Kate Middleton began stepping into the shoes of Queen Elizabeth II Wednesday when she performed her first engagement as patron of Action for Children. Her position with the organization is one of several roles that was handed down by the queen to the Duchess of Cambridge last December.

In all, the queen relinquished 25 royal patronages to younger royals, several of them to the duchess, including the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Although the queen retains hundreds of patronages, the move was seen as recognition of the 90-year-old monarch’s need to ease her schedule. Over the Christmas and New Year period, Queen Elizabeth missed several high-profile engagements due to a heavy cold.

When the queen does eventually end her reign as Britain’s longest-serving monarch, Prince Charles, the duchess’ father in law, is next in line to take the throne. However, with Charles already aged 68 and having been spent the most time as next in line to the throne of any individual in history, it may not be too long before Middleton becomes queen to husband Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge. Although she wouldn’t sit on the throne, the duchess would be expected to take the title of queen.

The Duchess of Cambridge would likely to be a popular queen if and when that does happen. A poll last year indicated that 66 percent of Britons held a favorable or very favorable opinion of Middleton.

And Action for Children, which helps disadvantaged children across the United Kingdom, said Wednesday that it was more than pleased with its new patron.

“We’re delighted that she’s become our patron,” chief executive for Action for Children, Sir Tony Hawkhead told People. “We were really grateful for the support we had from Her Majesty the Queen. But we’ve now got a patron who we know shares our values.”

The duchess, too, was happy to be filling the queen’s role.

“The Duchess of Cambridge is incredibly proud to follow Her Majesty The Queen as Patron of Action for Children,” a spokesman for Middleton told People. “The Duchess firmly believes that every child who needs it should be given the best support at the earliest opportunity, and is pleased to support their important work.”