Duchess of Cambridge secretly meets with recovering drug addicts and alcoholics as William leaves for The Falklands


Duchess of Cambridge secretly meets with recovering drug addicts and alcoholics as William leaves for The Falklands

Kate today confirmed she will strike out on her own as a working member of the Royal Family

Kate spent several hours speaking with drug addicts and alcoholics at the Action on Addiction headquarters

The Duchess of Cambridge spent several hours speaking with drug addicts and alcoholics yesterday, it has been revealed.

As her husband left for a six-week tour of duty in The Falklands, Kate went on a 'private' visit to the Action on Addiction headquarters in Wiltshire.

It is one of four charities she has become patron of, and St James’s
Palace said the appointment went unannounced as the Duchess wants to
gain further insight into the charity's work before carrying out public
engagements.

It has been announced that
she will make an official visit to another Action on Addiction project,
the non-alcoholic Brink bar which treats recovering alcoholics in
Liverpool, on February 14.

The remainder of the day will be spent nearby ay the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

A Royal source said that the
Duchess had spent yesterday at Clouds House, a treatment clinic situated
next to Action on Addiction’s head office in East Knoyle, near
Salisbury.

During the day she met people being
treated for various forms of addiction from drug abuse to shopping and
spoke with charity staff.

Other 'under the radar' trips are set
to follow as the Duchess tries to gain an understanding of the
charities she has chosen to support.

A spokesperson for St James’s Palace said: 'The Duchess will continue to use her time to get to know people at the charity.

'You can’t learn everything there is to know in one day, you have to keep going back to gain an in-depth understanding.'

As
revealed by the Mail last month, Kate's first solo engagement will be a visit to
the National Portrait Gallery’s Lucian Freud exhibition next Wednesday
followed by an ‘away day’ in Liverpool the following week.

Clouds House in Wiltshire has been helping people with addictions for 25 years

Clouds House in Wiltshire has been helping people with addictions for 25 years

During the day Kate met people being treated for various forms of addiction

During the day Kate met people being treated for various forms of addiction

Former
history of art student Kate, who last month became patron of the
central London gallery, will attend a private viewing of work by the
late Lucian Freud, featuring the artist’s most important portraits from
the 1940’s right through to the one he was painting shortly before his
death in July 2011.

With over 100 paintings and works on
paper loaned from museums and private collections throughout the world,
Lucian Freud Portraits is the result of many years planning by the
gallery in close partnership with the late artist himself.

Sitters represented in the exhibition
include family members, particularly his mother Lucie, and artists such
as Francis Bacon and David Hockney.

It also includes his famous nude portraits of Sue Tilley ‘Benefits Supervisor’.

National Portrait

Kate will visit the National Portrait Gallery’s
Lucian Freud exhibition next Wednesday

Loans have been drawn from private collections and museums worldwide including Tate and MOMA New York.

As she will be spending her first
Valentine’s Day as a married woman alone, the Duchess has decided to
fill February 14 with a visit to Liverpool in support of charities,
starting with The Brink – an alcohol-free bar linked to Action on
Addiction, of which she became patron of last month.

The bar is social enterprise run
primarily to help people recovering from drink and drug addiction as
well as providing a social outlet for those not wishing to engage in
alcohol.

The Brink is also a
means for those in recovery to re-enter the workforce. Three quarters
of the staff are recovering alcoholic or drug addicts and all profits
from the bar are re-invested in other Action on Addiction recovery
projects in Merseyside.

Lucien Freud

Loans have been drawn from private collections and museums worldwide including Tate and MOMA New York

Ronald McDonald

Kate will also visit Ronald McDonald House at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

She
will then go onto Ronald McDonald House at Alder Hey Children’s
Hospital where she will meet staff and families who use the service,
which provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation, enabling
parents to stay close to their child and maintain a degree of normal
family life.

Many of
the youngsters concerned are critically ill and suffering from cancer,
heart conditions or are in hospital as a result of serious accidents.

Kate will also officially open one of the new apartments – one of her first royal ribbon cuttings.

She will finish her day with a tour of the hospital’s facilities, including the oncology and burns units.

Alder
Hey is one of Europe’s biggest and busiest children’s hospitals
providing care for over 200,000 children and young people each year.

It is the designated national centre
for head and face surgery as well as a Centre of Excellence for children
with cancer, heart, spinal and brain disease.

/02/02/article-0-1190E569000005DC-734_468x620.jpg” width=”468″ height=”620″ alt=”Kate, at er first solo engagement as a member of the Royal Family, standing in for her father-in-law, Prince Charles, at Clarence House in November” class=”blkBorder” />

Kate, pictured at her first solo engagement standing in for Prince Charles at Clarence House in November

Prince William opened its MRI facility during a visit to the hospital in February 2010.

A
royal aide said the Duchess, who has not conducted any solo engagements
since her marriage last April, was looking forward to the visit
immensely.

‘With her husband away, it is a perfect opportunity for her to strike out on her own,’ they said.

Prince William flew out to the Falklands on Wednesday night for a six-week deployment with his RAF Search and Rescue unit.