The royal family’s talents revealed – from Princess Eugenie’s painting to Kate Middleton’s photography

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The royals may be working members of the Queen's family, but in their spare time, they all hone their different talents and hobbies. Fans may already know that the Duchess of Cambridge is a gifted photographer; just think of all the gorgeous, official portraits she's taken of her children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. But did you know Kate is also a talented sailor, while her father-in-law Prince Charles is an artist? Let's take a look at the royal family's many talents, starting with…

Princess Eugenie

Princess Eugenie stunned royal fans when she unveiled an incredible hidden talent – she can paint! The 30-year-old shared her gift on Instagram to celebrate World Art Day on 15 April, uploading a photograph of a pink flower and then another snap of her hand-painted version. Captioning the post, Eugenie wrote: "It's World Art Day… I wanted to share something I did some years ago now. Looking through my old art and crafts has been so fun today and I just hope this time can bring about more creativity from anyone who enjoys it. Happy #worldartday."

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Prince George and Princess Charlotte

The Duke of Cambridge revealed Prince George and Princess Charlotte's swimming skills, while carrying out an investiture ceremony. Prince William told Channel swimmer Eileen Fenton, that the royals were a "family of swimmers," and she added: "He said that he and his wife make sure the children can swim and they all go and they swim quite well. I can remember seeing when the Queen was young and her sister Princess Margaret – we used to see them swimming in pictures. He said the whole family have done it." The talent clearly runs in the family!

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The Duchess of Cambridge

One skill that Kate has admitted she is still working on is her gardening. In November 2018, the Duchess visited the Imperial War Museum in London and was shown letters her ancestors had written during the war. As she leafed through the papers, Kate said: "I think I saw one of the letters that one of them wrote home asking for cauliflower seeds. My grandmother loved gardening." Gardening was "a bit of a family thing," she added. Prince William's wife went on to say that her skills were slightly lacking. "You should not see my cauliflowers! I'm still learning," she laughed.

But it seems Kate was being modest, as the palace announced in January 2019 that she is co-designing the RHS Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show – her first as a royal. Alongside the Royal Horticultural Society and landscape architects Davies White, Kate will help create a garden that reflects her love of the outdoors and her belief that nature has a positive impact on people's physical and mental health.

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The Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess is one of the most creative members of the royal family, having studied Art at A-Level and History of Art at University. Her love of the arts translated into her royal life; she is patron of the National Portrait Gallery and an honorary member of the Royal Photographic Society. Kate's talent is clear to see in the photos she takes of her children, which she often shares with the public.

Instead of turning to an official photographer, Kate steps behind the lens herself and captures her adorable brood, making sure the lighting and the focus are just perfect. She's photographed everything from Prince Louis's first official portraits as a baby, to Prince George on his first day of nursery.

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The Queen

Her Majesty is also a passionate photographer, and during family holidays and royal tours, she was rarely seen without a camera by her side.

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The Duchess of Cambridge

Kate is also very sporty, having played tennis, hockey and netball at school and also taking part in athletics, particularly high jump. But one of her strongest talents lies in sailing. On her Gap Year, Kate crewed on Round the World Challenge boats in the Solent. The Duchess, who is Patron of The 1851 Trust, has previously demonstrated her sailing skills in New Zealand, when she raced against Prince William in Auckland Harbour in 2014.

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Prince Philip

Horse riding has also been a royal pastime, and after Prince Philip quit polo in 1971, he turned to carriage driving. At 97 years of age, the Prince is still a talented rider and enjoys outdoor drives around Windsor.

In 2004, he revealed his passion in his book, 30 Years On and Off The Box Seat. "I am getting old," he wrote. "My reactions are getting slower and my memory is unreliable. But, I have not lost the sheer pleasure of driving a team through the British countryside. I have been fortunate to have had a longer innings than most, and I have no intention of giving up while I have a team of willing ponies and dedicated grooms."

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Lady Louise Windsor

His granddaughter Lady Louise, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex's daughter, is also showing a talent for the sport. The 15-year-old has competed in the British Driving Society Championship for Young Drivers, with Prince Philip looking on proudly.

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The Duchess of Sussex

Meghan is a self-confessed foodie and even had her passion for cooking and dining written into her Suits character. Prince Harry proposed while they were making a roast chicken, so it's no surprise that one of Meghan's first solo projects when she was still a senior working member of the royal family, was to help create a cookbook. The Duchess joined forces with a group of women who were affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, to publish Together: Our Community Cookbook – a book that celebrates how the power of cooking can bring people together.

