The Duchess of Cambridge has launched her own research centre.

Duchess of Cambridge

Duchess of Cambridge

Catherine has long been interested in the younger years and her new project, the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood - which marks the end of her 10 years of research on the subject - has been announced in order to raise awareness of their importance and to help "transform lives".

In a video to mark the official launch of the centre, Catherine - who wore a necklace featuring the initials of her children, Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte - explained the importance of “the first five years of life” and how she sees this as a “golden opportunity” to create a “happier, more mentally healthy” society.

She said: "Working closely with others, the centre hopes to raise awareness of why the first five years of life are just so important for our future life outcomes, and what we can do as a society to embrace this golden opportunity to create a happier, more mentally healthy, more nurturing society.

"By working together, my hope is that we can change the way we think about early childhood, and transform lives for generations to come.

"Because I truly believe big change starts small."

The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood will be based on research showing the first five years of childhood fundamentally shape adulthood and that many of the challenges faced by adults such as addiction, violence, family breakdown and mental health stem from their earliest experiences.

The centre will focus on research and developing solutions with both the public and private voluntary sectors, as well as campaigning to raise awareness of issues.

Initially, the research facility will be based at Catherine and her husband Prince William's Royal Foundation's offices in London and will start with six employed members of staff.