'Good Luck with Your Baby!' — Dad-to-Be Prince Harry Gets an Adorable Welcome from Young Students
Prince Harry is putting his royal green thumb to work!
The prince, 34, took part in his family’s tradition of planting a tree during a visit to a school in west London on Tuesday.
The visit was part of the ongoing campaign to secure forests around the globe under the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, an initiative that began in 2015 as a network of forest conservation programs throughout the 53 countries of the Commonwealth.
Harry joined young students from St. Vincent’s Catholic Primary School, Acton as they planted saplings in the school’s outdoor nature area. The spot will eventually become their own forest school. He then planted his own tree — a wild cherry sapling — in recognition of the achievements of the QCC and the Woodland Trust charity in providing 74,000 trees across the U.K.
On the way in, Harry, who is expecting his first child with wife Meghan Markle in late April, crouched down and admired some special welcome signs that the children had created for his visit. The mini flags contained messages like, “Good luck with your baby.”
“How long did it take you to make?” he asked one 9-year-old student. When told the artwork came easily to the children, he teased, “What, five minutes? Wow!”
And another little fan caught his eye – Winnie, the dog of head teacher Monica McCarthy. The lively dog licked Harry’s hand as he petted it, before he playfully shushed her. The obedient pet did what she was told.
- Can’t get enough of PEOPLE’s Royals coverage? Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
On the way out, Harry received a gift from the students for the new baby (a onesie!) and playfully shook it.
Prince Harry playfully shakes a gift he was given for him and wife Meghan as he left St. Vincent’s primary school. (It was a baby’s onesie so it likely didn’t rattle too much!) #royal #princeharry @people pic.twitter.com/30V9ni7Rel— Simon Perry (@SPerryPeoplemag) March 20, 2019
The two organizations launched free plant-a-tree campaigns last year to highlight the importance of trees and woods and the impact they have on the environment and the Woodland Trust is providing St. Vincent’s with 60 broadleaf trees, to encourage and inspire environmental considerations in children as they grow their new mini forest.
Members of the royal family have made it an often-lighthearted tradition to plant trees wherever they visit, especially on foreign tours. But Harry – who visited Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy forests when he and Meghan toured Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji last year – has made it part of a more serious campaign and message to secure and rejuvenate the world’s forest.
He has led the QCC initiative that aims to create a global network of indigenous forests to benefit communities and wildlife, now, and into the future. To date, more than 8.4 million hectares of forests in 43 countries have been dedicated to the QCC. And, in 2017, Harry visited the Epping Forest QCC dedication.
The visit came a day after he and Meghan, who is about eight months pregnant, made a surprise tribute to those killed in the shooting at two mosques in New Zealand last week.