Prince Louis tries his hand at labouring as royals help renovate Scout hut
Prince Louis got stuck into a spot of painting, digging and decorating when he volunteered with his family to mark the coronation of his grandfather the King.
The young royal joined his big brother and sister – Prince George and Princess Charlotte – helping renovate a Scout hut site in Slough, Berkshire, as part of the Big Help Out, under the watchful eye of their parents the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Eager to try everything from shovelling sand to painting a planter base and wheeling a barrow, the five-year-old royal ended the day splashed with paint but got his reward – a marshmallow-and-chocolate biscuit sandwich.
When William took control of a digger and dumped a bucket full of earth onto a spoil heap, Louis was sat in his father’s lap after seeing nine-year-old George have a go and telling mum Kate “I want to go in with him”.
Louis was given his chance to take charge and asked “What does this one do?” as he pulled a lever, but was not phased when the digger lurched back slightly and was encouraged by his father, who said “Keep going Louis, that’s it”.
Later, the five-year-old prince was given the task of filling a wheelbarrow with builders’ sand and he focused on the job, diligently shovelling the material before wheeling the barrow himself.
Kate watched over her son, telling him to shovel in a “bit more” and when the barrow was a quarter full, Louis wheeled it away to help volunteers building a path and made a number of runs.
The young royals beavered away helping renovate the 3rd Upton Scouts Hut as the adults reset a path, dug a new soakaway, sanded and revarnished a door, screwed together planters and created a mural as a lasting legacy of their work.
Louis and Charlotte, aged eight, painted the brick base of a planter with masonry paint and as the young prince sploshed it about, his sister told him: “You’ve got paint in your hair! Louis, look at me! Look at me!”
The five-year-old carried on regardless and his sister added: “You’ve got to wipe it.”
One volunteer asked Louis: “You might want to be a painter when you grow up?”
To which Louis replied: “No, a fighter pilot.”
Nearby, George was given a drill and screwed wooden planters together, helped by a volunteer, as his father also assembled the boxes and at the end William quipped they would have to “clean up my mess” but was told he had done a “good job”.
A boisterous Louis joined his sister making handprints on a mural inside the Scout building and when asked which prints were his, pointed as he said “I did one there, there and there”.
The three young royals took part in a game of archery which brought out the competitive spirit in the siblings, and later the family were presented with Scout scarves.
Scout member Milena Pereira said about the archery: “Charlotte mentioned she has done it before at home, but they were all determined to have a go.
“They were really nice and respectful, a nice family, so today was a nice surprise, we didn’t know they were coming.”
Before leaving, Louis was treated to a “smore” – a marshmallow-and-chocolate biscuit sandwich – as the youngster roasted marshmallows over a brazier.
William smiled and said: “You won’t hear a peep out of him now for about 20 minutes.”
And the five-year-old staggered around after taking a bite, as he enjoyed the moment, and bumped into his sister.
Kensington Palace described the event as Louis’ first royal engagement, although he has attended a number or high-profile royal events it is thought the Slough visit was the first time the prince has actively engaged with the public.
Matt Hyde, chief executive of The Scout Association, told the PA news agency: “We’ve had an extraordinary day, you could see the Prince and Princess of Wales and their family helped out and had a great time.
“Prince Louis was leading the way with the wheelbarrow of sand that he was helping to repair a path.
“They were all painting doors, they were helping screw together planting boxes and also there was lots of digging as well, which the Prince of Wales enjoyed.
“It looked like they had an incredible time.”