When was Kate Middleton's first public speech as a member of the royal family?

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
The Duchess of Cambridge gives her first public speech as a royal in March 2012 (PA)

The Duchess of Sussex gave her first public speech as a member of the royal family this week, at the launch of the Hubb Kitchen Community charity cookbook she’s supporting.

Former actress Meghan said she felt “privileged’ to know the women she’d met affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and thanked them for allowing her to be part of the project.

Her first campaign and solo engagements come a mere four months after her and Harry’s wedding on May 19. Meghan will attend the opening of the ‘Oceania’ exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts on Tuesday 25 September, without her husband.

Meghan’s sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, undertook her first duty on her own, six months after her and William’s wedding on 29 April, 2011. Kate stepped in for the Prince of Wales at a reception for one of his charities, In Kind Direct.

However, we waited a little while after that for Kate to give her first public speech as a royal.

She appeared naturally shy during her and William’s engagement interview in November 2010, but  nerves didn’t get the better of her, when it came to her debut in 2012.

One of Kate’s first patronages was the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and shortly after the announcement in early 2012, she formally opened the Treehouse hospice in Ipswich on 19 March 2012.

She toured the facilities and met with staff and the families who receive support and care.

Wearing an electric blue wrap dress from Reiss, Kate thanked the charity during her public address, for accepting her as a patron and for inviting her to open the hospice.

Speaking concisely and clearly, she said: “You have all made me feel so welcome and I feel hugely honoured to see this wonderful centre. I am only sorry William can’t be here today.”

Kate gave a grin, provoking laughter from the audience.

Kate meets with children at the EACH Treehouse hospice in Ipswich, in 2012 (PA)

She praised the Treehouse for being a “home from home,” and “enabling families to live as normally as possible during a very precious period of time.”

She added: “What you do is inspirational. It is a shining example of the support and the care that is delivered here, 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 hope, offer a chance to families to live a life they never thought could be possible.” 

The Duchess of Cambridge is currently on maternity leave after giving birth to her third child Prince Louis in April. It is expected that she will return to public duties this autumn.

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