Kate charity visit

The Duchess of Cambridge will visit an addiction charity today to meet women recovering from alcohol and drug dependency

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LRB defends Hilary Mantel over Kate comments

The London Review of Books has attempted to clarify comments made by Hilary Mantel about the Duchess of Cambridge, saying the author was actually criticising the media.

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What Mantel really wrote is about how the media make the royals suffer: 'I’m asking us to back off and not be brutes.'http://t.co/ZG8Rms8u

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In pictures: Duchess of Cambridge's charity visit

The Duchess of Cambridge, as Patron of Action on Addiction, is visiting the charity's Hope House treatment centre in Clapham, south London.

The Duchess of Cambridge is greeted by staff at Hope House in Clapham. Credit: Pool
The Duchess of Cambridge talks to charity staff. Credit: Pool
The Duchess of Cambridge talks to women who have benefited from the charity. Credit: Pool

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Duchess of Cambridge visits London treatment centre

The Duchess of Cambridge, as Patron of Action on Addiction, is visiting the charity's Hope House treatment centre in Clapham, south London this morning.

The Duchess of Cambridge. Credit: ITN

Hope House offers a safe, secure and comfortable place for women to recover from substance dependence and receive additional support for other compulsive disorders.

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at Hope House. Credit: ITN

It is the first time Kate has been seen in public after photographs of her on holiday in Mustique were published by foreign media.

Read: Novelist attacks Duchess as 'shop-window mannequin'

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Charity chief shows support for 'natural' Kate

The Duchess of Cambridge has been defended by a charity chief executive after a scathing attack by novelist Hilary Mantel.

Nick Barton, who heads Action on Addiction, which Kate supports as patron, described her as an "intelligent" woman genuinely interested in the work of his organisation.

During a lecture, Mantel, the double Booker Prize winner, said Kate appeared to have been "gloss-varnished" with a perfect plastic smile, in contrast to Princess Diana, who she described as awkward and emotionally incontinent.

Kate is currently touring the addiction charity's Hope House treatment centre in Clapham, south London.

Asked for his reaction to Mantel's criticisms, Mr Barton said: "I don't think it's for me to comment on that kind of stuff. I speak of what I know - somebody who wants to help, is helpful and genuinely interested and is intelligent.

"I can only speak (of) what I know. I've met her several times and I found her to be engaging, I found her very natural, I found her actually genuinely interested in the subject."

Duchess charity visit

Kate Middleton
Duchess to visit addiction clinic in south london Credit: PA

The Duchess of Cambridge will visit an addiction charity today to meet women recovering from alcohol and drug dependency. Kate will travel to Hope House treatment centre, in Clapham in her role as patron of Action on Addiction.

Each year a different charity, all with royal patrons, will receive fundraising support from 100 Women In Hedge Funds starting with Action on Addiction in 2013, then Harry's charity WellChild in 2014 and finally Kate's organisation the Art Room in 2015.

Kate's visit to the charity's treatment centre will be her first official appearance since pictures showing her on holiday in a bikini and with a very slight baby bump were published in a number of foreign magazines.