Kate Middleton may finally be able to shed her Duchess Do-Little nickname come March 19, when she will give her first official speech as a member of the Royal Family.

The Duchess of Cambridge will make the speech at The Treehouse, a children's hospice in Suffolk, UK. Middleton will tour the facilities, including the sensory room and the music room, and meet with the staff, children and their families. After her speech she will plant a tree on the grounds to commemorate her visit.

She wanted her first speech to be on a topic she herself is affiliated to and which she is passionate about, said a spokesperson for the Duchess.

It is also the first of her solo engagements which has lent itself to a speech because it will include a more formal element than some of her other visits.

The Duchess is an honorary patron of four charities, including East Anglia's Children's Hospices, owner of The Treehouse. In a statement Graham Butland, EACH Chief Executive, said that the visit would increase the awareness of the hospice's services to terminally ill children and their families.

The visit will showcase the magnificent facilities we can now offer to local life-threatened children and their families, and celebrate the supporters of The Treehouse Appeal. Having our work recognized in this way by Her Royal Highness is not only a tribute to our staff and supporters, but a huge boost for the children, young people and families receiving our care and support.

The Duchess of Cambridge has embarked on a series of firsts since her husband Prince William has been away on duty with the RAF. She made her first solo visit to the London National Portrait Gallery for a preview of famed British painter Lucian Freud's portraits. Her first solo military appearance is set to take place on March 17 when she will present shamrocks to 40 Officers of the Irish Guards. Prince William currently holds the honorary rank of Colonel.

Later this week the Duchess will accompany Queen Elizabeth and her husband on their first official Diamond Jubilee engagement.