Prince Charles’ two sons Prince William and Prince Harry had an incredible den they could play in at their childhood home in Gloucestershire, Highgrove House, which was later turned into a treehouse for Prince George – and it was the inspiration behind the royal’s new garden feature.
The Prince of Wales has opened a new 300-square metre wooden adventure playground at his Scottish home, Dumfries House in Ayrshire, complete with rope bridges, a netting tunnel, two side-by-side racing slides and a tube slide – all nestled in the trees.
The central play tower of the incredible nature-based playpark, commissioned by Charles’ charity The Prince’s Foundation, was based on a den with a pointed thatched roof that was originally built for Prince William’s seventh birthday in 1989.
Charles refurbished it for his eldest grandson George in 2015, but it will likely also be a hit with the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge’s other children, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana should they visit.
The treehouse, nicknamed ‘Hollyrood House’ after the Queen’s official Scottish residence, was reportedly built around an old holly tree and was accessible only by a rope hanging through a trap door, which has now been changed to a holly leaf-shaped door.
Paul Travers of Creating Adventurous Places (CAP.Co), which designed the new structure at Dumfries, said: “It’s loosely based on the [Highgrove] treehouse in terms of shape and form.”
Now, other children across the country who make the trip to Charles’ Scottish home will be able to enjoy a royal-worthy playpark and immerse themselves in nature.Charles and Diana’s sons had a den at Highgrove House.
On Thursday, Prince Charles encouraged children to get stuck into playtime at the new park. The 73-year-old reportedly said: “Have you enjoyed it? Have you run around the whole thing? Which bit do you like most? You like all of it – great.”
Charles and his charity The Prince’s Foundation purchased Dumfries House back in 2007. Unlike other royal homes, the 2000-acre estate is not intended as a residence for the Prince and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall – instead, it is used for a range of education and training opportunities, and it is open to the public all year round.