Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Kate goes Dippy

The Duchess of Cambridge decorates dinosaur eggs on a trip to the Natural History Museum
(photo Kensington Palace Twitter)

He arrived at the Natural History Museum in London by royal command in 1905 and now, as Dippy the Diplodocus prepares to head off on tour, he's had a regal send off. The Duchess of Cambridge attended a tea party at the museum of which she is patron as one of its most famous exhibits prepares for the next chapter in its life.

Kate was joined by pupils from Oakington Manor Primary School in Wembley, London to give Dippy a party to remember ahead of this move which will see him part company from his home for the first time in 112 years. The Duchess of Cambridge joined the budding scientists decorating dinosaur eggs and on a mini fossil hunt before cakes, biscuits and Dippy celebrations.

Kate also had an explorer of her own on her mind as she told the children that Prince George, who she has been seen taking to the museun in the past loved dinosaurs and had singled out the 'biggest and scariest' T Rex as his royal favourite right now. We also found out that George loves dinosaurs, ensuring that his mum and dad will never be far from noise and mess throughout his childhood - just as it should be.

Dippy will be touring the UK through 2017, leaving a big gap in the Hintze Hall where he has lived since 1979. He is actually a model of the bones of the dinosaur found in America in 1898 and bought by Andrew Carnegie for his museum in Philadelphia. Edward VII was so impressed with the skeleton that he commissioned a replica for the Natural History Museum and Dippy arrived there in 1905.

We don't know whether Edward VII shared a love of T Rex with his great, great, great, great grandson but we do know that during his short reign he was a well known patron of the arts and sciences. Over a century on, the Duchess of Cambridge was there to give a regal ending to this part of his story - it's not yet known when she will visit the museum again to see Dippy's replacement in the Hintze Hall, the skeleton of a blue whale.

In the meantime there was the serious business of a tea party to get done before Kate popped round the corner to Kensington Palace to get ready for her second engagement of the day - later, the Duchess of Cambridge will attend the Place2Be Wellbeing in School Awards celebrating the work schools do in helping young people with mental health issues.

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