Duchess Kate releases new photos to hype her Chelsea Flower Show garden

kate garden show

My biggest goal with this post is to avoid making a “pooping rope” joke. But, yeah. Kensington Palace released this new photo of the Duchess of Cambridge as a preview for her “Back to Nature” themed garden at the Chelsea Flower Shower – Kate on a rope swing, which looks both fun and awkward. Remember several months back, there was all of this angst and drama about whether or not the Duchess of Sussex was going to steal Kate’s garden-show thunder? Well, it’s upon us. And I seriously doubt Meghan will even go to the Chelsea Flower Show this year, considering her maternity leave. So Kate’s got the Chelsea Flower Show to herself, and good thing too, because Kensington Palace has been hyping this ALL YEAR. Vanity Fair wrote another hype piece, as did the Daily Mail, which included a very interesting detail about Kate’s Big Mysterious Initiative.

The giggling Duchess of Cambridge recaptures her tomboy childhood as she plays on a rope swing slung from a tree – in the garden she’s designed for the Chelsea Flower Show. The delightful picture was taken by a palace aide last week as Kate took a playful break from putting finishing touches to the garden before the world-famous show opens on Tuesday.

Her plot’s Back To Nature theme is intended to rekindle the magic of childhood, and underlines the work Kate has been doing to promote the benefits of being outdoors for physical and mental health. The mother-of-three wanted her garden to be a playground for children to enjoy, as well as a relaxing space for grown-ups. She was, according to her co-designers, inspired by forest-bathing, the Japanese practice of walking slowly and thoughtfully in woodland to ‘bathe’ in its peace and beauty and recharge the body’s batteries.

Her garden features a bridge over a burbling brook and a quirky wooden treehouse. In a touching tribute to Princess Diana, the garden also features bunches of forget-me-nots, her favourite flowers. And amid the wild foliage and arching trees is a small campfire for toasting snacks and a rustic den thought to be inspired by one she created with her children George, five, Charlotte, four, and Louis, one.

Kate, 37, has spoken fondly of carefree days playing outside as a child and hopes the garden will open a conversation about the effects of nature on mental health and its importance in a child’s formative years. Speaking ahead of the show’s official opening, she said: ‘In recent years, I have focused much of my work on the early years and how instrumental they are for outcomes later in life. 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.’

Her comments come ahead of this week’s first anniversary of the creation of an expert steering group on early years development to advise her on what can be done to ensure a better start in life for all children in Britain.

[From The Daily Mail]

So, once again, Kate’s Big Initiative has been gradually downgraded to “expert steering group” which basically functions as some kind of vague advisory committee… and remember, Kate doesn’t even attend all the meetings of HER OWN GROUP. And the group meets at her home!! LMAO. What was all of the sturm und drang about Meghan “stealing Kate’s thunder” when Kate wanted to unveil her Big Project? Turns out there was never going to be an unveiling because there never was a big project – it’s just an advisory committee which needed a year and countless resources to convince Kate that… kids should go play outside. I mean, it IS an important thing considering fewer kids are playing outside these days. But again, the conversations about what Kate has learned from her advisory group sound so obvious. “Kids should play outside” and “if traumatized children don’t get theraputic help, they will probably have issues later on.” It’s not a campaign or a new charity or a study in a early childhood development journal. It’s just Kate pooping rope.

Oh, and late Sunday, KP released more images of Kate showing the garden to William and all three kids. My favorite photo is the one of George and Charlotte side-by-side, looking at their feet in the mini-creek. It’s a beautiful, precious photo.





Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and Kensington Palace.

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170 Responses to “Duchess Kate releases new photos to hype her Chelsea Flower Show garden”

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  1. Jennifer says:

    I really like this – what a beautiful garden.

    • ADS says:

      I agree. And the photos are lovely. Kate looks radiant in that top one!

    • jen says:

      Me too, the photos are adorable. So much snark in this post, I don’t hate on Kate but I see how she can never step in the right.

    • CheckThatPrivilege says:

      Beautiful setting & photos! Kate’s got enviable muscle tone showing in her legs in that first photo.

    • himmiefan says:

      I agree, it looks great. Makes me want to play on the rope swing.

    • Wilady says:

      I love gardens you could get lost in and play in and this definitely fits the bill. I would love to have the space and money to get creative like this!! How freaking fun!!

  2. scottiegal says:

    The wedges of doom are back!

    • agnes says:

      HAH! First thought when I saw this on twitter.

    • Mego says:

      And the shapeless dress a la Pippa.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Appropriate for the venue.

    • Wisca says:

      I love wedges. I know that places me in the extreme minority here. I like feeling grounded, especially when I’m on my feet a lot–outdoors (concert in the park, date with a great deal of city walking etc.). So I guess it’s me, Kate, and Aniston. ;-) I have a pair of Cole Haan leather numbers and get compliments.

      • KidV says:

        I love wedges too. Like you said, they’re perfect if you’re going to be standing or walking a lot. And they’re great for having to walk on grass.

  3. TheHufflepuffLizLemon says:

    Maybe because I had a rope swing and a childhood that looked much like this, it’s pulling at my heart in major ways. And maybe because we finally settled down in an area that looks so much like home to me (I grew up in East Tennessee and north GA has the same rolling hills leading to the Appalachian Mountains and it’s so green in the spring and summer that it gives me joy), I appreciate these pictures more than anything formal or fancy. We have a creek running behind the homes in our culdesac, with woods, and the boys in our group are reaching an age where exploring will be a joy.

    I can’t speak to how much work Kate did, but the simple joy of a childhood outdoors, and the feeling of being outdoors for everyone who has access to green spaces (I know it’s a privilege)… it can have such an impact. For children, free play has been shown to be vital to their development, and for adults, it reduces depression and anxiety significantly to be outside, in green spaces, in the daytime, and promotes better rest and clearer daytime/nighttime boundaries for people who struggle with insomnia.

    Can’t hate on this one.

  4. Nico says:

    She’s so cute. I love it.

    • Amy Too says:

      They are really infantilizing Kate, aren’t they? She “giggled” while playing on the swing? Seriously? Why not just say she laughed? Why a picture of a grown woman on a swing? They do this a lot with Kate. She’s perpetually this young, innocent, girly girl, despite having three children and a husband and what’s supposed to be an important job and place in the world. She’s the same age as Meghan, yet Meghan is always portrayed as this mature, scheming, Machiavellian diva who’s using her years of life experience to manipulate people and the press and making poor Kate cry. White women are often seen as innocent and need of protection—they’re infantilized. While black girls and women are consistently seen as being more mature and advanced for their age—capable of dangerous machinations and assumed to be sexually experienced and manipulative.

      • jen says:

        Garden photos here. Talk about putting a spin on things.

      • Tangie says:

        So very true! They do infantalize her. I see it all the time. Then I’m told, “you’re different” or, “I hold you to a higher standard”

      • K says:

        omg she is highlighting the fun swing in the garden and the importance of play what did you want her to do?

      • KidV says:

        There’s nothing wrong with her being on a swing. I’m far older than Kate and I would have jumped on it too. It looks like fun AND it shows the swing was made to be used, not just for show.

  5. Flying fish says:


  6. Digital Unicorn says:

    Being outdoors does fit with Kate as she has always been an outdoorsy sporty person. But I really wish the press would stop bigging her up as some sort of figurehead for early years development which has been around for a long time, there has already been a lot of research and work done on it. Outdoor play has been around for a long time, my nephews now in their late teens/early twenties did a lot of this in their nursery which had its own garden/play area. I live in central London and there are a lot of small parks and childrens play areas – i actually live just across from one which the local council has just done up. She has not come up with this on her own, which her PR seems to be implying. Its Head Together all over again, she creates a committee and then takes the credit for their work.

    It looks like a fun garden but they really need to stop with the whole ‘remembering Diana’ PR spin, as they always seem to tote that out when they’ve had some bad press.

    • Enn says:

      Does the “remembering Diana” thing only apply to Kate? Because I remember the world going apesh*t over a photo of baby feet and forget-me-nots last week.

      • TheOriginalMia says:

        If the Sussexes are using Diana’s memory whenever they have bad press 7 years from, then yes, they’ll get the critique too. As Archie is Harry’s first and they planted Forget Me Nots outside their home, they will be celebrated for that picture.

      • Susan says:

        Lol, Enn, welcome to the Resistance.

      • Amy Too says:

        Wasn’t that specifically a mother’s day post though? I think using Diana imagery on mother’s day makes sense.

      • K says:

        THANK YOU!!!

      • BabaBlacksheep4 says:

        If it was a mother’s day post then why didn’t she even allude to her own mother that she is supposedly so close to (even if she didn’t show up to her daughters baby shower)? It was all about a mother in law she has never and will never meet.

      • Amne says:

        Exactly right, Baba. And it wasn’t even Mother’s Day in the UK. It was released on Mother’s Day in the U.S., which just seemed all the more insincere.

    • Marigold says:

      Outdoor time, particularly during the school day, is something most children in the western world have a deficit of. The amount of time spent out of doors has decreased steadily for most children in the last 25 years. No one is claiming Kate is reinventing the wheel by talking about the value of outdoors time. But just because something has been researched and the outcome of said research should be obvious, doesn’t mean we stop talking about it and talking it up-particularly when we know the research is categorically ignored on a massive scale.

      • Noway says:

        Sure it’s obvious I need to eat less and better food and move more to lose weight, but yet here I am still not doing it enough. I don’t think reminders and showing people how cool an outdoor garden can be (forget me nots and all) is such a bad thing. Sorry, but sometimes I’d rather have the stupid poop a rope jokes than some of the hate on here. If Meghan did this you guys would be gaga over it. Granted it’s obvious, but so is a cookbook. Just saying lets stop aimlessly criticizing cause they are not your cup of tea. There’s nothing here to criticize really.

        On a cute note, wow George and Charlotte look so big in that picture, and Louis is just too cute.

    • Gemima says:

      @DG, but isn’t this sort of bigging up what the royals do in general? Yeah it can be criticised as not doing the real work but that’s literally what the royals are about. Some say it’s good PR for different causes and that’s their role. *shrug*

    • BlueOrange says:

      I think now is the time more than ever that we need to be talking about getting kids outside and playing. Sure kids did this in the past and it’s not new but kids are more glued to tablets, phones and games consoles than ever before.

  7. Busyann says:

    Yeah, the garden is great, except children under 5 are not allowed. Why?!!


    • Erinn says:

      Because that’s the rule of the flower show and far too many parents of toddlers let them run wild and those pushing strollers are awful in tight public places? I assume it’s partially a safety thing but also an attempt to make sure nothing gets trampled on.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That’s interesting, especially since her own under-five was allowed in (in advance). I’m guessing it’s because of the fire for toasting marshmallows. I watched the video of Kate’s kids in the garden & heard George say, ‘ooh la la!’ So cute.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      And there is the irony of the garden, given that its part of her early years intervention thing, that the very age group she claims it’s for cannot go and enjoy it.

      Her young kids being there is only for the PR to show everyone how much of a loving, normal family the Cambridge’s are.

      Rose who?

      • Nic919 says:

        But Kate did something guys and she took some photos so we need to pretend that she has saved the world.

      • Seraphina says:

        Digital Unicorn, spot on. I’ve been binge watching Victoria and reading up on Albert and Victoria and how much they wanted to seem like the perfect family when the monarchy was seen as anything but normal.

      • Tangie says:

        @lawyergal she did do a photo-op with some black and brown children (yikes). The pics are up on the web.

