The Duchess speaks!

We were pondering the other day how rarely we get to hear Catherine, who's spent almost a year as the Duchess of Cambridge, actually speak. We hardly even know what her accent sounds like.

But on Monday, we were all treated to the lilting sounds of Kate's voice as she made her first public speech as a member of the royal family at The Treehouse, a children's hospice in Ipswich in southeast England.

Style-wise, Catherine, who's reportedly a consignment shopper, went budget-friendly again for her speech wardrobe. According to the Daily Express' Richard Palmer, Kate's blue "Trina" dress by high street retailer Reiss was the same one her mother, Carole Middleton, borrowed from the Duchess in 2010 and wore at the Royal Ascot.

Kate's four-minute speech was simple, straightforward and punctuated with smiles; she told the crowd: "I'm only sorry that (Prince) William can't be here today, he would love it here. What you've achieved here is extraordinary."

And though Her Royal Highness looked a wee bit nervous, we think she did a stellar job delivering the address, which she reportedly wrote herself.

Check out pics and watch Kate's speech below!

Also on HuffPost:

See Duchess Kate's year of outfits!
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  • February 2011 in a Katherine Hooker coat and Aquatalia by Marvin K. boots

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  • February 2011 in a Kiki McDonough skirt suit

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  • February 2011

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  • March 2011 in a Burberry coat

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  • April 2011 in an Amanda Wakeley skirt suit

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  • April 2011 in a Zara dress with LK Bennett wedges

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  • April 2011 in her Alexander McQueen wedding dress

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  • April 2011 in a cardigan and gown by Alexander McQueen

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  • May 2011 in a Reiss dress and Anya Hindmarch clutch

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  • June 2011 in a Reiss dress and Joseph tweed jacket

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  • June 2011 in a Jenny Packham dress and Prada clutch

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  • June 2011 in an Alexander McQueen coat

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  • June 2011

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  • June 2011 in an Alexander McQueen double breasted coat

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  • June 2011 in a Temperley London dress

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  • June 2011 in a Roland Mouret dress and Mulberry bag

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  • June 2011 in a Katherine Hooker jacket and dress

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  • June 2011 in an Erdem dress

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  • July 2011 in a Reiss dress

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  • July 2011 in an Issa dress

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  • July 2011 in a Catherine Walker dress

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  • July 2011 in an Erdem dress

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  • July 2011 in an Alexander McQueen dress

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  • July 2011 in a Nike jacket

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  • July 2011 in a By Malene Birger dress

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  • July 2011 in J Brand skinny jeans

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  • July 2011 in J Brand jeans and Smythe blazer

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  • July 2011 in a Jenny Packham dress

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  • July 2011 in a Catherine Walker coatdress

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  • July 2011 in a dress by Roksanda Ilincic

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  • July 2011 in a Diane von Furstenberg dress

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  • July 2011 in a Alice by Temperley blouse and Goldsign jeans

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  • July 2011 in an Alexander McQueen gown with Jimmy Choo shoes and clutch

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  • July 2011 in a skirt and top by Whistles

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  • July 2011 in a Joseph dress

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  • July 2011 in a silk dress by Jenny Packham

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  • August 2011 in an Alexander McQueen ensemble

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  • September 2011 in a dress by Amanda Wakeley

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  • October 2011 in a Beulah London dress

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  • November 2011 in a Jenny Packham gown

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  • November 2011 in a Jane Corbett hat and Diane Von Furstenberg coat

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  • November 2011 in a coat by LK Bennett

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  • December 2011 in a Zara dress and Ralph Lauren jacket

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