The Duchess of Cambridge got a very royal seal of approval for her Chelsea Flower Show garden today – as the Queen beamed with delight and declared it ‘very tidy’.
On her annual visit to the Royal Horticultural Society’s London show, she was warmly greeted by the Duchess, with a kiss on each cheek and curtsey, as well as kisses from her grandson, the Duke of Cambridge, too.
Smiling and glancing at the RHS Back To Nature garden, co-designed by Kate – who had swapped her casual culottes for an elegant floral Erdem maxi dress – to highlight the importance of children playing outdoors to their physical and mental wellbeing, she remarked: ‘It’s very tidy.’
In actual fact, she was spot on. Before the Queen arrived, Kate inspected her garden, picking up stray leaves and twigs and stuffing them into her designer handbag as she had nowhere to else to put them.
She then called over one of her aides to hurriedly give her the bag crammed with debris so that she could greet the monarch.
The Queen in green! Her Majesty pays a visit to granddaughter-in-law Kate’s Back to Nature garden at the Chelsea Flower Show this evening
In full bloom! The Duchess of Cambridge couldn’t have dressed more appropriately as she attended the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with the Duke of Cambridge this evening
Do florals like the Duchess in a dress by Erdem
Erdem ‘Shebah’ floral dress
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It’s been a good day for Duchess sightings! We had the pleasure of seeing Kate at the Chelsea Flower Show earlier today and this evening she’s revisited the show again alongside the Queen and Prince William.
In keeping with her surroundings, Kate donned a floral print dress by none other than Erdem. The Victorian-style dress is crafted using cotton-silk voile and features crochet-lace trim.
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The Queen observes the Duchess of Cambridge’s handiwork in her garden which is intended to resemble a woodland to inspired families and kids to get outside and enjoy nature
The Duchess of Cambridge, pictured beaming at her husband, teamed her floral frock with tan heeled wedges and pearl earrings
Grinning Kate looked stunning in an Erdem frock as she joined fellow members of the royal family to showcase her Back to Nature garden
The Duchess of Cambridge shows the Queen around her stunning Back to Nature Garden, which features a tree house, waterfall, rustic den and a campfire
Wearing her brunette locks swept back in a plaited half up-do, the Duchess of Cambridge looked serene as she explored the woodland gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show
Supportive husband Prince William was in attendance as his wife welcomed fellow members of the Royal Family to her garden which she designed in partnership with landscape architects Andree Davies and Adam White
Kate then introduced the Queen to David Dodds, the contractor, and her two garden co-designers, Andree Davies and Adam White.
She told the Queen: ‘There’s been a big team, there’s been so many volunteers… we threw ourselves into the deep end! I’ve had a lot of help.’
As she showed her royal visitor around the garden, pointing out the blue colour scheme, the stream her children had paddled in the night before, and the moss and sticks they had collected to put in the garden, William lingered behind them smiling proudly but letting his wife take the lead.
Kate pointed out a tepee-style den to the monarch and told her: ‘All the sticks are from Anmer and the children collected the pine cones.’
Sophie Countess of Wessex clearly couldn’t wait to explore Kate’s tree house and gamely clambered up the wooden ladder despite wearing heeled wedges.
The mother-of-two, 54, looked effortlessly stylish in a floating green Suzannah Stormy Hearts midi length tea dress, having scooped back her blonde locks into a chic bun.
One approves: A beaming Duchess of Cambridge shows off her hard work to the Queen, who seems to very much approve of her green-fingered handiwork
Inspecting her handiwork: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge bend down to examine the greenery in her Back to Nature garden
Kate explains the concept behind her Back to Nature Garden, which is designed to encourage parents and their childen to enjoy the outdoors and spend quality time together
Kate sported a high neck Erdem frock not dissimilar to one worn by Princess Eugenie last month, which she teamed with flower-shaped pearl earrings
The Duchess of Cambridge curtseys for Her Majesty as she arrives to look around the RHS Back to Nature Garden, which Kate deisgned with landscape architects Andree Davies and Adam White of Davies White Landscape Architects
Kisses for Granny: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge greet the Queen with a kiss on each cheek as she visited Kate’s Back to Nature garden
Kate had consulted the Queen on her Chelsea garden – and included some of Her Majesty’s favourite childhood memories in its planting.
There were carrots and beetroot that the Queen remembers planting as a child with her sister Margaret, and a waterfall in tribute to the one she loves at her Norfolk home Sandringham.
The waterfall was known as ‘the nest’ by royal children and Kate also included a nest of twigs to echo that.
The Cambridge children have been sailing on the lake at Sandringham – also thought to be part of Kate’s inspiration. William’s childhood memory of pine trees and Kate’s of bluebell woods were also incorporated, plus blue forget-me-nots as a nod to the prince’s late mother, Princess Diana.
