Two years ago Monday, the eyes of London and the rest of the world were fixed on Duchess Kate and Prince William and their royal wedding.
An estimated 2 billion people watched the hours of coverage leading up to the official ceremony at Westminster Abbey. At the end of it all, a balcony scene drew the largest buzz, as William and Kate exchanged not one but two kisses.
The couple had been engaged since November 2010, but they had known each other since their college days at the University of St. Andrews. Kate seemed prepared to take her place in the royal family, yet shortly after the engagement was announced, the BBC reported Kate to have considered joining the royal family as a "daunting prospect."
"Hopefully I'll take it in my stride," the Duchess stated.
Two years have passed and Kate Middleton, 31, has gained the adoration of many who say she has been the type of woman, wife and future mother she planned to be.
On the day of their anniversary, Kate spent the morning away from her husband at Naomi House Children's Hospice, participating in a tea party with terminally ill children. Since her marriage, Kate has become the patron of four other charities: Action on Addiction, East Anglia's Children's Hospices, the Art Room and the National Portrait Gallery.
"Now, trained in the ways of the Windsors, about seven months pregnant with a future monarch and the object of fascination and admiration, the Duchess of Cambridge is using her celebrity status to do good and to persuade the fickle media to focus on her causes," Maria Puente of USA Today wrote.
After the tea party and a musical production, the Duchess visited with the children and their families.
“She’s so natural with everyone. One advantage of not being born royal is that you are natural — and she has not lost that,” Graham Butland, chief executive of Kate’s charity, East Anglia Children’s Hospice, told People magazine. “She is able to communicate with people at all levels. She is going to be a great mum, no doubt about that.”
Just last week, Kate also met with the U.K.'s Chief Scout Bear Grylls at Windsor Castle, where she honored the achievements of hundreds of Scouts. During that ceremony the Duchess was also recognized for what she has done since becoming a royal.
"The Duchess is an incredible role model and she helps us show that Scouting's not just for boys," Grylls said. "She's also such a generous volunteer and everyone is so excited to have her in the Scouting family. Many people have followed her lead and are getting involved and enjoying the adventure."Comment on this story
Since the Duchess joined the Scouts in 2012, the organization has seen its second-biggest rise in volunteers since 1986, according to Entertainment News.
In addition to the visits, Kate also released her first video message to help kick off Children's Hospice Week. In the video, she urges other to support their local hospice centers. "With your support we can help ensure that these children and their families can make the most of the precious time they have together," she says.
This summer William and Kate will welcome in their firstborn child, and the heir to the royal throne.