Kate got her hands dirty by chipping in and planting some of her favourite fruits and herbs.
This week marked Children’s Hospice Week, an annual event raising awareness and funds for the 49,000 UK children living with life-limiting conditions.
Held each June, this year, there was no lack of Royal support. To mark the occasion, the Duchess of Cambridge herself volunteered at The Nook Children’s Hospice in East Anglia. There, volunteers had come together to build a new outdoor garden for the kids to enjoy.
The Duchess campaigned to fundraise the £10 million needed to open the centre, so has prior history with the hospice.
Kate wasn’t afraid to muck in with the other staffers on hand to help craft the new space. Candid photos show her kneeling on the ground, diving into bags of soil with bare hands and planting strawberry, lavender, geranium and herb plants. She also divided up sunflower seeds among the various children for them to get to work with.
Exclaiming at the mess they’d managed to make in the planting process, the Duchess told stories of her own kids. She shared how George, six, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two, are currently having a rather competitive sunflower growing competition.
“Louis is winning, so George is a little grumpy about that,” she told onlookers with a smile.
Given the main purpose of a children’s hospice, to bring comfort to terminally ill children, the occasion could have been sad. But Kate bought light relief to some patients for the day, including six-year-old Sonny Pope-Saunders, who suffers from a rare brain tumour.
Sonny’s mum Kelly said of her day with the Duchess: “I felt quite at ease as she’s so down to earth. The kids really loved doing the gardening and planting with her. We’ve had a really lovely day here.”
Tracy Rennie of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices also enjoyed the day. She said: “Many people are put off coming to hospices as they worry it’s a place to die. Actually, it’s a place for support, fun and laughter.”
As ever, it’s been a busy week for the Royal family. The visit came the same week as Prince Charles got a payrise and Prince Harry shared an unseen photo of his house. Plus, Megan has reportedly signed with the Obama’s public speaking agency.
The Royal appearance comes as lockdown restrictions across the UK begin to ease. This means the family can get back to work and volunteering publicly, while maintaining a social distance.
Ever the keen gardener, Kate helped to create a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show just last year. She also continues to tackle mental health issues across the UK with her and William’s charity Heads Together.