      • lawyergal says:

        @tangie. Oh geez. I looked at KP’s instagram – yikes is right. She should take a page out of Meghan’s cookbook and spend weeks, not minutes, with less privileged kids getting to know them and working with them on a beautiful garden in their own communities before using them as props in a photo op.

    • Tina says:

      Children under 5 are not allowed anywhere at the Chelsea Flower Show. It’s a good thing too, it’s mega-crowded on days when mere mortals are allowed to go and having to deal with pushchairs would drive everyone even more insane.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        So why are they marketing this garden as something for children if they’re not even allowes to enter it? It makea no sense

      • lawyergal says:

        Right. So her initiative is inaccessible to the age group it’s supposed to target aka even more useless than the basic photo op that this is. Also if she wants credit for this I want pictures of her actually gardening in the inner city with children of color from lower-income families, not the ones of a woman in her late thirties swinging on a rope swing and playing with her overprivileged white progeny.

    • minx says:

      I think that’s sensible.

      • Gemima says:

        Yeah I don’t know if any of you have been to the Chelsea Flower Show but it’s not like a park where everyone goes and plays around, the flowers and the plants and gardens are for display. It is super crowded and insane, it’s really not for small children. It’s fabulous though.

  8. Millennial says:

    DM titled that photo “Queen of the Swingers” which – I don’t even care for Kate that much but why should she have to eat s*** for Will’s cheating? Meghan’s in hiding so they’ve gone back to bashing Kate.

    • Lulu says:

      @Millenial hahaha! That’s awful that i find it funny but the DM is so so petty.
      Even the comments have gotten nastier since Meg is off. Lots of comments on her weight and outfit choices. Goes to show that the press needs s punching bag.

      • Millenial says:

        Yeah, I think that’s my larger point. Kate probably let out a sigh of relief when Meghan got on the scene, but they will come right back to her when Meghan is otherwise occupied. You only get to be the English Rose who never put a foot wrong when it’s convenient for the press to have a foil for Meghan.

    • Pants says:

      I agree! Commenters get so involved in this Cambridge vs Sussex but most of it is driven by the petty royal reporters and tabloids. The duchesses sell more than the princes!

      I do agree with comments about the differences in criticism about the couples. Both women have been ripped apart but in different ways. The Sussexs are the new punching bags. When they are quiet, especially Meghan, the focus goes to Kate.

  9. Lama Bean says:

    This sounds similar to the rollout of #bebest.

    Anyway, garden is cute, kids are cute, burn the wedges.

    • K says:

      Or my beloved Michelle Obama’s Lets Move Campaign. In fact it doesn’t sound anythng like be best but everything like Lets Move- which was all about kids going outside for better health.

  10. Lulu says:

    Kids are adorable. And that picture of Kate looks very throwback. That’s how she dressed and looked before becoming a duchess. I forget that she is really quite the Tomboy herself. Looks like Sporty Spice right there.

    • maude says:

      The way she used to look before becoming a duchess??!! Are you kidding? Maybe the attire, but she is a shadow of her former healthy looking self….

  11. duchess of hazard says:

    I am torn about this in that it’s a GOOD initiative and great for the landed gentry to push it and all that but – under this government (and starting from the Blair years) parks and green spaces have been sold off to property developers.

    It’s gotten to the point where if property developers build properties for social concerns, they ban the children who live in these social grounds for using the leafy pay grounds of private tenants. This would have been something to bring up/tie into the flower show without being political. About this being for ALL children primarily those from urban backgrounds.

    With Kate’s initiative – does it protect parks or offer urban children the chance of having spaces to play? Or help to push against the social concerns as described above? What is the narrative of the show in that sense (I’ve read it, and it’s very middle class aspirational waffling).

    She’s pretty sporty and I have always thought that she could have leaned into that, especially since it seems that for olympic sports a lot of people are middle to upper class. This is so especially in Winter Olympic sports. There needs to be a conversation about that, and an intitative centering around that would have been in her wheelhouse, so to speak.

    For all the side eye I give Prince Charles, at least The Princes’ Trust has offered chances to youth at risk, or at the margins of privilege (Idris Elba being a famous recipient of The Prince’s Trust when he was a young actor), and Prince Philip had his Duke of Edinburg awards which encouraged children to get out and explore and get badges/certificate at the end of it.

    I’m not crapping on Kate’s initiative, but it’s another case of her Duchess DoLittle or DotheLeast you know? And another way of how the younger royals are failing (save Duchess Meghan – so far).

    But yeah, the children are cute, I guess.

    • Nic919 says:

      I agree with this. The garden is nice and so is the idea that kids should play outside, but how does this garden help any actual kids who can’t afford the entry fee to the garden show.

      • Eliza says:

        I believe the entire garden is being donated to a secure mental health facility after the show. So it will help one group of people who can use it.

      • Amne says:

        It’s an exhortation to parents to chuck their kids outside to play. Of course, she knows 5 and under can’t attend. But the PR serves as a powerful admonition for parents to make sure their kids get outside time.

    • Tina says:

      Yes, I agree as well. Given the pollution, the high rates of asthma among urban children in London as well as the social concerns you mention, it would have been good for Kate to focus a bit on the children who don’t have access to spaces such as these, and work on giving them such access.

      • Some chick says:

        Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to her. She probably thinks she comes from quite modest means.

        Something nice: Charlotte on the swing! And, the swing! That Monkey Fist! Nice ropework, someone.

        I also want to go hang out in the treehouse.

        I’m enjoying her more relaxed garden style. No matter what she wears, people will crap on it. So she might as well wear what she wants.

  12. Casey20 says:

    Kate couldn’t compete with the nearly 6 million views of the Sussex’s wedding video so she had to parade the children out for attention. As usual…Another VANILLA project from Kate. I’m sure they wil! parade the Queen out to view… Kate needs the help!!!

