When new mum Kate Middleton visited a children's hospice in Hampton, southeast England, she was full of motherly warmth.
With her caring hugs, fun-filled activities and her innate ability to mingle with kids, the Duchess of Cambridge brightened up the day of many severely sick children at the Shooting Star House children's hospice, a charity providing respite care to children with life-limiting conditions.
The 31-year-old Duchess, who became a mother for the first time after giving birth to Prince George in July, toured the facilities at the hospice and met the representatives of its 650 volunteers.
Kate Middleton joined a music therapy session for the children, took part in an arts and crafts activity and entertained children with a frog puppet.
Catherine also extended emotional support to the parents who lost their one-year-old girl and five-year-old son to spinal muscular atrophy.
"We are honoured to have welcomed Her Royal Highness to Shooting Star House. The Duchess is a committed supporter of children's hospices and showed great knowledge about our vital work supporting children with life-limiting conditions and their families," chief executive of the hospice, David Burland, said.
A Kensington Palace spokesperson said that Kate's visit to the hospice was a part of her own foundation's plans to encourage volunteers in children's hospitals. Children are one of the key areas of focus of the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, which was established in 2009.
During her visit, Kate learnt about the working of volunteers and how they support the hospices and the palliative care network.
Kate Middleton Mentions George Again
Prince George is always on his mum's mind. The Duchess has often spoken about the little royal baby at her public engagements and the hospice visit in Hampton was no exception when Kate revealed that she has introduced George to messy play.
"She (Kate) asked me about my boys and how we use Shooting Star CHASE and I told her how they like messy play. She said she has just introduced George to messy play and what fun it was," Louise a mother at the charity said.
She added: "Kate was so sweet, absolutely lovely and she really puts you at ease because obviously you are a little tense to meet someone so important. She was down to earth but had a real aura about her."