Prince George gets a luxury Wendy house from grandad
All children love to build a den in the back garden, and a lucky few might even get a wooden playhouse where they can cook pretend food and entertain young guests.
Prince George, however, has done rather better, after he was given an £18,000 Wendy house on wheels to play in when he visits Highgrove.
Visitors to the Prince of Wales’s Gloucestershire home can now glimpse the hand-built Shepherd’s Hut during guided tours of the 15-acre garden.
The Victorian-style outhouse, complete with wood-burning stove and day bed, was a first birthday gift from a Dorset-based company that began with the help of the Prince’s Trust.
It is sited on the edge of the Prince’s wildflower meadow, in the hope, no doubt, that Prince George will be inspired to embrace his grandfather’s passion for horticulture.
Prince George loves to have tea parties with his grandfather, using plastic cups, which will stand him in good stead for the Buckingham Palace garden parties he will be expected to attend when he grows up.
The Prince of Wales has also introduced him to the art of tree planting, another perpetual royal duty, by getting him to help put two saplings in the garden of Highgrove.
Prince George’s 12ft x 6ft Shepherd’s Hut was given to him by Plankbridge, whose customers also include Liz Hurley, as a thank-you to the Prince of Wales for helping to establish the company with a Prince’s Trust loan.
Richard Lee, the company’s owner, set it up 15 years ago after being inspired by an old Victorian hut on wheels near Thomas Hardy’s former home in Dorset. From the window of the hut Prince George can watch the wildflower meadow being scythed in the summer, before sheep are allowed on to the land to graze and trample in the seeds which grow into the following year’s meadow.
The garden at Highgrove is constantly evolving, and visitors this summer will see a topiary elephant planted in memory of the Duchess of Cornwall’s brother, the writer and conservationist Mark Shand, who ran an elephant charity until his sudden death last year. Tour parties will also enter the garden through the newly-renamed Shand Gate, which includes ornate doors salvaged from India and decorative bronzes given to the Prince by his late brother-in-law.
The Royal Gardens at Highgrove are open on selected days until October 16. Tickets can be bought at www.highgrovegardens.com