Kate Middleton Shows off Playful Side in New Royal Garden Showcase Photos

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, showed a more playful side in a batch of new photos Kensington Palace shared Sunday, taken in the new royal garden.

The photos included one of the Duchess swinging on a rope, planting various shrubs and trees, and even building a treehouse. The photos acted as a preview for Middleton's "Back to Nature" garden designed for the Chelsea Flower Show, which starts on Tuesday, May 21 and ends Saturday, May 25. She is also helping to design the Royal Horticultural Society Garden.

The garden will be "filled with incredible edibles, plants for craft activities, forest scents and a diverse range of plants, shrubs and trees of different heights and textures."

As for the tree house, it is inspired by a "bird or animal nest and provides a wonderful place to retreat and look out through the trees," according to the palace. It is made of chestnut, witch hazel, stag horn oak and larch nest cladding.

"I believe that spending time outdoors when we are young can play a role in laying the foundations for children to become happy, healthy adults," Middleton said in a statement.

According to Kensington Palace, the garden is meant to inspire children and families to enjoy the outdoors more often. It was also inspired by memories of Middleton's childhood and the new memories she makes with the three children she shares with Prince William - Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1.

"Wild planting and natural materials will be used to recreate a woodland wilderness where children and adults alike can feel closer to the great outdoors," the royal family's website notes. "It is hoped that the garden will recapture the sense of wonder and magic that adults enjoyed as children when exploring outside."

Middleton has long shown an interest in gardening since joining the royal family. When she returned from maternity leave after giving birth to Prince Louis, the first thing she did was visit Sayers Croft Forest School and Wildlife Garden. There, she met with children to help them with outdoor activities.

According to the Observer, Middleton's first official engagement of 2019 was at King Henry's Walk Garden in Islington, where she checked out the volunteer-run garden, met children and even made pizza.

Middleton has also been passionate about mental health, believing time outdoors can be a great help.


"The scientific and other evidence is clear: the first few years of a child’s life are more pivotal for development and for future health and happiness than any other single moment in our lifetime," Middleton said in a passionate speech on mental health in February. "No one of us, however, can make a difference alone. I feel so passionately about working together and being here today has affirmed to me just how much already is being done, so thank you to all of you who are prioritizing the importance of mental health and the importance of childhood development as a whole."

Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images