It’s thought to be the first time the Queen has ever contributed personally to the Chelsea flower show, although she visits every year.
The couple then showed the Queen some reed boats that Kate had made earlier that day with local schoolchildren. She laughed as William told her how some of them had failed to float.
The Queen arrives at the Chelsea Flower Show where she wa greeted by Sir Nicholas Bacon, president of the Royal Horticultural Society
Her Majesty grins as she arrives at the annual event on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, which has become one of the world’s greatest showcases for horticultural excellence
The Queen is all smiles as she enjoys a tour of the annual Chelsea Flower show this evening at the Royal Hospital Chelsea
Blooming lovely! Her Majesty sported a floral brooch for the event, as well as her statement pearls and favourite black Launer handbag
The Earl of Wessex (centre left) and the Countess of Wessex (centre right) were among the members of the Royal Family at the Chelsea Flower show this evening
Sophie Countess of Wessex couldn’t wait to explore the Duchess of Cambridge’s tree house, and clambered up the ladder in heeled wedges
Sophie Wessex looked effortlessly stylish in a floating green floral dress, having scooped back her blonde locks into a chic bun
Sophie Countess of Wessex admires a colourful display of pale pink and yellow roses at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
The Countess observes the D-Day 75 Garden by John Everiss Design at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this evening
Sophie Wessex paid particular attention to the garden which commemorates the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and aims to capture the disorientation and terror of the brave young men landing on the beach in hail of bullets
Princess Beatrice also made an appearance at the event, wearing a statement black, green and blue check coat over her blue dress
Perfect for one’s Instagram: Princess Beatrice was seen snapping away with her iPhone at the Chelsea Flower Show this evening
Queen Elizabeth II, pictured at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show this evening, of which she is Patron
The Queen with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, pictured with a display with children’s toys carved out of wood
As Kate showed her royal visitor around the garden, pointing out the blue colour scheme, the stream her children had paddled in the night before, and the moss and sticks they had collected to put in the garden, William lingered behind them smiling proudly but letting his wife take the lead
As they departed, the Queen remarked: ‘Very interesting.’ Kate was heard to say: ‘Thank you very much, Your Majesty. We will see you later.’ There was also a comedy moment when the director general of the RHS, Sue Biggs, remarked to the Queen, ‘You didn’t fancy a go?’ – thought to be in reference to the garden’s rope swing, which Kate and her children had all swung on the day before.
But the joke fell on deaf ears as the Queen seemed not to hear. Later, the Queen visited Willie’s Wildlife Bronze Sculpture and seemed particularly taken with a large model koala, laughing and beckoning a tall member of staff to come down from a step so she could ask him questions.
At the Wedgwood garden, the Queen – wearing a lime green and purple dress by Stewart Parvin and her diamond flower brooch – asked whether she was right in thinking the company’s founder was a keen gardener himself.
Shown around by Sue Biggs, director general of the RHS, and Sir Malcolm Bacon, its president, the Queen made small talk about the weather, saying the rain ‘probably keeps the plants going’.
She was also pleased to see the number of bees buzzing around the gardens, remarking on it several times.
Princess Beatrice of York pictured during her visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea earlier this evening
Princess Beatrice of York speaks with D-Day and Operation Market Garden veteran Joe Cattini, at the D-Day 75 Garden during her visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London
The Princess clearly made a good impression on D-Day and Operation Market Garden veteran Joe Cattini, who looked to be enjoying a good chuckle during their chat
Prince Edward greets a guest at the Chelsea Flower show as he and his wife attend the event in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea
The Countess of Wessex also enjoyed a conversation with D-Day and Operation Market Garden veteran Joe Cattini in the stunning grounds of Royal Hospital Chelsea
Sophie Wessex looked stunning in a Suzannah green Stormy Hearts midi length tea dress with white heeled wedges and a cream shawl
Green-fingered Sophie Wessex inspected the bright pink blooms on display as the Royal Horticultural Society Show
The Queen admires the gardeners’ handiwork during her tour of the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show
The small tour party stopped off at the Warner’s Gin Garden, with Mrs Biggs introducing the Queen to ‘the most important person here: the woman who makes the gin’.
At Pheasant Acre Plants, the Queen admired a riot of colourful flowers, before moving to a rock garden to inquire where they sourced the plants from, and recalling when the blue Himalayan poppy, or meconopsis, was first introduced to British flower shops.
At the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies, she stopped to speak to three woman in jaunty diamante jackets about celebrating their 60th anniversary with the theme of friendship.
She walked briefly past a display of floral crowns, with aides appearing amused at the coincidence.
Given a handpainted blue and white fan, the Queen briefly tried it out by wafting air into her face, before leaving the pavilion.
At the Greenfingers charity garden, which provides peaceful spaces for children with life-limiting illnesses, chairman John Ashley said: ‘She was very interesting in the garden and very knowledgeable. She was asking how it had been put together and said we had such a lot of bees.