    • Kim says:

      I’m pretty sure Kate didn’t in the heat of the moment drag the kids along. I’m sure all of this was planned months in advance.
      Also, why release a wedding video a year later “thanking people”, a mere day after Lady Gabriella gets married. If anything THAT is “stealing attention away” similar to the maternity outfit at Eugenie’s wedding.

      • Gingerbee says:

        It is not stealing attention from Lady Gabtiella’s wedding. May 19th was the Duke and Duchess of Sussex anniversary date.

      • Beach Dreams says:

        Lol, it’s their wedding anniversary, of course they’re going to release the video on the day they got married. Did you want them to release it in June? And I find it funny how no one was screaming about her supposedly “plain and boring” navy outfit being attention stealing until the pregnancy announcement.

      • Kim says:

        “Lol, it’s their wedding anniversary, of course they’re going to release the video on the day they got married”
        NO royal has ever released a commemorative “wedding video.” For a couple who are so hell-bend on their privacy what was the point of this? They thanked people for their support of their wedding when they got married.

      • Casey02 says:

        They want privacy for their son..please read and comprehend

      • Beach Dreams says:

        They released a few new photos of their choice from their wedding. How exactly does that differ from the other royals posting pictures for their own anniversaries and birthdays??? Why is it okay for other royals to celebrate but not the Sussexes? Are they supposed to keep quiet just to satisfy your ever changing goalposts?

        And why are you whining about them valuing their privacy? Meghan already talked about the difference between private and personal, so you shouldn’t act surprised. The two other recent royal weddings had plenty of leaked vids and photos from the “private” receptions.

      • Kim says:

        “They released a few photos of their choice from their wedding” – um no.

        They released a video with these photos set to music. This wasn’t just a “oh 1 year later post” it was a video “thanking people for their support, here’s a video with music and some unseen images. ” Why not release this a month or two after the marriage if they wanted to thank people, why wait until a year later?
        Oh, yeah, they didn’t have a “personal Instagram account” a year ago, and the official one probably wouldn’t have given approval to post it.

        There is a line between celebrity and royalty. Release the photos – fine.
        Make your own music video and release it to the masses? Sorry. It’s a little too much. Leave that to obsessed fans on Youtube to do.

      • Beach Dreams says:

        Um, yes. What sense would it make to release this a month after the wedding? Clearly the concept of anniversaries is foreign to you…or maybe it’s ‘foreign’ when it comes to how you feel about the Sussexes. Calling it a music video is laughable (and btw, that music was kinda important to their wedding. It’s not exactly some random piece they decided to throw in but I’m sure you didn’t realize that). You’re obviously in the minority because the response to the video was overwhelmingly positive. It’s also obvious that you’d like nothing more than for the Sussexes to be out of sight.

    • Eliza says:

      They released the photos late Sunday night so they would be in all of Monday mornings newspapers to go with the show’s opening.

      The anniversary video was posted first thing in the morning Sunday.

      I think they timed it nicely to let everyone have a moment.

      • whateVer3 says:

        I agree.

      • Pants says:

        I agree, too. All the main royals should be posting daily! Normal people post regularly. Part of their job is promoting the monarchy and getting attention because their popularity helps their causes and charities.

    • ana says:

      I think you’re the one who needs help.

    • Linda says:

      But why on earth should Kate need to compete with Meghan and Harry? There is worldwide interest in both couples as evidenced by the number of views of the wedding pictures and the garden pictures. Both couples are extremely popular worldwide, heck I live in a West African country and my news feed has been filled with pictures of both sides. Shrug.

      • Noway says:

        I agree, millions of people have viewed both things.

        I do find it odd about the wedding video on their anniversary. It’s not a big thing, but why release it? A few pictures sure to commemorate but the video it’s not like we all didn’t see it, nor does it bring attention to any cause. It only really brings more celebrity attention. I really think people need to look at this as I do Trump, and say what would you say if W&K did this. Now be honest. You could do it the other way too. People aren’t being fair, especially to the women which is more than a bit disconcerting. At least William and Harry do get some of the flack for things, but the majority seems to be going to the women. Just the way the world goes unfortunately. Everyone on here thinks the women run the show, and I’m thinking the only woman really running the show is the Queen, not Kate or Meghan.

  13. RoyalBlue says:

    The average family doesn’t have the yard space to have a luxury like that. Unless the Duchess is suggesting all public parks have facilities like that I think it is tone deaf.

    Wonderful idea but let’s admit it, it is a playground for the wealthy.

    • whateVer3 says:

      I don’t think she is suggesting that people need to have this set up in their own gardens but there are nice parks, woodlands and outdoor spaces over the country. Parents need to get their children to put down electronics and get outside.

    • Karen2 says:

      In the 70s nearly all public parks actually did have fantastic swings & rope ladders just like that. They were called adventure playgrounds. All gone now due to insurance claims & kids using them to take drugs. 😥

    • Amne says:

      Oh please-you can chuck a sandbox in a back yard. You don’t have to be rich to play with sticks and in the dirt as a kid.

      • Some chick says:

        Many, many folks do not have a back yard at all.

        Renters would have to get permission, even if they do have a backyard. Which many renters do not.

        It’s not that simple.

      • Amne says:

        There are also these things called public parks that have playgrounds. I live in a city where there are multiple. They even have forested areas, wooden bridges and babbling brooks. The point is no, you do not have to be wealthy to encourage your kids to partake of nature. You just have to make an effort.

  14. starryfish29 says:

    It will never stop being hilarious to me that this is her biggest solo endeavor in eight years. The hype around this has been something else.

    • greta says:

      and “solo” certainly doesn’t mean singlehanded in this case. It’s not like she rolled up her sleeves and truly got down to work ffs. She lent her name to a cause, participated in some meetings and showed up for the photos. Done.

  15. Karen2 says:

    It is absolutely a bog standard Royal photo of Royals with their own privileged offspring. The photo would have been precious if the Royals had included some toddlers from, say, one of their charities playing in the garden with GCL.

