Duchess Catherine buys hamsters for kids

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have bought their two children Prince George and Princess Charlotte a little pet hamster to go with their friendly dog Lupo.

The 34-year-old royal and her husband Prince William have added the small rodent named Marvin to their family and the fluffy creature has already proved a huge hit with their two children Princess Charlotte, 12 months, and Prince George, two.

While attending the opening of the Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace in greater London on Wednesday, the duchess told children from St John the Baptist Junior School in Hampton Wick about the family's new addition.

A young girl named Darcey told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "She said she had a hamster, and Charlotte really likes it because the whiskers always tickle her face."

The brunette beauty - who was formerly known as Kate Middleton before she wed William in 2011 - told the youngsters that Marvin is kept at their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall, competing for attention with the family dog, Lupo.

And, although Catherine refused to shed light on how they came up with the hamster's adorable moniker, it's believed the furry creature may have been named after George's favourite book 'Marvin Wanted More', about a greedy sheep.

Catherine - who allowed the children at the opening to refer to her as 'Kate' - was given a tour of the Magic Garden, which includes its own secret grotto and a 25ft red dragon.

The duchess then told the children that little George would probably be a "bit scared" of the smoke-breathing creature but she expected he would "love it" all the same.

Princess Charlotte gifted £30k rattle for first birthday

Britain's Princess Charlotte was gifted a £30,000 white gold and jewel-encrusted rattle to celebrate her first birthday on Monday.

 

The daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge turned 12-months-old on Monday and was gifted an 18k white gold rattle, which had been studded with diamonds, rubies and sapphires by the Natural Sapphire Company.

A spokesperson for Kensington Palace said: "The couple have taken a number of gifts into their home, some gifts are stored within the Royal Household, and some gifts were donated to organisations which could make good use of them."

Twitter/Kensington Palace

Elsewhere on the list of gifts given to the Princess over the last year, US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are recorded as having given her a jigsaw puzzle and a soft toy version of their dog Bo, whilst Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron gave her a copy of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau bought Princess Charlotte a snowsuit and a book and also made a donation of around £54,500 to Immunize Canada, which promotes vaccine usage, in her name.

Her grandfather Prince Charles got her a willow rattle made by Irish basketmaker Ciaran Hogan whilst her auntie Pippa Middleton gifted her biodegradable diapers, which are made from natural cloth.

(Reuters)

Meanwhile, during the royal family's trips around the world, the country's officials have, too, been offering gifts for the royal princess.

On their most recent visit to the Kingdom of Bhutan, King Jigme and Queen Jetsun gave Prince William and Duchess Catherine matching coats for Princess Charlotte and her older brother Prince George, two whilst the Prime Minister of New Zealand offered the royals some teddy bears, baby blankets and shoes all made from Stansborough wool, brought back to the United Kingdom by Prince Harry. The Australian government opted for a similar gift - a cot blanket made from Tasmanian merino wool.

During their visit to the United Kingdom last year, China's President Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan offered Princess Charlotte a set of silk figurines, which depict the Chinese novel 'Dream of the Red Chamber'.

Happy Birthday, Princess Charlotte! Inside her adorable first year

Four new photographs of Britain's Princess Charlotte playing at her family's country home were released by the royal family on Sunday to mark her first birthday.

The photographs were taken by her mother, Kate, last month at Anmer Hall, the secluded house in Norfolk, eastern England, where the family spends much of its time.

Prince William and Kate were "happy to be able to share these family moments ahead of their daughter's first birthday" on Monday, their Kensington Palace office wrote on Twitter.

"We hope that everyone enjoys these lovely photos as much as we do," it added.

Charlotte is pictured in two different but matching floral patterned dresses - one pink, one blue, with a cardigan on top.

In one of the shots, she is pushing a baby walker full of wooden bricks in the garden.

In another, she is holding a children's sound and action book which appears to be "The Wheels On The Bus" by British author David Ellwand.

William and Kate have been keen to protect the privacy of Charlotte and her brother, two-year-old Prince George.

The little girl, who is fourth in line to the throne, has only been seen in a few photographs since her birth, mainly released by royal officials.

Most recently, she was pictured on her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II's knee in a photograph of the youngest members of the royal family to mark the monarch's 90th birthday last month.

Pics: AFP

Reuters

Getty Images

Prince William, seated left, Kate Duchess of Cambridge with their children, Prince George, seated 2nd left, and Princess Charlotte, at Sandringham House England  after the  christening on Sunday July 5, 2015.  They are pictured in the Drawing Room of Sandringham House with Queen Elizabeth II, seated right, and standing, from left, Michael Middleton, Pippa Middleton, James Middleton, Carole Middleton,  Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Philip. (AP)

AP

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