It was announced today that The Duchess of Cambridge has taken over patronage of Family Action from The Queen, and the occasion was marked with an unannounced visit to a Christmas tree farm with children supported by the charity.
Kate was at Peterley Manor Farm with pre-school children for some festive activities today, including decoration making.
The event came after she attended the NATO reception at Buckingham Palace with The Queen.
Family Action provides support for families in need, so the organisation ties in well with the Duchess’ work with early years. They also offer childcare and counselling, to support for mental health issues, and grants for people in crisis; this is available alongside the National School Breakfast Programme, which feeds 300,000 children every school day.
She accompanied families, walking hand-in-hand with some youngsters, to pick out Christmas trees for the pre-schools that are supported by Family Action. Moving from tree to tree, The Duchess of Cambridge stood the Nordic firs upright asked for the children’s approval on them.
— Emily Nash (@emynash) December 4, 2019
Kate took over the patronage from The Queen, who has held the role for nearly 66 years! The Monarch was awarded the patronage after the death of Queen Mary in 1953, who had also held the position.
A statement from Kensington Palace said: “The Duchess of Cambridge has spent much of the last eight years meeting charities and organisations who work every day to make our families and communities stronger.
Her Majesty The Queen has passed the patronage to The Duchess having held the role for over 65 years. Her Majesty took the patronage over from Queen Mary in 1953.
@family_action was founded in 1869 to help families in difficulty by giving them practical help and support. pic.twitter.com/wQkYygrk9m
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 4, 2019
“There is a powerful correlation between a parent or carer’s wellbeing and their child’s development, which is why organisations such as Family Action that provide support are instrumental to a child’s future.
“This new patronage aligns with Her Royal Highness’ longstanding work on the early years, and the importance of supporting children and families during this seminal period of their lives.”
There was also a session on making decorations in the ‘elf workshop’ and even eco-friendly reindeer food!
Inside, the group also made hot chocolate, as the Duchess got to talk to members of the charity’s staff.
It isn’t the first time Catherine has been involved with the organisation; back in January, she helped launch the charity’s national support line, ‘Family Line”. She also took a tour of their garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in May.
CEO of Family Action, David Holmes CBE, said that the charity was ‘honoured’ by the appointment.
“Everyone at Family Action would like to extend our thanks to Her Majesty for her steadfast support and encouragement to us over so many years.
“I have seen The Duchess’s passionate support for disadvantaged families first hand and have been impressed by her leadership in understanding and promoting the vital importance of the Early Years.
“Family Action looks forward to working with The Duchess in the years to come.”