MEET AND SWEET
The same day, Kate exchanges high-fives with Page Hearn, a 4-year-old cancer patient at a Liverpool children’s hospital.
BEND IT LIKE KATE
No stuffy royal here! Eager to relate to her audience, the amiable duchess sees eye to eye with a group of youngsters at an art-therapy school in Oxford, England, on Feb. 21, 2012.
COMING UP BOUQUETS
After delivering her first official public speech at the March 19, 2012, opening of a children's hospice in Ipswich, England, a delighted Kate accepts a colorful bouquet from a little girl who curtsies.
MAKING A POINT
At the April 25, 2012, London premiere of Disney nature documentary African Cats, Kate is fascinated by a cub scout's badge, while William chats up fellow moviegoers, which included 100 children involved with charities the duke and duchess support.
No lion about it: The duchess is delighted when a young girl presents her with a stuffed animal at the June 14, 2012, performance of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in London. The bighearted royal had invited 150 schoolchildren to the show through an art-therapy charity.
Are those marshmallows she's roasting? Kate is game as she chats around a campfire on June 17, 2012, with inner-city kids on a weekend field trip in Kent, England.
Proving she can handle two babies at once, Kate takes charge of her toddler niece, Savannah Phillips, and cocker spaniel puppy Lupo on a walk through the Gloucestershire, England, countryside, where William was playing in a charity polo match on June 17, 2012.
Peace out! During their nine-day visit to Far East Asia and the South Pacific, the dynamic duo encountered 5-year-old Maeve Low, who gave them magic wands and a painting of them she made. Someone in the crowd asked William about his plans for a family, and he revealed that he'd like two children some day.
JUST YOU AND ME
Here's looking at you, kid! Oblivious to onlookers and photographers, Kate focuses her attention on a little girl who presented the duchess with flowers on arrival at a Singapore public housing complex on Sept. 12, 2012.
HAVING A BALL
Even while wearing a business suit, William gets his game on. During the next leg of the royals' overseas trip, the king-to-be visits a cultural village in the Solomon Islands on Sept. 17, 2012, where a boy handed the duke a soccer ball – and he happily kicked it around!
On Oct. 10, 2012, Kate visits a drug-rehab center in northeast England and gets a good laugh when 2-year-old Lola Mackay refuses to hand over a bouquet of flowers meant for the duchess.
HUG IT OUT
On the same day, 10-year-old Terry Campbell ignores centuries of protocol and reaches out to the duchess near a civic center. Kate asks, "Am I going to get a cuddle?" then leans over a metal barrier and hugs him. Confides the boy's friend, "The one thing he really wanted was a kiss."
Getting a good look at what's to come, William? Just days before announcing his wife's pregnancy, the duke hones in on a baby in a crowd of onlookers outside Guildhall in London on Nov. 28, 2012.
'HEAR' FOR YOU
The duchess is happy to lend a hand – and an ear! – as she taps into her maternal instincts on a March 18, 2013, visit to the Saunderton, England, charity headquarters of Child Bereavement UK, which aids children who have recently lost a parent.
Proof Her Royal Highness is not high maintenance: Kate roughs it three hours outside of London at the Great Tower Scout Camp, where she strapped on her favorite green Le Chameau boots to hang with the youngsters and eat doughy snacks on March 22, 2013. "We just called her Kate," said Fatima Vukhari, 9, who was at the special training day for scout volunteers.
While William doesn't earn fussy 4-year-old Shona Ritchie's kiss of approval on an April 4, 2013, appearance in Glasgow, Scotland, the costume-rocking tot – who actually requested the smooch in the first place – promises she won't be so shy the next time around. "Both of them were so lovely to her," Shona's mother, Karen Ritchie, later told PEOPLE. "They'll be really good parents."
RED-Y FOR BABY
The well-dressed duchess looks like she aces Parenting 101 as she greets a gaggle of school children lined up at the Dumfries House in Ayrshire, Scotland, on April 5, 2013.
Two years after officially becoming the Duchess of Cambridge, the royal marks her wedding anniversary with a very special someone: 8-year-old Sally Evans, whom she met during her April 29, 2013, visit to Naomi House Children's Hospice for tea. "She's so natural with everyone," Graham Butland, chief executive of Kate's charity, East Anglia Children's Hospice, later said. "She is going to be a great mum – no doubt about that."