Duchess Kate Secretly Joined Families to Help Plant Garden for Children's Hospice

Omid Scobie
Photo credit: PA Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

As the coronavirus lockdown in the U.K. continues to ease, more members of the British royal family are now stepping away from Zoom to carry out in-person engagements.

Duchess Kate quietly joined families from East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) to help plant a garden at The Nook, one of the charity's purpose-build hospices.

The Duchess of Cambridge traveled from Norfolk to Norwich on Thursday, June 25, to mark the end of Children's Hospice Week to meet with staff from EACH's care and facilities team to thank them "for the incredible work that they do," according to a Kensington Palace statement.

Photo credit: PA Images

And while there were a number of people from EACH on standby to help with the gardening, Kate arrived prepared—with plants she bought during her garden center visit last week. Making the one-hour journey to the hospice alongside the duchess were plants from the including lavender, bay leaf, and rosemary. The "sensory" plants continue the theme found in EACH hospice Sensory Rooms, which contain a variety of technology and products that can stimulate or relax the senses and help children who are unable to talk or communicate develop their communications skills.

While the group were socially distanced, Kate worked alongside an EACH volunteer gardener, members of staff, and two families to "help create a space that would provide enjoyment for children and families," the spokesperson added. The garden also includes strawberry plants, geraniums, and hydrangeas to create a "calming" color scheme.

Photo credit: PA Images

Kate's visit marked the end of Children's Hospice Week 2020, which is organized by the U.K. charity Together For Short Lives and aims to raise much-needed funds for the UK's 54 children's hospices.

"The care and the nurture that you provide children and families in the most unimaginable circumstances is just awe inspiring," the duchess wrote in a letter to mark the occasion.“I’d also like to pay tribute to all those families out there who are caring for and looking after a child with a life limiting illness. You do the most extraordinary job and I know it’s particularly hard at the moment so my thoughts go out to you all.”

Photo credit: PA Images

EACH, which cares for children with life-threatening conditions across the U.K., is one of Kate's first royal patronages. It's a role she took on in 2012, and has led her to carry out a number of engagements with the organization, including the opening of The Nook last November.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the organization has continued to deliver end-of-life, emergency care and bereavement support, both in-person and virtually. "Spending time with these families and hearing how much EACH's support means to them reminds me what a wonderful organization it is," Kate has said. "I am enormously proud to be its Patron."

You Might Also Like