(USA Today)- On the anniversary of her spectacular royal wedding, Duchess Kate celebrated by doing what royals do, and not one of the easy things: She went to a hospice for a tea party with terminally ill children today.
Two years ago today, Kate Middleton, now 31, married Prince William at Westminster Abbey as Britain rejoiced and a billion or two people around the world watched.
Now, trained up in the ways of the Windsors, about seven months pregnant with a future monarch and the object of fascination and admiration throughout the land, the Duchess of Cambridge is learning how to use her celebrity to do good and to persuade the fickle media to focus on her causes.
Today, it was Naomi House Children's Hospice in the southern England county of Hampshire, where she paid a visit to celebrate the start of this year's Children's Hospice Week. Hospice care for dying children was one of the first causes Kate adopted for patronage after the wedding.
As usual, she was greeted by excited crowds. She was dressed in a short, beige maternity dress topped by an open coral-colored coat, by Canadian designer Tara Jarmon, according to the HRHDuchessKate blog, with her trusty nude patent platform heels.
She toured the hospice, met with staff and volunteers, and joined a tea party with some of the children and their families.
Earlier, she recorded her first video message to mark hospice week, saying that "it does not bear thinking about" if families did not have support and palliative care in hospices for their children. She spoke to the camera while sitting in a chair at Clarence House; she was wearing a somber black dress with a white Peter Pan collar. The video comes a year after her first public speech which also was on hospice care.
Kate's role as a charity ambassador so far has been so successful that even the U.K. blogs that follow her fashion, such as HRHDuchessKate, have united to raise money for children's hospices this week by soliciting donations on their blogs and selling donated designer items.
The Naomi House hospice has 10 children's bedrooms and five family bedrooms and offers support services such as music therapy, computer art and play rooms and multi-sensory and hydrotherapy suites, plus practical and emotional support for the family throughout their child's life and after death.
For a woman who is due to give birth in July, it might be difficult to meet with families about to lose a child, but in many ways royals act as comforters-in-chief for the British.
So far, Duchess Kate has demonstrated she genuinely has the right royal touch — not unlike that of another beloved, do-gooding royal, the late Princess Diana, who would have been her mother-in-law.
Meanwhile, speculation continues about whether she will give birth in a London hospital, as William was, or one where she was born near her parents' estate in Berkshire, as The Telegraph is reporting. Also, will she will move in temporarily with her parents after the birth, as the Daily Mail reported? Their own digs, a vast Kensington Palace apartment and a country home in Norfolk, will still be under renovation by the time the baby is born and she is said to want to be near her family.