Kate toasts marshmallows as she becomes joint president of The Scout Association

Duchess of Cambridge visits Scouts Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The Duchess of Cambridge celebrated becoming joint president of The Scout Association by toasting marshmallows on an open fire with other scouts.

Kate was also awarded the youth movement’s top prize – the Silver Wolf Award – on the recommendation of the chief scout, adventurer Bear Grylls.

The duchess, casually dressed in brown trousers, boots and a gilet and her Scout scarf, joined the 12th Northolt Scout Group in west London on Tuesday to mark her new role.

Kate gave the other youngsters in attendance tips on how to toast a marshmallow, telling them to “make sure it doesn’t get gooey and fall off”.

As she sat with the Cub Scouts on socially distanced tree stumps around a fire pit, the duchess asked: “Are you having fun? How many marshmallows have you eaten?”

When they replied one, she remarked: “Oh my goodness, that’s so controlled of you. Is that because there’s only one in your bag?”

Toasting her marshmallow before taking a bite, Kate said: “You must have missed this.”

Kate toasts marshmallows over the camp fire Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

The children told the duchess they had been holding Scout camps at home during lockdown.

Some camped in their back garden for two nights or even the living room, and one used a bath.

Kate heard how the association adapted during the pandemic when sessions went online as part of #TheGreatIndoors campaign.

The Duchess of Cambridge with her whirlybird Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

Her visit was also to thank the organisation’s volunteers for supporting more than half-a-million young people during lockdown.

The Cub Scouts told the duchess they had sent handwritten cards to elderly people and those shielding during the pandemic.

They also penned messages on pebbles.

Kate said: “That’s a really lovely idea. It has been hard as no one can see each other. But these are really special. Well done you.”

Kate releases her whirlybird Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

The duchess is sharing her new joint role – her first presidency of an organisation – with the Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Kent, who has been president of the youth movement since 1975.

The Duke of Kent and the Duchess of Cambridge together at Wimbledon Credit: Steven Paston/PA

The Silver Wolf, which the Duke of Kent also has, is usually only awarded for 30 years’ service, but is in the gift of the chief scout, and is the highest prize for adult volunteers.

The duchess was previously a volunteer with a Cub Scout pack when she and the Duke of Cambridge lived in Anglesey, North Wales.

Kate with a Cub Scout Pack in North Wootton in 2016 Credit: Ben Stansall/PA

TV presenter Grylls, who could not make the event as he was filming in the US, launched The Great Indoors in March.

Kate described her delight at becoming joint president in a statement, saying how when she first volunteered she was “struck by the huge impact the organisation has on inspiring young people to support their communities and achieve their goals”.