Kate Middleton pays emotional tribute to families in her speech during surprise visit

The Duchess of Cambridge unveiled the permanent Back to Nature garden at RHS Wisley today, alongside Mary Berry who is an RHS ambassador.


Speaking today, the Duchess of Cambridge urged parents to embrace ‘broader communities’ to help form happy, healthy children.

Her Back to Nature garden is now a permanent fixture, and the Duchess hopes that ‘thousands of children’ can enjoy the garden which has plenty of play areas including swings, treehouses, slides and trampolines.

In a speech to attendees at RHS Wisley, Kate said: ‘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.

Duchess of Cambridge

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‘We build the blocks, the foundations, for future success and happiness later in their lives. These relationships, however, stretch far beyond the crucial one that a parent or carer has with its child.’

She then went out to speak about the roles we all play in children’s lives, adding: ‘Like in the animal kingdom, whether a pod, a pack, or a pride, the interactions we have with the broader community – be it with our grandparent, teachers or neighbours – play a crucial role in the growth and learning of our young.

‘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.’

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🚜 Today The Duchess of Cambridge opened the #BacktoNature play garden at @RHSWisley and attended the Back to Nature festival with @The_RHS Ambassador Mary Berry, which celebrates the value of communities to our wellbeing and marks the culmination of the RHS garden project. The Back to Nature play garden was inspired by The Duchess’s designs and includes elements such as the hollow log 🌳 from the #RHSChelsea Flower Show garden, and the wildflower meadow 🌼 and rolling hill ⛰️ showcased at #RHSHampton. New features include two connected treehouses and slides which encourage families and friends to have fun together in a natural environment. The garden was designed by landscape architects Davies White with input from the RHS, and will be a permanent installation at RHS Garden Wisley. Her Royal Highness has spent much of the last eight years meeting charities and organisations who work every day to make our families and communities stronger. The Duchess took the opportunity to invite many of them to the ‘Back to Nature’ Festival to celebrate their contribution to society and to further highlight the importance of those involved in the Early Years sector coming together to support a fundamental change in how society approaches childhood development 📷 Kensington Palace / PA

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The mum-of-three spoke of her experience designing the garden, following smaller projects at the Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Palace. She said she hoped the new garden would ‘enable thousands of children to discover and explore the natural world around them’.

She added that she was ‘passionate about creating a garden that inspired children and adults alike to get back to nature and reap the positive mental and physical health benefits’.

The Duchess also praised time spent outdoors: ‘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.’