The Duchess of Cambridge was spotted exiting the Norwich train station ahead of her visit to The Nook hospice

By Ashley Boucher
November 15, 2019 08:35 PM

Most English commuters have seen it all, but a royal riding the railway had many stopped in their tracks.

Kate Middleton surprise a few folks as she took the Wherry Lines to Norfolk on Friday, where she visited The Nook hospice, a new center for severely ill children connected with her patronage East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

The Duchess of Cambridge was spotted exiting the Norwich train station after a three-hour ride to the East Anglia county, which is northeast of London.

Footage shared by bystanders at the station online shows Kate walking through the station with her royal entourage, past platforms one and two, to exit.

The 37-year-old royal mother of three wore one of her closet staples: a magenta Oscar de la Renta dress that she donned for an outing at the Royal Opera House in London in January. She accented the look on Friday with black tights, heels and a black tote.

For the event, Kate swapped out the larger bag for an Aspinal x Beulah clutch.

At the event, during which Kate was given a tour of The Nook’s new facilities, Kate recalled her first-ever royal speech, a moment she said she’ll “remember for some years to come.”

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Kate gave that first speech when she opened the Treehouse hospice in March 2012, nearly a year after she married Prince William.

During her speech at Friday’s opening, Kate said, “At the opening of the Treehouse Hospice many years ago (which I think I will remember for some years to come as it was my first ever speech!), I referred to your hospices as being homes. This visit today has only reinforced for me just what is at the heart of what you do here, throughout your work, and that is family.”

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Kate Middleton
Karwai Tang/WireImage

Kate continued: “You have created here at The Nook a nurturing, caring environment that allows families who are going through the unimaginable the ability to spend precious quality time with each other, comforted in the knowledge that their children are being looked after in the best possible way.”

“EACH was one of the very first charities that I decided to become Patron of after my marriage,” she said. “Whilst a lot has changed since then, my commitment and support for this wonderful organization and the work that you do has not.”

One of those changes is her own increased confidence when speaking at events like the one on Friday.

Kate Middleton
Karwai Tang/WireImage

RELATED: Kate Middleton Shows Off Motherly Side as She Bonds with Families at Opening of Children’s Hospice

Outgoing chief executive Graham Butland, who was there when Kate made her first-ever public speech, recently told PEOPLE that he remembers how “nervous” Kate was for her first speech.

“It wasn’t just the 200 people in front of her, but the world’s press and TV and everything there,” he said. “I’ve noticed how comfortably she has grown into her new position. In the very early days, I remember her coming into a room and her head would be slightly down and the long hair would be across. Now, she comes in with her head held high.”

Earlier this year, a well-placed palace source told PEOPLE that Kate is “finding her voice.”

A family friend previously told PEOPLE, “She is now more open with what she wants to say, and funnily enough, she is more relaxed as well.”