With Prince William attending the funeral of his beloved former nanny, Olga Powell, it was up to the people of Newcastle to make his Duchess feel at ease during her tour of the area – and locals certainly didn't disappoint with their warm Northern welcome. Kate's action packed day of engagements – with four separate visits in total – got off to a fabulous start as groups of cheering people lined her route to the entrance of Newcastle's Civic Centre.
Young Terry Campbell, 10, made her day when he stretched his arms open for a big hug. Kate naturally obliged and the pair shared a giggle after their impromptu greeting. Smiling from ear to ear after his embrace with the future Queen, Terry said: "I really like Kate, she is really nice, I am so happy to have had a hug from her. "She didn't say anything to me she just gave me a very big hug." His cheeky school friend interrupted: "The one thing he really wanted though was a kiss."
As well as her young fan's affection, the Duchess may have found some comfort in her sartorial choice, swathed in the same burgundy coat she wore for her first royal Christmas at Sandringham. Inside the civic centre, Kate met with Olympic Games volunteers, torchbearers and pupils from the Percy Hedley Foundation – a charity that provides services for disabled children and their families.
Later in the day, she took advantage of the bright autumn afternoon on a walkabout at Elswick Park where thousands clamoured to get a glimpse of the raven-haired beauty. School children presented their "delighted" VIP visitor with home made royal strawberry jam and apple chutney as she surveyed a community garden in the Park.Powering on through her action-packed itinerary, Kate's Bentley wove through the packed streets towards Gateshead, where she was offered a reminder of her glorious wedding. In the borough, the Duchess called in on Keyfund at Gateshead Youth Council – one of the charities chosen to benefit from the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund.
The royal met youths who have been supported by the organisation, which helps young people reach their full potential and invests in their ideas using Dragons' Den style mentoring. "It was such a wonderful surprise when we were selected as one of the royal couple's wedding charities, and something we are very proud of," chief executive Hannah Underwood said. "We are so honoured and excited to show off the amazing things our young people have achieved."
As her last act, the Duchess was due to end her day in Stockton with a cause close to her heart – overcoming substance abuse. Kate – who became patron for Action on Addiction earlier this year – was expected at CRI Stockton Recovery Service to talk with families battling the effects of drug use.