Before meeting the animals face-to-face, mental health campaigner Kerry Irving recently chatted about the therapy dogs with Kate and William at a Buckingham Palace garden party

By Stephanie Petit and Simon Perry
June 11, 2019 10:25 AM

Kate Middleton and Prince William headed to the English countryside on Tuesday, where they met a 7-month-old English Springer Spaniel named after Prince Harry. The pup, whose full name is Prince Harry of Winterfells, is being trained to become a therapy dog.

The royal mom of three was all smiles as she knelt down to greet Prince Harry and the other dogs, Max and Paddy, up close.

Mental health campaigner Kerry Irving and his wife recently chatted about the therapy dogs with Kate, 37, and William, 36, at a Buckingham Palace garden party — and were thrilled that the couple now got to meet the animals face-to-face.

“When I said, ‘That’s Prince Harry, William laughed said, ‘Oh yes, this is the one you mentioned when you were down at the palace,’ ” Irving said.

He added, “It was excellent seeing them and that they remembered us.”

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/AP Imagesa
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton
| Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/AP Imagesa

After Irving was involved in a 2006 car crash, Max — who belonged to a neighbor and has been adopted by Irving — helped him recover after he became virtually house-bound. The mental health campaigner endured seven operations and suffered panic attacks, but Max encouraged him to get outside again.

Now, Max is being used to help train Prince Harry and his brother, Paddy the Legend of the Lakes.

Despite the excitement of the day, Prince Harry took a nap on the stone of Keswick town square while he waited for the royals to arrive.

“Harry is calm now — until there is food around,” Irving said.

Will and Kate are dog lovers, and they got their English Cocker Spaniel, Lupo, to help them at a difficult time.

“When Prince William was away in the Falkland Islands, he went for dinner with some good friends of ours in the Air Force, and he was saying how difficult it was for Kate because he was leaving for six weeks. It was when they’d just got the Spaniel to help her with the time apart,” Natalie Bressani, who met the couple at an outing in 2018, previously said. “She appreciates what wives and families go through.”

Lupo has previously starred in a number of family photos, including an early photo of baby Prince George with his parents. On George’s third birthday, the royals released four too-cute photos of the chubby-cheeked prince standing on a swing, walking in the garden and playing with the family pet.

Kate told Irving that his dogs were so calm that she would like to loan Lupo to him for some training.

“She said she could give us Lupo for some training sessions! So I said why don’t you bring him up here for a walk,” Irving said.

The royal couple arrived to Keswick, Cumbria, by helicopter from London — a 310-mile trip — on Tuesday morning.

“They said that as they flew over the lakes they could see people sailing and kayaking and swimming,” Irving shared. “They said to me, ‘What you’re doing is getting people outdoors.’ “

The respected mental health campaigner has around 106,000 people from around the world following him on social media as Max Out In The Lake District and takes the dogs into schools to inspire children to enjoy the outdoors.

“We want to create well-being awareness so kids put down their computers and get outside,” he said.

And Prince Harry wasn’t the only dog to get some love from Kate. While greeting the gathered crowds in Keswick, the mom knelt down to pet a pup who stuck his head under the barricades.

In a video shared by Kensington Palace, Kate returns to shaking hands with fans — only for the eager animal to grab her attention again and get another rub on the head.