With two of her three young children now attending school, the Duchess of Cambridge may have more time to carry out official engagements. Catherine carried out her first solo engagement since sending Princess Charlotte off to school with big brother Prince George last week as she stepped out in florals on Tuesday.
The duchess, 37, is known for her love of gardening and the outdoors, having designed a garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show earlier this year, and the mother-of-three made a stunning appearance this week to open a children’s playground inspired by her creation.
Catherine looked incredible as she stepped out without husband Prince William to open the ‘Back to Nature’ garden at RHS Wisley in Surrey yesterday, making the most of the British summertime as she donned a light belted dress for the casual occasion. Cinching her in at the waist, the pale blue Emilia Wickstead dress featured a pretty pink floral design.
Wearing her recently highlighted locks down in her loose signature style, the duchess kept her make-up and accessories to a bare minimum, showing off her natural beauty and she chatted and laughed with members of the public, including several of the younger members of the crowd. Catherine finished the look with a pair of simple beige espadrille wedges.
Catherine was joined at the event by British celebrity chef and former Great British Bake Off presenter Mary Berry, 84, who also donned a similar floral dress for the appearance. The pair were photographed beaming alongside one another as they hitched a ride on a tractor trailer, making their way to a fete-style festival to mark the garden’s opening.
The garden was designed by a team from the Royal Horticultural Society with input from Davies White Landscape Architects, and it was . inspired by show gardens co-designed by the duchess at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival. The garden includes similar aspects to Kate’s garden at Chelsea, such as a wildflower meadow and waterfall.
The duchess also delivered a speech at the event, telling the crowd: “The physical benefits of being outdoors and in nature are well documented. More recently, however, I have learnt that these often safe and supportive environments can also bring significant benefits to the cognitive, social and emotional development of our children too. The experiences we gain during our earliest years influence who we become as people. They influence how we interact in school, in work and in society and, ultimately how we bring up our own children.
“Whether it is planting, exploring, digging, creating, or playing; quality time spent outside provides children with the perfect environment to form those positive relationships with the people in their lives and the world around them.
“As a parent, I have learnt just how important it is to foster our children’s development, in all areas, not just physical, as soon as they are born. We build the blocks, the foundations, for future success and happiness later in their lives.”
She added: “There is a well-known proverb – that it takes a village to raise a child – everyone here represents an integral part of that very village.”
Catherine last stepped out last week with Prince William and the couple’s eldest two children to take Princess Charlotte, four, to school for her first day at Thomas’ Battersea, a private school near the family’s home at Kensington Palace. The royal family, with youngest child Prince Louis absent, beamed as they walked into the school courtyard, with the young princess holding her mother’s hand.
The family were greeted and escorted into the school grounds by the Head of the lower school Helen Haslem, who shook hands with George, six, and his younger sister.