The Duchess of Cambridge has become royal patron of the charity Family Action and is celebrating her new role with a festive visit to a Christmas tree farm.
The Queen, who is 93, has passed on the patronage, which she has held for more than 65 years, to her granddaughter-in-law, Kensington Palace announced.
To mark the occasion, Kate visited Peterley Manor Farm in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, where she joined families and children supported by Family Action for Christmas activities.
At the previously unannounced engagement, the duchess helped youngsters in the farm’s Elves Enchanted Forest, where the children were making decorations and eco-friendly reindeer food.
Kate and the families also went outside to pick Christmas trees for Family Action pre-schools.
The duchess’s new patronage fits in with her charity work focusing on early years and the importance of supporting children and families during this crucial time.
Family Action, which works with vulnerable or disadvantaged children, was founded in 1869 to help families in difficulty by giving them practical help.
It now supports families with issues such as financial hardship, mental health and emotional well-being, social isolation, parenting challenges, domestic abuse, and substance misuse.
Kate – mother to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – visited Family Action’s base in Lewisham, south-east London, in January 2019 and launched its national support line, FamilyLine.
The Duchess listened to an expert coaching session for the new FamilyLine, which was focused on perinatal mental health and asked @family_action volunteers about their training. pic.twitter.com/skQ3YIj2Jf— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 22, 2019
She also spent time at Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in north London, where the charity provides services, in 2017.
The charity’s chief executive, David Holmes, said: “Everyone at Family Action would like to extend our thanks to Her Majesty for her steadfast support and encouragement to us over so many years.
“I have seen the duchess’s passionate support for disadvantaged families first hand and have been impressed by her leadership in understanding and promoting the vital importance of the Early Years.
“Family Action looks forward to working with the duchess in the years to come.”
This year marks the charity’s 150th anniversary.