    • Birds eye view says:

      Exactly…are they ever going to interact with children who are not privileged?

  16. vava says:

    That rope swing reminds me of Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball”. LOL

    Kate, can you find some tighter jeans, please?

    She didn’t design the garden, what a crock.

    Hate the wedges, love the kids. Can’t imagine living with William.

    • whateVer3 says:

      Harry was named as a Designer for one of his RHS Gardens. I’m curious did you also call him a crock?

    • Erinn says:

      They pulled the same kind of thing for Harry when he was involved with a garden years back. There were so many articles praising him for his garden when we all know they’re probably minimally involved. I’d imagine they give certain ideas that they’d like to see and then the real designer works their magic, shows them the blueprint asks if there’s anything else they’d like to see before handing it off to the team to do the landscaping. But it is definitely not a situation unique to Kate.

    • Nic919 says:

      Did Harry do four separate photo shoots in promoting his garden and then several articles like his garden would save the world? I don’t seem to recall that. Besides he has real involvement in things like Invictus and Sentebale so he doesn’t need to place all his energy in a garden that will only benefit a very small number of people.

      • whateVer3 says:

        There is nothing wrong with providing updates to a project. She could have done a lot more than four photoshoots if she wanted to. She probably would have been dragged for just releasing one set of pictures tbh. Being involved in a garden which will be placed in a NHS Trust which helps people with severe mental health issues and learning difficulties is nothing to scoff about.

        Also If I recall correctly Harry was praised as being hands-on with his garden because he contacted the designers quiet a lot to get updates LOL. From what the co-designers have said about Kate’s involvement she’s done a lot more than just contact the designers for updates.

      • Nic919 says:

        The original point was that Harry was a garden designer with the same amount of of involvement as Kate was, which is probably true since it is doubtful either was spending hours digging out the garden. My point was that since Kate does so little, she had to hype this up with several photo shoots, which were noted in the Court Circular so she will get credit for that as work, and that she has no other significant project going on in addition to this. Harry has done other more involved long terms things like Invictus and Sentebale and the reach is far greater. And besides today she has been trying to hype this as a garden for all kids and yet so few will have access to it. Kids under five aren’t event allowed to attend the Chelsea Flower Show, unlike her privileged kids.

        And four separate photo shoots is excessive for a garden and any other royal would be ripped apart for doing that. The updates showed very little except to show Kate was attending before the main event.

      • whateVer3 says:


        The co-designers have already said that Kate has been involved with generating ideas, model building visiting suppliers, builders etc. These haven’t been included in the Court Circular when they could have been. Kate has also said herself that she has spent hours planting plants in the run up to the opening. Now, you’re entitled to question how involved she has been but the same needs to be done for every project that every royal has been involved in.

        Also how do you know that she has no significant project going on? She may have, we didn’t know about the RHS Garden until months in to it.

      • Gemima says:

        I don’t understand all this negativity about this garden. I mean she is a royal, she is there for PR no? If she didn’t do it there would be a – oh she can’t even be bothered to do more than one photoshoot – outcry. As for people not having access to the garden, if you have been to the Chelsea Flower Show you will see that they are more like display gardens, it is a hugely crowded show so it doesn’t make sense to have very small children there. Someone upthread said the garden will be donated to an NHS trust, which is a lovely idea.

    • Gingerbee says:

      OMG, I actually spat out my tea. Too funny!

  17. Sam says:

    Does anyone know what boots those are in the top photo?

  18. Enn says:

    I think it looks awesome. I grew up in the city, but my neighbor had a (what I now realize was tiny) patch with a hedge and flowers and young me thought that it was a garden right out of a book. I would make up all kinds of adventures.

  19. Lorelei says:

    I didn’t write this comment — I saw it on Jezebel — but it sums up how I feel:

    “this garden is very twee and very Prince Charles, hearkening back to an imagined pre-Industrial Revolution England, where everyone had tons of free time on their hands and lived near babbling brooks and danced around a Maypole and threshed and spun, but not too much, and it was all ruined when the mills and the railways showed up.”

    The children are adorable, though.

    • Tourmaline says:

      If anyone has watched the show The Windsors, this is reminding me of the episode where they all toured Charles’s model town Poundbury! That was a funny episode.

    • K says:

      I don’t get this comment- like honestly please for the love of god is it terrible for people to encourage children to play outside? And explain the reasons this is valuable?

      I mean people ripped Michelle Obama apart when she did it, now Kate? Do these people want kids to be locked in a room and only looking at screens?

      Honestly this is just people desperate to be upset or slam someone.

  20. Becks1 says:

    I think the garden looks lovely and like a lot of fun, love the pics of the kids playing.

    I did laugh at the pictures of Kate in that dress though – which looks lovely objectively – because my reaction was, “of course! that’s what I wear to play with my children outside!” lol

    • Marigold says:

      I wear dresses almost daily in warm weather while playing with my children outside. So.

      • Becks1 says:

        Fancy dresses like that with wedges?

        I wear sundresses almost exclusively in the summer, but not ones like that for playing in the garden. So.

  21. Seraphina says:

    What struck me is the pics they released. Have they ever released so many pics of the kids. I just feel like they are trying to one up Megs and Harry. But what do I know.

    And it all is staged so I am unimpressed. I just get the feeling she HAS to do it and it’s all have hearted. Kinda like when I HAVE to make dinner vs when I want to make dinner. Half hearted attempts show.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      We’ve seen more of the kids in the past two months than the entirety of 2018. Usually it’s just the standard birthday photos. Curious.

      • whateVer3 says:

        Have you forgotten all the weddings they were involved in last year, Louis Christening and Charles’ birthday pictures? We definitely saw more of them in 2018.

