The Queen will miss this year’s Chelsea Flower Show for the first time since 2005 after the date was changed due to the Covid pandemic.
For the first time in its 109-year history, the event will take place in the fall instead of May, and it will be only the tenth time she’s missed it since Her Majesty’s coronation 68 years ago.
The monarch, who last missed the event in 2005 when she met in Canada with the late The Duke of Edinburgh, is currently on her annual summer holiday to Balmoral and is not expected to leave Scotland until October.
Instead, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra will represent the Royal Family at the event.
The Queen will miss this year’s Chelsea Flower Show for the first time since 2005 after the date was changed due to the Covid pandemic. She is pictured at the event in 2019
Founded in 1913, the flower show has grown into one of the world’s largest showcases for horticultural excellence, attracting visitors and exhibitors from all over the world.
It has grown from 244 exhibitors in 1913 to more than 500 today, including gardens, nurseries, florists, educational displays and trade stands. The show attracts 168,000 visitors.
Organized by the Royal Horticultural Society, to which the Queen is patroness, the show traditionally takes place in mid-May.
This year, however, it was ravaged by Covid and The Royal Horticultural Society announced in January that the show, on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, would be moved from May 18-23 to September 21-26.
The RHS said the September show will “celebrate the best of autumn horticulture” and that this year the royal family’s contingent will see displays, including the RHS Queen’s Green Canopy Garden. Her Majesty is depicted planting a tree during a visit to Salvesen Gardens
Last year, due to the coronavirus, the event had to be canceled entirely, with a virtual show online.
As many as 140,000 are expected to attend the event, ensuring that planned security measures, including spreading the show over an extra day and reducing the number of visitors.
In 2019, the Duchess of Cambridge designed one of the gardens and gave the Queen a tour.
The RHS said the September show will “celebrate the best of autumn horticulture” and that this year the royal family’s contingent will see displays, including the RHS Queen’s Green Canopy Garden.
In 2019, the Duchess of Cambridge designed one of the gardens and gave the Queen a tour. Her Majesty is pictured around the ‘Back to Nature’ garden by Prince William and Kate
The garden runs parallel to Her Majesty’s unique tree-planting initiative, established on the occasion of the frost’s platinum anniversary in 2022.
The effort began secretly in March – the end of the official planting season – when the monarch and the Prince of Wales, the patron saint of the initiative, met at Windsor Castle to plant an inaugural ‘Verdun Oak’.
Everyone from individuals to Scouting and Girlguiding groups, towns, cities, counties, schools and businesses will be encouraged to plant trees from October 2021, when the tree planting season begins, until the end of the Jubilee Year in 2022.
From October, details of contributions can be uploaded to an interactive map on the new QGC website, allowing people to see the development of the canopy.
The Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest forest conservation charity, has pledged three million free saplings to schools and communities across the UK as part of the QGC initiative.
Trees can be planted singly or in groves by individuals, schools, community groups or businesses on private land, or even as a new Platinum Jubilee Avenue of medium or large trees – ideal for cities, large estates, housing projects and parishes.
The non-profit project is funded by private donors and supporters, including Royal Mail, Coutts, The John Lewis Partnership, Coupa and Rentokil Initial plc.
While the QGC has not received any government funding, it is also supported by DEFRA.