Kate Middleton delivered a powerful speech as she launched her patronage the Forward Trust’s “Taking Action on Addiction” campaign Tuesday.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s appearance coincides with Addiction Awareness Week, which runs October 18-24.

Kate was announced as patron of the Forward Trust back in June, one month after the organization merged with Action on Addiction.

Kate said in her speech, “Addiction is not a choice. No one chooses to become an addict. But it can happen to any one of us. None of us are immune. It is all too rarely discussed as a serious mental health condition and seldom do we take the time to uncover and fully understand its fundamental root causes.”

Kate Middleton. Credit: Beretta/Sims/Shutterstock
Kate Middleton. Credit: Beretta/Sims/Shutterstock

She went on, “The journey towards addiction is often multi-layered and complex. But, by recognizing what lies beneath addiction, we can help remove the taboo and shame that sadly surrounds it.

“As a society, we need to start from a position of compassion and empathy. Where we nurture those around us, understand their journey, and what has come before them.

“We need to value and prioritize care and support, helping to restore and connect individuals who are clearly suffering, to the people around them.”

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Sharing how proud she was of the Forward Trust, Kate continued: “The pandemic has had a devastating impact on addiction rates. And families and children are having to cope with addiction in greater numbers than ever before.

“We know that over one and a half million people across the U.K. who did not have substance misuse prior to lockdown, may now be experiencing problems associated with increased alcohol consumption.

“Around two million individuals who were identified as being in recovery may have experienced a relapse over the past 18 months. And almost one million young people and children are showing an increase in addictive behaviour since the pandemic began.”

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Revealing how she’s “had the privilege of meeting many incredible people who have lived through the harsh realities of addiction,” the royal said they are turning their lives around: “These are stories of healing, of hope and recovery, that can inspire us all.

“I fully support the ‘Taking Action on Addiction’ campaign to improve awareness and understanding of addiction. The campaign will show us that, not only do many people recover from addiction, they can go on to prosper.

“We can all play our part in helping this work. By understanding, by listening, by connecting. So that together we can build a happier, healthier and more nurturing society.”

Kate met with beneficiaries of the charity and some supporters with experience of addiction. She was also caught on camera being noticeably surprised as she bumped into Ant and Dec.

Kate admitted she thought she was in trouble and worried they were going to make her do one of their infamous Bushtucker Trials, like on the show “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here”.

Dec joked, “We can arrange that.”