- Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2012

LONDON (AP) - She’s married into the royal family, and now the former Kate Middleton is moving to define her new role by choosing the charities she will support.

The Duchess of Cambridge has accepted honorary positions with charities that deal with a range of issues, including tackling drug addiction and helping young people, St. James’s Palace said Thursday.

The palace said the positions reflect her “personal interests in the arts, the promotion of outdoor activity, and supporting people who are in need of all ages, especially young children.”

The royal, who married Prince William in a gala ceremony last year, became a patron of Action on Addiction and the National Portrait Gallery. She has also become a royal patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and The Art Room, and a volunteer with the Scout Association.

Patronage raises the profile of the charities the royals support _ bringing attention to their causes. It is also considered important to the members of the royal family, because their support shows their commitment to worthy causes.

“The duchess has chosen to support organizations that complement the charitable work already undertaken by her husband,” the palace said in a statement.

The late Princess Diana, mother to Prince William, was active in supporting numerous charities, and worked with organizations to help AIDS patients and remove land mines from conflict zones.

The duchess’ list includes The Art Room, which uses art to help children increase their self-esteem, self-confidence and independence. The world renowned National Portrait Gallery promotes an appreciation of portraiture in all forms, and maintains a vigorous outreach program.

The duchess, a former Brownie, also chose to volunteer for the scouts, who offer activities for over 400,000 young men and young women in Britain.

The duchess is already a patron of the charitable foundation Prince William founded with his brother, Prince Harry.

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