The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is to honour its Royal Patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, with tributes at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to commemorate her Platinum Jubilee.
RHS Chelsea, sponsored by The Newt in Somerset, returns to its May dates for the first time since the pandemic, and will feature several decorative floral and plant displays to reflect The Queen’s long-standing support for the charity, as well as her love of flowers and gardens. Her Majesty has been the Society’s Royal Patron since 1952 and was a regular visitor to the show with her parents as a child. Her first visit to the show as The Queen was in 1955, attending more than 50 times during her 70-year reign.
Renowned florist Simon Lycett who has created many floral arrangements for the Royal family, is designing a bespoke sculptural portrait of Her Majesty in the official Platinum Jubilee shade of purple. The silhouette will be covered on both sides with an assortment of native British-grown tree branches with connecting inner shelves arranged with 70 terracotta pots, hand-made in Warwickshire and planted with Lily of the Valley, one of The Queen’s favourite plants as it was featured in her Coronation bouquet.
At the centre of the show’s Great Pavilion, the Monument will be surrounded by a photography exhibition depicting images of The Queen visiting the show throughout her reign. The feature installation by designer Dave Green includes an accessible deck walkway that will flow around the images, set amongst a woodland inspired planting scheme. Creating a calm and serene environment for visitors to view the images amongst a colour palette of white, green, purple and blue plants to reflect the tones found in natural woodlands.
In celebration of The Queen’s passion for nature, an installation by floral designers Veevers Carter will give visitors an immersive experience to enjoy their own personal tribute. Natural Perspectives will feature a canopy of flowers including fresh Delphiniums, inspired by the colours and planting of the Scottish landscape near the Royal Family’s Balmoral Castle estate. As visitors encounter the space, an ambient soundscape will fill the air, visual projections of wildlife will capture their gaze, leading to a large-scale portrait of The Queen made from dried pressed flowers that have been collected and re-used from the designers’ previous events.
As visitors enter the iconic Bullring Gate, they’ll be greeted by an archway decorated with royal emblems reminiscent of a countryside meadow by Lucy Vail Floristry. Celebrating British flower growers and craftsmanship, the colourful design will include three wicker crowns covered in sweetpeas and columns abundant with foxgloves, geraniums, and irises. Following the show, all plants from the display will be returned to flower farms to be re-used and stems will be recycled for further events.
Helena Pettit, Director of RHS Gardens and Shows said: “This year’s RHS Chelsea is going to be particularly special as we celebrate this historic anniversary for Her Majesty and as the show returns in May following the pandemic. These imaginative floral tributes are a fitting and joyful representation of a truly unique monarch, and we hope visitors will enjoy seeing them at the show in the lead up to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.”
RHS Chelsea Flower Show tickets are available for Friday 27 May, including late opening and Saturday 28 May at www.rhs.org.uk/chelsea