The Duchess of Cambridge will make her first public address at a hospice run by one of her charities

By Simon Perry
Updated March 05, 2012 10:15 AM
Credit: WeirBros/Splash News Online

She’s confidently stepped out solo into the spotlight. Now, Kate is getting ready for two more royal milestones.

The Duchess of Cambridge will make a speech (her first public address) at the opening of The Treehouse, a hospice service for Suffolk and Essex run by one of her charities, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) on March 19.

And on St. Patrick’s Day, the 30-year-old will perform her first solo military engagement. She is to present shamrocks to 40 Officers and Warrant Officers, who will then issue them along the ranks of the Irish Guards (Prince William wore the regiment’s ceremonial uniform on his wedding day and holds the honorary rank of Colonel).

On the 19th, Kate will tour the facilities, including a sensory room and music room the charity built after a $5 million appeal. She will also meet children and their families who receive care and support from EACH, as well as staff and supporters. A private tour of the bedrooms and care area is scheduled as well, EACH said Monday.

Then, Kate will make her speech, before the most traditional of royal jobs – planting a tree in the grounds of The Treehouse to commemorate her visit.

In a statement, Graham Butland, EACH Chief Executive, said, “The visit will showcase the magnificent facilities we can now offer to local life-threatened children and their families, and celebrate the supporters of The Treehouse Appeal. Having our work recognized in this way by Her Royal Highness is not only a tribute to our staff and supporters, but a huge boost for the children, young people and families receiving our care and support.”