The Duchess of Cambridge made a surprise visit to Hampton Court Palace Flower Show on Monday, where she was hosting a very special picnic. Kate invited children helped by her patronages to visit her RHS Back to Nature before it opens to the public at the annual horticultural event on Tuesday. The youngsters, from the Anna Freud Centre, Evelina Children's Hospital, Action for Children and Place2Be are taking part in a treasure hunt and a bug spotting exercise as part of the fun royal outing, as well as exploring with their family members, carers and teachers to demonstrate their important role in raising children.
They include a pond to paddle in, a hidden burrow inspired by a Badger’s Sett, and a rolling hill planted with a bee-friendly wildflower meadow, featuring buttercup, ox-eye daisy, red clover and common spotted orchids.
As well as the waterfall, rustic dens and the hollow log from the original garden, much of the original garden has been transferred – including branches and moss collected by the Cambridge children.
Kate had a great time chatting to the children she had invited to take part in the treasure hunt at her Back to Nature garden at Hampton Court. The youngsters were from the Anna Freud Centre, Evelina Children’s Hospital, Action for Children and Place2Be.
Ahead of Kate's engagement, a spokeswoman for Kensington Palace said: "As part of her longstanding work on Early Years the Duchess believes that spending time outdoors plays a pivotal role in children’s future health and happiness. Her garden highlights how time spent in natural environments can help build the foundations for positive physical and mental wellbeing that lasts through childhood and over a lifetime."
Kate was animated as she spoke about her garden on the press day on Monday. Inspired by the garden explored by Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis at RHS Chelsea last month, the Hampton Court garden is double the size and has several, playful new features.
Kate looked lovely dressed in a green printed Sandro dress, which she teamed with a pair of earrings from high-street favourite Accessorize. To complete her look, the Duchess teamed her dress with a pair of wedges.
Kate as ever showed her maternal side as she looked after the young children at the treasure hunt.
The Duchess took charge as she led a group of children around her RHS Back to Nature garden at Hampton Court Palace as they took part in a treasure hunt.
Kate took time explaining to the children about the garden and its many features, which include a waterfall and a rope swing. As well as a treasure hunt, the children enjoyed going bug spotting and also having a picnic.
The Duchess had a wonderful afternoon showing the children all the different features in her garden design. These include a rustic den, a treehouse and a swing - both of which are different to the ones in the garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in June.
The garden is open to the public on Tuesday. During the day, Kate chatted to all the children she had invited to attend the special preview. While talking to a schoolgirl named Millie, the Duchess revealed that Prince George and Princess Charlotte's favourite feature in the garden was the waterfall.
During the treasure hunt, Kate clutched onto a gardening book which had details of many of the different plants and objects in the outside space.
A picnic was provided for the children as they explored around the garden with the Duchess of Cambridge.
Kate was given a plant pot decorated in stickers by one of the children at the RHS Back to Nature event on Tuesday.