      • Seraphina says:

        @whatever3, weddings aside because they have to be photographed at weddings. But this is a different approach. Very family oriented and releasing (happily) photos. Just smells off to me.

      • Beach Dreams says:

        A whopping three (to my recollection) weddings that were spaced out over the year. Two of them were royal weddings, where the kids weren’t the main attraction for the press anyway. Brief glimpses of entering and leaving the church for the christening, and a handful of the expected photos for that and Charles’ birthday.

        Nothing like all the photos from that outing with the Tindalls (some of them stunningly hq) and the promo footage of them running around the garden. Louis coming so close to the camera reminded me of the little press setups that Charles and Diana had with William when he was at a similar age.

      • Seraphina says:

        They are playing nice and it’s all PR. Everything is calculated. And especially when Wills has thrown temper tantrums and made it quite evident that his family will not be part of the paparazzi game.

    • Mego says:

      Well I for one am convinced they are a very happy couple focussed on their children thanks to these pics! Rose who?

      • Seraphina says:

        @MEGO, yes, I agree. Carefree happy couple. You must be asking about the roses in the garden, right.

  22. Tris says:

    Charlotte is totally adorable.

  23. Iknow says:

    Louis looks just like Kate. The kids look so happy and carefree.

  24. Cerys says:

    The DM are stirring it today with a story about royal courtiers being concerned that the Sussexes and Cambridges are trying to outdo each other with photographs this weekend. I have no idea, obviously, if that’s true or not. However the timing is a bit suspect. That said, the photos of Kate in the garden and then the whole family are lovely as are Meghan and Harry’s anniversary pictures.

    • Mego says:

      Eh. My take is that there is no competition this weekend (not to say there aren’t at other times). Meghan and Harry’s anniversary should really only be a big deal to them, not us. I was happy for the insta pics and throwback and all but W&K’s thing has nothing to do with them. Now trying to make us forget turniptoffgate – that is likely at play here.

  25. ChillyWilly says:

    The kids are so CUTE! I want that rope swing!

  26. Linda says:

    Absolutely gorgeous photos of her family. They made me smile this morning.

  27. MellyMel says:

    Well the kids are cute…

  28. RoyalBlue says:

    The kids seem to live in a glass bubble. Carefully released staged photos of them in a controlled environment or only with cousins. No pictures of them at the show itself playing with the plebeians. This to me does not show how down to earth they are but highlights more their distance from regular folk.

    • Mumbles says:

      We know they have real lives. They go to school and go shopping with the mom and play with slime and have emergency bathroom stops just like other kids but I think it’s good that their “real lives” aren’t being documented every second.

      It is uncanny how much Louis resembles George at his age. I remember George’s first birthday photo (him reaching out for a butterfly, it was actually really cute) and he looks just like Louis.

    • K says:

      In what world would Kate as a mom want to risk the safety and privacy of children who are not royal? I mean if they were allowing pictures of the kids playing with random school children can you imagine? As a mom of a non royal child I would be enraged. 99% of children in teh world are not public figures and just because they are friends with a royal doesn’t mean their privacy isn’t to be respected.

      • Vanessa says:

        But when their was article allegations that Meghan and Harry wanted to give their son the same type of privacy their was pure outrage by people . Meghan was accused of being ungrateful to British people and how dare she wants privacy for her son even though three days after he was born he was compared to monkey.

    • minx says:

      I think that’s a big assumption to make, that they live in a glass bubble. We don’t see their day-to-day lives. They look happy and loved.

    • Some chick says:

      They are all too young to be permitted entry to the show when it is open.

  29. Emby says:

    Pants hate. Dress love.

  30. Gigi La Moore says:

    Just wondering where the accusations of showing people up are. The Sussex’s anniversary was yesterday, these pictures couldn’t have waited? Kate and William are just as calculating as Meg and Harry are accused of being.

    • Noway says:

      These were planned with the Chelsea Flower show so no it couldn’t have waited, as the show is when it is. Seriously, are we all going to have to celebrate Meghan and Harry’s wedding anniversary every year too. Granted it was great, but honestly, I don’t care. Did we do that for Kate and William? Charles and Diana? Fergie and Andrew? The Queen and Prince Phillip? Sure it’s special to them, but is it a cause celebre for all of us? Don’t think so. Most of us just post a facebook post saying Happy Anniversary, don’t see how you’d be showing up another occasion for that.

    • BabaBlacksheep4 says:

      @gigi so what? We’re all supposed to sit on our thumbs on their anniversary? I forgot just how important and special H&M are that EVERYONE has to stop everything they are doing to celebrate the wedding anniversary of two complete strangers. Please. The day has no special significance for W&K, why should they not work (which people get pissy at them for not working now get pissy when they do?)

  31. My3cents says:

    I’m sorry but I really would have like to have seen her take this a step further than stating the obvious and having a bunch of gardeners (sorry landscape architects) decorate and create this little oasis.
    If this is so important how about trying to set up gardening centers and outdoor areas for city kids with less access to such? How about gardening classes for those kids? Just two random ideas with no creative and pr team here.
    This is so vanilla half assed.

    • Ella says:

      I understand that the idea is that she will continue to work with the designers to create some childrens’ playgrounds in some Royal parks/grounds – I have read this somewhere but I cannot remember where. Possibly either the CFS website or KP’s instagram.

