RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 and the Queen: photos of Elizabeth II’s long history with the event

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) paid tribute to a “very special visitor” over many years in this year’s gardens.

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The 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the first since the death of its greatest supporter, Queen Elizabeth II.

The late monarch attended the event nearly every year of her 70-year reign, having visited aged 10 after the Royal Horticultural Society sent her tickets when it heard that “Princess Elizabeth was starting to plant a little garden of her own at the Royal Lodge”.

Special gardens with plants from all over the Commonwealth were planted for the Coronation in 1952 and a floral crown was made for the Silver Jubilee in 1977.

The QUeen visited last year for the Platinum Jubilee, touring the gardens in a buggy after suffering from mobility issues for months - PeopleWorld reports.

A year on, Helena Pettit, RHS director of shows and gardens, said: “Whilst there will be joyful celebration around the King’s Coronation...the absence of our late Queen on the afternoon before we open will be profoundly felt by many. Her annual visit would lift the whole showground.”

The show features a garden paying tribute to the Queen, with many of her favourite flowers, such as the Olivia Austin rose, being chosen by designer Dave Green. A silver birch will feature in the Garden of Royal Reflection and Celebration, as well as numerous white and pink flowers.

A life-sized topiary of Her Majesty’s Fell pony Emma, who was seen standing on the grounds at Windsor Castle on the day of Elizabeth’s funeral, will be on display in the Great Pavilion.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is open to the public from May 22-27.