Kate 'keen to learn' about addiction on charity visit ahead of Christmas

The Duchess of Cambridge is keeping busy with charity work ahead of Christmas, at which time Prince William revealed she's sure to have her hands full at home. After a busy day on Wednesday (Dec. 9) playing trader to raise funds for ICAP – and doing a little flirting for the cause – Kate popped by one of her favourite organizations outside of London.

As patron of Action on Addiction, Kate visited the charity's Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies in Warminster, Wiltshire.

The duchess has been focusing her autumn engagements on foster care and mental health in young people, but on Thursday's visit she chose to highlight another issue close to her heart – supporting those who struggle with addiction.


Kate wrapped up in a houndstooth Reiss coat.

Making her much-awaited arrival, Kate, 33, showed off her sartorial prowess in a houndstooth Reiss coat and an Emilia Wickstead dress.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte's mom was also showing off her new shorter haircut, which she debuted at Wednesday's engagement.

During her visit to the centre, Kate saw how the facility provides training, education and professional development for those working with addicts, including social workers, nurses and prison officers.

The duchess is visiting the charity's Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies.

She heard from course tutors and examiners and learned about their training before joining a ceremony to celebrate the graduation of students from the Foundation and Honours degree programs accredited by the University of Bath.

The centre, in partnership with the university, trains addiction counsellors to a higher standard than ever before. So far, 200 people have graduated from the centre; more than 60 per cent of students have disclosed either a family connection or declared themselves in recovery.

"She's very keen to learn," said outgoing chief executive of the charity Nick Barton.

"What's always struck me is she's very keen to learn," Nick Barton, outgoing chief executive of the charity, said of the duchess.

"You can tell from the quality of her questions. She's hearing from students for a session to hear about why she chose this course and what good it's been for them and what it's going to do for them. She's genuinely interested, which is great."

Kate congratulated students who have graduated from their university course in addiction counselling.

Kate also received an update on the local M-PACT programs, which take a whole-family approach to tackling substance misuse. The duchess met families and participants and heard about how the charity supports the children of addicted parents.

The royal's last engagement with Action on Addiction was in September, when Kate visited a women's prison in Surrey. The duchess met inmates who are battling addictions to drugs and alcohol and later said she was "grateful" to the women "for sharing their difficult personal stories."

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