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Families enjoy getting back to nature with The Duchess of Cambridge

Posted on Monday 16th September 2019
The Duchess of Cambridge meeting patient Louise at an outdoor event

The Duchess of Cambridge meeting Louise.

Three Evelina London patients and their families had fun outdoors with The Duchess of Cambridge at a special festival event to mark the opening of a new play garden.

Our Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, opened the Back to Nature play area at The Royal Horticultural Society's Garden Wisley in Woking, Surrey.

Patients Louise, 14, Evelina, 3, and Hope-Tia, 10, were delighted to attend the festival with their families, alongside a group of children from The Duchess’ other patronages. 

The Duchess spoke to Louise and her mum Lorraine Chipps, who has brittle bone disease and recently had a hip replacement at Evelina London.

Lorraine, 47, from Eltham in south east London, said: “It was a really lovely day and the first time we’d been outside in a month as Louise has been recovering from surgery. She was so excited to meet The Duchess and was almost bursting afterwards.”

Louise, said: “The Duchess asked me what my favourite part of the day was and I told her it was meeting a princess. She was beautiful.”

The families enjoyed a range of outdoor activities including maypole dancing, a coconut shy, planting seeds, balloon modelling, learning circus skills and meeting animals in a petting farm.

Miranda Jenkins, Deputy Director of Evelina London, said: “We are very grateful to The Duchess of Cambridge for inviting some of our patients to enjoy this special event. All three of them have recently undergone surgery so it was wonderful for them to have this experience after spending so much time in hospital.”

The new play garden features two connected treehouses and slides which encourage families and friends to have fun together in a natural environment.

It was inspired by The Duchess’ previous Back to Nature gardens, which Her Royal Highness co-designed, and includes a hollow log from her RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden, and the wildflower meadow and rolling hill showcased at Hampton Court.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a special event at our hospital in December 2018 to mark the announcement of Her Royal Highness’s Patronage of Evelina London.

Evelina London is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The hospital was founded in 1869 as Evelina Hospital for Sick Children by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, whose wife, Evelina, died along with their baby in childbirth.