The Duchess of Cambridge received a warm welcome as she arrived at The Treehouse hospice in Ipswich today.

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Kate, who is the Royal Patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice, arrived at St Augustine’s Gardens at about 10.25am.

She was met by cheering youngsters waving Union flags, before being introduced to local dignitaries and then starting a tour of the hospice.

Several people arrived at the scene early this morning, armed with their Union Jack flags, in the hope of catching a glimpse of Kate.

Among the members of the public who turned out for the visit was five-year-old Tabby Cook and her mum Louise from Fressingfield.

Tabby said: “I’m really excited. She is so pretty, I’m excited about seeing a princess.”

In her speech today, the Duchess of Cambridge said what the hospice had achieved was “extraordinary” thanks to teamwork.

She said she felt “enormously proud” to be part of EACH, and said the work done at the hospice was “inspirational.”

Addressing an audience of about 150 people, the Duchess, 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 honoured to be here to see this wonderful centre.

“I am only sorry that William can’t be here today; he would love it here. A view of his - that I share - is that through teamwork, so much can be achieved. What you have all achieved here is extraordinary. You as a community have built the Treehouse; a group of people who have made every effort to support and help each other.

“The feelings you inspire - feelings of love and of hope - offer a chance to families to live a life they never thought could be possible.

“So thank you again for inviting me here today. I feel enormously proud to be part of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and to see the wonderful life-changing work that you do. Thank you.”

Click on the photo gallery, above right, to see more photos.

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