Why Kate Middleton chose to patronise The Art Room, an art therapy charity that helps children with emotional difficulties
It is remarkable that, out of the four charitable patronages that The Duchess of Cambridge announced on the 5 January, two were dedicated to art. The National Portrait Gallery, of course, makes sense: it is a major national institution, and an obvious choice for royal patronage. But more unusual is her choice of The Art Room – the smallest charity of the four, dedicated to helping children between the ages of five and 16 years with emotional difficulties develop confidence and social skills via the medium of art. In particular, the organization works with children who suffer from conditions such as Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. Working primarily through existing schools, the charity sets up ‘rooms for art’ that provide children with a focal point and safe place, hoping to teach its beneficiaries life skills, such as the ability to focus and work through disputes, all by using different forms of art.