The Duchess of Cambridge, born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, married Prince William at Westminster Abbey in April 2011. Their Royal Highnesses have three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. The family’s official residence is Kensington Palace. 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 charitable causes and organizations, several of which are centered around providing children with the best possible start in life.
Early Years Support
For several years The Duchess has been working with experts and organizations that are championing the importance of providing solid psychological, social and emotional platforms for children in their earliest years of life in order to support their mental health and emotional resilience, and to provide them with the foundations to lead to healthy and fulfilling adulthoods.
Children’s Mental Health
As part of Her Royal Highness’s work around the early years, 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. Moreover, academic research has shown conclusively that early childhood trauma will affect mental health long into adulthood, with significant costs to individuals, their families, society and the economy.
Sport and the Outdoors
The Duchess is a keen sportswoman and believes not only that physical health complements mental health, but also that being outdoors, and especially playing the sport, has the power to engage, educate and inspire and change lives for the better. Her Royal Highness’s passion for sport, nature and the outdoors stems from her own experience and enjoyment of playing tennis and hockey and sailing from a young age.
The Duchess of Cambridge has continued this work by showing her support for those organizations working to ensure young people have access to get outdoors to enjoy the natural world and take part in physical activity. In particular, she is the Royal Patron of several sport-related institutions: SportsAid, The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, The Lawn Tennis Association, and The 1851 Trust. As a mother of three young children, she is keen to encourage their love of nature and the outdoors.
In March 2018 The Duchess became the first Royal Patron of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The Patronage reflects Her Royal Highness’s interest in the visual arts, photography, design and textiles.
The Duchess has been Patron of the National Portrait Gallery since 2012. In 2018 Her Royal Highness wrote a foreword for the NPG’s ‘Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography’ exhibition catalog, and captions for selected images in the exhibition that formed the Gallery’s first-ever Patron’s Trail.
The Duchess is Patron of a number of organizations that have a close association with her specific charitable interests, and where she feels her support can make a difference. These broadly reflect her desire to help the most vulnerable children, young people and their families, as well as to promote opportunities through sport and the outdoors, and showcase national institutions reflecting her love of the visual arts.
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 organizations to work in support of each other.