The Chelsea Flower Show in full bloom

A vivid display of gardens, celebrities and royalty lights up the Royal Chelsea Hospital

The Chelsea Flower Show, Britain’s most celebrated horticultural event, is underway in London.

Held annually within the picturesque grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, this five-day exhibition represents “the pinnacle of horticultural excellence with showstopping designs, innovative materials and glorious blooms”, said the show’s organisers, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

King Charles and Queen Camilla visited the show this week as tributes were paid to Queen Elizabeth II, with displays honouring her memory. Throughout her 70-year reign, the Queen “rarely missed” the annual event, visiting the show “more than 50 times”, said the BBC.

The Princess of Wales made a “surprise” appearance, the Evening Standard reported, joining school pupils at the event’s first ever children’s picnic, where she met youngsters from 10 schools taking part in the RHS Campaign for School Gardening.

Female designers will outnumber their male counterparts at this year’s show, “putting men in the minority for what is believed to be the first time”, said The Times. “In 2013, women made up only 27% of garden designers,” said the paper.

The Chelsea Flower Show has been held every year since 1913, apart from pauses during the two world wars and in 2020, when the pandemic caused the event to be online only. The RHS expects more than 150,000 visitors to attend this year’s event.

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