‘I said they get a bit confused when we take the gardens down [after Chelsea] which made her laugh. She is very charming to talk to, and it was such an honour that she stopped here.’
Earlier today Kate, 37, dressed down in a white blouse and practical culottes for a visit to her project, which will be open to the public tomorrow, and got her hands dirty as she joined a group of schoolchildren for a fireside chat and outdoor activities.
Princess Beatrice of York speaks with garden designer Tom Dixon in his Gardening Will Save The World Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea
The Duke of York visiting the IKEA and Tom Dixon Gardening Will Save The World Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London
The Queen’s cousin Princess Alexandra sported a black and white polka dot ensemble with a pink jacket to attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Princess Michael of Kent (centre) and her husband Prince Michael of Kent (left) were in attendance at the event held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea
Princess Michael of Kent sported a subtle floral orange frock which she teamed with a blazer and flat cap in earthy tones
Among those accompanying Her Majesty to the Chelsea Flower Show was the Duke of Gloucester (right) and Duchess of Gloucester (centre)
During the event, the Duke of Cambridge was heard saying: ‘The smell of the bonfire sends me straight back to childhood.
‘Louis kept looking at the tractors going past. He would pop out for a helicopter or a tractor and I kept trying to coax him back in [the garden].
‘They [the kids] had a great time. They felt very relaxed and they’d hidden the cameras so the children were really relaxed but it was the adults who were slightly nervous!
‘But they did it really well and with the cameras hidden, we relaxed.’
William added that he believes ‘being on a beach barefoot’ is the ‘essence of childhood’.
The Duke of Gloucester (left) and Prince Edward explore the exotic garden displays on show at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show
The Queen pictured driving along the Chelsea Embankement on her way to attend the Chelsea Flower Show this evening
Kate, 37, got her hands dirty as she joined a group of schoolchildren for a fireside chat and outdoor activities in the Back To Nature Garden, which will be officially unveiled this week. Pictured, with garden co-designer Andree Davies, centre
The Duchess of Cambridge seen climbing down from the tree house that forms the centrepiece of the garden design
The Duchess of Cambridge knelt on the ground and leaned over to the stream to pick out something as she showed the visiting children the wonders of the space. Yesterday William and Kate shared snaps of their own children in the garden
Landscape architect Andree Davies, who co-designed the space, points out a feature to the Duchess of Cambridge
Kate appeared in excellent spirits earlier today as she gamely roasted marshmallows, climbed a tree house and helped make boats from reeds during the hands-on outing.
Her visit comes a day after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared snaps of their own children enjoying a sneak peek of the space.
Kate has been very hands-on in the creation of the garden, which she designed with landscape architects Andree Davies and Adam White, and has been on site almost every day in the five days leading up to the opening tomorrow.
Today the Duchess of Cambridge was ready to get stuck in with the visiting schoolchildren, donning a £255 white blouse by trendy label M.i.h Jeans, £69.95 Massimo Dutti culottes and pair of £49.99 white Superga trainers.
Today the Duchess of Cambridge was ready to get stuck in, donning a £255 broderie anglaise white blouse by trendy label M.i.h., brown high-waisted culottes and pair of white Superga trainers, pictured left and right
A giggling Kate speaks to one little boy who visited her garden at the Chelsea Flower Show ahead of its official opening
Kate was happy to clamber over the wildflowers and shrubs as she gave schoolchildren a tour of the space this morning. Pictured right, the Duchess climbs up into the tree house in the garden, which is designed to encourage play
Yesterday the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared snaps of their own children enjoying a sneak peek of the space. Pictured, Prince Louis looks in wonder as his mother Kate shows him a stone in the family-friendly garden
Established in 1913, on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has become one of the world’s greatest showcases for horticultural excellence, attracting visitors and exhibitors from across the globe.
Since its beginning, the show has gone from strength to strength. It has grown from 244 exhibitors in 1913 to over 500 today, including gardens, nurseries, floristry, educational displays and trade stands. Today the show attracts 168,000 visitors.
The Show is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, of which The Queen is Patron. The Society was founded in 1804.
Kate says she ‘hopes her garden inspires families to enjoy nature’
The Duchess of Cambridge has urged families to make the most of nature.
A short clip released by Kensington Palace, the Duchess said parents should spend as much ‘quality time’ with their children at a young age as possible to help their development, particularly outdoors.
She said: ‘I really hope this woodland that we have created here really inspires families and kids and communities in general to get outside, enjoy nature, enjoy the outdoors and really spend quality time together.’
She added: ‘There’s an amazing fact that I learned recently that 90 per cent of our adult brains are developed before the age of five and what a child experiences in these really early years directly affects how their brain develops.
‘That’s why I think it’s so important that all of us, whether we are parents or carers or family members, really engage in quality time with our children and babies from a really young age.’