Social butterflies: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge help children plant flowers

Watch: William and Kate take part in gardening during park visit

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined nursery children to plant butterfly-friendly flowers in an Edinburgh park, as they wrap up their week-long trip to Scotland.

The couple were suited and booted, but that did not put them off as they donned gardening gloves and got stuck into scattering seeds with children from Edzell Nursery.

They looked particularly delighted to meet nine-month-old Penelope Stewart during the trip to Starbank Park, where they also heard about the work of charity Fields in Trust.

Kate, 39, smiled and waved at baby Penelope who was held in her father's arms on Thursday morning.

William told the children: "You’re very good gardeners. We’re going to get a lot of plants. It’s going to be a massive forest."

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge meets children from Edzell Nursery as she visits Starbank Park to hear about the work of Fields in Trust, along with Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in Edinburgh, Scotland on May 27, 2021. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Kate with children from Edzell Nursery during a trip to Starbank Park to hear about the work of Fields in Trust. (Phil Noble/AFP)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge meet Penelope Stewart during their visit to Starbank Park to hear about the work of Fields in Trust, along with Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in Edinburgh, Scotland on May 27, 2021. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
William and Kate looked delighted to meet nine-month-old Penelope Stewart during their visit to Starbank Park in Edinburgh. (Phil Noble/AFP)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MAY 27: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to Starbank Park on May 26, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Kate wore a dark green suit for the visit to the park, one of their last engagements. (Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gestures as she visits Starbank Park to hear about the work of Fields in Trust, along with Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in Edinburgh, Scotland on May 27, 2021. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
How tall? Kate in Starbank Park as she and William heard about the work of Fields in Trust. (Phil Noble/AFP via Getty Images)

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As well as helping the nursery children scatter seeds in Starbank Park, the duke and duchess met teenagers who are working towards their bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.

The teenagers were planting sunflowers in the 125-year-old park.

William and Kate got on their hands and knees to help, with William telling the teens: "You’ve got free labour, free help."

They helped plant an apple tree before Kate donated a copy of the photography book she helped put together, Hold Still, to the park's lending library.

New parents Natalie Randamy, 31, and Rory Stewart, 29, who were there with Penelope, revealed that Kate told them her daughter Charlotte had the same dress as their nine-month-old, albeit in a larger size.

Randamy said: "We were just talking about Penny sleeping through. They were reminiscing about nine months being a bit of a game-changer for them. Kate was saying Charlotte has the same dress from Next as Penny but just in a bigger size."

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MAY 27: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smiles at baby Penelope Stewart during a visit to Starbank Park on May 26, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge smiles at baby Penelope Stewart during a visit to Starbank Park. (Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MAY 27: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge plants sunflower seeds with a volunteer during their visit to Starbank Park on May 26, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Kate plants sunflower seeds with one of the Duke of Edinburgh award participants during their visit to Starbank Park. (Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge plants sunflower seeds with volunteers as she visits Starbank Park to hear about the work of Fields in Trust, along with Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in Edinburgh, Scotland on May 27, 2021. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Kate spoke to the teenagers who are taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh award. (Phil Noble/AFP)

The park run by the City of Edinburgh council and protected by Fields in Trust, which has 38-year-old William as its president. The prince took over the role from his grandfather, Prince Philip.

The couple heard about the importance of the green spaces for people in the city, and the trust's Green Space Index, which measures the provision and distribution across the UK of parks and commons.

Kate is passionate about the outdoors and known for her love of gardening. In 2019 she had a garden in the Chelsea Flower Show, called Back to Nature.

But William recently admitted he is not so handy in the garden, and said Kate was planning to buy him a book by TV gardener Monty Don so that he could pick up some tips and enjoy planting with his father.

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge interacts with a child from Edzell Nursery as she visits Starbank Park to hear about the work of Fields in Trust, along with Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in Edinburgh, Scotland on May 27, 2021. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Kate with one of the children from Edzell Nursery in Starbank Park where they scattered seeds. (Phil Noble/AFP via Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MAY 27: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge fist bumps a schoolchild during a tennis game as they take part in the Lawn Tennis Association's (LTA) Youth programme, at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre on May 26, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Kate fist bumping a schoolchild during a tennis game as they take part in the Lawn Tennis Association's (LTA) Youth programme. (Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MAY 27: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge plays tennis games with schoolchildren as they take part in the Lawn Tennis Association's (LTA) Youth programme, at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre on May 26, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
She and William played tennis games with schoolchildren at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre. (Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MAY 27: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge plays tennis games with local schoolchildren as he takes part in the Lawn Tennis Association's (LTA) Youth programme, at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre on May 26, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
William gets ready to serve as he plays the LTA games. (Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

After the park trip, William and Kate travelled to Craiglockhart where they took part in some tennis events with schoolchildren, including floor tennis and hopscotch.

The session was run by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) of which the duchess is a patron.

They joined a class from Canal View Primary school at the area's tennis centre, where they tried out the youth scheme designed for those aged four to 18.

Kate took off her jacket for the team games, opting for a cricket-style jumper to keep warm instead.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MAY 27: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge laugh as they speak to school children taking part in the Lawn Tennis Association's (LTA) Youth programme, at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre on May 26, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Kate changed out of her jacket and into a cricket style jumper for the tennis games. (Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MAY 27: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speaks to schoolchildren as they take part in the Lawn Tennis Association's (LTA) Youth programme, at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre on May 26, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Kate is patron of the LTA and is a keen tennis player, who counts Roger Federer as a friend. (Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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The couple has been in Scotland together since Monday 24 May, though William went up on his own on the Friday before and carried out engagements over the weekend.

They are set to return home to their three children later on Thursday.

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