20 Mar

Written by Kristin on March 20, 2012

The Duchess of Cambridge gave her first public speech yesterday and formally opened The Treehouse in Ipswich, a new addition to the East Anglia Children’s Hospices.

The hospice, which provides a place for young people with life-threatening conditions to receive care and support services, is one of Kate’s official patronages. Looking appropriately sophisticated in a bright blue Reiss ‘Trina’ dress from 2008 paired with a black belt and black pumps, she toured the facility and visited with the children, participating in a music class and painting lesson.

In the speech, which was written by Kate, she spoke warmly about the organisation and its welcoming feel.

Far from being a clinical, depressing place for sick children, it was a home. Most importantly, it was a family home, a happy place of stability, support and care. It was a place of fun.”

The Duchess also expressed her wish that Prince William could have visited The Treehouse with her; he will be returning shortly from a six-week tour of duty in the Falkland Islands. Watch the entirety of Kate’s speech below, courtesy of ITN News.

Although it was widely reported that Kate wore her mother’s dress (Carole Middleton wore the frock to Ascot in 2010), or that Kate lent the dress to her mum, the difference in size between the two women perhaps suggests that they both own the same style.

If you’re looking for something similar, there’s unfortunately not much in the way of blue double-breasted dresses. But this “Damsel in a Dress” jersey jacket from John Lewis features somewhat of the same feel as Kate’s dress in a nice bright blue colour. It’s marked down to £104. Pair it with a wide black belt from Forever 21 (under 7 quid!) and your favourite black pumps and you’ll be channeling Kate!

Of course, fashion is fun, but giving back is more important. To make a donation to The Treehouse or purchase one of the purple-and-orange beaded bracelets the Duchess wore (proceeds support the hospice), visit their website.

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