The royal joined families in the "Elves Enchanted Forest" to help make holiday decorations and eco-friendly reindeer food

By Simon Perry
December 04, 2019 08:06 AM

Kate Middleton had some holiday fun with children and families on Wednesday as she announced a new royal role given to her by Queen Elizabeth.

The royal mom of three, 37, headed to a farm in the countryside just northwest of London to pick out Christmas trees for the children to take back to their kindergartens and pre-schools linked to the charity Family Action.

Kate, who was decked out in a festive red puffer coat, green sweater, matching green socks and boots, joined the families at Peterley Manor Farm in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, where she ventured into the “Elves Enchanted Forest” to help make holiday decorations and eco-friendly reindeer food.

“Does anyone like this one?” Kate called out to children as she helped them pick out Christmas trees.

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After finding some festive trees, which families will take to schools run by the charity in Peterborough, they moved back inside to make hot chocolate.

The fun visit came as it was announced that Kate has become patron of Family Action — a role passed on to her by the Queen, 93, who has been the figurehead of the charity for 65 years.

Kate Middleton
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Kate Middleton
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

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Founded in 1869 to help families in difficulty by giving them practical help and support, Family Action now tackles challenges such as financial hardship, mental health and emotional wellbeing, social isolation, parenting difficulties, domestic abuse and substance abuse. It works with vulnerable or disadvantaged children and families — something that aligns closely with the Duchess of Cambridge’s work on supporting children, families and carers during the early years of kids’ lives.

Kate Middleton
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Kate, who is mom to Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1, has spent a lot of the last eight years meeting charities and organizations who work in the sector that helps families and communities.

David Holmes, the chief executive of Family Action and a member of the Early Years steering group set up by Kate to advise on way forwards in the sector, told PEOPLE that Kate was “lovely” during Wednesday’s outing.

“I have worked with her on the early years for some time,” he says. “But she is fantastic with children and is also really interested in the issues — she’s really interested in families and parenting, and it really shines through everything she does.”

Kate Middleton
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Holmes noted that Kate has brought her own experience as a mother of three to her work.

“Everyone who’s a parent has their own experience, but equally it’s about understanding that other peoples’ experience is different and that parenting experience changes daily,” he notes. “And it’s that understanding about what it takes to be a parent.”

Kate Middleton
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In the last year, Kate has been taking on a greater role with Family Action, joining them at a center in Lewisham, south London, on the day she launched the charity’s FamilyLine — a phone and webchat service giving practical information and guidance, emotional support and one-to-one befriending support or counseling. It dovetails well with the SHOUT crisis text service that she launched alongside husband Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Kate and William also visited Family Action’s special charity garden at Chelsea Flower Show with their little ones in May.

Kate Middleton
Chris Jackson/Getty
Kate Middleton
Chris Jackson/Getty

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Holmes praised the Queen “for her steadfast support and encouragement to us over so many years.”

Kate Middleton
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He added, “I have seen the Duchess’s passionate support for disadvantaged families first hand and have been impressed by her leadership in understanding and promoting the vital importance of the Early Years. Family Action looks forward to working with the Duchess in the years to come.”

Kate Middleton at Family Action
Courtesy Family Action
Kate Middleton at Family Action
Courtesy Family Action

The event came a day after Kate joined other senior members of the royal family to help the Queen welcome leaders of countries which are members of NATO to London.

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In the lead-up to Christmas, Kate and William are set to appear in a special BBC show alongside baking queen Mary Berry as they host a seasonal celebration for those in the emergency services and other professions who will be working over the holiday season.

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