The Queen and her family have shared their garden secrets in support of a favourite royal annual that’s been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. On the day the Chelsea Flower Show was due to get under way, the Royal Family created their own perfect posy as they posted their favourite floral selections to social media in support of the world famous event which this year is taking place virtually.
Royals including the Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne shared photos of flowers that hold special meaning to them as part of #MyChelseaGarden. The virtual show began on the same day as Mental Health Awareness Week. The Royal Horticultural Society, which organises Chelsea, is encouraging people to share their favourite flowers on their social media to help boost mental health.
The Royal Family selected favourite flowers from those in season now but which also had significance for them personally. The Queen led the way by selecting Lily of the Valley, which traditionally blooms in early May. It was chosen as she carried sprigs of it in her Coronation bouquet and, as the official Royal Family Instagram said, ”it has held special associations since.”
Perhaps the most famous of the Royal Family’s gardeners, the Prince of Wales, chose delphiniums which he described as ”magnificent, gloriously apparelled”, saying that the flower ”holds pride of place in my botanical affections.’’
The Duchess of Cornwall went for a more unusual choice, opting for Alchemilla Mollis, also known as Lady’s Mantle and described by horticulturalists as ”unpretentious”. Camilla explained her pick, saying it was ”one of the best ever foliage plants for the garden and the vase” and ”a must for every gardener”.
The Princess Royal, as ever, was practical with her selection of the hellebore. The princess’ comment on her pick was ”‘Not only do they flower early but they keep flowering for two months, and they are often beautifully marked with endless variations.’’
The Earl and Countess of Wessex shared a pick, going for azaleas because of their ”intoxicating scent”. The Duchess of Gloucester chose another famously fragrant flower, the sweet-pea while Princess Alexandra went for the Golden Celebration rose as it has ”the most extraordinary and unique scent”.
But it was the Duke of Gloucester’s selection that caused the biggest surprise. The Queen’s cousin chose the humble daisy as, it was explained, he likes to dig them up from paths and plant them again in happier spots in his garden.
The Royal Family are regular visitors to the Flower Show and several members, including the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, have been involved in designing and exhibiting gardens there.
The Virtual Chelsea Flower Show will include online tours of gardens and films of tips from experts. It is available to members of the Royal Horticultural Society from May 18th with non members able to access it from May 19th.