|Duke and Duchess of Cambridge|
Since William and Kate's romance became public knowledge there has been endless comparison to William's late mother, Princess Diana. Kate is now patron of The Natural History Museum in London, a role whose previous incumbent was the Princess of Wales. Diana was patron of the Museum until 1993, when she gave up the majority of her posts following her divorce from Prince Charles.
More from The Telegraph story:
'The fact that the Duchess has for the first time accepted an invitation to succeed the Princess reflects her growing confidence that she has established herself as a member of the Royal family in her own right, to the extent that she no longer feels awkward about comparisons with the "People's Princess".'
As many of you may recall the Duchess opened The Treasures Gallery last November at the museum where she recalled fond memories of childhood visits with her patents. Prince William has also spoken about being taken to the museum by his mother and immensely enjoying his visits.
|Duke and Duchess of Cambridge|
Following Kate's visit she was approached and agreed to be its figurehead because of her interest in conservation. The museum's director Dr Michael Dixon said:
'When she was here last November it was clear to me how much she shares our passion for understanding and maintaining the diversity of our planet.
I very much look forward to involving her more in our work and hope she may join us in inspiring the next generation.'
The Natural History Museum is home to the world's largest and most important natural history collection, with over 70 million specimens. Ranging in age from the origins of the solar system billions of years ago to the present day, the museum's collections offer a window to both the past and the future. The Museum is renowned as an award winning tourist attraction that welcomes 5 million visitors annually. If any of you are visiting London this year do stop by, it's a fascinating, educational place to visit.
|Natural History Museum Facebook|
Place2Be is a national charity providing emotional support to children in schools. A spokesman for St James's Palace said that it was through her work with Action on Addiction, that the Duchess became interested in the charity rather than any personal experience of bullying (Kate reportedly left Downe House School after two terms because of bullying, moving on to board at Marlborough College). The Duchess' inspiration for choosing the charity came from her belief in increased understanding of the need to intervene early with children.
Bullying is a massively prevalent problem in schools with children often feeling too frightened or intimidated to tell their parents or teachers about it. It can often leave the child feeling isolated and alone, having a considerable impact on one's mental health.
The charity works with 175 schools in some of the most deprived areas of the country, helping children aged 4 to 14 to cope with not only bullying but bereavement, neglect, violence, family breakdown and other issues. Through their help and intervention the charity aims to steer children away from the downward spiral that can lead to addiction and mental health problems.
One can read a selection of the children's stories on the website. One I found particularly interesting was ten year old Macy's:
'Macy a 10 year old girl referred to Place2Be was described by teaching staff as a very quiet, sad, withdrawn little girl, almost lacking emotion. Place2Be's school manager met with her parents to gain information regarding Macy's past and current experiences.
It was apparent that Macy was struggling to cope with her parent's separation. The separation had been very visible to the children and their father had verbally blamed the children for not seeing them. This was very difficult for Macy to comprehend, so she potentially carried this blame and withdrew from her classmates.
Macy is beginning to explore her confused feelings toward her dad through the art making process, often depicting devils. She also regularly uses fantasy sessions as a way of coping.
Macy is now much more settled and has made a friend in her class.'
On Tuesday Kate will have the opportunity to see the charity's work for herself when she visits The Willows Primary School in Manchester to launch a new counselling programme partly funded by the Royal Foundation.
Kate was inspired to become patron of SportsAid after her role as London 2012 ambassador during the Olympics last summer. The organisation helps teenage able-bodied and disabled athletes to fulfil their potential by funding their training and the cost of travelling to competitions.
The charity's chief executive Tim Lawlor shared his excitement via the charity's website:
'This is fantastic news for young sports people throughout the UK and especially for those who hope one day to represent the country at the highest level of sport.
I can think of no greater endorsement than for me to be able to be able to welcome HRH as the charity's patron. As a champion of future champions she will make a big difference to young athletes, helping them to tell their inspirational stories and maintain the support they need.'
Among SportsAid's alumni are many of the UK's most successful athletes - including Jessica Ennis, Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Steve Redgrave.
Three stellar choices for the Duchess in my opinion. I think she will do a fantastic job of raising awareness for these charities. What are your thoughts? Over the coming months Kate will undertake both private and public visits across the UK to these organisations.
In other news, the Duchess has been named as one of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people. The Duchess is the only member of the Royal Family to make the list and was described by the magazine as "dignified, dutiful and unflappable". You can read more Here (with many thanks to our lovely reader MariBy).
New photos of Kate shopping with Carole are expected to emerge at some point tonight.