Prince Harry helps plant trees at Catholic school
The Duke of Sussex joked with pupils, met the school dog and mimed his pregnant wife’s baby bump as he helped plant trees to highlight the importance of the environment.
Harry mimed the shape of the baby bump of his wife Meghan, who is believed to be around six weeks away from the arrival of her first child, as he chatted to staff, children and visitors at St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School in Acton, west London, earlier today.
The children later gave Harry gifts including an eco-friendly yellow raincoat and wellington boots for the new royal baby.
Harry also met the school dog Winnie, a white cavachon – a cross between a Bichon Frise and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – during the visit, as he talked with the schoolchildren and helped plant trees in the school garden.
The duke was also treated to a rendition of Seasons Of Love from the musical Rent by the pupils.
Earlier, he was greeted by headteacher and deputy head Monica McCarthy and Sean Buyers, as well as Beccy Speight, chief executive of The Woodlands Trust, as he was given a posy from the school’s “eco ambassadors” Momo Invanca, five, Luke Byers, six, and Mary Jane Bres, 11.
Theodora Ivanovo, 50, who helps maintain the outdoor spaces of the forest school, an idea that comes from Scandinavian outdoor education, said: “We want to make the area a mini-urban forest for the benefit of the children, because we can’t make a big one in the centre of London.
“It contributes to making our town greener and part of the project of our mayor to turn London into a nature park.
“It’s also to fight global warming and let the children be a part of the movement which is now so inspiring for young people around the globe.”
The duke planted a cherry tree, helped by one of the pupils, as part of a project that will see 60 trees planted in the garden. He also unveiled a commemorative plaque as part of The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy scheme.
The scheme, run by The Woodland Trust, has provided 74,000 trees across the UK since 2015, as well as 8.4 million hectares of forests in 43 countries.
Beccy Speight, chief executive of The Woodland Trust, said: “We are extremely proud to be associated with this wonderful initiative and thrilled His Royal Highness could join us this morning to plant a tree to commemorate our support of The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.
“We are thrilled that so many schools like St Vincent’s are planting, whilst teaching and educating children about the benefits trees bring.”
Picture: The Duke of Sussex joins schoolchildren as they take part in a tree planting project in support of The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative, together with the Woodland Trust at St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School, Acton. (Alastair Grant/PA).