I was a fan of Blue Peter as a child, Prince Charles reveals
The prince was visiting the restored Temperate House at Kew Gardens in London.
The Prince of Wales was gifted a tree for his Highgrove home during a Kew Gardens visit – and joked it would need protecting from Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Charles saw the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children on Monday when his latest grandchild Prince Louis was christened.
When he was presented with an oriental beech sapling for his beech tree collection at Highgrove, his Gloucestershire home, he quipped: “I mustn’t let my grandchildren get hold of this.”
The prince, who is patron of Kew, was at the attraction to celebrate its restored Temperate House and Great Pagoda.
He confessed to being a Blue Peter fan when a boy when he met the presenters of the popular children’s programme which had run a competition for viewers to design one of dozens of dragons reinstated on the pagoda for the restoration.
The winning child and five runners up were invited to meet the heir to the throne and presenter Radzi Chinyanganya said afterwards: “The prince said he watched Blue Peter when he was a boy so that was probably the Valerie Singleton and John Noakes era.
Originally built in 1762, the #KewPagoda has been restored to its former glory and is adorned with 80 dragons 🐲 HRH The Prince of Wales admires the view. There are 253 steps to the top! @ClarenceHouse pic.twitter.com/lPYEyXjckX— Historic Royal Palaces (@HRP_palaces) July 12, 2018
“I was impressed he really had time for all the children and had a proper dialogue with all of them.”
Charles had climbed more than 250 steps to the top of the Chinese inspired Georgian tower which has ornate dragons adorning the roofs of all its levels.
A keen gardener with a passion for plants the heir to the throne toured the Victorian temperate glass-house which has undergone a £42 million restoration project over six years.
The Prince of Wales is shown the South African Cycad, one of only three males known to be in existence they are often referred to as “the world’s loneliest plant”@kewgardens are working hard to save some of the most threatened plant species through conservation and research. pic.twitter.com/irgKLgRmWj— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) July 12, 2018
Housing a collection of temperate plants from Africa, Australia, the Himalayas and Asia – it features a rare Wood’s cyad.
Dubbed “the world’s loneliest plant” by Kew staff, it is a clone of the only known Wood’s cyad discovered in the wild in South Africa.
But like the original – and many other clones – it is male and no females are known to exist.
David Cooke, Temperate House supervisor, described the plant to Charles and said afterwards: “I was telling him this is our rarest plant in the gardens, this is the only one in the country and as far as I know the only one in Europe.
“There’s about 110-115 worldwide, they’re all male nobody’s ever found a female, their extinct in the wild.”