Kate Middleton praises hospice during first overseas speech in Malaysia

The Duchess of Cambridge took to the podium at a hospice in Malaysia today, where she gave her first overseas speech as a working member of the Royal Family.

Kate, 30, looked cool and confident as she spoke at Hospis Malaysia, praising the “life-changing” work carried out by the centre.

Prince William proudly looked on as his wife spoke of the importance of palliative care, something which she has viewed first hand through her role as a patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

Addressing the audience through a PA system, the Duchess spoke slowly but confidently as she spoke to the assembled crowd.

She said: "Through this patronage, I have learned that delivering the best possible palliative care to children is vital.

"Providing children and their families with a place of support, care and enhancement at a time of great need is simply life changing.”

The Duchess continued: "With effective palliative care lives can be transformed. Treatment, support, care and advice can provide a lifeline to families at a time of great need."

All eyes were on Kate – now referred to officially as Catherine – as she gave the talk today, a move that is indicative of the more central role she is beginning to adopt within the Royal Family.

Fittingly, the Duchess’s first ever public speech as a Royal was also given at another hospice, The Treehouse in Ispwich, Suffolk in March – proving how highly Kate deems the care of terminally ill patients to be.

Wearing the duck egg blue Jenny Packham dress - which she also had on during a visit to Singapore’s Kranji Commonwealth War Cemetery earlier today – Kate looked suitably demure for her hospice visit.

Tonight the Duke and Duchess will continue their tour on behalf of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, as they attend a dinner hosted by His Majesty The Agong at his official residence, the Istana Negara, in Kuala Lumpur (which is seven hours ahead of UK time).

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