can make a difference. These broadly reflect her interests in supporting the most vulnerable families and young people, promoting opportunities though sport, and showcasing national institutions.
As their Royal Patron, The Duchess will back their key projects and initiatives, spotlight their work through her programme of official engagements and where appropriate by convening organisations to work in support of each other.
In addition to supporting charities and organisations, The Duchess of Cambridge like her husband and Prince Harry is able to direct her own philanthropic work through The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
The Royal Foundation develops programmes and charitable projects based on the interests of Their Royal Highnesses by working with organisations which are already making a proven impact in their respective fields. The Royal Foundation provides additional investment, mentoring, support and partnerships for these programmes, and lends its own profile and leverage to enhance the effect of their good work.