In a surprise engagement at the Natural History Museum today, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge attended a children’s tea party to celebrate Dippy the diplodocus’ time at the museum, before he travels around the country.
Catherine, who is the central London tourist attraction’s patron, attended the event with a handful of the press and children from Oakington Manor Primary School in Wembley. The school works with mental health charity Place2Be of which she is patron.
The party was to see off Dippy, the famous dinosaur skeleton which hangs in the entrance hall. Dippy has greeted visitors since 1979, but he is to go on a nationwide two-year tour – the Duchess was there for a Royal send-off.
The skeleton is in fact a 1905 plaster cast mock up, comprised of five separate animals. He will be replaced by the real bones of a blue whale.
To celebrate, the children cut a diplodocus cake with the Royal guest, before posing for photos. Children sat at tables for arts and crafts activities, also joined by the Duchess.
After asking the pupils what their favourite dinosaur was, Kate spoke of Prince George, who has visited the museum in the past: “She said George likes the T Rex because he is the biggest and the loudest,” Eduarda told the press.
Amani, 10, explained how the Duchess spoke of her children’s personalities: “We asked her about her home lifestyle and her children. She said that Charlotte is very chatty and likes doing play dates with George. George is interested in dinosaurs and volcanoes.”
Dippy’s last day on show will be on 4th January 2017, before being dismantled. His nationwide tour will take place from 2018-2020, and eventually, a bronze replica of Dippy, cast from the same moulds as the original, will be put on display in the museum grounds.