Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, right, helps to pot plants and herbs during a visit to The Nook. AP
Senior British royal Kate joined families at a children's hospice to plant a garden this week, supporting what she described as "amazing" work made even more difficult by the coronavirus pandemic.
Officially titled the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate has often used her public role as the wife of Prince William, second in line to the throne, to raise awareness about issues affecting children and families.
Her visit to The Nook, a facility near Norwich in eastern England, was part of a broader initiative by the Together for Short Lives charity to raise funds for Britain's 54 children's hospices.
"I’d like to thank the amazing staff for all the work that you do in children’s hospices around the UK," Kate was quoted as saying in a statement issued by her Kensington Palace office.
"The care and the nurture that you provide children and families in the most unimaginable circumstances is just awe inspiring."
Kate, who made the visit to The Nook on Thursday, is patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), the organisation that runs The Nook.
Such hospices support children with life-threatening conditions through specialist nursing care, short breaks, activities, therapies, counselling and other services.
Hospices have had to adapt their services to support families by telephone and online during the coronavirus lockdown.
Kate paid tribute to families caring for children with life-limiting illnesses. "I know it’s particularly hard at the moment so my thoughts go out to you all," she said.
Next week heralds the start of the enviably long summer holiday for millions of children across the UK. For many, this marks the start of six weeks of fun, cultural enrichment and family holidays, but for around 3 million children, the summer holidays are a period of stress, food insecurity, hunger and malnourishment.
Kate responded with the word "exhausting", while the other parents chimed in with words including "hectic", "patience" and "challenging".
The UK's Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton have said that the coronavirus lockdown was "stressful" for many people and it was important to look after mental health.
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