Why Kate Middleton Secretly Took a Temporary Job for 2 Days

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, got a taste of life working in a hospital recently. Kensington Palace revealed Thursday that the Duchess shadowed midwives at the Kingston Hospital Maternity Unit in London. The visit was reportedly linked to her work with Early Years — a steering group looking at how a positive difference can be made for children from before they are born, to the time they turn 5 years old.

"The Duchess of Cambridge, Joint Patron, the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, today completed two days with Kingston Hospital Maternity Unit in London," the daily list of activities read on Thursday, reports PEOPLE.

While the palace released no further details, a source told Hello! Magazine that Middleton visited the antenatal, postnatal and labor wards.

Middleton, who shares three children with Prince William, has made the challenges children face in their early years a major focus of her work. Last year, she became patron to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, where she learned about international health programs aimed at reducing maternal and newborn mortality rates.

Last week, she also met midwives at the Rosewood Hotel in London, where she hosted her first Christmas party.

"Through our work, you have reaffirmed my belief of just how timely it is to focus on what happens in the early years of life, and how pivotal a stage of life this is for a child’s future," Middleton told members of her steering group in May, reports PEOPLE.

She continued, "I hope my long-term commitment to working in the early years will help make a difference over a generational timescale... Your thoughts and advice will continue to be hugely valuable as I shape my thinking for the years ahead.”

Middleton also visited East Anglia's Children's Hospices earlier this month, touring the new facility and meeting with mothers.

"I cried and I got a little hug and at the end when she walked out she gave me a little wave. Just simple things like that make you realize she’s a very special lady," Naomi Wright, a mother whose son has a rare genetic disease, told PEOPLE of her meeting with Middleton. "She is a mum herself, and you get that sense that she does understand. She’s not doing it because she has to but because she has to. This is something that means a lot to her."

Middleton and William, who will eventually become King of England after Prince Charles, share three children, Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1.

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On Tuesday, Middleton will join Queen Elizabeth II in welcoming President Donald Trump and other NATO leaders to the U.K. William will miss the meeting, as he is now visiting Oman and Kuwait in the Middle East.

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