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Kate Is In The Swing of Things for Back to Nature Garden UPDATED

We have new photos of the Duchess to share, all related to her “Back to Nature” garden project for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

Kensington Palace released the pictures Saturday night. This is the garden Kate has been working on for months, co-designed with Andrée Davies and Adam White (of Davies White Landscape Architects) in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society. Above you see the Duchess on a swing that is part of the garden, and here you see her working on-site with Ms. Davies last Wednesday.

A refresher on the project from an earlier post: “Called the RHS Back to Nature Garden, it is hoped the project will showcase the benefits of the natural world and trigger memories of times people have spent in nature, encouraging others to go out and create new experiences in the great outdoors.” Below, Kate in an early meeting talking about plans for the garden.

The preview for the Chelsea Flower Show is Monday, the day when members of the Royal Family visit the show. While there’s been no official announcement that Kate will be there, it would make sense she would be on hand as the project is revealed. Here is one of the drawings showing the garden design. 

A news release shared details about the plans: “It will provide a wonderful place to retreat and look out through the trees. The garden will also feature a swing seat, rustic den, and a campfire to encourage creative play and discovery for all generations.”

More about the plants selected for the garden from Kensington Palace.

The Telegraph reports, “The Duchess will take her own children to see the garden in the coming days. The blue and green planting scheme includes forget-me-nots, known to have been the favourite flower of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.”

More on the thought process behind the garden from The Telegraph’s article, quoting from a letter Kate sent mental health experts:

“In recent years I have focussed much of my work on the early years, and how instrumental they are for outcomes later in life,” she said.

“I believe that spending time outdoors when we are young can play a role in laying the foundations for children to become happy, healthy adults.”

The garden includes sensory plants, rustic play equipment, and is designed to boost practical skills such as coordination as well as fostering a love of the natural world.

As indicated in the story, the garden is not only for decorative purposes but meant to be used by children attending the show. Below, the treehouse, sure to be a favorite part of the garden.

More from a Telegraph story on the making of the garden:

Until now, the details have been kept under wraps – shrouding the most eagerly anticipated attraction of the 2019 show in mystery ahead of its grand unveiling next week.

And we can now reveal that among the many child-friendly, playful features, the 37-year-old’s magical garden is set to boast both a stream and Enid Blyton-esque, high-platform tree house, clad in stag horn oak and whimsically reminiscent of a bird’s nest.

It will be fun to see the finished garden.

Now for a very quick look at what Kate is wearing in the new pictures. The woven shirt looks like it could be a Jaeger style, the brand’s Fine Stripe Roll-Sleeve style.

The shirt is 100% linen with a front pocket, relaxed silhouette, and 3/4-length sleeve.  It is available on the John Lewis US site ($133) and also on the Jaeger site (£99, about $126 at today’s exchange rates). Our thanks to Middleton Maven for her ID of this piece.

UPDATE May 20: In watching the BBC interview it looks like Kate’s shirt pocket is different than that seen on the Jaeger shirt. I will hunt for better photos and/or video to see if I can get a screengrab. A big “thank you” to Giulia for noticing and tweeting about this. It is difficult to see, but there is a button at the top of the pocket.

UPDATE: It appears the Duchess was wearing a piece by Jaeger, the British retailer’s Linen Aqua Shirt. 

The piece is 100% linen with three-quarter sleeves, tabs to keep the rolled-up sleeves in place, a back yoke, and a button front.  

The Duchess has worn the brand’s linen shirts before; below you see her in one when hiking in the Himalayas during the Bhutan visit.

As far as the striped tee goes, Alexandra raised an interesting possibility on Twitter.

 It’s difficult to tell from the photos, but the top looks identical to that worn today, and it certainly would not be the first time the sisters shared a garment. If it is the top worn by Pippa Middleton, it is a Warehouse piece.

The Duchess appears to be wearing the Berghaus boots first noted in the photos from Norfolk. (I did not publish photos from this event; you can see some here.)

The style is the Berghaus Supalite II GTX Walking Boot. We show the style at Amazon (price varies by size, a 7 is $176); it is also offered at Berghaus (€220, about $245 at today’s exchange rates).

Kate’s belt looks like the Mulberry style worn in Haida Gwaii during the 2016 Canada tour. 

The jeans are not yet IDed. Should that info become available I will update the post. And should we hear anything definitive about Kate being at the show on Monday I will also update here and on the Kate’s Calendar page.

UPDATE FEB 25, 2021: It looks like Kate’s socks are by an Irish company, Donegal Socks, available through Campbells of Ardara.  

The Ladies Donegal Mountain Walking Socks come in packs of three ($36).  The 100% woolen socks are handcrafted in the little village of Glenties, according to the product description. “The rugged colours in the tweed wool reflect how the mountains and moor intertwine with hues of wild sea and blue sky in the patchwork weave of colour that is Ireland’s Donegal.”

More from this Donegal Daily story, quoting the firm’s Managing Director, Martin Breslin: 

We supply two different types of socks to the National Trust and this is one of them.  Prince Charles is chairman of the trust so that’s probably how she was supplied with them.  

Thank you to Carly of Kate Middleton Style for the fab tip! 

Don’t miss our post on Kate’s look for the family visit to the Garden.


ITN’s Royal Family Channel video runs about 1:50.

In this video from The Sun, you will see video of the Cambridges playing in the garden and also hear Kate’s interview.


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Monday 3rd of June 2019

Do you happen to know where her navy blue mark rubbed hiking socks are from please?


Monday 3rd of June 2019

No, I’m sorry, I do not know. ?


Monday 20th of May 2019

The picture of Kate swinging on the rope swing is probably one of my favorite pictures of her ever. Her casual style has always been classic and great. It's her business formal/very formal outfits that are usually hit or miss for me. I know she didn't design the garden by herself but I'm sure she's so excited to share this garden with her kids, the public, and other kids as well (I think the garden is being relocated to a hospital or something similar after the show is over?).

She has always excelled with causes that have something to do with the outdoors/athletics and also children. It's so nice to see her at home and in her element. I know we've heard a lot about Kate having a green thumb and enjoying gardening. I wonder if she and Charles trade gardening tips?


Monday 20th of May 2019

I really love that the Cambridges seem to be posting more on their Instagram account. Just love it!

sue d

Monday 20th of May 2019

I adore this. Kate in the garden!


Sunday 19th of May 2019

There are some delightful new photos of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children in the Back to Nature Garden on their @kensingtonroyal Instagram account.


Sunday 19th of May 2019

Thank you, Caroline! I'm working on that post now. :)


Sunday 19th of May 2019

The picture of her on the rope-twine swing may be my favorite pic of her ever.


Sunday 2nd of June 2019

She looks so damn cute.


Sunday 19th of May 2019

Kate on that swing is right up there with her at the helm of a sailboat, racing to beat William, the wind smacking her face. She is sooo happy outside, and I just love her on that swing! Definitely one of the top three photos of her in her element!


Sunday 19th of May 2019

Mine, too. ?

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