The Duchess of Cambridge, nee Kate Middleton, gave her first speech of the Royal Tour in Australia on Friday afternoon, before later admitting that she was “ready for a big sob”, after the emotional visit.
Speaking at Bear Cottage, Kate told the parents, children and staff that it was “wonderful to be here today”.
“The haven that you have created here is inspirational, and there is so much that you can share with each other as you continue to support and nurture those in your care,” she added, as she spent over an hour with the children who use the hospice.
PICTURE OF THE DUCHESS FOR GALLERY
The Duchess of Cambridge takes part in music therapy with the children at Bear Cottage
In the UK, Kate is the patron of East Anglia Children’s Hospice and has previously visited hospices in Malaysia, and also the Rainbow Place Children’s Hospice in New Zealand during the first half of the Cambridge’s Royal Tour.
Bear Cottage is one of only two children’s hospices in Australia, and Kate discussed how important hospice care can be for families.
Speaking in front of Prime Minister Tony Abbot, Kate said: “First class delivery of children’s palliative care is life changing. When families are confronted with the shattering news that their children have a life limiting condition, their world can fall apart. It is at those times that professional support is imperative.”
She went on to add: “William and I are strong believers in collaborative work. The sharing of best practise is transformational for organisations. The needs of families requiring children palliative care across the world is varied, certainly circumstances and environment can differ but the aim of those supporting them is the same, to offer the best and most loving care.”
Prince William joined Kate on her visit to Bear Cottage but the pair split up as the Duchess chose to spend time with the children while William spoke privately with the parents.
Kate was also involved with a music therapy class where she partook in a rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and visited the centre’s quiet room, before later rejoining William for an informal afternoon tea in the centre’s garden where the royal couple were presented with artwork painted by the children of Bear Cottage.
Their visit, which reportedly overran by 30 minutes because the pair were so keen to speak to as many families as possible, came after a visit to the Royal Easter Show at Sydney Olympic Park.
The Duchess, who had opted for a light white dress with short sleeves and donned nude wedge shoes with the frock, apparently joked at the show that William could use the wool being sheared to coverup a bald patch on his head.