Kate Middleton dazzles in sparkly shoes and matching clutch bag at gala dinner

Kate Middleton wowed in sparkly shoes and a matching clutch bag at a gala dinner tonight.

Duchess of Cambridge chose a glittering ensemble for her meal, prepared by people whose lives have been touched by drugs and alcohol.

Unlike the gloomy weather in central London, the royal was full of summer cheer and bloom as she met guests who have beaten addiction.

The event was hosted by charity Action on Addiction, of which Kate is a patron.

The mum-of-three chose a cream, off-the-shoulder dress by Barbara Casasola.

The duchess has been patron for the charity, which offers life-saving treatment to both individuals and their families, since 2012.

Speaking at the dinner, Kate said: "Sadly, for many who are suffering with addiction, they just don’t receive the help they need early enough.

"Action on Addiction was one of my very first patronages, and as such, it is very close to my heart.  

"I’m hugely passionate about the support it provides, especially for parents, children and families who suffer from, or through, addiction.   And in some ways, it was the catalyst for my interest in early childhood development."

The royal said the root causes of drug and alcohol addiction could often be traced back to the very earliest years, as she called for help to break the inter-generational cycle.

She added: "For the last few years, I’ve been focusing on the importance of prevention:  how can we all really support the earliest years of life, build foundations, and help avoid adversity later on in life. 

"Having met so many people who’ve suffered from addiction, I have seen over and over again that, sadly, the root causes can so often be traced right back to the very earliest years of someone’s life.  

"Trauma experienced in early childhood, in some cases, as a result of separation, abandonment, abuse, or even emotional neglect, can have a lasting effect.

"What we experience during our earliest years, even while we’re still in the womb, shapes the developing brain.  

"It is therefore vital that we support everyone  who cares for children in those formative years, especially if we want to help with the inter-generational cycle of addiction.

"Sadly, for many who are suffering with addiction, they just don’t receive the help they need early enough. They have already reached crisis point before the support they need.

"What’s remarkable about Action on Addiction is that it goes beyond helping those who are suffering on the courageous journey into recovery – but it also lends direct support to the children and families affected by addiction – for as long as it takes.  

"This evening’s dinner not only marks ‘Addiction Awareness Week’, but it also provides an opportunity for us to remember the vital work being done to help all those affected by addiction feel able to access help, hope and freedom from their addiction.

"There was never a more important time for Action on Addiction to succeed. And I, for one, could not be more delighted to support such a special organisation."

It was the first annual gala dinner in recognition of Addiction Awareness Week, hosted by chef Skye Gyngell and Action on Addiction, a British charity working in research, treatment, family support and professional education. 

A spokesman said Action on Addiction "builds communities of recovery for individuals and families by developing the best quality and most effective residential and community-based addiction treatment services in the UK and promoting self-help, peer-to-peer support, and community cohesion".

The Duchess has previously spoken of how her work with addicts helped her realise the significance of mental health as central to many issues. 

It is "currently helping inform her work in developing a major project around support for children in their earliest years," a spokesman said.

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