Royal Do-Gooders: Prince William and Kate Middleton Open Children's Cancer Center

Duke and duchess appear at South London's Royal Marsden Hospital, of which Will is president, to tour and meet with young patients of new treatment facility

By Gina Serpe Sep 29, 2011 4:18 PMTags
Kate Middleton, Prince WilliamSamir Hussein/WireImage

Lest we forget that being a royal is about more than just sparking runs on high street clothing and having the smoothest, shiniest hair ever seen on a mere mortal, Prince William and Kate Middleton today brought us all back to reality.

The dynamic duke and duchess duo stepped out for one of their rare royal public engagements today, and it couldn't have been for a greater cause: they joined forces to open Oak Center for Children and Young People, a children's cancer unit at South London's Royal Marsden hospital (incidentally, the same hospital Princess Diana chose for her first solo charity visit).

As for Kate, well, let's just say those royal lessons are already showing signs of paying off.

Not that she's ever anything less than impeccably turned out, but she upped the regal, ladylike factor today, donning a cream colored Amanda Wakeley knee-length dress with three-quarter-length sleeves, her trusty beige L.K. Bennett pumps and a simple cross pendant, along with a small LK Bennett Natalie woven straw clutch.

Not to be outdone (though, obviously, he always will be when Kate's in the vicinity), Wills gussied himself up in his finest navy suit with a blue button-down, white pocket kerchief and red dotted tie.

But the duo wasn't there to show off their fashionable sides, they were there to show off their do-good nature.

"It was a bit of an early morning," Will joked to reporters after he and Kate arrived at Surrey's Royal Marsden Hospital, of which he is president, this morning. "It's great to be here finally—we've been talking about this for a while."

The prince came directly to the treatment center after completing a 24-hour, sleepless shift of emergency helicopter rescue missions with the RAF.

During their visit this morning—at which they were greeted, as always, by cheers and crowds waving Union Jack flags—the couple is expected to meet with young patients and their parents in the center, and also received a tour of the state of the art facility. One patient, 12-year-old Alice Marples, has also been selected to hand a bouquet of flowers to Kate.

While it may be a nerve-wracking proposition for some, the young inpatient already has a history of crossing paths with the royals. Two years ago, she also interviewed Will for Children's BBC television.

Meanwhile, William was appointed President of the Royal Marsden Hospital, home of one of the largest children's cancer centers in Europe, in May 2007. The position was previously held by his mother.