Duchess Kate speaks passionately about her addictions advocacy in rare speech

By Meaghan Wray

When Duchess Kate speaks, people listen. On Wednesday (June 12) evening, the mom of three took to the podium to make a rare speech in connection with Addiction Awareness Week, and expressed her passion for the cause.

The week is dedicated to fostering discussion about how people can better support individuals and families affected by various forms of addiction.

“Action on Addiction was one of my very first patronages, and as such, it is very close to my heart,” Kate began.

The 37-year-old became patron of the charity, which works to disarm addiction through research, prevention, treatment, family support, professional education and training, in 2012.

Duchess Kate addressed the audience that gathered at Phillips Gallery in London. Photo: © Ian Vogler - WPA Pool/Getty Images

“I’m hugely passionate about the support it provides, especially for parents, children and families who suffer from, or through, addiction. And in some ways, it was the catalyst for my interest in early childhood development too,” she continued. “For the last few years, I’ve been focusing on the importance of prevention: How can we all really support the earliest years of life, build foundations, and help avoid adversity later on in life.”

The Duchess of Cambridge pointing out for many addicts, their problems can be connected back to childhood

“Having met so many people who’ve suffered from addiction, I have seen over and over again that, sadly, the root cause can so often be traced right back to the very earliest years of someone’s life,” she said. “Trauma experienced in early childhood, in some cases, as a result of separation, abandonment, abuse, or even emotional neglect, can have a lasting effect.”

Kate recycled her gorgeous cream Barbara Casasola dress for the occasion. Photo: © Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince William’s wife knows well the importance of supporting children and youth mental wellbeing, as well as maternal health. In 2017, she joined her husband and brother-in-law Prince Harry in spearheading the mental health campaign Heads Together, which has now partnered with eight mental health initiatives, including Place2Be, which is one of her patronages.

She finished her speech with a call to action.

“This evening’s dinner not only marks Addiction Awareness Week, but it also provides an opportunity for us all to remember the vital work being done to help all those affected by addiction feel able to access help, hope and freedom from their addiction,” she said. “There was never a more important time for Action on Addiction to succeed. And I, for one, could not be more delighted to support such a special organization.”

Don't miss a beat with HELLO! Canada's Daily Hits newsletter, your daily dose of royal and celebrity news, fashion, weddings and more. CLICK HERE to sign up for free!