The Duchess of Cambridge has laughed off a major mix-up by television host Declan Donnelly moments before taking to the stage to present a keynote speech.
Donnelly, who is best known as ‘Dec’ in the duo Ant and Dec, was standing with his comedic partner Ant McPartlin, at the Taking Action on Addition event on Tuesday.
As they were preparing to introduce Kate, Dec told guests: “Shortly we’ll be hearing from Her Majesty… Her Royal Highness rather”.
The title of Your Majesty is reserved only for the monarch, Queen Elizabeth.
His mistake prompted laughter from the Duchess, who was sitting in the front row, and the audience.
He quickly added: “I’ve just promoted you there, rather prematurely”.
Ant said: “That must happen all the time.”
To which Dec replied, “It doesn’t happen to me. We’ll be hearing from Her Royal Highness, rather, very shortly.
“Then we’ll watch a very powerful short film that challenges the perception of addictions.”
Kate is known as Her Royal Highness, a title given to senior members of the royal family including Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William.
Prince Harry and Meghan are also still regarded as Their Royal Highnesses but are no longer allowed to use the styling under their exit agreement with the Queen.
Kate didn’t appear phased by the mistake, taking to the stage moment later to give her speech.
The Duchess spoke about the importance of tackling misinformation and understanding the early childhood roots to the problem of addiction.
“Addiction is not a choice,” Kate said, adding: “No one chooses to become an addict. But it can happen to any one of us. None of us are immune.
“Yet it’s 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.”
Earlier when Kate arrived at the event, she shared a laugh with Ant and Dec when she nearly bumped into them.
Ant, who struggled with an addiction to pain killers after knee surgery in 2015 and went to rehab in 2018 following a car crash while over twice the legal alcohol limit, told the Duchess of his own experiences during the event.
“By the time I asked for help, it was bad, but as soon as you opened up to people, problems have got to disappear,” he said.
“It gets better and help is there.”
She was quickly taken into a room where the duo were waiting around the corner, with Kate looking surprised to see them, saying: ‘I wasn’t expecting that!’
Ant and Dec told Kate they felt as though they were “hiding at a surprise birthday party”.
The Duchess clutched her hand to her chest, adding: ‘I felt like I was walking into a Bushtucker trial” – referring to the game on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, hosted by Ant and Dec.
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