Essex: Kate Supports Hospices

The Duchess of Cambridge has announced she has become patron of four groups, including East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

Kate has accepted honorary positions with a range of charities and bodies that tackle issues from drug and alcohol addiction to children with behavioural problems and other areas of importance.

The royal is now royal patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), which cares for seriously ill young people from Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. She has also become patron of Action on Addiction, the National Portrait Gallery, and The Art Room, said St James's Palace.

The Duchess, who turns 30 on Monday, will also become a volunteer with the Scout Association, joining activities privately with groups in north Wales and other areas.

The organisations were personally chosen by Kate and reflect her interests and issues she wants to highlight.

EACH Chief Executive Graham Butland said: "EACH is honoured and extremely proud to have The Duchess of Cambridge as Royal Patron.

Having our work recognised in this way is not only a tribute to our staff and supporters, but a huge boost for the children, young people and families receiving our care and support."

St James's Palace added in a statement: "The Duchess' first patronages and her volunteer position reflect her royal highness' personal interests in the arts, the promotion of outdoor activity, and supporting people who are in need of all ages, especially young children.''

It added: "The Duchess has chosen to support organisations that complement the charitable work already undertaken by her husband."