Princess Kate stepped out for her first engagement as patron of Action for Children since the Queen handed down some of her associations late last year

By Simon Perry
February 22, 2017 07:26 AM
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Princess Kate is speaking out about her pride in taking over from Queen Elizabeth in her latest royal role.

On Wednesday, Kate stepped out for her first engagement as patron of Action for Children since the Queen handed down some of her associations late last year.

Action for Children very much fits in with Kate’s mission in her public work to help improve early intervention for children suffering with difficulties because of challenging family circumstances.

“The Duchess of Cambridge is incredibly proud to follow Her Majesty The Queen as Patron of Action for Children,” a spokesman for the royal mother of two tells PEOPLE. “The Duchess firmly believes that every child who needs it should be given the best support at the earliest opportunity, and is pleased to support their important work.

“She is looking forward to getting to know the people that make Action for Children such a success and meeting the young people they work with.”

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Kate, in a burgundy Paule Ka skirt suit with black tights and boots, stepped up that mission as she visited two centers in South Wales.

Chief executive of Action for Children Sir Tony Hawkhead tells PEOPLE, “We’re delighted that she’s become our patron. We were really grateful for the support we had from Her Majesty the Queen.”

Kate started the day at Torfaen, about 145 miles west of London, to see MIST, a child and adolescent mental health project which works specifically with children who are living in care with foster families or birth families.

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The service works with both the young person and their carers or birth family to address complex mental health needs, intervening where it becomes clear the child is at risk of being placed in residential or institutional care. They hope to keep the child in their local area, to ensure as normal a life as possible. MIST has been running for 12 years.

She then headed to Caerphilly, about half an hour away, to visit the Family Intervention Team (FIT) to learn about their work with children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, problems with family relationships and those who have or who are likely to self-harm.

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Kate also sat in on a team therapy session, which supports families as they strive to manage feelings and behaviors using creative techniques that are tailored to meet individual needs.

It isn’t her first visit with the charity. In February 2015, Kate was “choked up” as she spoke to moms battling severe illness and depression at a center run by the charity.