About The Duchess of Cambridge
The Duchess of Cambridge, born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, married Prince William at Westminster Abbey in April 2011. Their Royal Highnesses have three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. The family's official residence is Kensington Palace. As well as undertaking royal duties in support of The Queen, both in the UK and overseas, The Duchess devotes her time to supporting a number of charitable causes and organisations, several of which are centred around providing children with the best possible start in life.
Early Years Support
For several years The Duchess has been working with experts and organisations that are championing the importance of providing solid psychological, social and emotional platforms for children in their earliest years of life in order to support their mental health and emotional resilience, and to provide them with the foundations to lead to healthy and fulfilling adulthoods.
In March 2018, The Duchess announced during a symposium at the Royal Society for Medicine that she has convened a steering group to look at what can be done to make a positive difference to the lives of children, by focussing on their earliest stage of life, from pre-birth to 5 years of age. The steering group's recommendations, on behalf of The Duchess, will form the basis of The Royal Foundation's strategy for developing her work in this area in years to come.
Children's Mental Health
As part of Her Royal Highness's work around the early years, The Duchess of Cambridge is a committed champion of issues related to children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. Her Royal Highness has worked to bring wider public attention to the fact that issues facing children today such as addiction, poverty, abuse, neglect, loss and illness of family members, can have a long-lasting and traumatic impact if left unsupported. Moreover, academic research has shown conclusively that early childhood trauma will affect mental health long into adulthood, with significant costs to individuals, their families, society and the economy.
It is our duty, as parents and as teachers, to give all children the space to build their emotional strength and provide a strong foundation for their future
The Duchess of Cambridge
In particular, The Duchess has highlighted the need for open and honest conversations about the subject of mental health to try and combat stigma, and also the importance of early intervention mental health support for young people, to tackle these issues at the earliest possible stage, so that children have the brightest possible futures, as they deserve.
In 2017 The Duchess championed the Heads Together mental health campaign with The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex. Together, they lead coalition of eight mental health charity partners to change the national conversation on mental health: Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families; Best Beginnings; CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably; Contact (a military mental health coalition); Mind; Place2Be; The Mix; and YoungMinds. The campaign aimed to build on existing progress nationwide in tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health problems.
Heads Together was privileged to be the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year giving the campaign a positive platform to raise funds for the charity partners and to start millions of conversations about mental wellbeing.
Sport and the Outdoors
The Duchess is a keen sportswoman and believes not only that physical health complements mental health, but also that being outdoors, and especially playing sport, has the power to engage, educate and inspire and change lives for the better. Her Royal Highness's passion for sport, nature and the outdoors stems her own experience and enjoyment of playing tennis and hockey and sailing from a young age.
The Duchess of Cambridge has continued this work by showing her support for those organisations working to ensure young people have access to get outdoors to enjoy the natural world and take part in physical activity. In particular, she is Royal Patron of several sport-related institutions: SportsAid, The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, The Lawn Tennis Association, and The 1851 Trust. As a mother of three young children, she is keen to encourage their love of nature and the outdoors.
In March 2018 The Duchess became the first Royal Patron of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The Patronage reflects Her Royal Highness's interest in the visual arts, photography, design and textiles.
The Duchess has been Patron of the National Portrait Gallery since 2012. In 2018 Her Royal Highness wrote a foreword for the NPG's 'Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography' exhibition catalogue, and captions for selected images in the exhibition that formed the Gallery's first ever Patron's Trail.
Her Royal Highness is a keen photographer, and an Honorary Member of the Royal Photographic Society.
The Duchess is Patron of a number of organisations which have close association with her specific charitable interests, and where she feels her support can make a difference. These broadly reflect her desire to help the most vulnerable children, young people and their families, as well as to promote opportunities though sport and the outdoors, and showcasing national institutions reflecting her love of the visual arts.
As their Royal Patron, The Duchess will back their key projects and initiatives, spotlight their work through her programme of official engagements and where appropriate by convening organisations to work in support of each other.
The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
In addition to supporting charities and organisations, The Duchess of Cambridge, like her husband is able to direct her own philanthropic work through The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The Royal Foundation develops programmes and charitable projects based on the interests of Their Royal Highnesses by working with organisations which are already making a proven impact in their respective fields. The Royal Foundation provides additional investment, mentoring, support and partnerships for these programmes, and lends its own profile and leverage to enhance the effect of their good work.
The Duchess of Cambridge became a member of the Royal Family in 2011, upon her marriage to Prince William. Since that time, she has taken on Royal duties in support of The Queen through engagements at home and overseas, alongside a portfolio of charitable work and patronages. The Duchess's charitable work is driven by a personal desire to help make a difference in some key areas, where she feels her support can help. In recent years, The Duchess has drawn attention to the importance of supporting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children, the impact of addiction on children and families, and the necessary measures to support children suffering from family breakdown.
Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born to Michael and Carole Middleton at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, on 9 January 1982. The Duchess is the eldest of three children. The Duchess of Cambridge was christened at the parish church of St. Andrew’s Bradfield in Berkshire on 20 June 1982. In May 1984, at the age of two, The Duchess moved with her family to Amman in Jordan, where her father worked for two and a half years. Her Royal Highness attended a nursery school in Amman from the age of three.
In September 1986, the Middletons returned to their home in West Berkshire, and Her Royal Highness started at St. Andrew’s School in Pangbourne, where she remained until July 1995. The Duchess went on to Marlborough College in Wiltshire, where she studied Chemistry, Biology and Art at A-level. Her Royal Highness also took part in sport on behalf of the school, playing tennis, hockey and netball and participating in athletics, particularly high jump.
Leaving Marlborough College in July 2000, The Duchess of Cambridge undertook a gap year in which she studied at the British Institute in Florence, undertook a Raleigh International programme in Chile, and crewed on Round the World Challenge boats in the Solent.
In 2001, The Duchess enrolled at the University of St. Andrews, Fife, from where she graduated in 2005 with a 2:1 in History of Art. Her Royal Highness continued with her interest in sport at University, playing hockey for the University team. The Duchess first met The Duke of Cambridge when studying at the University.
On 29 April 2011, Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton were married at Westminster Abbey. The couple are now known as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
They have three children; a son, George Alexander Louis, born on 22 July 2013, a daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, born on 2 May 2015, and a son, Prince Louis Arthur Charles, born on 23 April 2018. Their official residence is at Kensington Palace.
Supporting The Queen
The Duchess of Cambridge works in support of The Queen in carrying out Royal duties both at home and overseas. She has been hugely inspired by the leadership The Queen has provided for over 60 years and will continue to play her part in supporting and celebrating The Queen in the UK and around the Commonwealth wherever possible.
The Duchess of Cambridge supports The Queen and the Royal Family in a number of ways. Her Royal Highness regularly undertakes Royal engagements in towns and cities across the United Kingdom, joining The Queen and other members of the Royal Family on occasions. She also plays a full role at annual Royal events. These include:
• Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace
• Celebrating The Queen's official birthday at Trooping the Colour
• Joining members of the Royal Family in welcoming Heads of State on State Visits to the UK
• The Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London
The Duchess of Cambridge joined her husband and members of the Royal Family to lead moments of national commemoration for the two World Wars in Europe. Together The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Arromanches in June 2014 where they met veterans and their families. They also led the August 2014 services commemorating the centenary of the First World War in Liege, joining Prince Harry at a service in Saint Symphorien cemetery near Mons, Belgium.
In 2016, The Duchess of Cambridge joined other members of the Royal Family at events in France to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. In July 2017, The Duchess joined The Duke of Cambridge and The King and Queen of the Belgians at the commemorations to mark the centenary of Passchendaele – The Third Battle of Ypres, in Belgium.
The Duchess of Cambridge has carried out a number of overseas visits with her husband including to Realm and Commonwealth nations on behalf of The Queen, or to undertake an official tour to represent Britain at the request of the Government. The Duchess's first official overseas tour was to Canada in July 2011. For their second tour, in 2012 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Malaysia, Singapore, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu as part of Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee year celebrations.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with Prince George, then visited New Zealand and Australia in Spring 2014, followed by New York in December 2014. The Duke and Duchess visited India, Bhutan and Canada in 2016 and Paris, Poland and Germany in 2017. The Duchess made solo visits to the Netherlands in October 2016 and, at the request of Her Majesty's Government, to Luxembourg in May 2017 to participate in the official commemoration of the 1867 Treaty of London. During the visit, Her Royal Highness also attended a series of engagements to celebrate the cultural and historic ties between the UK and Luxembourg.
In 2018 The Duke and Duchess visited Sweden, where they met Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, and Norway, meeting Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit for a series of engagements in the country.
National Sporting Events
The Duchess of Cambridge, herself a keen sportswoman, also represents the Royal Family at major national sporting events to reflect the nation's support, in particular when Great Britain is acting as the host nation of a major event. Along with Prince Harry, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were Official Ambassadors for Team GB and Paralympic GB in the lead up to, and during, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Again at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, Their Royal Highnesses joined the thousands of fans watching the sports at the venues and also meeting the athletes. They joined forces again in 2014 to witness the spectacular Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire, where they signalled the start of the race, and in 2015 supported Prince Harry in his role as President of the Rugby World Cup.
The Duchess is an enthusiastic tennis fan and has regularly attended the Wimbledon Championships, including the men's final in 2014 and 2016, and the semi-final in 2015. At the end of The Queen's 90th birthday year, in 2016, Her Majesty stepped down as Patron from a number of national organisations – at this time The Duchess of Cambridge became Patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) Wimbledon and the Lawn Tennis Association. The Duchess's first visit to The Championships as Patron of the AELTC was in July 2017.