Duchess of Cambridge quizzed about proposal during visit to children’s hospital

The Duchess of Cambridge was quizzed about the length of time it took her husband to propose when she met youngsters benefiting from creative arts workshops in a children's hospital.

William asked Kate to marry him after the couple had been dating for around eight years – asking her to be his wife in the romantic setting of Kenya.

Sarah Ibendahl brought up the subject and sympathised with the duchess, as it took her husband Ralph the same length of time before he asked her to tie the knot.

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Kate's blustery royal visit
Britain's Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge arrives for a visit to Evelina London Children's Hospital in London, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of Evelina London Children's Hospital and Patron of the National Portrait Gallery, will join a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme to see how the creative arts can support children's health, wellbeing and happiness. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Duchess of Cambridge quizzed about proposal during visit to children’s hospital
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives for a workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme at Evelina Children's Hospital on January 28, 2020 in London, England. HRH is Patron of Evelina London Children's Hospital and Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge joins a workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme at Evelina Children's Hospital on January 28, 2020 in London, England. HRH is Patron of Evelina London Children's Hospital and Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Luke Wheeler-Waddison, 10, takes a polaroid photograph of Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge uring a visit to the Evelina London Childrens Hospital in London on January 28, 2020 to join a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallerys Hospital Programme. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Luke Wheeler-Waddison, 10, holds up a polaroid photograph of Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge which he took during her visit to the Evelina London Childrens Hospital in London on January 28, 2020 to join a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallerys Hospital Programme. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge looks at a polaroid photograph during a visit to the Evelina London Childrens Hospital in London on January 28, 2020 to join a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallerys Hospital Programme. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Duchess of Cambridge quizzed about proposal during visit to children’s hospital
The Duchess of Cambridge visits a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme at Evelina London Children's Hospital, within St Thomas' Hospital, Westminster, London. (Photo by Toby Melville/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge helps a child at a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallerys Hospital Programme during a visit to the Evelina London Childrens Hospital in London on January 28, 2020 to join (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Duchess of Cambridge quizzed about proposal during visit to children’s hospital
The Duchess of Cambridge joins a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital programme for patients and their families at the Evelina Children's Hospital in London.
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gestures at a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallerys Hospital Programme during a visit to the Evelina London Childrens Hospital in London on January 28, 2020 to join (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Duchess of Cambridge quizzed about proposal during visit to children’s hospital
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 28: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives to join a workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme at Evelina Children's Hospital on January 28, 2020 in London, England. HRH is Patron of Evelina London Children's Hospital and Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 28: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge steps out of her chauffeur driven Jaguar I-PACE electric car as she arrives to join a workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme at Evelina Children's Hospital on January 28, 2020 in London, England. HRH is Patron of Evelina London Children's Hospital and Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 28: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge departs after joining a workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme at Evelina Children's Hospital on January 28, 2020 in London, England. HRH is Patron of Evelina London Children's Hospital and Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 28: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge departs after joining a workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme at Evelina Children's Hospital on January 28, 2020 in London, England. HRH is Patron of Evelina London Children's Hospital and Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives to visit a workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme at Evelina Children's Hospital on January 28, 2020 in London, England. HRH is Patron of Evelina London Children's Hospital and Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. (Photo by Kate Green/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives to visit a creative workshop run by the National Portrait GalleryÕs Hospital Programme at Evelina London Children's Hospital, within St Thomas' Hospital, Westminster, London. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gestures at a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallerys Hospital Programme during a visit to the Evelina London Childrens Hospital in London on January 28, 2020 (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge joins a workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme at Evelina Children's Hospital on January 28, 2020 in London, England. HRH is Patron of Evelina London Children's Hospital and Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gestures at a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallerys Hospital Programme during a visit to the Evelina London Childrens Hospital in London on January 28, 2020 (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gestures as she leaves after a visit to the Evelina London Childrens Hospital in London on January 28, 2020 to join (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge departs after visiting a workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme at Evelina Children's Hospital on January 28, 2020 in London, England. HRH is Patron of Evelina London Children's Hospital and Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. (Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrives at the Evelina London Childrens Hospital in London on January 28, 2020 to join a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallerys Hospital Programme. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge sits next to a patient during a workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme at Evelina Children's Hospital on January 28, 2020 in London, England. HRH is Patron of Evelina London Children's Hospital and Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. (Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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Kate met the mother during a visit to the Evelina London Children's Hospital in central London, to learn about the creative workshops run by the National Portrait Gallery for young patients and their siblings.

When she first arrived, the blustery wind threatened to whip up the skirt of her Dolce & Gabbana tweed suit, and she pulled a face of surprise as she held it down.

After a brief indoor walkabout meeting families in the hospital's reception, she sat down with children and art educators in the hospital's third-floor atrium, as they created characters for a paper stage using Polaroid photographs of themselves – and the royal posed for an instant picture.

Royal visit to Evelina London Children's Hospital
The Duchess of Cambridge visits a creative workshop run by the National Portrait Gallery's Hospital Programme at Evelina London Children's Hospital (Toby Melville/PA)

Mrs Ibendahl, from Blackheath, south-east London – whose three-year-old son Benjamin is being treated for an auto-immune condition, said after meeting the duchess on a ward: "We also bonded over the fact it took our husbands like nine years before they asked us to marry them.

"When I mentioned it she laughed politely and gave a knowing smile."

William and Kate met as students at St Andrews University in 2001 but did not start dating until a few years later – and the duke proposed to his then girlfriend in October 2010, with the couple marrying the following year.

Mrs Ibendahl explained how her son had a slight cold which developed into an auto-immune disease, which has meant he has lost the use of his legs.

She said: "He's having ongoing treatment, it takes them a while to stop the pain, stop the disease progressing and for them to remember how to walk.

"Almost everyone makes a full recovery, it just takes time."

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