Kate Middleton may have been accused by novelist Hilary Mantel of being a ‘plastic princess,’ but yesterday, she showed a side of herself that suggests otherwise. The Mirror reports that the Duchess of Cambridge chaired a meeting at St. James’ Palace, discussing the work of the East Anglia Children’s Hospice charity, of which she became a patron last January. There were also representatives from other organisations present.

The last few weeks have been a troublesome time for Kate Middleton, as photos of herself in swimwear, revealing her pregnant belly, whilst she was holidaying with Prince William were published in an Italian gossip magazine. Add to this the furore, as she unwittingly got caught up in the Hilary Mantel controversy and it really hasn’t been an easy few weeks for the Duchess. However, she appears to be focusing on her charitable work, which will serve as a welcome and rewarding distraction from the tabloid gossip.

Kate first made a speech about the East Anglia Children’s Hospice (EACH) last March, in which she described the charity as a “lifeline.” Addressing the hospice workers, she said “The feelings you inspire - feelings of love and of hope - offer a chance to families to live a life they never thought could be possible.” In her first tour of the Far East, Kate chose the subject of palliative care for the young in Malaysia, where she spoke at Hospice Malaysia. It is expected that the Duchess will take on three or four further patronages, which will shortly be announced. 

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton chaired a meeting for the children's hospice charity of which she is a patron