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Kate Middleton Makes Surprise Appearance to Kick Off Annual BBC Telethon Related to Her Key Cause

The Princess of Wales popped up on the TV broadcast with a special message

<p>Kensington Royal/X</p> Kate Middleton on BBC

Kensington Royal/X

Kate Middleton on BBC's Children in Need telethon on Nov. 17, 2023

Kate Middleton popped up in an unexpected place on Friday: the telly!

The Princess of Wales, 41, made a surprise appearance on BBC to open their annual Children in Need telethon. Since it began in 1980, the broadcast has raised over £1 billion for disadvantaged youth in the U.K.

Speaking directly to the camera, Princess Kate said she was "delighted" that she was invited to kick off the festivities.

"Tonight is all about helping to support, champion and empower all children to be the very best they can be, which is crucial for their future health and happiness," she said. "Our relationships, surroundings and experiences during the earliest years lay the foundations that shape the rest of our lives. And yet sadly, we know that for too many people, stressful and traumatic situations in early childhood can cause harm and it can take many years to overcome."


The mother of three continued, "It is vital, therefore, that we nurture every childhood and why the sorts of projects supported by Children in Need are so important. They help the very youngest, most vulnerable members of our society feel safe, secure and loved in these important, formative years so that they can enjoy their childhoods now and grow to reach their potential and thrive in the world in later life."

Related: Kate Middleton Wears Princess Diana's Earrings (That Match Engagement Ring!) After Queen Jewelry Tributes

"I hope you enjoy this evening’s show and best of luck to all those taking part in challenges and the incredible fundraising effort," she finished.

Although the appearance was unannounced, the Children in Need telethon fits perfectly with the Princess of Wales' key work surrounding early childhood.

Earlier this year, the royal launched the Shaping Us campaign for her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.

"The campaign is fundamentally about shining a spotlight on the critical importance of early childhood and how it shapes the adults we become," Kate said in a speech surrounding the project's launch. "This is why it is essential, to not only understand the unique importance of our earliest years but to know what we can all do to help raise future generations of happy, healthy adults."

Just like the Royal Foundation's Heads Together campaign, which focused on creating an openness to talk about mental health, "the Princess really wants this campaign to bring about change in the way that we think about and see the importance of early years," a spokesperson at Kensington Palace said. The spokesperson added that the campaign was just the start and that the cause would be a "golden thread throughout her working life."

Kate's mission has taken her everywhere from the classroom to the rugby field to highlight how to best support children and set them up for success.

<p>Richard Pohle - WPA Pool/Getty Images</p> Kate Middleton at the Shaping Us National Symposium on Nov. 15, 2023

Richard Pohle - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Kate Middleton at the Shaping Us National Symposium on Nov. 15, 2023

Just this week, Princess Kate brought together experts in the field from across the world to a conference in London, where she gave the keynote speech.

"It is time we understood that building a healthier world means nurturing the foundations that support our children — everything from the systems that govern early care through to our attitudes to those raising the next generation, and the support they receive," Princess Kate said at the Shaping Us National Symposium. "Because if we can create a society which sees the child within every adult — and the adult within every child — we will finally start to change it for the better."

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<p>DAVID ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images</p> Kate Middleton visits a forest school on Sept. 14, 2023

DAVID ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Kate Middleton visits a forest school on Sept. 14, 2023

Princess Kate also had another important event this week: her father-in-law King Charles' 75th birthday! Kate was spotted leaving the private party for family and friends at Clarence House on Tuesday, riding in the passenger seat of a car driven by Prince William. Although more photos from the bash weren't released, eagle-eye fans identified her green ensemble as Needle & Thread's Alicia gown.

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