The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children have made a rare public appearance to visit their mothers “Back to Nature” garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.
William and Kate took Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to see the garden co-designed by Kate, before the show opens to the public tomorrow.
In pictures taken by the photographer Matt Porteous, Charlotte and Louis are seen playing on a rope knot swing, while in another George and Charlotte are dipping their toes in a water feature that runs through the centre of the display.
Prince Louis, who turned one last month, is also seen running towards the camera watched by dad William, and looking at stones with his mum Kate.
The candid and relaxed pictures show the Duke and Duchess to be doting parents, having fun with their three children as they explore the garden together.
It is rare to see them all together as a family of five, with William and Kate incredibly protective of their children’s privacy.
But Kate wanted to show George, Charlotte and Louis the display after they helped her gather sticks, twigs, moss and leaves to decorate the garden. A den was made using hazel sticks collected by the family.
The Duchess created the garden with landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White of Davies White Landscape Architects.
They started working on the plans for the woodland wilderness in Autumn last year, with the aim of highlighting the benefits the natural world can have on mental and physical well-being.
It also ties in with Kate’s work around early childhood development.
The Duchess told Monty Don in an interview for the BBC: “I really feel that nature and being interactive outdoors has huge benefits on our physical and mental wellbeing, particularly for young children. I really hope that this woodland that we have created really inspires families, kids and communities to get outside, enjoy nature and the outdoors, and spend quality time together.”
The build at Chelsea started four weeks ago, with some parts of the garden constructed off-site, including the 9-tonne tree house, which is inspired by a bird or animal nest, built in Bristol before being moved to London.
Speaking at a press preview on Sunday Adam White said: “Before we even started doing drawings, it was like what are our memories of being outdoors.
“So hopefully when people visit, you’ll find your inner child, when you walk through you’ll go ‘I remember building dens when I was little, or streams, I love pooh sticks, or campfire, marshmallows on a campfire’.
“We’re hoping people will remember the importance and feel good factor of time outdoors”.
Joint designer Andree Davies added: “What we wanted was a sort of journey through this space, so you get a series of sort of unfolding little views as you come through.
“So when you enter you know we wanted it to be quite enclosed so you feel like you’re stepping into a woodland straightaway the minute you come in, and the next thing you come to is a waterfall.
“As a generation we spend a lot of time, children in particular, indoors at the moment looking at screens and we know intuitively that it’s good for us to be outdoors in nature, but we’ve sort of forgotten to do it.”