Kate Middleton gets her hands dirty while visiting the children’s hospice garden

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Plunging her bare hands into bags filled with compost, submerging her sparkling sapphire and diamond engagement ring, the Duchess of Cambridge shows that she is not afraid of a little dirt in these remarkably candid photographs, taken while ‘she was helping to create a new garden for a hospice child.

Kneeling on the ground, she plows with the task at hand despite large tufts of earth spilling over her flowery midi dress. She then distributes sunflower seeds to the children to plant them.

It could so easily have been a grim occasion, given the hard hand treated for the children here, but Kate laughed happily alongside six-year-old Sonny Pope-Saunders, who has a rare type of brain tumor, and his brothers and sisters, all radiant with delight.

“What a big mess!” Said the Duchess while smiling as her new £ 135 Russell and Bromley tan shoes were carefully dusted. By planting the seeds, Kate revealed that her children, George, six, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two, have a sunflower competition. “Louis wins, so George is a little cranky about it,” she said.

Duchess of Cambridge helps potted plants and herbs during a visit to a children’s hospice to help create a new garden

The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with a member of the public as she purchases plants and herbs in her local garden center

The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with a member of the public as she purchases plants and herbs at her local garden center

Talks with Sonny Saunders (seated on the left), father, Jordan, and brother, Hudson (back to camera, right) during the visit Thursday

She chats with Sonny Saunders (seated on the left), father, Jordan, and brother, Hudson (back to camera, right) during the visit Thursday

When she buys plants and herbs at the Fakenham Garden Center in Norfolk, Kate chats with a member of the public

When she buys plants and herbs at the Fakenham Garden Center in Norfolk, Kate chats with a member of the public

It was the way Kate marked Children’s Hospice Week, which ends today: planting strawberries, sunflowers, lavender (her favorite), geraniums and herbs, all carefully selected to awaken the senses.

Even the Duchess’ £ 180 dress, the first one she wore from the Indonesian ethical society Faithfull the Brand, suited the occasion perfectly.

Kate is focusing more and more on the environment – a passion she shares with the Prince of Wales and which she also expressed by helping to create a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Until recently, Kate has publicly revealed little about herself, following the example of the Queen. But while she was always one to do things quietly, at 38, she found a new purpose and a confidence in the role of the queen of honor.

She has become increasingly adept at navigating the tightrope between maintaining a royal mystic and meeting the expectations of a celebrity-driven world for sharing intimate details of her life.

Kate uses her personal experience to advance the causes that matter to her. She championed mental health issues, created Heads Together with her husband to fight stigma and focused on parenting and childhood issues.

The Duchess of Cambridge loads plants and herbs into an orange cart at the Fakenham Garden Center as she purchases plants and herbs

The Duchess of Cambridge loads plants and herbs into an orange cart at the Fakenham Garden Center as she purchases plants and herbs

Kate gets her hands dirty and helps plant plants and herbs when visiting the children's hospice

Kate gets her hands dirty and helps plant plants and herbs during the visit to the children’s hospice

She plows with the task at hand despite large clods of earth spilling over her flowery midi dress

She plows with the task at hand despite large clods of earth spilling over her flowery midi dress

Kate laughs while holding a plant under her arm while helping to potty plants and herbs during a visit to the children's hospice

Kate laughs while holding a plant under her arm while helping to potty plants and herbs during a visit to the children’s hospice

The floor fell on Kate's £ 180 dress, which was the first one she wore from the Indonesian ethical society Faithfull the Brand

The floor fell on Kate’s £ 180 dress, the first one she wore from the Indonesian ethical society Faithfull the Brand

Kate carries the potted plant during her visit where she helped plant plants and herbs to create a new garden for the children's hospice

Kate carries the potted plant during her visit where she helped plant plants and herbs to create a new garden for the children’s hospice

Her revelations that she and William “totally underestimated” the impact of their first child and that she “suffered” absolutely from mom’s guilt reassured new parents who felt the same way.

An assistant said: “Each member of the royal family must find their niche, their groove. The duchess found hers. She brings children, mental health and the outdoors together in her own way. She really likes her job and it shows. “

Her new confidence was expressed during a visit to the Fakenham Garden Center near Cambridges House in Norfolk last week when she started a conversation with customers, asking them about their locking difficulties and revealing how he was missing his own parents and siblings. .

Meanwhile, his work in the nearby Nook Hospice garden combines many of his concerns.

She has a long-standing connection to the center, having led the £ 10 million fundraising campaign necessary to open it.

Tracy Rennie of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices remembers her first meeting with Kate ten years ago. “It was a private tour and she was a little shy,” she said, “but I remember a little girl running to hug her and immediately threw on her high heels to play. Since then, she has really blossomed and grown up, finding her confidence very discreetly.

“Many people are reluctant to come to hospices because they fear it is a place to die, but in fact it is a place of support, fun and laughter.”

The Duchess of Cambridge meets Sonny Saunders and her family, including mother Kelly (right, back to camera) and father Jordan (left, back to camera)

The Duchess of Cambridge meets Sonny Saunders and her family, including mother Kelly (right, back to camera) and father Jordan (left, back to camera)

Kate is seated with Sonny Saunders (seated on the left), father Jordan, sister Star (seated on the right) and brother Hudson (standing on the right)

Kate is seated with Sonny Saunders (seated on the left), father Jordan, sister Star (seated on the right) and brother Hudson (standing on the right)

Duchess meets Liam and Lisa Page and baby Connor during her visit to the Norfolk Children's Hospice

Duchess meets Liam and Lisa Page and baby Connor during her visit to the Norfolk Children’s Hospice

The hospice is currently caring for Connor Page, who was injured in the brain due to complications from his birth in early March. Mom Lisa, 32, said, “Whenever people said he couldn’t do it, Connor proved them wrong. It was very difficult. I have never cried so much in my life. “

Dad Liam, 40, added, “This is the worst thing a parent can go through. Be anxious to hold your child and then explode everything. We had a lot of support from the hospice, they were absolutely fantastic. “

Sonny, who helped Kate plant the seeds, also benefited from the hospice. His mother Kelly, 31, told Kate how he had been a healthy boy but felt a bit discolored on his sixth birthday. She took him to the GP and within days, she was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor.

“Everything happened fairly quickly,” repeated the duchess, who seemed visibly moved. She told the family, “I am still so blown away by families like yours, especially for having to go through all this locked out. You show such resilience and such bravery. You are such an inspiration. “

As she mingled with the plantation alongside Sonny and her 11-year-old sister Star and her eight-year-old brother Hudson, Kate wore a bracelet labeled “Sonny’s Smile”, a fundraising campaign to give her a trip to Disneyland Paris. Kelly said of her meeting with the Duchess: “I felt very comfortable because she is so down to earth, the kids really loved gardening and planting with her. We had a great day here. “

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