As a child, Prince William loved to while away the hours playing with his little brother Prince Harry in their own special den – a spectacular tree house which their father Prince Charles had built for them at his Highgrove estate. Now the doting grandfather has had the little structure completely restored to its former glory for Prince George to enjoy.
Prince Charles has restored Prince William's childhood tree house
The tree house was first built in 1989 just in time for William's seventh birthday. It was the work of Cotswold architect William Bertram, who interviewed the Princes when they were aged three and five, to ask them how they would like their new hideout to be. William told him: "I want it to be as high as possible so I can get away from everyone and I want a rope ladder which I can pull up so no-one can get at me."
Prince George, two, will be able to enjoy the tree house when he visits Highgrove House
With George in mind, Charles has also installed an incredible artisan shepherd's hut on the edge of his wildflower meadow. It comes complete with a mini bed and woodburner, and was a first birthday gift given to Charles for the rosy-cheeked charmer's first birthday from Dorset-based company Plankbridge, which started up with the help of the Prince's Trust.
Visitors to the Gloucestershire estate are able to get a glimpse of the hut during the guided tour of the 15-acre gardens.
While Princess Charlotte is currently too young to enjoy the new additions to Highgrove, she will be able to play with her brother in the gardens when she is a little older. Charles often spends time with his grandchildren at Highgrove and as HELLO! recently revealed, he enjoyed a spot of gardening with two-year-old George in the gardens earlier this year. The youngster helped his green-fingered granddad to plant two new trees in the grounds of the country retreat, which Charles bought in 1980.
Charles has also installed an artisan shepherd's hut on the edge of his wildflower meadow
The news of the new play area for George comes just days after he celebrated his second birthday with a party organised by his mother the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, at Anmer Hall. While Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Queen were unable to attend due to an official engagement, George's great-grandfather Prince Philip and Carole Middleton were among the guests at the low-key celebration.
Highgrove’s royal gardens are open to members of the public on selected days and vistors - which number up to 40,000 every year - raise an admirable £650,000 for the Prince’s charities. See highgrovegardens.com to book tickets for selected days up until 16 October.
For more information, pick up a copy of the next HELLO! magazine, on sale from 1 August.