The Duchess of Cambridge has become the new Royal Patron of Family Action, assuming the position as The Queen has passed it on after 65 years in the role.
The news came as Kate made an unannounced visit to Peterley Manor Farm in Buckinghamshire for holiday fun with children and families who are supported by the charity.
The Royal Family website announced the news this morning, saying in a statement that:
“The Duchess of Cambridge has spent much of the last eight years meeting charities and organisations who work every day to make our families and communities stronger. There is a powerful correlation between a parent or carer’s wellbeing and their child’s development, which is why organisations such as Family Action that provide support are instrumental to a child’s future. This new patronage aligns with Her Royal Highness’ longstanding work on the early years, and the importance of supporting children and families during this seminal period of their lives.”
Family Action’s Chief Executive David Holmes CBE was quoted in the statement saying that the charity was honoured to welcome Kate as its new patron.
“I have seen The Duchess’s passionate support for disadvantaged families firsthand and have been impressed by her leadership in understanding and promoting the vital importance of the Early Years,” said Holmes.
“Family Action looks forward to working with The Duchess in the years to come.”
Holmes is also a member of the Duchess’s steering group that will inform her Early Years initiative through the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. More details on this initiative are due to be announced before the new year, according to the Royal Foundation’s website.
Family Action was founded in 1869 and “works to tackle some of the most complex and difficult issues facing families today – including financial hardship, mental health problems, social isolation, learning disabilities, domestic abuse, or substance misuse and alcohol problems,” per its official website.
Their Early Years work includes working “with parents and the wider family from before conception until their child is ready to go to school. The services we provide include Perinatal Support Services, Children’s Centres and Early Years Childcare Services. We believe that every child has the right to the best possible start in life and that every family should be supported to enable their children to reach their full potential.”
The Queen had been patron of Family Action since 1953 and had herself taken over from her grandmother Queen Mary.
“Her Royal Highness follows on from Her Majesty The Queen, who was our Royal Patron for more than 65 years. Everyone at Family Action would like to extend our thanks to Her Majesty for her steadfast support and encouragement to us over so many years,” said Holmes.
Family Action’s Chair of Trustees, Mary Fulton, said in a statement on the Family Action website, “We are honoured that The Duchess has chosen to support Family Action’s work by becoming our Royal Patron.”
Kate has previously attended events in support of Family Action, including visiting the Lewisham location in January of this year to launch FamilyLine, a national support line, and to celebrate its 150th anniversary; and visiting the charity’s ‘Family Monsters Garden’ display at the Chelsea Flower Show this past May.
During her visit to Peterley Manor Farm, Kate joined in on Christmas activities at the Elves Enchanted Forest, which included decoration making, preparing eco-friendly reindeer food, and choosing Christmas trees.
“Her keen interest, particularly in the Early Years, fits well with Family Action’s provision of high quality perinatal mental health services, pre-schools and Children’s Centres across the country.”