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VIDEO: Duchess Kate comforts sick kids at hospice

A celebrity gossip junky, Caroline Goddard has been writing entertainment news for longer than the world has known Kim Kardashian's name. Follow her on Twitter at @GoddardCaroline.

Easter Show, Manly Beach on royal agenda

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge showed off her nurturing side once more with a visit to the Bear Cottage children's hospice in Sidney.
Easter Show, Manly Beach on royal agenda
Photo credit: Getty Images

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge continued their tour down under with an emotional trip to a children's hospice where, according to witnesses, the couple choked back tears while talking to the parents of sick and dying children.

The royals met with nine families who have children at the hospice and Kate spent lots of time with the kids reading, chatting and singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider."

"Kate and William were fighting back tears when we told them about [my son] Max," said hospice parent Amy McIntyre, whose infant is suffering from bacterial meningitis and may only have months to live. "They could totally see themselves in us, as both our sons were born around the same time.

"Kate stroked Max's leg and they were both very moved. They struggled to hold back tears — they were welling up."

PHOTOS: Will & Kate have a busy weekend in New Zealand >>

Kate later gave a heartfelt speech pledging to support care organizations in sharing best practices to provide the highest level of care for their patients.

"First-class delivery of children's palliative care is life-changing. When families are confronted with the shattering news that their children have a life-limiting condition, their world can fall apart. It is at those times that professional support is imperative," Kate told the crowd.

"I first saw this through East Anglia's Children's Hospices and have since been fortunate to see similar work in Malaysia, then last week at Rainbow Place in New Zealand, and now here today. William and I are strong believers in collaborative work.

"The sharing of best practice is transformational for organizations. The needs of families requiring children's palliative care across the world are varied. Circumstances and environment can differ, but the aim of those supporting them is the same: to offer the best and most loving care possible. I am delighted that Bear Cottage and EACH are planning to be part of a 'community of best practice.' The haven that you have created here is inspirational, and there is so much that you can share with each other as you continue to support and nurture those in your care."

Watch Kate's speech at Bear Cottage

VIDEO: Kate kicks Prince William's butt in yacht races >>

Kate looked fresh and cool in a white eyelet Roamer Day Dress by Australian designer Zimmermann for the visit, which was bookended by a trip to the Sidney Royal Easter Show and a stroll on Manly Beach.

Easter Show, Manly Beach on royal agenda
Photo credit:

The day before, Will and Kate spent time in the Blue Mountains with families who lost everything in devastating bush fires last year.

"It’s an acknowledgement of what we went through to have William and Kate come to our part of the world and shine a light on what happened here," resident Jennie Hall told the Daily Mail.

"Over 200 houses went up in the space of 20 minutes. The temperatures were 1,600 degrees in the middle of it. I had molten aluminium left in my house. I lost everything — except I got my dogs out — so for the Duke and Duchess to come here and by doing that show to the world what we are still going through, that’s a big thing for us."

Kate wore a navy and white Patrice wrap dress from Diane von Furstenberg and her trusty Stuart Weitzman Corkswoon wedges for the occasion.

Read more royal tour

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VIDEO: Will & Kate arrive in New Zealand with Prince George

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