On her now-closed blog The Tig, Meghan used to share recipes for some of her favourite dishes, saying she could make a simple cacio and pepe pasta with her eyes closed.

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Prince Charles

Charles seems to have followed in the footsteps of his great-great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who was also a keen artist. The future King has had a lifelong passion for art and was taught by some of Britain's finest masters. He favours watercolour and likes to paint outdoors. Although he describes himself as "an enthusiastic amateur," Charles has reportedly sold some of his works.

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The Duchess of Cambridge

Kate has also shown her artistic talent on official engagements, putting the finishing touches to paintings in Los Angeles, India and London to name a few.

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Prince Charles

The green-fingered royal has long held a passion for gardening and puts a lot of time and effort into the gardens of his private homes. He's even had the treehouse in Highgrove Garden – which Prince William and Prince Harry used to play in – refurbished so that his grandson Prince George can use it. Charles has also previously revealed that George, five, has helped him plant trees at his Gloucestershire home.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time, the future King said: "The most important thing is I got him planting a tree or two here, so we planted it together and shovelled in the earth. That's the way I think, when you are very small, and then each time they come you say, 'Do you see how much the tree has grown?' or whatever, and you hope that they take an interest."

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The Queen

It's no secret that Her Majesty is a talented rider. She had her first riding lesson at the age of three and was given her first pony, a Shetland mare named Peggy by her grandfather King George V, on her fourth birthday. During her reign, she has been patron of various equestrian organisations including the British Horse Society, the Fell Pony Society and the Highland Pony Society. It seems the youngest members of her family are also following in her footsteps; Princes Charlotte took up the reins at just 17 months old.

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Zara Tindall

Generations of royals share the Queen's talent, including her daughter Princess Anne and granddaughter Zara Tindall. Both royals have competed at the Olympics, representing Great Britain in the equestrian events. Prince Philip once joked of his daughter Anne: "If it doesn't fart or eat hay, she isn't interested." Zara, meanwhile, won silver at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

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Prince William and Prince Harry

The royal brothers are extremely talented polo players – a skill they honed at home and at school, encouraged by their grandfather Prince Philip. Harry is said to be the better player because he is naturally right-handed, but William has also managed to master the sport with his right hand. The brothers still take part in polo matches for charity.

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The Duchess of Sussex

When she first got into acting, Meghan split her time between auditioning and doing freelance calligraphy. She was gifted to the point that Robin Thicke and Paula Patton handpicked her to write their wedding invitations and save-the-dates. Meghan has previously revealed to Esquire that calligraphy was her "pseudo-waitressing job". She explained: "I didn't wait tables. I did calligraphy for the invitations for, like, Robin Thicke and Paula Patton's wedding."

Paper Source CEO Winnie Park has also said: "It was her part-time job as she was going through auditions. She taught calligraphy and hosted a group of customers and instructed them during a two-hour class on how to do calligraphy."

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Princess Beatrice

In 2010, Princess Beatrice showed her aptitude for running when she took part in the London Marathon, making her the first royal ever to do so. Beatrice, who was dressed as a caterpillar, ran alongside Richard Branson's children Holly and Sam. They made up a group of 32 friends who had tied themselves together to form Team Caterpillar, and broke the record for the largest number of runners to finish the race tied together.

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Sarah, Duchess of York

Prince Andrew's ex-wife had success writing children's books. Her picture book Tea For Ruby, which follows a young girl trying to perfect her manners in time for tea with the Queen, topped the US Bestsellers List. Sarah also wrote Budgie The Helicopter and sold the rights to Little Red, another series about a red-haired girl which is loosely based on the Duchess herself.

When asked whether she'd made a good grandmother, Sarah said: "Excellent – I used to write children's books, and I am a child, I haven't grown up."

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The Duchess of Cornwall

Camilla is an enthusiastic reader and has a knack for great story-telling. Prince Charles' wife is patron of a number of literacy charities, including the National Literacy Trust, Book Trust, First Story, the Wicked Young Writer's Awards and Beanstalk.

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Prince George

Prince William's son George appears to be taking after his grandmother Princess Diana. At last year's Radio 1 Teen Awards, William chatted to award recipients at Kensington Palace and said: "George is doing dancing as well, he loves it. And it's kind of… My mother always used to dance, she loved dancing. And if it's something you love, you do what you love. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Keep at it."

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