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Duchess Of Cambridge Becomes Patron Of The National Portrait Gallery And The Art Room

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The Duchess of Cambridge reiterated her support for the art world today by become the patron of the National Portrait Gallery and The Art Room.

On the day that she announced four organisations that she has chosen to assume honorary positions with as part of her royal duties, two reflect Kate’s ongoing love of the arts.

Professor Sir David Cannadine, chairman of the National Portrait Gallery's trustees, said: "This is a matter of great pleasure for the Trustees of the Gallery and all its staff and supporters and we much look forward to working with her in the future."

While the National Portrait Gallery is one of the country’s leading art spaces, The Art Room is an organisation that used art in a less conventional manner. It uses art as a form of therapy in help children with issues like low self esteem and Asperger's syndrome.

Its founder and director Juli Beattie said having the royal as a figurehead would make an enormous difference.

She added: "This is just fantastic, it will raise the profile of the charity and get people to see the work we are doing."

Kate first visited The Art Room in November after responding to a plea from the Islington charity. She arrived at a primary school in the area to see the work they do first hand, meeting around ten surprised children.

Parents were only informed of the visit on the day when the school send them a text message saying: ‘If your child comes home and says they saw Kate Middleton today, it’s true! We had a surprise visit from the DOC to The Art Room.’

The Duchess, who turns 30 on Monday, spent months in the run-up to Christmas researching the charitable sector and visiting organisations to decide which ones she wanted to be involved with.

It’s no surprise that Kate decided to focus on the art world when deciding which causes she’s like to support. She graduated from University of St Andrews in Fife – where she and Prince William met - with an undergraduate MA (2:1 Hons) in the History of Art, and at one time reportedly wanted to become a professional photographer.

In July 2011, she and Prince William visited Inner-City Arts, a not-for-profit organization that teaches vulnerable young people performance and visual art. Her enthusiasm for the project and the ease with which she joined in was widely reported at the time.

Supporting charities is an important role for members of the monarchy whose patronage can help promote the profile of good causes on to the national stage.

During the coming months, Kate will make private and public visits across the UK to her new organisations.

St James's Palace said in a statement: "The Duchess' first patronages and her volunteer position reflect her royal highness' personal interests in the arts, the promotion of outdoor activity, and supporting people who are in need of all ages, especially young children."

Kate chose Action on Addiction, a drug and alcohol addiction charity, and East Anglia's Children's Hospices for her other royal patronages. She will also become a volunteer with the Scout Association, joining activities privately with groups in north Wales and other areas.