Choosing patronage of an addiction charity as one of her first official roles, the Duchess of Cambridge is following in the footsteps of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who became Patron of Turning Point in 1985.
The Duchess of Cambridge as patron of Action on Addiction met recovering drug addicts and alcoholics when she paid a secret visit to a treatment facility.
The Duchess spent several hours at the headquarters of Action on Addiction, one of the four charities of which she is Patron.
The ‘private’ visit was not announced by St James’s Palace, as the Duchess wants to gain an in-depth understanding of the charity’s work before she carries out any public engagements to raise its profile.
St.James’s Palace announced that the Duchess will make a public visit to another Action on Addiction project, the non-alcoholic Brink bar in Liverpool, on Feb 14 and she is expected to meet recovering alcoholics at the bar, a treatment center in the city run by Action on Addiction.
The Duchess will spend the remainder of Valentine’s Day visiting Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.
A Royal source said the Duchess had spent “several hours” yesterday at Clouds House, a treatment center set in several acres of parkland next to Action on Addiction’s head office in East Knoyle, near Salisbury, Wilts.
The clinic offers treatment for addiction to everything from drugs, cigarettes and alcohol to gambling, sex and shopping.
During her visit to Clouds House the Duchess, 30, met the charity’s staff and people being treated for various forms of addiction.
Clouds House uses a 12-step recovery program based on total abstinence to treat people for their addictions.
In-patients also take part in creative workshops such as painting, writing, drumming and drama as part of a group therapy scheme.
St. James’s Palace has also announced that the Duchess’s first solo engagement will be next Wednesday, when she visits the National Portrait Gallery in London, of which she is Patron, to view an exhibition of Lucian Freud paintings.
Although the Duchess only announced her patronage of the charity last month, she made another private visit to one of its clinics, the women-only Hope House in Clapham, south London, in October.
It was one of a series of “under the radar” trips to good causes to help her choose those she would support as she carves out her own role as a working member of the Royal family.