kate middleton child tiger rhs wisley

Kate Middleton has a hilarious exchange with a young child on garden visit

The Duchess of Cambridge was on a visit to RHS Garden Wisley

Gemma Strong

The Duchess of Cambridge shared a funny moment with a three-year-old during her visit to RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey on Tuesday. The mother-of-three was spending time with families at a festival held in the grounds following the opening of her Back to Nature play garden when she approached little Dylan Corbin, who had a tiger painted on his face. Dylan's mother Katie Vinton later recalled the exchange between the royal and her son, revealing: "Kate asked, 'Are you a tiger?' and Dylan replied, 'No, it's just face paint.'"

Kate Middleton was clearly in her element at the RHS Wisley garden opening

Mother-of-three Kate was in her element at the opening as she interacted with a number of young children and their families. She was seen putting her hands on 15-month-old Matilda's head and playfully rubbing her hair as she spoke to the little girl’s proud mother Sarah Griffiths, who described the encounter as "overwhelming" but "exciting", adding that Matilda had taken it all in her stride. The Duchess was also pictured laughing with celebrity chef Mary Berry, and the pair even travelled on a tractor trailer to the fete-style festival that marked the garden's launch.

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Kate's new open space - which encourages children to play, explore and engage with nature - has been inspired by previous gardens she co-created with landscape architects Andree Davies and Adam White, with input from the RHS. In a speech, the Duchess told invited families from charities she supports it was an "amazing experience" to be given the opportunity by the RHS to help create open spaces at the Chelsea Flower Show and the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.

The mother-of-three spent time with a number of children at the event

She confessed: "I am not as green fingered as many of you here, but I 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 that it can bring. 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."

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Speaking about her own experiences of being a mother to three small children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, she added: "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. We build the blocks, the foundations, for future success and happiness later in their lives."

Kate speaks to children playing in her Back to Nature garden

The Back to Nature garden, which is now a permanent attraction at Wisley, includes elements like the hollow log from Kate's Chelsea Flower Show garden and the wildflower meadow and rolling hill showcased at Hampton Court. New features include two connected tree houses and slides, which encourage families and friends to have fun together at the garden. Local children taking part in an RHS garden project were enjoying the features of the open space - bouncing on small trampolines embedded in the ground and crawling through a tunnel, while six youngsters were crammed into the seat of a very large swing. Kate, who wore an Emilia Wickstead summer dress, could not help smiling when she saw the group happily swinging and quizzed them about her garden. She said of a water feature: "I like the idea of water on a hot day - take your shoes off and have a splash."

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