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Princess Kate makes surprise appearance on Children in Need

 The Princess of Wales opened the star-studded TV appeal

The Princess of Wales on BBC Children In Need
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The Princess of Wales made a very special appearance on Children in Need on Friday evening.

Mum-of-three Kate, 41, opened the star-studded show with a very important message.

Talking directly to the camera, the Princess highlighted the work of the long-running charity, saying "it is vital that we nurture every childhood".

Wearing a Lisou Betty Blue rainbow-printed shirt, Kate said: "Tonight is all about helping to support, champion and empower all children to be the very best they can be, which is crucial for their future health and happiness."

WATCH: Princess Kate opens Children in Need with video message

She continued: "Our relationships, surroundings and experiences during the earliest years lay the foundations that shape the rest of our lives. And yet sadly, we know that for too many people, stressful and traumatic situations in early childhood can cause harm and it can take many years to overcome.

"It is vital, therefore, that we nurture every childhood and why the sorts of projects supported by Children in Need are so important. They help the very youngest, most vulnerable members of our society feel safe, secure and loved in these important, formative years, so that they can enjoy their childhoods now, and grow to reach their potential and thrive in the world in later life."

The Princess ended her message with: "I hope you enjoy this evening’s show and best of luck to all those taking part in challenges and the incredible fundraising effort."

Kate's TV appearance comes after she delivered a keynote speech at The Shaping Us National Symposium at The Design Museum in London on Wednesday, where she emphasised that she cares "deeply about making a positive difference, in helping the most vulnerable and supporting those who are most in need".

Kate Middleton delivers speech at Shaping Us National Symposium at Design Museum© Getty
Kate called for change at the Shaping Us National Symposium

She added: "This is not just about the youngest children in our society, who are, by their very nature, vulnerable. It is also about the many young people and adults who are suffering.

"We must do more than simply meet the short term needs of these individuals. We must also look at creating long term, preventative change. And that takes us right back to the beginning."

The Princess launched The Shaping Us campaign in January, which aims to highlight the significance of the formative years of a child's life.

What is Children in Need?

Children In Need presenters Jason Manford, Ade Adepitan, Alex Scott, Chris Ramsey, Lenny Rush and Mel Giedroyc© BBC
Children In Need presenters Jason Manford, Ade Adepitan, Alex Scott, Chris Ramsey, Lenny Rush and Mel Giedroyc

Children in Need is a charity, set up by the BBC in 1980, to raise money for disadvantaged children and young people.

Since its first major appeal more than 40 years ago, it has raised more than £1billion.

The organisation's iconic mascot is a yellow bear named Pudsey Bear.

This year's show, hosted by Ade Adepitan, Mel Giedroyc, Jason Manford, Chris Ramsey, Lenny Rush and Alex Scott, featured a Doctor Who special and well-known TV characters for the Race Across Yorkshire challenge.

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