Lonely Planet Writer

A family affair: the British royal family visits Chelsea Flower Show to mark the Queen's birthday

The British royal family attended the Chelsea Flower Show in London last evening, which has a particular royal theme this year to mark the 90th birthday of the Queen.

The Princess Charlotte chrysanthemum 'Rossano Charlotte' on display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
The Princess Charlotte chrysanthemum ‘Rossano Charlotte’ on display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Image by Getty Images

Over 100 years old, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is considered one of the world’s greatest showcases for flowers and plants, attracting visitors from around the globe each year.

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Queen Elizabeth II is pictured through a gap in a floral exhibit by the New Covent Garden Flower Market. Image by Getty Images

The Queen’s significant birthday is a theme at this year’s event.  One highlight includes a three-metre high, two and a half tonne tribute in the shape of the Queen’s head featuring 10,000 flowers.

Also in attendance at the opening evening was  The Queen’s son Prince Andrew and his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

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Prince Andrew, Duke of York with Juiet Sergeant in the Modern Slavery Garden.   Image by Getty Images

And, for the first time as a couple, Price William attended with his wife Kate Middleton, who saw a flower named in honour of their daughter Princess Charlotte.

The couple admired the new pink and green Rossano Charlotte, named after their daughter.  The flower will be sold in Waitrose supermarkets in the UK, with profits going to a children’s hospice.

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The Princess Charlotte chrysanthemum ‘Rossano Charlotte’ Image by Getty Images

Amongst the gardeners showing this year at Chelsea is Irish gardener Diarmuid Gavin, who is hoping to win gold again, having scooped it in 2011 for his suspended “Sky Garden”.   His design this year “English Eccentrics” has courted controversy for the inclusion of a rusty garden shed, which his neighbouring exhibitor has objected to.

Princess Beatrice visits the English Eccentrics Garden by Diarmuid Gavin
Princess Beatrice visits the English Eccentrics Garden by Diarmuid Gavin Image by Getty Images

Other well-known faces in the crowds, included newly-wed media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his wife Jerry Hall, who wore a floral dress for the occasion.

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Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Image by Getty Images

Another highlight of the show, which continues into the weekend, is the art installation on the grounds of the Royal Hospital of a field of poppies, made of knitted flowers, as a tribute to members of the British armed forces lost in battle.

Model Twiggy poses at the M&S Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Model Twiggy poses at the M&S Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show Image by Getty