What Kate Middleton did on the eve of her 38th birthday

Duchess Kate returned to work

The Duchess of Cambridge resumed her royal duties this week, following her break during the Christmas period. According to the Court Circular, Kate, who turned 38 on 9 January, held an Early Years meeting at Kensington Palace on Wednesday morning.


WATCH: Kate celebrates her 38th birthday

One of the Duchess' key focuses within her work has been supporting children and in 2018, it was announced that she had convened a steering group of experts for a lifelong project. Kate has enlisted the help of practitioners, academics and charities to highlight the importance of early intervention and according to the Royal Foundation's website, "to develop a significant new body of work that will ultimately support all efforts to provide children with the best possible start in life".

READ: Prince William and Kate Middleton's first joint engagements of 2020 revealed

William and Kate in Sandringham

The Duke of Cambridge also took part in a previously unannounced engagement on Wednesday. Prince William, 37, joined a roundtable discussion on climate change with commissioning editors from the BBC, Channel 4, Sky and ITV.

William and Kate are due to carry out their first joint engagements of the year, travelling to Bradford on Wednesday 15 January to visit a number of projects which support the community. They will also host a reception, on behalf of the Queen, at Buckingham Palace to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit on Monday 20 January.

MORE: Fans react with shock to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step down from royal duties

On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex also announced they're stepping back as senior members of the royal family and revealed they plan to become financially independent and will split their time between the UK and North America.

Buckingham Palace released a statement from the Queen shortly after Prince Harry and Meghan's news, which read: "Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."

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