As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced this week they are expecting a child in the spring, Littlehampton schoolchildren planted two trees as a tribute to the royal couple – one English alder and one American red oak.
Pupils called Harry and Meghan were invited by Littlehampton mayor Billy Blanchard-Cooper to help plant the symbolic trees on Tuesday in celebration of the royal couple’s titles, and it happily coincided with the announcement.
Pupils from River Beach, White Meadows, St Catherine’s and Lyminster primary schools took it in turns to help plant the trees in front of Manor House in Church Street.
Mr Blanchard-Cooper said: “We actually decided to plant two trees because we wanted one which was to represent Harry, a native English tree, and one to represent Meghan, being a native American tree. That way, the two can grow together and it is very symbolic.”
In a short speech to the gathering of children, teachers and town councillors before the planting, the mayor wished the Duke and Duchess a long and wonderful marriage and also to enjoy the next steps in their lives together in a few months when their first baby will be born.
The mayor planted the tree to symbolise Harry, with the help of the children, and deputy mayor Tracey Baker was in charge of planting the Meghan tree. This is shown on commemorative plaques in front of the two saplings.
Mr Blanchard-Cooper added: “Wanting to include the community was really key for us as well so we decided to actually invite students from our local primary schools, but only the students who were called Harry or Meghan, just to give it a little twist.”
The young Harrys and Meghans shouted ‘Windsor’ as their pictures were taken, before being invited back to the New Millennium Chamber for a tea party to relax after the hard work, where they could enjoy refreshments in the company of a life-sized cardboard cut out of the Duke and Duchess
To mark the special occasion, the mayor presented each pupil with an official commemorative key ring shaped like a crown, from Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May this year.
The trees have been planted on land which previously was offices, and is now a green space for the community to enjoy, including an events notice board, so everyone walking past the gardens in Church Street will be able to admire the trees as they grow.