    • Amy Too says:

      I watch Gardeners’ World which is a British gardening show and they’re constantly visiting little community gardens or school gardens that people have set up in the community. Usually with much fewer resources and so much less money than one would get to use for a Chelsea Flower Show show garden. These sort of gardens and small green spaces are becoming such a big thing right now as people are realizing that they’re SOOOOO beneficial for kids and adults: being outside is good for your physical and mental health, growing food helps people to eat more healthily and learn about where their food comes from and what is available seasonally, planting a seed or a plant with the expectation that you will need to be around to tend to it and watch it grow helps people who are physically and mentally ill because it gives them hope for the future and it also teaches children how to care for something long term and wait for the results. There are sensory gardens for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. Calming scents for those who have anxiety, bright colors for those who can’t see very well, interesting textures for sensory stimulation, beautiful smells for the blind. It’s such a big cause right now and it would be a perfect fit for Kate as it touches on both mental health and raising happy, healthy children. If she had used this garden to promote something like a charity that gives money and manpower for creating these little gardens in cities and at schools, it could’ve been so cool. But this, while a beautiful garden that can be transplanted to the hospital it’s eventually going to, has a very limited reach and such a vague message: “playing outside is fun and important for kids.” Of course it is and we know that, but what’s the next step? How is she going to continue this work? Where can people donate or learn more? Right now, it’s very “look at this great space we created as a literal show garden—it’s just for looking at, it’s not for playing in right now. Just look at it and maybe try to recreate it on your own.” Okay but how? With what resources? I can see this being inspirational for the very wealthy who could commission these designers to create a similar space for their kids…. but what about everyone else?

      • Sisi says:

        just so you know, many of those community gardens that are made with fewer resources have RHS as a resource though. Which is the charity that is promoted by Kate here.
        The more revenue the RHS has through their shows and donations, the more they can support community projects.

  32. LailaZaid says:

    Wow, there really aren’t any fellow Londoners or other Brits on here, huh? Everyone is commenting from a US perspective and it’s hilarious because you’re all getting so many things wrong! Man, I wish LAK still posted because she was the truth! The Cfs is a show/display garden! This garden will be planted & placed in a NHS hospital in London and another NHS mental health facility. I can’t remember but I think it was initially stated there would be 3 or 4 gardens placed within mental health places. As for the steering group, I guess no one on here has a Masters or a doctorate? If you did, you would know it takes a long time to research which is exactly what the steering panel is. Of course mental health researchers do the work, no one thinks Kate is in the lab! All she has done is gathered an accomplished group, they report on their findings once a month or so and the results will come out in due time once their research is completed. Lol at people on here scoffing about gardens which will be placed with the NHS which will help regular patients and their families. What are you all doing for your communities? My family and I do a lot before anyone asks.

    • Noway says:

      Thank you for the info, I felt like it was similar to Philadelphia’s garden show. Which is spectacular for any US people who haven’t been. Maybe, I can go see the Chelsea show one year. I had heard this garden was going to be put in a mental health facility, and glad to hear they are putting in more. Yes we do have steering committee’s in the US, but unfortunately a lot of people over here feel they are mainly rich women on them who don’t work and don’t see the importance as they don’t always accomplish anything. Still a lot do accomplish things, and to complain about a good project cause the “princess” you don’t like is in charge is a bit hypocritical. Just like any celebrity Kate is brought in to raise awareness, and that is what she did. Voila why the kids are there too. It’s a good thing, and I hope and am pretty sure this will be what Harry, Meghan and Archie do too.

      • Momoftwod says:

        I thought this was similar to the Philadelphia flower show as well, and I can’t understand the hate for the garden either :(

    • Momoftwod says:

      I miss LAK and Sixer as well, they both had great insight and knowledge

      • Seraphina says:

        Me too. I loved reading their insight. And Tiara Thursday has also stopped. Hope all is well with all three. Miss reading their commentary.

    • Cratey says:

      Do we know what happened to LAK and Sixer?

      I really miss their insight.

    • jen says:

      I don’t know what lak and sixer means, but I appreciate the insights from across the pond.

    • KidV says:

      Hope the air isn’t too thin for you up there on your high horse.

  33. LailaZaid says:

    Wow, there really aren’t any fellow Londoners or other Brits on here, huh? Everyone is commenting from a US perspective and it’s hilarious because you’re all getting so many things wrong! Man, I wish LAK still posted because she was the truth! The Cfs is a show/display garden! This garden will be planted & placed in a NHS hospital in London and another NHS mental health facility. I can’t remember but I think it was initially stated there would be 3 or 4 gardens placed within mental health places. As for the steering group, I guess no one on here has a Masters or a doctorate? If you did, you would know it takes a long time to research which is exactly what the steering panel is. Of course mental health researchers do the work, no one thinks Kate is in the lab! All she has done is gathered an accomplished group, they report on their findings once a month or so and the results will come out in due time once their research is completed. Lol at people on here scoffing about gardens which will be placed with the NHS which will help regular patients and their families. What are you all doing for your communities? My family and I do a lot …. before anyone asks. Yes , they are all privileged Royals but this is their job! None of them do the hard work and lifting for their causes, they turn up for the PR aspect. Amy P did a lot of work for the Grenfell project and she has now moved onto a better position. Us regulars keep charity organisations and causes flowing with philanthropy and action. Royals turn up to build awareness , nothing else, which is absolutely fine – it’s in their job description!

    • Gemima says:

      @LailaZaid, I am a fellow Londoner and Brit hello! I tried to comment upthread about the nature of the Chelsea Flower Show and how these gardens are actually show gardens. Also I have been to the CFS and trust me it is insanity, mostly the clientele is an older demographic passionate about all things floral! You would NOT wish to take any under 5 to this show. Agree with your comment, esp the last bit about the PR part of the royals’ job (which is all there is to the job really). I miss Lak and Sixer too.

    • Tina says:

      Hi both, me too. I am not as bothered as you are though, as one garden in one NHS hospital will have limited effect.

  34. burdzeyeview says:

    Wouldn’t it have been nice for Kate and William to take the children to the garden the same day as some local schoolchildren attended? Or have they no intention of letting them ever meet ordinary children? Very short-sighted….in a decade or 2 those same kids might be asked to vote on keeping the monarchy….

    • Ella says:

      There was an event this morning with children from a school local to the show in the garden with Kate. Children under 5 are not allowed into the show once it opens to the public.

