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Duchess hands out Scouting honours

The Duchess of Cambridge has honoured the high achievements of hundreds of Scouts at Windsor Castle.

Kate, 31, beamed after being greeted at the National Review of Queen's Scouts at the royal castle in Berkshire by Chief Scout, adventurer and TV star Bear Grylls. Four hundred youngsters and their families from across the UK and around the Commonwealth flocked to the prestigious annual celebration.

Pregnant Kate hid her growing baby bump dressed in a light green Mulberry coat. Despite being around six months pregnant, the royal is increasing her charitable workload and is now patron of seven organisations as well as being a volunteer with the Scout Association.

Grylls - who became the UK's youngest Chief Scout in 2009 aged 34 - said Kate was an "incredible role model" who helped show that Scouting was not just for boys. Since Kate joined the Scouts last year, more than 2,800 new adult volunteers have joined up - the second biggest rise since 1986.

Last year, the Queen - who was celebrating her 87th birthday on Sunday privately - honoured Scouts at Windsor.

Most of the youngsters received Queen's Scouts awards on Sunday - the highest a Scout can gain - for achievements including carrying out regular community service for a year. It is also handed out to those aged 16 and 25 who have learned new skills, completed a four-day expedition in unknown terrain, taken part in a residential project and shared what they learned with their peers.

During the day, Kate also met youngsters who had received gallantry awards after being nominated for their bravery and heroism in their everyday lives.

The annual celebration at Windsor Castle dates back 80 years, with tens of thousands of young men and women being honoured during that time with a King's or Queen's Scout Award for their outstanding personal achievements.

Grylls said: "The Duchess is an incredible role model and she helps us show that Scouting's not just for boys. She's also such a generous volunteer and everyone is so excited to have her in the Scouting family. Many people have followed her lead and are getting involved and enjoying the adventure."

After the Scout review, Kate attended the National Scout Service at St George's Chapel within the castle grounds.


From Belfast Telegraph