Kate Middleton and Prince William are honoring a Down Syndrome artist with a rare act on their part by accepting a painting she created for them.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge usually avoid accepting gifts from the public, but according to TODAY, the couple made an exception recently when they accepted a painting by Tazia Fawley, 43.
Fawley, who suffers from Down Syndrome, spent six-months creating a painting of the children’s comic strip character Rupert the Bear.
In her painting Fawley has the famous bear flying over the Bristol Balloon Festival in England.
The special artist was hoping that she would grab the attention of the royal couple and they would agree to accept her gift to display in their home.
After Fawley completed her masterpiece, Suzie Moffat, director of Hear and Sold, an organization that champions artists with Down Syndrome, took a picture of it and sent it to the palace.
Kate Middleton and Prince William were interested in the painting and agreed to graciously accept it, something they don’t do often.
According to Moffat, soon after her letter was received, she got an “enthusiastic” letter from the couple telling her they would be glad to accept the painting.
Fawley’s mother explains that this is a move that will help erase the stigma that still exists in England when it comes to Down Syndrome.
“In England, there always has been a stigma attached to (Down syndrome), and now that is washed away by the fact that the Duke and Duchess have accepted that painting,” Moffat told TODAY. “For this to happen, it’s kind of turned that negativity around.”
Kate Middleton and Prince William asked well wishers in 2011 to donate money to charity instead of sending gifts to them.
According to the Associated Press,Kate Middleton and Prince William donated $1.6 million to 26 different causes that have personal impact in their lives during 2011.