Friday 18 October 2019

Kate Middleton dazzles in floral Erdem gown with 'smartened up' Prince William and Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth II and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 press day at Chelsea Flower Show on May 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Geoff Pugh - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 press day at Chelsea Flower Show on May 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Geoff Pugh - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II is shown around 'Back to Nature' by Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 press day at Chelsea Flower Show on May 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Geoff Pugh - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II is shwon around 'Back to Nature' by Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 press day at Chelsea Flower Show on May 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Geoff Pugh - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II is shwon around 'Back to Nature' by Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 press day at Chelsea Flower Show on May 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Geoff Pugh - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, Britain May 20, 2019. Yui Mok/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, Britain May 20, 2019. Yui Mok/Pool via REUTERS

Tony Diver

Britain's Queen Elizabeth enjoyed a personal guided tour of the most high-profile garden at this year's Chelsea Flower Show - led by its creator Kate Middleton

The Duke of Cambridge was also on hand as the queen visited the Back to Nature garden which Kate helped to design.

The duchess explained the features of the garden to the queen, including its hand-built treehouse and rope swing.

It is intended to highlight the benefits of the great outdoors to young people, and was designed by Kate and landscape architects Andree Davies and Adam White of Davies White Landscape Architects.

Queen Elizabeth II is shown around 'Back to Nature' by Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 press day at Chelsea Flower Show on May 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Geoff Pugh - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II is shown around 'Back to Nature' by Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 press day at Chelsea Flower Show on May 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Geoff Pugh - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Unlike some of the flower show's more manicured gardens, this one has a campfire, a den and a log for children to play on.

And it has already had a visit from some enthusiastic young royals - William and Kate's three children.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis played on the rope swing and climbed into the treehouse during a visit on Sunday that lasted almost an hour.

In a nod to the flowers on display at the show, Kate wore a blue and white floral-patterned Erdem dress as she showed the Queen around on Monday.

As the three walked across the wooden decking that bridges the garden's central water feature, designed as a woodland stream, the Queen remarked that it was a wonder the garden's designers could fit so many features into a small space.

William, who was pictured casually dressed and playing in the garden with his children over the weekend, joked to his grandmother that he had "smartened up" out of his "green clothes" and put on a navy suit and blue tie.

Britain's Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, Britain May 20, 2019. Yui Mok/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, Britain May 20, 2019. Yui Mok/Pool via REUTERS

The queen, wearing a lime and purple silk dress and matching plain lime coat by Stewart Parvin and a diamond flower brooch, walked around the rest of the show with Sir Nicholas Bacon, president of the Royal Horticultural Society, and Sue Biggs, the RHS's director general.

The queen attends the Chelsea Flower Show in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea every year.

This year, she was joined by the Duke of York and Princess Beatrice of York, the Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra, as well as William and Kate.

Stopping at one garden, the Queen remarked to its designer Andy Sturgeon that she was pleased to have seen bees and butterflies during her tour.

Designers later told the Press Association that she was knowledgeable about the plants on display.

Helen Elks-Smith, who designed a garden featuring a rare juniper tree sourced in Italy, said the Queen pointed out its unusual form and "knows her stuff".

Another said the British monarch was interested in conifers on display, despite noting that the faster-growing Leylandii was more popular.turday.

PA Media

Also in this section