Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty
Erin Hill
November 10, 2016 12:26 PM

Prince William showed off his green thumb on Thursday as he planted poppy seeds with local school children in London.

The prince paid a visit to Kensington Memorial Park to mark the dedication of the park by the Royal Borough of London & Chelsea to the Centenary Fields program ahead of Remembrance Day.

And the royal father of two immediately went into dad mode as he worked his signature move — the squat and chat — with the excited young group of kids.

“You guys are going to do lots of running around in here. Maybe wait until it gets warmer for the splash park though!” he told the children.

The prince knelt down on the ground and dug holes with a shovel before pouring in the poppy seeds with students from St. Charles Roman Catholic Primary School in Kensington.

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty

“I’m not an expert gardener, but I hope the sunshine will come out and help them to grow. I’m not optimistic!” he said.

The poppy has a long association with Remembrance Day. Poppy flowers grew on the battlefields after World War One ended. Traditionally worn from the last Friday in October to November 11, the poppy is a symbol of collective reminiscence in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty

During his visit, William also spoke with war veterans and gave a moving speech about his work with the Fields in Trust Centenary Fields program.

“Two years ago I launched the Fields in Trust Centenary Fields program in Coventry,” he began.

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“And as we reach the midway point of the commemorative period for the Great War, Fields in Trust continues to build a living legacy to the fallen by protecting Centenary Fields in perpetuity as places for play, sport and recreation.

“At this time of year, formal acts of remembrance become a major part of our public life. This remembrance is often focused at the war memorials of village greens and town centers throughout the country, and in some cases in parks such as this — Kensington Memorial Park — opened by Princess Louise 90 years ago.”

Just a few miles away, William’s brother Prince Harry was also honoring those who lost their lives in battle at the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey alongside Prince Philip.

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