BY Jon Niles, Mstarz reporter , Mstarz reporter | Apr 23, 2013 02:48 PM EDT
The very visibly pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, 31-year-old Kate Middleton, might be only three months away from her July due date, but that has not slowed her down in terms of her charitable responsibilities. Today Prince Williams' wife was showing off her baby bump at the Willows Primary School in Manchester, England, where she launched a new counseling program. This program will be on the behalf of her charities Action on Addiction, Place2Be, Comic Relief, and the Royal Foundation. Accompanied by comedian and Comic Relief ambassador John Bishop, Kate spoke to and met with students, faculty and volunteers. She even got to meet Henry, a King Charles spaniel, who had a special gift for Kate's pup, Lupo!
In the picture at the top of this page, you can see the exchange. Henry belongs to the Primary School's head teacher and was happy (his wagging tail tells all) to give the Duchess a dog hamper for Lupo. An onlooker reportedly said that Kate seemed "enamored" with Henry and thanked him by saying, "Henry! You shouldn't have gone to all this trouble for me!"
Kate met with counselors for the addiction charities and then toured the campus of the school. After that she gave her speech to the crowd:
"Addiction is a hugely complex and destructive disease, and its impact can be simply devastating. All too often, lives and families can be shattered by it."
"I have been struck by the profound and deeply damaging impact it has on the children of affected parents," the first-time-mother-to-be continued. "Last year I asked the Royal Foundation, which I share with [Princes] William and Harry, to see what could be done to help these children...Today it gives me an enormous feeling of pride and excitement to launch a program that will bring this research to life."
Catherine concluded her speech by saying: "The cycle of addiction needs to be broken -- my hope is that through this specialist and targeted care, these children will have the best possible start in life. The one that they deserve."
Afterwards, John Bishop gave his speech, saying that Kate was the "warm up act" for his jokes.
Then Kate went to the school's nursery where she was given a gift for her baby: a willow tree and a card entitled "What Does A Princess Do," which was made especially for her visit by the younger students.
Kate was then given a shovel to plant the willow tree. As photographers lifted their cameras to snap some photos, John Bishop announced, "There is a pregnant woman digging...how lazy do you want me to look?" He then took the shovel and performed the ceremonial honors himself.
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