Royals

Duchess Catherine makes a surprise appearance on a children's TV show and launches a royal competition

The Duchess was clearly in her element, joining school children as they built dens out of branches and went “pond dipping”.

On Thursday evening Duchess Catherine made a surprise appearance in CBBC's Blue Peter, a British children's television show - the longest-running kid's TV show in the world.
Just weeks after her Chelsea Flower Show unveiling, Kate looked right at home joining school children as they examined wildlife in a pond, known as "pond dipping", building a den out of branches and planting flowers.
Asked whether she'd ever done pond dipping before Kate replied enthusiastically that it was "massively up my street".
Duchess Catherine looked in her element on children's TV show Blue Peter. (Image: BBC)
Kate's appearance on the show continues her ongoing campaign to inspire children, families and communities to spend time in nature and to highlight the physical and mental benefits spending time outdoors can have on childhood development.
When asked during the show by Blue Rabbit presenter Lindsey Russell whether she getting outside with her family is something is something she does a lot, Kate laughs saying yes, "rain or shine" they get "dragged outside".
"But it's great" she adds, "and I see it encourage creativity, confidence.
"Even a short amount of time – 10 to 15 minutes outside – makes a huge difference I think to both physical wellbeing but also to our mental wellbeing."
It was also announced that The Duchess would be joining forces with Blue Peter to launch a special competition that asks viewers to design a sculpture to go into The Duchess' Back To Nature garden when it arrives at RHS Garden Wisley in September.

The Duchess first unveiled her Back To Nature garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in May, a garden she had co-designed after teaming up with the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society).
Just before the garden was opened to the public, Kensington Palace released an adorable set of photographs of the Cambridge family enjoying a day out exploring the garden.
Photos included Prince George, 5, and Princess Charlotte, 4, dipping their toes in the stream and taking turns on the rope swing, clambering over the waterfall and featured the very first publicly released photo of Prince Louis, 1, walking!
Prince George and Princess Charlotte dangle their feet in the stream. (Image: Matt Porteous / Getty)
The children were clearly having a ball, with Prince George scoring the garden a "twenty" out of ten, when his father, Prince William, asked him how many marks out of then he'd give the garden.
Speaking to Monty Don on the BBC at the time of the garden's opening Kate said: "I really feel nature and being interactive outdoors has huge benefits on our physical and mental wellbeing, particularly for young kiddies.
"I really hope that this woodland that we have created, in a huge collaboration here really inspires families, kids and communities to get outside, enjoy nature and the outdoors and spend quality time together."
WATCH: Prince George's cute response to how much he loves Kate's Back to Nature garden. Story continues below...
The Back To Nature garden, which The Duchess co-designed with landscape designers Adam White and Andree Smith, showed at the Chelsea Flower Show for a week in May, even the Queen paid a visit.
The garden will then be moved and evolve to Hampton Court's Palace flower show in July before heading to Wisley in September, where it will permanently stay.
Earlier this week the Duchess accompanied the Duke of Cambridge to Cumbria where they visited sampled cheese from the local market in Keswick, and met with local heroes and volunteers supporting the rural community before getting stuck in having a go at sheep shearing at a farm in Patterdale and joining children from the Patterdale school for an environmental education session the Ullswater Way.
William and Kate take take a walk around a farm in Patterdale. (Image: Getty)
On Wednesday evening Kate also attended the first annual Action on Addiction gala, of which she is patron for, in conjunction with Addiction Awareness Week in the UK, which aims to provide a platform for focused conversation about the many different facets of addiction and to enable a wide range of organisations to engage with people and families who may be affected by addiction.
Action on Addiction is one of Kate's key causes and was one of the very first patronages she was bestowed and is the only UK addictions charity that works across all areas of research, treatment, family support and professional education.
Speaking at the gala The Duchess said: "I'm hugely passionate about the support it provides, especially for parents, children and families who suffer from, or through, addiction. And in some ways, it was the catalyst for my interest in early childhood development too."