Kate brings joy to families and sick children at Ronald McDonald house
Kate brought her typical warmth and kindness to a very special engagement on Tuesday morning. The mum-of-two visited Ronald McDonald House Evelina London where she opened their new house for sick children and their families. The accommodation has been designed as a 'home away from home', offering comfort to the young patients who are being treated at Evelina London Children's Hospital.
Kate, who attended a lavish reception at Buckingham Palace with her husband Prince William and the Queen on Monday night, continued her stylish streak wearing a blue Rebecca Taylor suit. The Duchess was greeted by Ronald McDonald staff and eight-year-old Isabelle Randall, whose brother Luke, six, is being treated at the hospital. Isabelle presented Kate with a small posey. The charity had pulled out all the stops for their royal guest of honour. Cupcakes had been made in preparation for Kate's visit, while a beautiful display of cards and fresh flowers had also been set up in the house.
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Kate visited the new Ronald McDonald house
Kate, 35, was given a tour of the house and introduced to children and families who are currently benefitting from its facilities and services. She met baby Mia Mifsud, who is almost eight months old and suffered double renal failure. The little tot needs dialysis every night. Kate also cooed over newborn Jack, who was born with a half a heart and has defied all odds by surviving several operations. His parents, who live in Glasgow, now have the chance to stay with him while he is treated in London. Just a five minute walk to the Evelina London, the house helps families remain as close as possible to their child.
The new accommodation has 59 rooms where families can stay free of charge for as long as they need to, while their child is in hospital. The facility is equipped with kitchens, playrooms and laundry facilities, and has communal lounges so that families can feel at home. Kate also stopped by the kitchen, where children were taking part in an arts and crafts activity and decorating pancakes for Pancake Day.
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Before leaving, Kate attended a short reception in the Day Room, and unveiled a plaque to mark the house's official opening. The £13m house is expected to accommodate around 975 families each year. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust made a significant contribution to the cost of the build, while Guy's and St Thomas' Charity provided the land. The house is one of 14 in the UK that are all run by Ronald McDonald House Charities, an independent charity founded in 1989. Over 7,000 families a year use their services.