Kate visits Naomi House Children's Hospice
James Whatling/Splash News Online
04/29/2013 at 11:00 AM EDT
Two years ago, Kate Middleton
was becoming the Duchess of Cambridge, marrying Prince William
in a ceremony watched by millions
On her anniversary she immersed herself in a less-ceremonial undertaking, but one close to her heart
– visiting Naomi House Children's Hospice for tea.
William, 30, meanwhile, was on duty with his helicopter search and rescue squadron at RAF Valley in north Wales.
Kate, 31, wore a peach colored coat by Tara Jarmon over a muted peach dress with her favorite cream colored LK Bennett heels. At the door she met 8-year-old Sally Evans, who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy.
"She wished her happy anniversary and thanked her for choosing to come," Sally's mother Sarah says of her daughter's interaction with Kate, who asked what activities Sally likes at the center. "[Kate] is so down-to-earth and friendly with the children."
Graham Butland, chief executive of Kate's charity, East Anglia Children's Hospice, was among the guests. "She's so natural with everyone. One advantage of not being born royal is that you are natural – and she has not lost that. She is able to communicate with people at all levels," he says. "She is going to be a great mum, no doubt about that."
Sally visits the center for respite care 16 days a year. While she and the other children were excited to meet Kate, there were nerves, too – which Kate immediately calmed. "She makes them feel so at home," he adds. "They ask questions and it goes from there."
It was the latest event in a busy period that has seen her undertake several royal engagements. Just Sunday, she released her first video message
for national Hospice Week.
But Kate's anniversary didn't go without recognition entirely.
Hospice chairman, professor Khalid Aziz, presented her with a picture of the main character from the children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar
made from felt and paper. The image was made by children from the Naomi House.
"We thought we'd give you something not only to say thank you for being here but something to commemorate your anniversary because it's on cotton and possibly something that you might be able to use in the nursery," he said.