Monty Don melts hearts with adorable photos of family companion - and Princess Kate's brother has the best reaction

Monty Don smiles as he attends Chelsea Flower Show
Monty Don (Mark Thomas/Shutterstock,Shutterstock)

Gardener's Worldstar Monty Don has shared a precious update regarding his beloved family companion.

Taking to Instagram at the weekend, the 68-year-old TV star uploaded a wholesome throwback snapshot of himself cuddling his family's pet golden retriever called Ned.

Monty was pictured beaming from ear to ear as he bonded with the sweet pup. Captioning the image, the father-of-three simply penned: "A year ago today."

His nostalgic post quickly garnered the attention of his fanbase, with none other than Princess Kate's brother, James Middleton, racing to the comments section to weigh in on the update.

monty don holding dog called ned
Monty shared the sweetest throwback photo of Ned (Instagram)

Evidently delighted by Monty's heartwarming photo, fellow dog lover James, 36, commented: "Wonderful," followed by a bright red heart emoji.

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A second follower remarked: "Sweet adorable Ned, this past year he has grown up so quickly, thank you Monty for sharing his story with us," and a third added: "He's beautiful, I've enjoyed watching him grow on @gardenersworldtv."

Aside from Ned, Monty and his family share two other dogs: a golden retriever named Nell, and a Yorkshire terrier named Patti. Their latest addition to the family came two years after the author's dog called Nigel sadly passed away after suddenly falling ill.

monty don holding puppy in garden
The TV star adores spending time with his canine clan (Instagram)

At the time, Monty paid tribute to his "old friend" on social media, explaining how his furry friend had been "happy, healthy and his usual calm, lovely self" right up until the end.

In the past, Monty has openly spoken about the close bond he shares with his canine clan. On his website, he writes: "I have lived with dogs all my life and so it is absolutely natural to me that wherever I am in the garden I should be accompanied by a dog or two… It is their garden as much as mine or any other members of the family."

Monty and his eldest golden retriever, Nellie
Monty and his eldest golden retriever, Nellie (Instagram)

"Something that I take for granted is that, by and large, they do absolutely no damage and respect the garden completely," he continued. "They (rarely) dig holes or crash through the flower beds. They do treat the long paths as bowling alleys down which they career in chase of the ball that we are obliged to throw, but it is harmless enough."

Princess Kate's brother, James, similarly adores spending time with his beloved furry companions. The entrepreneur, who is expecting his first child with his wife Alizee, frequently delights fans on social media with adorable photos of his pet dogs: Mabel, Zulu, Inka, Nala and Isla.

He was nonetheless left heartbroken at the start of this year following the devastating death of his therapy dog, Ella.

Ella had been by James's side for 15 years, and was a canine companion he credited with saving his life when he was facing battles with depression.

Alizeé Thevenet showing off her baby bump alongside her dog
Alizeé and James will welcome their first child together later this year (Instagram)

In a touching tribute shared to social media, he penned: "It is with great sadness that I announce my dear Ella has passed away. For 15 years Ella has been at my side, from my darkest days to my happiest. I'm going to miss her terribly.

"Ella had a very short illness, she slipped away in my arms at home and is now buried in the garden alongside Tilly. I took this picture just a few hours before she died."