Members of the Royal Family have revealed their favourite flowers, as they mark the first virtual Chelsea Flower Show.
With lockdown still in place across the UK, gardeners have been spending more and more time in their backyards, but won’t have a trip to Chelsea to draw inspiration for their plots from.
The show, cancelled in its usual form to prevent the spread of coronavirus, is going ahead online and the Queen sent her best wishes as the first day got underway.
She also shared her favourite flower, and encouraged other members of their family to share theirs, showing how green-fingered they are.
The Queen, 94, revealed her favourite flower is the lily of the valley, which she had in her coronation bouquet in 1953.
Prince Charles, 71, said his favourite flowers were delphiniums, and shared a picture of them in bloom at Highgrove.
The Duchess of Cornwall has opted for Alchemilla Mollis, saying:— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 18, 2020
‘This acid green fluffy - flowered plant is one of the best ever foliage plants for the garden and the vase. A must for every gardener…' #MyChelseaGarden 🍃🌿 pic.twitter.com/SVJHXs37lg
He said: “For me, the magnificent, gloriously apparelled delphinium, with its impeccable bearing and massed in platoons, holds pride of place in my botanical affections.”
His wife Camilla, 72, chose Alchemilla Mollis, and said: “This acid green fluffy - flowered plant is one of the best ever foliage plants for the garden and the vase. A must for every gardener.”
The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, 69, chose hellebores, and said: “Not only do they flower early but they keep flowering for two months, and they are often beautifully marked with endless variations.”
Prince Edward and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, chose azaleas. The Earl, 56, said they were “so breath-taking at this time of year and have the most intoxicating scent”.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester chose daisies and sweet peas respectively, while Princess Alexandra chose golden celebration roses.
The Queen has chosen lily-of-the-valley, pictured here in the Buckingham Palace gardens. #MyChelseaGarden— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 18, 2020
Lily of the valley featured in Her Majesty’s coronation bouquet and has held special associations since. 💐✨ pic.twitter.com/nTVpoCEYEm
The princess, who is the Queen’s cousin, said: “This Golden Celebration rose gives great pleasure to look at and has the most extraordinary and unique scent.”
The Royal Family noted the first day of the show also coincides with the first day of mental health awareness week.
The Royal Horticultural Society, which puts on the annual show, has asked people to share their favourite flowers on social media, to bring colour and respite to the current situation.
The Queen would usually be attending the Chelsea Flower Show on Monday, to view the gardens before they opened to visitors.
She has attended most years since she became Queen, missing out only if she was abroad.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex are pleased to share this image of azaleas which are “so breath-taking at this time of year and have the most intoxicating scent.” #MyChelseaGarden pic.twitter.com/r8nH3xKpAZ— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 18, 2020
Last year, she toured her granddaughter-in-law’s debut garden, as the Duchess of Cambridge unveiled ‘Back to Nature’ at the show.
The Royal Family shares a love of the outdoors and gardening. The Queen Mother was said to do her research before attending the show, and Prince Charles is also a fan of the annual event.
Prince Harry has also helped his charity, Sentebale, set up gardens at the show.
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