Duchess Kate Makes First Official Speech

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IPSWICH, England (CNN) -- The Duchess of Cambridge stepped up to the podium by herself for the first time on Monday.

Prince William's wife, the former Kate Middleton, made her first official speech as a member of Great Britain's royal family at the opening of a children's hospice facility in Ipswich, England.

The Duchess said she was grateful for the opportunity.

"First of all, I'd like to say thank you," she said. "Thank you for not only accepting me as your patron, but thank you also for inviting me here today. You have all made me feel so welcome, and I feel hugely honored to be here to see this wonderful center. I am only sorry that William can't be here today. He would love it here."

The Duchess also met with patients at the facility and planted a tree.