A TODDLER broke from tradition when she refused to hand over a bouquet of flowers to the Duchess of Cambridge.
Two-year-old Lola Mackay was one of the hundreds of people who waited patiently for the duchess as she arrived at CRI Stockton Recovery Service on her visit to the region yesterday.
She delighted the waiting crowds before going inside the centre and meeting children whose parents have drug or alcohol problems.
The duchess visited the region alone after the Duke of Cambridge announced earlier in the week that he was attending the funeral of a former nanny.
Lola had her once-in-a-lifetime chance as the duchess left the building and the youngster was chosen to hand over the flowers. But the toddler was not too keen on parting with the bouquet.
Her mum Jayne Baillie, 33, who lives in Billingham, laughed: “Lola calls her the princess, but she didn’t hand the flowers over.
“I am so happy Kate has recognised how hard they worked with all of the families who are struggling with substance abuse.”
The duchess visited the centre yesterday afternoon after spending the morning in Tyneside.
She was due to be visiting with her husband, the Duke of Cambridge Prince William, but he had to cancel his visit as he attended the funeral of his former nanny yesterday.
The duchess, who is patron of the Action on Addiction charity, was told about the M-Pact project at the centre in Stockton, which helps children and families affected by drug misuse across Teesside.
Tracey Harrison, team leader at CRI Stockton Recovery Service, which treats people from the Billingham area, said: “It was absolutely fantastic for everyone involved.
“The recognition that our future queen has paid us a visit is a massive thing for us.
“It tells the children that they are important, and they have often been through really hard times.”
Prior to arriving in Stockton, the duchess met Olympic volunteers at Newcastle Civic Centre, visited Elswick Park community garden, also Newcastle, before heading to youth-led learning project Keyfund, in Gateshead.
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