Kate Middleton comes to town

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Duchess Catherine greets the crowds © Alder Hey

Despite it being her first Valentine’s Day as a married woman, Kate Middleton spent it thousands of miles away from Prince William, as she visited Liverpool in one of her first solo public engagements.

Crowds of people gathered to catch a glimpse of the Duchess of Cambridge as she arrived at the city’s non-alcoholic bar, The Brink, at the start of her visit. Cheers and applause could be heard from the locals as The Duchess made her way into the bar on Parr Street, which was set up in support of Action on Addiction, a charity of which Kate is a patron.

Inside The Brink, the 30-year-old watched as a staff member prepared a special, non-alcoholic cocktail made in her honour, fittingly named ‘The Duchess’, before sipping the drink and commenting on how nice it tasted.

It was a special day for the staff members at The Brink, of whom three quarters are recovering alcoholics or drug addicts, as Kate chatted with them about the work the charity does and the bar itself. Among the staff were also supporters of
the charity, and she also spent time talking and laughing with them.

Kate’s next stop was Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in West Derby, where she was greeted again by huge crowds of locals desperate to speak to her or present her with flowers.

While inside Alder Hey, Kate chatted to parents and patients who are currently receiving treatment at the hospital.

She left a big impression on Elliot Casey, a 12-year-old boy currently receiving treatment in the hospital’s oncology unit.

Not only did Elliot get to speak to Katherine, which put a huge smile on his face, he was also lucky enough to find out a royal secret; the name of William and Kate’s new Cocker Spaniel puppy that has been kept from the media spotlight. Elliot promised Katherine he would not tell anyone the mystery name.

Kate chatted with hospital staff © Alder Hey

Louise Shepherd, Chief Executive of Alder Hey, told JMU Journalism what Kate’s visit meant to the hospital: “We were incredibly proud to welcome The Duchess to Alder Hey on what was her first solo visit. It was a truly memorable day for our staff, patients and families.

“The atmosphere was incredible and it was amazing to see so many people there waving flags as she arrived. Thank you to everyone who braved the cold and joined us in making it such a special day.”

After speaking with the patients, their families and staff members, Kate officially opened a new section of the Ronald McDonald House, which provides accommodation for families whose children are receiving ongoing treatment at the hospital.

Valentine’s Day may have been difficult for Kate with Prince William away on duty with the RAF in the Falkland islands, but she certainly felt the love from the people of Liverpool this February 14th.

About Sophie Fairclough, Deputy Website Editor