Tackling the challenges facing kids in their early years is the defining theme of Kate's royal work

By Simon Perry
November 29, 2019 09:11 AM

Kate Middleton spent two days quietly getting some work experience in a maternity ward of a major London hospital.

Royal mom of three Kate, 37, secretly shadowed midwives and other professionals at the hospital to learn more about children’s early years of development.

The work was revealed by the palace on the daily list of activities — the Court Circular — on Thursday.

“The Duchess of Cambridge, Joint Patron, the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, today completed two days with Kingston Hospital Maternity Unit in London,” the statement read.

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Tackling the challenges facing kids in their early years is the defining theme of Kate’s royal work. Last year, the mom of Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and 1-year-old Prince Louis set up a steering group to advise her on child welfare and the challenges faced by parents and carers.

In May, she thanked them for their professional support and advice as the group concluded its work. “Through our work, you have reaffirmed my belief of just how timely it is to focus on what happens in the early years of life, and how pivotal a stage of life this is for a child’s future,” she told them.

“I hope my longterm commitment to working in the early years will help make a difference over a generational timescale,” Kate said at the time. “Your thoughts and advice will continue to be hugely valuable as I shape my thinking for the years ahead.”

Kate Middleton
Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty

Earlier this month, during a visit to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, the Duchess of Cambridge showed her maternal side as she toured a brand-new facility and met families.

Naomi Wright, whose 4-year-old son, Rupert, has a rare genetic disease commonly known as MPS II or Hunter syndrome, shared an emotional moment with the royal mom.

“I cried and I got a little hug and at the end when she walked out she gave me a little wave. Just simple things like that make you realize she’s a very special lady,” Wright told PEOPLE. “She is a mum herself, and you get that sense that she does understand. She’s not doing it because she has to but because she has to. This is something that means a lot to her.”

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Kate isn’t the only royal to undertake unannounced official work. Sister-in-law Meghan Markle has also quietly popped in to see the women she collaborated with over a community cookbook to aid the Grenfell Tower neighborhood after a devastating fire there.

Princess Kate will be back on official royal duty on Tuesday evening when she helps Queen Elizabeth welcome leaders of NATO, including President Donald Trump, to Buckingham Palace. Prince William is set to miss the event as he will be touring Oman and Kuwait.

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