      George and Charlotte meet ‘ordinary’ kids every day, at school, which is where they are today. If Kate had brought Louis with her today, she wouldn’t be giving the children from the local school her full attention, because he looks like the kind of child who will be into everything the second you take your eyes off him, and if she had him there with a nanny to look after him, she’d be criticised for that too!

      • Birds eye view says:

        They meet posh wealthy kids at school…it’s ok to bring them up as elitist?

    • Amne says:

      So you want them to be working at this age? Because soon enough they will be working Royals and doing just that. They mingle with kids at their schools. Let them be kids.

      • Birds eye view says:

        They mingle with wealthy posh kids. It’s the 21st century you’d think they’d bring them up to be more inclusive. European royals seem to be able to manage to introduce their children to their royal role from an early age without it having a detrimental effect on them.

  35. YankLynn says:

    I did a double take and had click/enlarge the shot where Kate is showing Louis a leaf or something — Louis looked like George at that age to me when Kate and Will took him on a trip… Australia ? Anyway — Louis is running already ! Cute pic of him dashing down the boardwalk. Charlotte and George are cute in that shot playing in the creek.

    I was a little surprised that Charlotte had to wear a dress even in that wooded, park like setting where she also was straddling rope balls and sitting on wood bridges and logs etc. Hopefully she gets to wear princess-y biker shorts under those dresses ;) !!

    • Amy says:

      Or maybe Charlotte prefers dresses. My daughter, at that age, wouldn’t wear anything but dresses!

  36. Vanessa says:

    Kate came in like a wrecking ball….

  37. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    That’s one perfect, professional rope swing! The ropes I remember swinging from pale. And what’s wrong with espadrilles? Or wedges? Summer footwear and adding height doesn’t seem such a crime, but what do I know lol.

  38. Lara says:

    Pooping rope, really? Not very classy. If this little joke was made in relation to Meghan people would be losing it. Why is it ok in relation to Kate?

  39. Mego says:

    Going to praise the hairstyle in the swing pic. Much prefer this sleeker look and complete absence of sausage curls.

  40. Sophie says:

    I love that their letting the kids run around barefoot in the dirt!

    I always let my kids do this, and many people give the side-eye, but to my mind it is a right of childhood.

  41. tuille says:

    The garden is a lovely mini-version of an idealized wooded spot for kids to play. I love the tepee – wigwam made of sticks! We used to make things like that when I was a kid. The kids all look really cute, Kate is happy, Will participating.
    Why the shade? Who cares if Kate dug around in the soil? Plenty of other designers don’t. They order their laborers for the brute work. This is a very big fundraising deal, not a place for little kids to be tearing around ripping blossoms of rhodies or people leaving prams or push-chairs in the way while they change a kid’s diaper. It’s nice to be able to enjoy an outdoor event without the usual crying from bored/hungry/ kids.
    Kate’s job is to attract attention & if attendance is up 5 – 10% to see the garden to which she’s put her name, that’s more charity money so good for everyone.
    PS: Only the couple, their immediate families, & offspring really give a hoot about o.p. wedding anniversaries. Nobody does parties or celebrates the marital bliss of others until we get into big numbers like 20, 35, 50, 60(!)

  42. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    Is this the “Big Project” she’s been working on for the past couple of years?

  43. Vio says:

    I think having a committee of experts is a very good idea. I’ve always found their approach to mental health topics via the Royal Foundation quite confusing. Mental health is a subject with endless layers and can’t be treated as a monolith. William,Kate and Harry are not experts. And essentially their role is just being good tesrinonials,and helping to raise funds. Having a group of people that can help to give focus to the Heads Together single charities’ activities,and above all helping to give funds in the more effective way possible,which is what their role as patrons and testimonials is about,is a good thing.
    I’m also not sure that they just meet at her home and that’s all. Katie Nicholls recently wrote that they will report back at some point this year.
    And certainly I doubt this Chelsea garden and the connection to her early years campaign is the result of months of studies.. I don’t think Kate was really waited for them to tell her that outdoorsy time is important for children..

  44. Flying fish says:

    Where are the people who actually designed and brought this project to life, it sure wasn’t Kate!!!

    • maude says:

      This was asked on the other Kate post today and one of her fans quickly jumped in with the details ;)

  45. Lexa says:

    I think KP should have been clearer, or at least more specific, about what the Early Years Initiative is and the timeline of it from the start. It doesn’t bother me that it’s moving slowly because they’re trying to tackle a serious, complicated subject. Meghan’s cookbook idea was really smart because it was an effective way to immediately help the kitchen with a clear call to action. I would love to see more royals do projects like this, but I also think Kate is effectively committing to a lifetime focus whereas the cookbook is a short term project.

    Omid Scobie just did a good recap: (https://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/latest/a27516387/duchess-kate-middleton-chelsea-flower-show-childhood-letter/) It sounds like they just finished the research phase of this, which will hopefully guide them in setting up any potential longterm programs going forward. In the meantime, “Over the course of this year and beyond, the Duchess will continue to focus on this area of work through engagement with academics, policy makers and organizations. Her goal is to support the efforts of as many people working across the early years as possible, including researchers, practitioners, and charities.”

    My guess/hope is that the Early Years Initiative is going to be comparable in longevity to the work that Meghan seems excited to do with education, especially for girls and young women. Both will have smaller off-shoot projects and focuses over time, like the garden, but it’ll be an ongoing, bigger thing over decades.

    Anyway, the Cambridge kids are very sweet, and I think it’s nice she took them to see it since they helped her gather materials for it. Little Louis is Kate’s clone and Charlotte has the biggest personality out of anyone in that family! The dynamic between her and George reminds me a bit of Charles and and Anne, which is funny because I thought baby George had a super strong resemblance to baby Charles. I read that cameras filming them were semi-hidden so as not to feel obtrusive or overwhelming to the kids, and I think that’s why they’re so natural in it.