The video: The Duchess of Cambridge, nee Kate Middleton, has been seen plenty since marrying Prince William nearly a year ago. But oddly enough, she has not given a single public address as a royal. That changed Monday, when Kate broke her silence at the opening of Treehouse, a hospital outside London for children with life-threatening illnesses. (Watch the video below.) She praised the hospital for being a "family home" and "a place of fun" for children, and said it was a "lifeline enabling families to live as normally as possible during a very precious period of time." She met with children at the hospital, and was very "friendly and approachable," Jeanette Jennings, a parent, tells the BBC. Jennings says her daughter "has been carrying around Kate's picture around with her ever since she knew she was going to meet her."
The reaction: "The Duchess speaks!" say Ellie Krupnick and Jessica Misener at The Huffington Post. And though "Her Royal Highness looked a wee bit nervous, we think she did a stellar job." Her nervousness only made her more "endearing," says Ally Betker at New York, and "she only touched her perfect hair once." It's remarkable that "it's taken 11 months for this moment to occur," says Peter Hunt at the BBC. Princess Diana gave her first public address three months after her wedding to Prince Charles. But William is "determined" to avoid the media circus that surrounded Diana, and that's why Kate is taking the "softly softly approach." Still, you can be sure she'll "get plenty more practice" with public speaking in the years to come. Check out her debut: