- Associated Press - Monday, March 19, 2012

IPSWICH, England — The Duchess of Cambridge has delivered her first public address, giving a confident albeit brief speech at a children’s hospice in eastern England.

The former Kate Middleton spoke clearly and deliberately as she addressed staff and volunteers at East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice in the English port town of Ipswich.

She glanced frequently at her notes at first but seemed to make a good impression Monday, drawing chuckles when she said she was sorry that her husband, Prince William, could not join her. He is on military assignment in the Falkland Islands.

Public engagements are a huge part of royal life and Kate’s address will be closely scrutinized by royal-watchers for signs of how easily she is adapting to her new role.

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