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Duchess Kate bonds with youngsters on visit to north London school

July 1, 2014
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The Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, won hearts as she paid a visit to a north London school on Tuesday morning. Kate, 32, was seen arriving at the Blessed Sacrament School in Islington with comedian John Bishop. The pair had launched a charity project in Manchester last year – the M-PACT Plus (Moving Parents and Children Together) – which offers support to schoolchildren who have been affected by a parent or parents' drug or alcohol addiction.

Kate Middleton© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge

Looking elegant as ever, Kate stunned in a coral pink dress made by British designer Goat. The mum-of-one scooped half of her trademark glossy locks up and completed her summery look with her favourite nude court heels. Excitement mounted as Kate made her entrance. Youngsters and teachers gave their royal visitor a warm welcome, waving St George's Cross flags and beaming widely.

One lucky schoolgirl was given the task of presenting the Duchess with a beautiful bouquet of pink flowers, while student Rosie Nee gifted Kate an abstract portrait of herself and baby Prince George in the style of Picasso. Before making her way inside the school, Kate bent down to speak to some of the youngest pupils. She was particularly charmed by one four-year-old boy who answered that "lunchtime" was his favourite part of the school day.

© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge was greeted by scores of young schoolchildren

The M-PACT Plus programme is run by charities Place2Be and Action on Addiction, both of which Kate is royal patron. Funding has come from Comic Relief, of which comedian John is an ambassador, and the Royal Foundation, set up by the Duchess, her husband Prince William and her brother-in-law Prince Harry. On her visit, Kate learned about how much progress had been made by the school's head teacher and project staff, as well as sitting on a counselling session. The Duchess has previously spoken about her desire to help children affected by their parents' addiction problems, when she visited the Willows Primary School in Manchester last year, also companied by John.

© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge is royal patron of charities Place2Be and Action on Addiction

"Last year I asked The Royal Foundation, which I share with William and Harry, what could be done to help these children in partnership with our foundation, Comic Relief work, to explore this issue," said Kate. "Today it gives me an enormous feeling of pride and excitement to launch a programme that will bring this research to life." "Addiction is a hugely complex and destructive disease and its impact can be simply devastating," she added. "All too often, lives and families can be shattered by it. My hope is that through this specialist and targeted delivery of care, these children will have the best possible start in life - the one that they deserve." The programme is currently being piloted in London, Essex, Manchester and Salford and areas of the north east, with the hope that it will be rolled out across the country.

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